Resolution Progress 2017: First Half

(Original ; First Quarter ; Half ; Three-Quarters ; Final)

For the first half, I should have progressed about 50%. So, let’s see where I am.

Resolution Progress 2017: First Quarter

(Original ; Half ; Three-Quarters ; Final)

For the first quarter, I should have progressed about 25%. So, let’s see where I am.

Resolutions 2015

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: ‘To rise above little things’. ― John Burroughs

    1. Read 52 books. Yeah, I know. In 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, I read more than this same exact amount. I like the number because it is a book a week.
      • Read 50% by female authors. After reading “Readers prefer authors of their own sex, survey finds“, I did an analysis of my own books for the past 2012, 2013, and 2014. My best year was 17% female authors. So I’ll push for at least 50% this year. Ideally, I would do even 90% female but that might mean buying a lot more books. That best year? Most of the books by female authors came from participating in a book club with most female members.
    2. Biking was an abysmal failure last year. Weight lifting is my new health and exercise thing. Based on some stuff I’ve read, these should be reasonable achievements for someone who has reached novice level. As I understand, someone who is my height takes longer to reach them, so with three months now adding another year, I think I can reach these by the end of next year. Looking to do something like a 4 day rotation of chest, back, legs, cardio (bike).
      1. Bench 185 pounds (1RM equivalent). Benchmark lift Tuesday was 80 at 10 reps which by my phone app was a 107 1RM equivalent. This puts the goal at 78 more.
      2. Squat 245 pounds (1RM eq). Benchmark lift Saturday was 80 at 10 reps which by that calculator was 107. This puts the goal at 138 more.
      3. Deadlift xxx pounds. Do not have a benchmark lift yet. According to one resource this should be 305, but I should probably look to see what I can do before committing to something.
      4. Drop to about 15% body fat. I think I am closer to 25-30% at the moment. Setting a specific target weight seems like a bad idea because I’ll need to add several pounds of muscle in order to achieve the above, so I will likely gain weight even while dropping fat. Setting the body fat target should achieve the real purpose.
      5. Bring HIIT up to about 50-50. Muscle is good, but I think I have been so lazy for so long that I have major stamina issues. Bike day is high intensity interval training (HIIT). Right now, I am struggling with 30 seconds high with 120 seconds slow. This goal is to get this closer to 60 seconds high with 60 seconds slow.
    3. Take a trip at least 300 miles away from home. Work conference does not count. It might be to visit family, but the distance ensures my home town does not count. Yes, this is the same as last year’s failed. I use up my vacation time for work and this seems like a good way to encourage that.
    4. Declutter Part II. Continue the progress made from last year. Shred and trash more unneeded paper. Get all statements to be kept in folders. One last closet is still a mess and needs to be emptied of stuff.

Old resolutions: 20142013, 2012201120102009.

Resolutions 2014

Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws. Their origin is pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil. — Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

  1. Read 52 books. Yeah, I know. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, I read more than this. I like the number because it is a book a week. And ends up being about 20,000 pages each year.
    • Think another stipulation is at least 30 need to be physical books I already own. Not to knock the Kindle, but I have been on a buying spree of public domain (aka free) books because of it. I have at least ten maybe fifteen linear feet of unread books, so I need to make a significant dent in that.
  2. Ride 10 miles a week April to October. I do not even own a bike at this point, so this means figuring out some things. I’m figuring buy a bike by March and averaging 10 miles a week for half a year is a reasonable start.
  3. Declutter. Maybe take this a month at a time. Bedroom1, bedroom closet 1, living room, bedroom2, bedroom closet 2, dining room, kitchen, laptop, 1TB external drive, 1.5TB ext drive.
  4. Take a trip 300 miles away from home. Work conference does not count. It might be to visit family, but the distance ensures my home town does not count.

As usual, I am going to shy away from things like dieting, cooking, or joining a gym which I know are so counter to my habits they are pointless. Gives me an idea for tomorrow’s post.

Old resolutions: 2013, 2012201120102009.

Followup.

Cull and Surrender

This clip from an NPR article, The Sad Beautiful Fact That We’re Going To Miss Almost Everything, resonated strongly with me. I feel like there are too many books to read in order to read them all.

Now, everything gets dropped into our laps, and there are really only two responses if you want to feel like you’re well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling and surrender.

Culling is the choosing you do for yourself. It’s the sorting of what’s worth your time and what’s not worth your time. It’s saying, “I deem Keeping Up With The Kardashians a poor use of my time, and therefore, I choose not to watch it.” It’s saying, “I read the last Jonathan Franzen book and fell asleep six times, so I’m not going to read this one.”

Surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time for everything that would be worth the time you invested in it if you had the time, and that this fact doesn’t have to threaten your sense that you are well-read. Surrender is the moment when you say, “I bet every single one of those 1,000 books I’m supposed to read before I die is very, very good, but I cannot read them all, and they will have to go on the list of things I didn’t get to.”

I use the resolutions to indicate what I deem worth my time. One year it was science, history, and policy kinds of books. I wanted to enrich my thinking. This year I figured my background in books most people have read was still lacking, so I picked a list. I get lots of comments from others saying they either have or want to read these books, so it was a decent list.

At times, I choose to cull my life by removing activities which I find unnecessary distractions. Too much social activity weighs down on me to the point I get edgy and snap at the people around me. It disappoints people for me to pull away, but this is what is good for me. I’ve seen people similarly cull their Facebook friends list to limit it to positive people. We should do what is necessary to protect our sanity and allow us to achieve our goals.

Also, I have surrendered on some books. I just get bogged down in not having enough interest. There are plenty of other, better books I could be reading. I try not to beat myself up about surrendering on a book.

Georgia Performance Standards has a million words a year goal. “Chapter books average 250 words per page.” 1,000,000 words / 250 words/page = 4,000 pages. Also, at 100 words per minute, that is about a 167 hour investment in either learning or developing empathy. That is the equivalent of a couple university lectures.

2011 Resolutions

My resolutions for 2010 involved a lot of reading, improving my cooking repertoire, improving my photography repertoire, and having fun in the present. In goal accounting for 2010, 2 were successful and 2 not. Except for the reading goal, the other three were well outside my comfort zone.  I forgot my statement for the resolutions in 2009.

Useful resolutions to me are things I realistically can and will accomplish applying moderate effort. Making too hard of a challenge will result in giving up too quickly. Making too easy of a challenge will result in doing something I would do anyway.

The successful resolutions only required moderate effort. The failures required me to move outside my comfort zone. So for 2011, I ought to come up with some resolutions more encouraging my strengths than discouraging for likely failures.

  1. Complete unfinished novel series. In 2007 I started several novel series, but the 2008 and 2009 resolutions conspired to make these books less than ideal. I made it to book 4 of Harry Potter, book 4 of the Wheel of Time, book 7 of the Sword of Truth. It is time I finished off these series. Especially to move on to start others.
    • Harry Potter books 4-7 (4)
    • Wheel of Time books 4-13 (#14 due early 2012) Number four was unbearable. Giving up this series.
    • Sword of Truth books 9-11 (3)
    • Ender books 4, 6-11 (7)
    • Total: 24 14
  2. Complete the first 25 of the BBC The Big Read Top 100 (from 2003). This the real list, not the Internet Meme one which has been passed around for years and multiply modified in the process. The list is:
    1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    2. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
    3. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
    4. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
    5. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
    6. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
    7. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
    8. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
    9. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
    10. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    11. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
    12. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
    13. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
    14. Total: 13
  3. No more complaining about Blackboard, Inc. Too many of my blog posts, Twitter, and Facebook updates are about Blackboard. Most of that is negative. Going forward it needs to be positive or constructive. There are lots I dislike about the company and products but to little productive effect.
  4. Attend more social events when invited. All too often I listen to the butterflies in my stomach and stay home. In 2010 I did better than normal at attending parties, potlucks, etc. Seems like I went to about 50% of them when I did not have a conflict.
  5. Go away more. Almost of all of my out-of-town trips in 2010 were all back to visit family. I need to get out more and do something fun. So much stuff to do when I am sitting at home on my recliner.

There are some other intentions like praying and learning the Baha’i Writings, being available for helping Mom, getting healthier, try dating, etc. Instead of making a resolution, I’ll just try to keep them in mind.

Followup