So the time has come to close the door on 2013 and stride boldly into a fresh new year. I dunno, I always feel that warm thrill of hope in my chest thinking about a whole new year out there to explore. And I always have high hopes going into it. Typically I set a few goals for myself, and I just reviewed what I posted this time last year to see how I did. And I have to say, the answer is not too well. To wit:
I wanted to do regular date nights with the wife and more solo time with the girls. RESULT: one date night with the wife, and a handful of solo excursions with one or more kids. Definitely need to refocus here, time's a-wastin.
I wanted to be more positive overall, and not allow myself to wallow in negativity too much. RESULT: I guess I did okay here, I can't recall any major funks. Still, worth keeping in mind.
I wanted to be a bit more conscientious about my health, particularly about what I consume and the exercise I get. RESULT: Yeah, notsomuch. If anything, I got into the bad habit of drinking MORE soda, not less. And exercise was sporadic at best.
And as always, I wanted to be more creative, to produce less and consume more. RESULT: Um, next question please? I guess I did okay photographically, but I didn't really take anything--photography, musicality, writing, whatever--to the next level, and I feel I spent waaay too much time sitting here at the computer wasting time on social media, Reddit, etc. Big fail.
And really, these are what I want to focus and re-focus on for the new year as well, because they are the things that matter most to me: being creative, being active, being as good a person and husband and father as I can. But I think I need to get a little more specific, so here are some quantifiable goals for 2014, the better by which to mark my progress.
-At least once per month, do something alone with one or more of the girls.
-Write and record at least 3 new songs.
-Learn to play and sing at least 10 cover tunes, enough to put on a short impromptu solo show with an acoustic guitar.
-Get back to learning piano. And finish restoring the damn piano while you're at it.
-Pick 5 photographic skills to learn or improve (e.g., posing subjects, macro, astro, off-camera lighting, long-exposure).
-Keep track of books read/movies watched (LJ is a fine place for this).
-Limit soda intake to one per day; that stuff will kill you.
-At least twice per week, get some good exercise: hike, jog, bike, kayak, something!
-In conjunction with the above, spend less time on your rear at the PC and more time exploring the outdoors.
-A good way to spend more time outdoors and with the kids: geocaching! Get active and find at least 50 caches this year.
-Get the photo biz going strong again: at least one paid gig per month on average, and 4 weddings at full price.
And I think that's pretty good to be getting on with for the New Year. :)
Even though I didn't do so well with my goals for the past year, it was still a pretty decent trip 'round the sun. No big lifestyle changes, but there were some high points. Seeing the Pacific for the first time, our New England family vacation, some of my other business trips, all good times. Getting rid of 2 cars and the scooter and replacing them with a car I actually adore and am proud of, that was a nice development. Work continued just fine, everyone was generally healthy, there remains lots to appreciate about my life. And I should spend more time doing just that.
In other news, I find this .gif totally mesmerizing.
So: A very Happy New Year to you all--may your 2014 be happy and healthy, and may you make it the best year you possibly can.