New Year’s Resolutions suck.
Big promises, fervent attention to them for a few weeks, then a few weeks of less effort, followed by giving up completely, feeling guilty for a bit, then just going with the flow. And that’s the best case most of the time!
I stopped making them a long time ago, or keeping it to just one or two small things, usually adjustments (I’ll be better at keeping in touch this year! oh wait, I’ve failed that one 15 years running). The past 2-3 years, though, I’ve made summer changes, largely by chance. The first successful one involves a near-daily morning routine all men dread: shaving. I put down the multiblade cartridge razor + electric that had been my routine for nearly a decade, and picked up a few vintage safety razors on eBay, along with a lifetime supply (well, many years, at any rate) of razor blades. I grabbed up a wide variety of non-gel/foamy shaving creams and soaps, stuff that came in tubes and tubs rather than spray cans. I bought a few badger-hair shaving brushes. I spent a few weeks fumbling nervously with dragging a sharp exposed blade around my face, gradually got more comfortably with it, and at this point, two years in, I get awesome shaves every morning, razor burn is a thing of the past, and I’ve got a solid knowledge of using a cool, manly tool that most guys wouldn’t touch. No, I’m not moving into straight razors yet, that’s a few years off, but the simple safety razor can still be pretty fearsome if you don’t know what you’re doing. That I DO know is a good feeling.
The second big shift came last summer. (See this post.) Again, it sprang from a desire to change, but also from a lot of reading and research. And it avoided the whole “this year will be TOTALLY DIFFERENT!” trap — I approached both changes by thinking, hell, let’s see what happens for a few weeks and whether or not I like this/can do this. Turns out yes, I do like these changes and I can make them. The results of shifting my eating and my workout routines are pretty notable so far: net 10-pound weight loss from the summer (which covers a 10-pound yo-yo in October), becoming noticeably stronger, and actually seeing muscles on my body for the first time since the mid-1990s.
I have no idea what funny idea will trigger something this summer. But I do want to make one small resolution for the beginning of the year: write more. Easy, right? We’ll see. No daily-posting pressure, but I would like to get a post a week up, minimum. That’s a nice, basic goal. Hopefully it will carry over to more contact with my friends, more posts on the kidblog, etc., etc.
I think if I get even half the success with this that I’ve pulled off with the other two, I’ll be in good shape.