New Year’s Resolutions: Just Another Excuse to Make a List

I don’t really need a reason to make a list, in fact, in some notebook somewhere I probably have a list of future lists that I want to make.  And, I don’t necessarily support New Year’s Resolutions as I find that I make resolutions throughout the year.  However, I do like New Year’s Resolutions for the simple fact that they are quantifiable.  For example, all of my NYRs are things that have easily determined success rates.  I will try to illustrate what I mean below:

Bad Resolution:  Be more active.

Good Resolution:  Go to the gym at least once a week.

 The “bad resolution” is not quantifiable so there is a good chance that you will not succeed in your endeavor to become more active.  However, if you are trying to determine your success rate at the end of 2013, and your goal was to go to the gym at least once a week, it will be easy to say, “I was more active this year because I went to the gym 52 times.” 

This year I decided to create very specific resolutions for myself that are meant to enrich my life.  Of course I have the traditional “lose weight and exercise more” type goals but my main resolutions are aimed at helping me to become a more well-rounded individual. (Now that I think of it though, this could prove counter-productive as one of my main goals is to become a LESS rounded individual.  Huh.)

Resolution 1:  Pack Lunch at Least Three Days a Week

                This is part of my plan to eat better.  I have found that the biggest culprit to my shitty eating habits is my failure to plan, which is ridiculous to me since I love planning.  Ideally I should be packing a lunch every day, not just for my waist line but for my wallet as well.  Baby steps people, baby steps!

Resolution 2:  Get in My 10,000 Steps a Day

                I have avoided the gym lately due to a back injury, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t sill be active.  At the absolute LEAST I should be getting my 10,000 steps a day.  Ideally, come spring,  I will be back up to three days of gym time too. 

Resolution 3:  Read AT LEAST 26 Books This Year

                I read a ton of books throughout the year.  However, this resolution is actually a bit more specific.  I have a few fiction writers whom I really enjoy and will read every book that they publish.  This tendency causes me to be a little “fiction heavy” in my reading.  One could argue that I get in enough non-fiction with all of my course work but I would like to take it a step further.  The real goal is to read a book every other week, but to alternate between fiction and non-fiction.

Book Number One:  The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart


If you are looking for this book for yourself, be warned that you will have to look in youth fiction.  I saw this on the table of the book store each time that I paid them a visit; I even picked it up more than once, but I didn’t decide to read it until my nephew enthusiastically told me that it was “the Best! Book! Ever!”  With a review like that, how could I not read it?  At close to 500 pages, this is a pretty hefty book for kids.  And I’m not gonna lie, there were a few words in there that I didn’t even know.  It was an enjoyable read though about four “smarter than the average bear” kids who go on a top secret mission to save the world.  The main plot dealt with subliminal messages, which I found to be terrifying, so I can’t imagine how a child reading this must feel.  I would recommend it for you, but I even think that it would make a great read aloud book for kids maybe eight and up. 

Resolution 4:  Watch 26 Documentaries This Year

                This resolution is the visual version of the previous resolution.  I don’t have cable so all of my entertainment comes from whatever Hulu offers for free, but they do have quite an extensive list of documentaries. 

Documentary Number One:  Ayn Rand & The Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged

As mentioned in the creation of the blog, Atlas Shrugged is my all time favorite book.  I first read it eight years ago and have read it three more times since and listened to the audio version once.   Rand first published the ideas and theories found in Atlas Shrugged in her book The Fountainhead but they were not interpreted the way that she had hoped.  One of Rand’s central philosophies is that man has the right to his own mind.  The government cannot force a man to think.  The government cannot force a man to use his abilities to create wealth for another.  And that any act of altruism should be self directed and not imposed by the government.  While Atlas Shrugged received horrible reviews when it was published in 1957, it has gone on to sell massive quantities all around the world with the Bible being the only hard cover book that has sold more copies.  If you don’t have the time, or the interest, to read this 1,200 page novel, at least take the time to watch this film. 

Resolution 5:  Follow My Gut as a Visitor in My Own City

When I first moved to Cleveland the people that I became friends were all grew up here and weren’t interested in exploring Cleveland in the same way that I was.  A few months ago I decided that enough was enough.  It is time to be a visitor in my own city.  I convinced a few friends of mine to start a small restaurant club with me.  Now, every other Monday, we have dinner at a different restaurant.  There are only a few rules that we try to adhere to:

  1.  It has to be someplace that at least one person hasn’t been to before.
  2. We can’t visit the same city two times in a row.
  3. We must drink wine.

We got off to a pretty good start last year but I want to keep it going this year.  I look forward to sharing some new experiences with you as well. 

Check back soon for updates to these resolutions.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jamie
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 11:40:32

    Now, you know I like to follow along with books read and documentaries watched. I love a good recommendation from a friend! Keep us updated on here as to what you are reading and watching. (Also: Hulu has documentaries for free? Score!)

    If you get a chance to watch the two-part Ken Burns doc about the Dust Bowl that was on PBS a couple of months ago, take it. It’s great.


  2. gratuitouslyyours
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 23:09:46

    Jamie loves the Dust Bowl Documentary by Ken Burns. We had an extensive chat about it one morning- Cara


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