I figured I should kick off the new year the right way by publicly announcing the things that I resolve to do better during 2011. And now, three weeks later, I'm finally getting around to doing it :) Although this list is coming almost a month into the new year, I have had these resolutions in mind since the beginning of the year, and so far I've stuck to them pretty well. I'll edit this blog entry periodically to give status updates on each of the items in the list.
Eat fast food sparingly
I am going to limit myself to an average of once a month, or a total of twelve times this year. And one time has to be a typical, or slightly larger than typical sized meal. I will not eat 27 junior bacon cheeseburgers over the course of three hours and count that as one fast food meal. The general rule will be that a single meal can't be more than twice as large as the meal that the person sitting next to me is eating. As of 22 January, I have not eaten any fast food at all during 2011.
- Topps on 11 February. This one was pretty big.
- Del Taco after warrior dash on 3 April. I had two tiny tacos.
- In and Out Burger on 19 April. One burger.
- In and Out Burger on 27 April. One burger and fries.
- McDonald's and Carl's Junior on 27 May. One chicken sandwich and two fries.
- McDonald's after Gries's wedding on 6 August. Two burgers and fries.
- Hardees in South Carolina on 19 August. Chicken sandwich and fries.
- Wendy's bacon cheeseburger in Huron on 11 Septmeber.
- Pizza Hut from student union near the end of October.
- McDonalds on the way from Windsor to Niagra Falls on 30 December.
There is no hard or fast definition for what "regularly" will mean here because I find that if I try to impose strict guidelines I get burned out quickly. I do intend to get to and stay at a level of fitness such that I could run a 5k in less than 20 minutes with only one days advanced notice. I didn't run at all the first week of the year because I was in Ohio where it is super cold, but as of 22 January, I have only taken one day off since returning to LA. I'm keeping track of my progress in my running log.
Update as of 12 September: This has been rough for the last month or so. I'll have to get back on the bandwagon soon.
Update as of 30 October: I've still been running a little less often that I would like, but it has been getting better. I raced a 5k today (and it actually was about a days notice) and finished just under 20 minutes, so I guess I'm still making the goal. I should probably build up some fitness though since it's only going to be harder to get out the door when it starts snowing again.
End of year update: This went well for a while, and I'm pretty sure I got in the best shape I've been in since high school. I ended up easing off quite a bit by the end of the year, especially when it got cold, but I think it was still pretty successful.
Say what I mean
This is one that I've been working on for a while, and this year I am finally resolving to do it for real. If I have a thought or something that I want to say, I'm going to say it, and I'm going to say it like I mean it. This means that I'm not going to hold thoughts or comments in for the sake of not offending anyone. I really believe that it is best to say what you mean, and stand by it. This does not mean that I'm going to be rude, or say "hey your new haircut is ugly" just because I thought it. It does mean that I'm going to say, "I understand that you're in a hurry, but that doesn't mean you can jump in front of that guy in line". Maybe that isn't the best example to capture what I'm getting at here, but I suspect that most of you know what I mean because you've thought something similar yourself.
Update as of 25 March: This has been going relatively well. I can't think of any example off hand when I said exactly what I meant despite being hesitant, but I remember that it has happened. Equally importantly, I don't remember any times when I wanted to speak up and didn't.
Update as of 28 May: Today I told the loud guy at the library to keep it down when everyone else was too timid to say anything. Finally a good example to put on here.
End of year update: This was a big success.
Learn to twirl drumsticks
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I want to be able to easily and naturally twirl drumsticks. And I'm talking about actually twirling them between my fingers. That trick where you hold the stick in place between the same two fingers and just spin it so it looks like twirling doesn't count. That's just weak.
Update as of 25 March: I have made literally no progress on this one. I haven't even touched a pair of drumsticks in months. I need to get on this.
End of year update: I did pretty well, and can twirl now, but I'm not quite as skilled l as I would like.
Keep a video log
The video log is basically like a video diary which is a good way for me to review and reflect upon the things I've done and learned as the year goes by. It also provides a nice way for me to have some self-inflicted accountability for all of these resolutions. I did this last year for over nine months until I lost the charger for my camera, but I have a new one now, so I'm going to make it all the way this year.
Update as of 25 March: I've done great with making the videos, but I haven't done much watching or reflecting with them.
End of year update: I did keep the log all year long, but I didn't watch or reflect on it as much as I would have liked. I'm sure I'll go back and reference it as time goes by.
Do pushups everyday
I started this out last year and went really strong for almost ten months, but then I fell off the band wagon. This year that is not going to happen. Recently I've been doing 35 or 42 finger-tip pushups each night before bed. I will eventually move up to 49 (or more) each night, but I'm not in any hurry to get there. Like the running I want to take it slow so I don't get burnt out. I may add situps in there eventually too, but right now I don't have a good place to do situps.
Update as of 25 March: So far so good. I've been doing a minimum of 42 pushups each night, and occasionally I do 49 (including today). I haven't missed a day since I started. I also haven't added situps yet.
End of year update: I did pushups everyday, and added situps for the months of November and December. I'm going to do pushups for the first week of 2012 as well becuase I didn't actually start this until I went back to LA in 2011.
Pay off my student debt
When I graduated college in January 2010 I was just a little over $23k in debt. Right now I'm down to a little over $14k. I want to have this paid off and be debt free this year. Actually I want it to be done by 8 August this year. That is the end of CTY (where I will probably work this summer) so That pay check could potentially be my final payment against the loans.
Update as of 25 March: I am making progress on this one, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I'm down to around $13,500 now which is only $500 lower than when I first posted. The biggest problem is that over half of the money that I've paid since the original writing has gone to interest. My car accident was also a significant setback. I'm still planning to make my original goal, but I may have to come up with a new game plan. Selling the mustang would be helpful.
Update as of 18 May: I have made a little more progress here since the last update. I'm down to around $12,000 now which is better than I was doing. I'm still not on schedule though, so I'm hoping I can find some other things to sell -- websites would be ideal. I'm not at all worried about finishing the repayment by the end of the year, but August is getting here fast. I think the only way I could make that deadline now is if I sell the mustang.
Update as of 30 October: It is starting to look like this will be the only resolution that I end up not making. I didn't pay the debt off by the end of CTY. I'm down to about $6k now, but the year is about over, and I'm about out of stuff to sell. I guess there is still a tiny chance that things could come together and I could pay it all off, but more likely, it will take the first few months of next year.
End of year update: Failed. My balance forward is $4,712.52. I've added the same resolution to my 2012 list.
There will be more of these to come as I remember them. I may also think of some new ones to add in there. I know you can't really start a new years resolutions in the middle of the year, but on the other hand, why should I wait eleven more months to start improving myself when I could be doing it today.
Please leave any thoughts or ideas in the comments.
love, Joshy Woshy