I’ve never really made a big point to make or follow New Years Resolutions, mostly because they’re always really vague and are stuff that I plan to do anyways. I wanted to make them public this year, in hopes that people will read them and hold me to them. I don’t trust myself to keep them if I’m left to my own devices, so making myself accountable to everyone else who will know about them will make it easier to actually do that. I’m even going to be super specific this time around and give myself five certain goals. If it’s been a few months and I haven’t made any progress on this, I expect to be called out on them.
1. Write at least one published book in 2012. In 2011, my wife and best friend and I published a book digitally for the Nook and Kindle about some of the crazy stories passed around in our home county. That was a heck of a lot of fun to do, and it’s actually put a little bit of change in our pocket. It has also been extremely liberating to actually have a “side career” outside of my actual job, and even cooler to find it making a little money. But perhaps the best reward is getting great comments from people who have actually read it. Because of that, I’m going to try it again and see if we can write an even better book. I already have started outlining something related to the tornado outbreak in Alabama of this past April, my goal is to have it finished by the first anniversary of that.
2. Help my band be the best they can be. For the past few months, I’ve been the manager of a great local band made up of some younger friends of mine. I fool around with a guitar and banjo, but I can never hope to be as good as they are. Helping them get their music out there is the best way for me to get involved in that area, and I’ve loved it so far. In 2012, I want to make sure that North Alabama knows the name Ashlyn Maine and what an awesome band they are.
3. Cut two minutes off of my 5K time by June. I’ve been doing a lot of running in the past year and a half, mostly to stay in shape but also because it’s a great way to get out of the house and listen to audio books, music or podcasts. I’ve had an average time of 27 minutes for my 5K, which is around average for anyone. I’m going to try to kick my own butt and cut two minutes off of that time by June and make it “official” by running a 5K then.
4. Be less selfish, and be a better representative. I’ll try to make that sound less vague than it does. First of all, I want to be more generous with my time and resources. Too often, I skimp out on helping someone out with a given task or goal and make the excuse that I’m too busy or tired to do it. I want to catch myself in the act more and stop that. I have far more free time than I really need, and typically just end up wasting it. It would be far better spent helping others. Secondly, I want to be a better representative of the school that I work at, the church that I go to, or the hometown that I’m from. I’ve got to keep in mind that people will see me as a part of one of those things or other groups that I can’t immediately think of. If I’m the lazy guy that won’t help out, it will look bad on them. That’s something I’ve got to work on.
5. Make 2012 the most memorable year this decade. Again, this isn’t as far reaching as it may sound. I often refer to 1999 as being one of the best years I’ve ever had, and it was because so much fun stuff happened that year. Trips with friends, concerts, and all sorts of countless fun and geeky things. The span of 2002 to 2005 was also great for me for that reason, but nothing can ever really compare to the vast amount of fun crammed into 1999. I want to make 2012 the new 1999 for me and my wife, but to do that there are a number of things I have to keep in mind. First, I have to stop finding excuses to not go places or do things. Second, I have to realize that my career isn’t my life. It ‘s just a way to fund my real life. I too often stress about letting my job define whether or not I’m in a good mood or not, and that has to stop. It probably won’t be too much longer until my wife and I decide to have our first kid, but I’m going to make 2012 as awesome for us as possible before we do anything remotely close to “settling down.”