Reviewing my new year's post from last year, I don't think I did super well at effecting any of those improvements, so I'm carrying them over to this year. Plus I'm adding an extra one that I'll talk about later.
- eat better
- get more exercise
- sleep better (more regularly, if not more, period)
- not smoke
- read more
- write more
- game more
- be better in the world (new goal)
My greatest successes were probably in the "sleep better" and "not smoke" categories. Sleep health has become a priority for me for two main reasons. One, I don't drink caffeine anymore (so I actually need sleep to function), and two, sleep dep makes me much more susceptible to anxiety issues. The caffeine also made me susceptible to anxiety issues, which is why I stopped to begin with, so sleep health is tied pretty closely to mental health. Stopping smoking is a perennial favorite, but I actually made some pretty good progress in that direction in 2016 by getting over my aversion to e-cigs. It turns out that, for me, e-cigs make a much better NRT than the gum. Over the course of the year, I returned to cigarettes from time to time, but it's much less a problem than it used to be, I think, so I'm going to see if this year can be the year when I finally kick nicotine completely. It is so, so much harder than I ever imagined it could be. I'm not really one for regrets in life, but top of the list has absolutely got to be stepping into nicotine addiction. I can't believe this shit is legal, let alone socially acceptable.
Anyway. I guess I read a bit more last year, but I really have to recognize the value in actually setting aside time to do so, rather than just letting it happen "when I have time." I wrote next to nothing. Writing more falls into different categories, but there are two big ones: blog posts and fiction/game writing. I kinda sorta tried to start RPG blogging a couple years ago now, but that didn't really get anywhere. I'd like to try and get back on that. Fiction and game writing I'm combining into one category just because it all taps into the same part of my brain, and while fiction was just always sort of a broad idea for me, I also now know a lot more game designers than I have previously in life. I'd like to get better at writing, and I'd like to contribute. And on the topic of gaming, I didn't get much of it in at all. Actually the same thing applies here as with reading: I have to consciously make time for it. Most of my gaming anymore is limited to cons, since that's actually dedicated gaming time. I should go to more cons. Amazingly, even my therapist said so, which I found pretty funny. :) Early last year I wrote about the beginnings of a D&D game with Tb and Gb; that never materialized. He recently expressed interest in Masks, so I lent him the copy I got from the Kickstarter. We'll see if anything comes of that; I don't think he's every played anything PbtA, so this could be a whole new thing. I know he started in with a D&D club at school, but I'm not sure that ever got off the ground, either.
Eating better is a big one. I'm eating terribly these days. I've put on some significant weight. Working from home is nice for logistics and convenience, but it means I don't have that much reason to leave the house anymore, let alone on a daily basis. My bicycle has been broken since who-knows-when and I've been too lazy/uninterested to get the part I need or even just take it to the shop and get it fixed. I've got to get out on my bike more. Eating, exercise, smoking...these are all connected areas that I need to spend time and effort improving. And physical health is connected to mental health, so really all of this is under a big unifying force. Health. Health and gaming, those are the things I've chosen to pay attention to.
Lastly, the new item: being better in the world. The election of Donald Trump was a wake-up call for me. America is not doing as well as I had thought. Living in New York, knowing the people I know, I had unconsciously, even cavalierly, thought of regressive forces as outliers. My impression of social progress was that it was inevitable, that things were generally headed in the right direction, that people just in the act of living their lives would increase in empathy and understanding and good will and things would just gradually get better. What horseshit. I have put a lot of effort into not falling into divisiveness as a result of this revelation that, wow, there are a lot more dickheads around than I thought. Rage is satisfying in its way, I guess, but I've come to find that it gets nothing done. So I'd like to be more conscious of where I expend my time and effort, and how the things I do contribute to the world I want to see. This idea is probably going to have its biggest impact on me professionally, but that's another post for another day.
There's nothing wrong with broad, even overreaching goals, I don't think. But I'm coming to feel like there's something wrong with only having broad, overreaching goals. Also something that's happened in 2016 (in my professional life) is coming to think of things in terms of project management. Broad goals can be broken down into shorter, achievable, concrete goals. Checklists can be made. Priorities established. Progress tracked. Achievements, as T-Rex might say, achieved. So with that in mind, here are a couple more immediate goals which fall under the overall guidelines of the new year ideas I've gone over.
- Blog post every day - Or close to it, anyway. I want to focus on the purpose of this blog, this LJ in particular, I mean, as an actual place for journalling. I want to be able to look back and really review how life was going. I had the opportunity recently to go back and read some entries from way long ago, and it was valuable to do so, just to see how things had changed. So I want to be able to do that again in the future. So the goal is to post every night. Even if nothing happened that day, even if the post is short. I want to make this a habit again. It doesn't have to be every night, but it should be an exception that I'm not posting instead of the rule.
- Fix my bicycle - It is fucking ridiculous that I don't have a working bicycle. It would take so little to fix it. I should fix it. After that, I can start riding it again.
Simple enough, yeah? Seems pretty reasonable. Let's see if we can get this party started.
Happy New Year, everybody. Smell ya later.