New Years Resolutions

I love lists. I have to-do lists for home and for work. I have a book-to-read list. I have a book wish-list on Amazon. I have a list of blog entries to do. I have a list of lists to make. Ok, not really on that last one.

But one list I rarely ever make is my List of New Year’s Resolutions. I’m kind of a “If it’s a good idea to do it, why not do it now?” guy. For instance, why wait until January 1st to get into shape, when I was able to start doing it in December?

I decided to make a list of New Year’s Resolutions this year, more as a vow to either continue to do things I am already doing, or to try new things that, due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to do before. Perhaps I’ll look back at this a year from now and shake my head, and confirm that the gods do laugh at the plans of men. Or maybe I’ll look at it and nod, and say, “Nice work. Those were good goals.”

Here’s my list for 2012 (in no particular order):

  1. Shop locally. We started doing this more in the latter part of 2011, but I want to continue the trend. We’ve lived in the same small town for almost 7 years, but there are still many stores I have never been into. That needs to change, both for myself, and for my community. There’s a great local bookstore I was in once or twice in the last 6 years, but I’ve gone in there the last three weekends, and I love it. Now my kids have discovered it, and I can see making it part of out monthly (if not more frequent) outings.
  2. Be more active in the community. Go to the parades and football games and band competitions and read about what’s going on in the city council and in the arts commission and the local library. It looks like we’re going to be here for quite a while, and I enjoy getting out and talking to people. I no longer feel like an outsider. 7 years is all it took.
  3. Be more charitable to non-profit organizations that I use frequently or have a direct impact on my life, or my kids lives, or the lives of the people in my neighborhood. Organizations like NPR, Sumner/Bonney Lake Aquatics and the Pierce County Library System play vital roles in my area, and we have to support the services we use. I also support the CMTA, a national organization that has been very important to me for years. There’s an entire blog about that on my list that I’m saving for later.
  4. Take the kids camping at least twice. It won’t be long trips where we backpack into the wilds and fight grizzly bears. I just want them to see something other than the ‘burbs a weekend or two a year, and to get them (and me) away from computers and screen time.
  5. In terms of my writing, market myself better. While I can’t control whether or not a publisher thinks my books are good, I can control my market reach, and have a wide audience ready to purchase my books when they do come out. There are simple things that I have not yet done, but will attempt in 2012 that should help.
  6. Write another book. I don’t know yet what it will be about, but my longer term goal is at least one new book per year.
  7. Be a better father by being more patient with my kids. Patience is the single hardest thing for me as a father of two young kids, and I think it is the hardest thing to develop.
  8. Spend more time with friends. This is one I say every years, and something always comes up – whether it be the birth of the kids, or some injury / illness or work. Something always gets in the way. I miss adult conversation that is not work oriented or kid oriented. I think every conversation I had with an adult for a couple of years started and ended with my kids bathroom habits. It would be really nice to talk about world issues and the environment, and have a glass of wine and some really stinky cheese once in a while.

Okay, so that’s my list… for now. It will grow and shrink over the year, but hopefully, by the end of 2012, some of the things there will be something that I ‘just do’ and when I’m setting goals in 2013, the list is at least different.

And to all my readers, Happy New Year! Hope to see you back here frequently in 2012 (feel free to add that to your list of New Years Resolutions.)

5 Comments on “New Years Resolutions

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring list of goals for 2012; I found many of the items on it are applicable to me, too. Probably the most impactful item on it is learning patience, a quality important not just for parenting but also to ease other parts of life as well. Now that my kids are grown, I regret all the times I was cross or impatient with them, which was usually more about what was going on in my life than what they were (or were not) doing. On the other hand, parents are allowed to be human too, so when you slip up, learn from it and move on! (Oh dear, that sounds perilously like unsolicited advice.) Here’s hoping you remember to make time for those conversations with friends over wine and stinky cheese! Happy New Year!

    • I think we’re at that point where the kids are starting to test us, and I’m trying to find the balance between allowing them space, and putting a foot down. It’s one of the hardest things to do, especially when they are being disrespectful. It’s also difficult not to hold grudges when they’ve been bad at bedtime and start the next day with a clean slate. I’m sure there will be times that I will both regret being too harsh and too lenient. I hope it all balances out in the end.

      • I think the fact that you are so aware of and reflective about your parenting skills is a sign that you’re a great parent!

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