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Friday Cannon Fodder: resolutions

Times Square New Year’s Eve 2024 Celebration Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage

Happy Friday, TSFers! This is the post I would have done last Friday, the first of the new year if I wasn’t on vacation — New Year’s Resolutions. It’s important to set intentions and goals and to be working towards them. The calendar ticking over to January provides a good starting point and incentive to work from, but it isn’t necessary. Perhaps the best thing for you to work towards this year won’t occur to you until later this month or even a month or two down the road. Missing January 1st isn’t a reason to put that goal off and not work towards it.

The best time to start working towards a goal was yesterday. The next best time is today. And tomorrow (or whenever you decide on that goal) is a great time, too. Your brain will try to tell you that since you haven’t started already, you’ve missed the boat or that next Monday / the first of the next month is the right time to start. And then that day rolls around, and it will think of another reason to procrastinate. At least that’s how part of my brain works to undermine me.

I’ve got a few aims this year, and I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the year goes on. To start, I’m doing a dry January. I may continue that beyond this month, but even if I don’t, I’m going to be mindful of how much alcohol I consume. That goal is tied to a larger fitness goal — I want to (once again) get back in shape. Taking a step back, I’d like to break my fitness cycle. I’m in the third or fourth trough of the last decade or so. I get in really good shape, then get hurt or lazy, and fall out of shape. I’d really like to make it stick.

I want to read more. I’ve already read two books this year (thanks to being on vacation, even though it was cut short). For those of you who might be curious, I read the first two books of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn fantasy series. I’d like to include some “serious” books in my reading, but if I find that trying to read books like that derails my progress, I’ll stick to reading what keeps me reading consistently.

I’ve got some other less pressing aims this year, too — work on learning Spanish, become more facile with manipulating statistics on my own rather than needing to comb the internet for sports stats to work into my writing, continue to cook at home more rather than ordering in.

My sister mentioned to me an interesting idea that she and her BF had — they’re going to discuss their goals for the year together to find ways to support each other. They’re also going to try to check in semi-regularly through the year to maintain that support.

Accountability is important part of being successful in achieving your goals. Even if you think that particular method won’t work for you, I encourage you to find some way to monitor your progress. It’s why things like workout-tracking and meal-tracking apps are effective — when you hold yourself accountable, you’re more likely to stay committed.

What are you working towards this year?