I woke up on New Year’s Day without a hangover. It’s kind of a miraculous event, considering how much I tend to drink.
For example, a fine New Year’s Day about five or six years ago, I woke up on the couch to find that most of my friends were still in the house, in various states of I really drank a lot last night, and please kill me. We were all too hungover to move. Instead, we ate and watched Peter Jackson’s terrible remake of King Kong. (Skull Island is much better, so you can gasp in horror now and leave this blog forever).
This year, I had two drinks, and spend the rest of the night drinking tonic water and making playlists. I don’t even like tonic water. Tonic water glows in the dark (under a blacklight, as a friend pointed out that the information I gave was not complete), did you know that? People shouldn’t consume drinks that glow in the dark.
I digress. My point is, people, even borderline alcoholics who used to wake up in skate parks and wonder how they got there in the first place (it wasn’t me…it was a friend), change. A few years ago I didn’t think that it was possible. Heck, chip-eating, beer-swilling me on the couch last May didn’t think it was possible. (This is another story, but at the height of my depression I must have consumed 100 large bags of Cheetos Puffs. Not even the flaming hot ones like any respectable person).
Not-drinking is a gradual state, but I did go from 3-4 beers a day to one or two a week. (But to be honest, fam, it has more to do with calories, that it has with anything else!) You can’t work out and keep working out and drink 2500 calories of beer a day unless you don’t eat anything else because sadly, that isn’t sustainable. As much as I would like it to be.
The wonderful thing about January gives you a nice “frame” for the rest of the year. There’s something about the death of the year, the cold weather and the sense of renewal that makes people take stock and restart.
When I was younger, I used to make resolutions with fervor and forget about them within a month. Much like my hangovers the next time I’m faced with yummy drinks!
One thing I have learned over the years, I focused more on lifestyle changes and creating new systems for work and for life.
In 2017, I successfully made fitness a part of my everyday life. I work out 5-6 times a week (when I’m on a roll), or at least 4 times a week, when life is hectic/busy or whatever.
Setting goals helps you to create the systems you want, so I’ve thought it through and besides my normal daily tasks for life and work, this year I aim to:
- Read and meditate on the Bible daily. Last year, I averaged reading or even thinking about it, twice a week, if ever. It’s easier for me to meditate quietly before starting my workday, at my desk. But during hectic hours my “study time” would often get pushed to the side. So this year, a more mindful system to help me learn more.
- Write 1-2 articles a week, aiming for every Wednesday and Friday.
- Create a process where I journal on a regular basis. I used to journal almost every day, and kept up a habit of a diary/journal well into my twenties. Then I slowed down, and then eventually, stopped. I have a few reasons why, which I’ll probably examine later. Keeping a journal helps me analyse events and thoughts, and really helps with anxiety or just remembering things, which is important for writing. It’s an act of remembering, really.
- Track my weekly gym progress, specifically overloads/progressions. I know I’m making strides, but I would like to create my fitness feedback loop. In this case, keep track of weight/measurements + how much I’m lifting in terms of weight, all in really to improve my barbell squat and push-ups, and drop the weight I want to drop.
- Use less plastic, and reduce my carbon footprint by eating more vegetables/less meat, recycle/upcycle more and stop buying so much nonsense. I’ve already ditched plastic bags and straws.
I have a different set of goals for work, but this is for my personal growth and happiness. Hopefully we can check in with each other in 2019 and see how far we go!
What are your goals for the year? What are you working on? I’m super interested!