I think New Year’s Resolutions are honestly somewhat silly. At least I used to. Recently, I read this New York Times article about resolutions and giving yourself a break when you miss the mark from time to time, which made me be a little softer on the idea.
In the same way I refresh my priorities week-to-week or month-to-month with a work task list, the turn of a calendar can be a nice marker to hit the reset button on what you want to do for the year.
I don’t have any hard core resolutions (lose X amount of pounds, write X amount of blog posts, etc). Just behaviors and habits I want to modify going into the new year.
Exercise More Frequently
I used to take fitness for granted. I ran competitively for more than a decade and never had to think about not being in shape. Honestly, I was arrogant enough to think that’d I’d always be in good shape. Even after I effectively quit running those first couple of years, I could not run for months at a time and jump back in and do a five mile clip at at least a 7 minute mile pace totally cold.
This holiday break two things happened:
I saw photos of myself during the break and had a “oh wow you put on weight!” reaction internally. I’d never really felt that before in my life.
I started getting more out of breath playing with my kids. I don’t want to be that dad that taps out on them. Kids are exhausting and I’ll probably find limits but I want to stay stride for stride with them as much as it’s within my control to do so.
I have a potential hiking trip in Colorado this summer and plans to do a fall half marathon with friends to keep me honest. Hopefully those milestones will keep me motivated and accountable for my new goal. If I don’t exercise, I won’t survive either of those events.
Slow Down - Few Things In Life Are That Urgent
I have ADD and it’s hard for me to get in a good focused zone when working on something. When I finally do, getting interrupted out of it is rough on me. Probably tests my patience more than anything. Being a parent of two kids two and under requires me to be okay with interruptions.
There have been days I’ve honestly just told my kids to wait, hang on, let daddy finish _____. The other morning I took a slightly different approach. Our five-month-old has started teething. Instead of hanging out and playing on his activity pad while I worked (per usual), he fussed a lot. Instead of trying to rush that email (or whatever it was I was working on), I just picked him up and snuggled him on the couch until he was soothed/passed out. And we just sat.
You know what? I didn’t miss anything. Nothing blew up. I still got my to-do list done. I think little moments like that to close the laptop or turn off the phone when the kids want my attention will have greater staying power with how they view their childhoods and honestly bring me more joy as a parent.
Less Screen Time
Spend less time on screens. This isn’t just a “hey let’s be on my phone less tweeting” type of thing. I mean all screens. Use a pen and paper to outline strategy plans or meeting notes instead of a laptop at work. Watch less Netflix and read a book instead. And be on my phone less, of course. I think apps like Android’s Digital Well Being and RescueTime will help me track that behavior.
Track My Behaviors
I think the best way to get a handle on how I’m spending my time is to be diligent on tracking it. I have apps like Exist, Fitbit, RescueTime and Digital Well Being that automate most things but not all. Being more diligent tagging days in Exist and journaling way more often will be a great way to hold myself accountable and better reflect on the year when 2020 comes around.
That’s where my head’s at for 2019. What goals did you set (if any)?