Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I always look to the New Year as a time to set new goals for myself. I try not to view them in the tunnel vision many use to view “resolutions”, where they are black and white things that are tossed aside once they are broken. You know what I mean: resolve to stop drinking soda, break down and have a Mountain Dew on January 3rd, and tell yourself “oh well, maybe next year”. It’s too easy to weasel your way out of them if you take that attitude. I try not to even call them resolutions.
How one phrases goals is key to success or failure, I’ve found. For example, I’d like to lose some weight this year, but “lose weight” is a pretty broad (pardon the pun) goal that can be tricky to approach with any kind of effectiveness. Where do you even begin? So instead, this year I want to exercise more than I did in 2014 and eat less sugar than in that year, which are more specific and for me at least, more achievable. They aren’t specific enough to set me up for disappointment, however. Cutting sugar out of my diet entirely would do that, as would a goal such as going for a run five days a week. Less sugar and more exercise can be as little or as much as my circumstances allow at any given time. As long as I am ahead of where I was with those things last year, I am meeting with success. Hopefully, by exercising more and eating less sugar, the weight loss will come as a side benefit.
I do have one specific item related to that more exercise goal however. Last July, I ran my first 5K and came in at just over 42 minutes. Not bad for someone who really didn’t take training and preparation all that seriously, I think. This year, I want to come in under 40 minutes in that event. Whether it’s by a lot or a little, time will tell.
Another goal I have for 2015 is to get back into playing my guitar on a regular basis. Not join a heavy metal band or play Carnegie Hall, just get pick it up and play more often. I’ve played the guitar off and on since I was a teenager, with some lengthy gaps in between. The last time, in the mid 00’s, I made some major strides in my skills and almost reached the point where I was confident enough to play in front of other people. Then I started a new job in a new field, went back to school and started doing a lot more writing, and so back into the carrying case the guitar went.
But now the guitar is back out, dusted off and fitted with a brand new set of strings. I’ve discovered that GarageBand, one of the programs that came loaded on my MacBook Pro has all kinds of toys and tricks to help me hone my guitar skills and extend my interests, and since my guitar is electric, I can plug directly into it. Playing scales and learning chords is a lot more fun when you can give your guitar the same sound as those of Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhodes.
I can almost guarantee that you’ll be reading more posts about my latest journey with the guitar in the weeks and months to come.
This blog is part of another goal I have for 2015: write more than in 2014. I let my writing slip to some extent last year, and posts on this blog are a public and quantifiable way for see that I am indeed writing more. That’s not to say that all my writing has been and will be on this blog. I am knee-deep in revision and editing the first draft of a novel I wrote in partnership with another writer. That project is where a lot of my writing time went in 2014 and where quite a bit will no doubt go this year. I hadn’t been producing much by way of new content though, and that’s where I really want to step things up.
Now to come up with fresh and engaging post topics, which has been my biggest stumbling block in my writing in general lately, and this blog in particular. Your suggestions are very welcome, of course. I’d also welcome your input on my other goals, especially improving my time on the 5K and jacking up my guitar skills, even if it’s just sending me a tweet or an e-mail asking how it’s going.