Obligatory New Year Post

Tue, Jan 3, 2023 4-minute read

It’s a New Year! That means we all have a chance to convince ourselves that today is somehow different than yesterday. That we’re new people and everything that was clinging to us at the end of 2022 can be shaken off and we can move on with a clean slate. I’m a bit cynical about it because I’m a person that believes every day is a clean slate and every day we can be renewed and start off better. That being said, I get that New Years can be like most any day but dialed up to eleven. Everyone is getting on board some goal or idea. We look back at what we accomplished and look ahead to what we want to do next. We make resolutions and hope that we can stick to them. I think the first step in success in that area is just acknowledging that you don’t have super powers just because you flip a calendar. The super power is recognizing that you didn’t get anything new, but you had all this motivation and resolve in you from the beginning.

I don’t know what it is about a New Year that brings out that grit in us. I guess I should know better than to question it and just ride the wave and try to hang onto whatever power has popped up an see how far I can get.

Which brings us to the goals for the year. I don’t really remember what my goals were from last year, which shows how successful I can be at this. I’m not a planner. It’s not in my nature. I think of my life in two week increments. I look back and forward in those increments. If anything I do have some things I would like to consistently accomplish. I think the way to accomplishing your goals is in the tiny steps you take every day, not the big things you do once. I know when December rolls around, I won’t remember I wrote this or what I put on it. I’ll have to go back and look at it and realize I missed some of those big things. If I take on tiny tasks every day, I might be able to keep up with those.

Here’s my big list of crap I want to be doing consistently this year:

  • Exercise regulary
  • Eat consistently better
  • Remove unneeded distractions from my daily routine
  • Take care of the things that I have
  • Stop ordering food so frequently
  • Read regularly
  • Give myself room to make mistakes
  • Spend regular time with my son
  • Date my wife
  • Love people where they are

That’s probably a good start. Most of this is about improving my priorities. I’ve been coasting for a few years and that’s a hard habit to break. When the pandemic hit, it created a series of habits and a “normal” life that I really don’t like, but haven’t had an easy time getting out if it. I read a book about the pandemic effect on our society as a whole and it basically came down to the entire world population going through a collective trauma. We all experienced it in different ways and we’re all still reeling from it even if we think we’re fine. No one came out of it untouched, and I’m not sure that we’ll regain the things we lost. At least not in their original shape. We left our bikes in the rain and we want to hop right back on and get to riding, but that’s just not how it works. We need to spend time getting them back in shape. That’s what is going to be my focus in 2023. I want to ride my metaphorical bike again.

I’m off to a good start so far. One of the tools that I’ve been using is using the words “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” when I’m trying to maintain my goals. I’ve foudn it surprisingly helpful. We all have those things we wrestle with and I’ve found just telling myself, “I’m not the kind of person that does that,” has been remarkably helpful. I can fight off lots of impulses with just those words. “I’m not the kind of person that impulsively eats sweets.” “I’m not the kind of person that drinks alone.” It works pretty well. I’m no alcoholic by any means but drinking wasn’t doing me any favors and I was able to stop by giving myself some real rules. As a result, my liver enzymes look better on my blood work and I’m sleeping better. My back pain has gone away too and I’m convinced that was a biproduct.

This year’s word is: Consistency.

2023, ya’ll. Here we go.

  • stephen