Tag Archives: resolutions

New Year Resolutions

new-yearDid I mention I made some resolutions? Oops. I guess we can take “avoid being trendy” off the list.

Be that as it may, I thought I’d share. And here, in writing, is my bold claim: I literally guarantee I will make at least one of these come true. You can take that to the bank. Which one? Only time can tell.

  • Publish a novel
  • Watch every episode of Downton Abbey
  • CrossFit every day
  • Acquire one dozen “iMac with 5k Retina Display” and run them in parallel to update my blog
  • Be honored as Volunteer of the Year
  • Perform the song Uptown Funk on American Idol
  • High dive into the Ik Kil Yucatán cenote
  • Eat a donut

I’ll report back when I’ve accomplished one of these.

Do you need change?

changeIt had been an enjoyable meal. At least until it all went sideways.

The waitress approached our table, looked me directly in the eye and said, “Do you need change?”

Wait. What? You don’t even know me! How dare you?

I had to admit, though. She was right. I did need change. A lot of it. I decided to start with a slice of New York cheesecake (is there any other kind?) drizzled with strawberry syrup.

Luckily 2014 was right around the corner and I’d soon have the opportunity to issue false platitudes and reassuring justifications to myself and pretend that I’d try to improve.

Since she was there, I decided to ask her for her assessment and she gave me the following list.
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Minimally opening the door to my fridge

This graph documents my 2011 resolutions kept so far or blog traffic, I can't remember which

So it comes to this, my last so-called “normal” post before embarking on yet another challenge. Effective Wednesday, June 1st, I’ll be back in fighting form for the BlogShorts challenge sponsored by Blogdramedy. This time in the barrel the challenge is to write 30 short stories of exactly 30 words each for 30 days. Stick around this month and read a few. I’m sure it the experience for you, the reader*, will be different.

I pity the fool that reads my blog during the month this challenge is underway. It’s going to be the good, bad and the fugly, only without the “good” part. You have been warned.

I’m actually dreading this challenge quite a bit. I’m quivering in fear. It feels overwhelming. I’m not sure if I can do it and I have no idea what I’m going to do. This may be the challenge that finally breaks me. On the plus side, if that happens, I’ll have something fun to talk about. I love wallowing in my own misery, failures and inadequacies.

30 word limit? Hmmm. Perhaps one of them could be my unabridged autobiography? Yes, that will work!

If you blog, it’s not too late to sign up and undertake the challenge yourself. I’m living proof that no actual skill or talent is required, so click the link to sign up and you can do your part to help make me look like a fool. (Not that I need any help.)

Speaking of undertakings…

Earlier this year in an attempt to increase my P.Q. (pathetic-quotient) I published some New Year’s resolutions. These were key areas where I planned to explore new dimensions of failure. I’m proud to report that things in this regard have been proceeding swimmingly. With each one broken I feel the avoirdupois lifting from my encumbered shoulders.

Some notable examples:

  • Be a better listener – The wife reports there has been an increase of 1% in this area, with a margin of error of +/- 3 points. So this could technically be worse than before.
  • Go out to restaurants less often – Epic, supercharged and legendary fail! Time is the nemesis here! Enough said.
  • Go ovo-lacto vegetarian for the entire year – This one went quickly when I deemed myself a “flexitarian” in January. Since then, I don’t think there are many remaining major proteins I haven’t “flexed” with. My overall meat intake is still markedly down, though.
  • Commence work on my book and produce at least one publishable sentence. Nothing accomplished here, but on the plus side, the year isn’t over yet, so it still could theoretically happen.
  • Successfully complete the 2011 Shutterboo weekly photo challenge – I didn’t last long here, either, but I hold out hope I’ll find time with my camera and get caught up. Naive, I know.
  • Blog once a week on my new blog – Oops! I haven’t posted since the first week in February. Fail monkeys!

My fridge this Memorial Day after five months of minimizing - note the salsa past the date

A bit more about that last bullet item. The blog was called Minimal Fridge that was going to to be a place to document my quest to clean out our refrigerator and keep it clean. Both the blog and quest itself were failures. I closed the blog and opened a new category here in the Abyss to continue to fight the good fight. I won’t give up! Maybe. So it will be a new topic that I’ll touch on from time to time, mainly so you can all point and laugh at my efforts.

Here’s the initial post for this new category to get things going. This is a repost from the old blog.

The first rule of Minimal Fridge is, as my dad liked to say, “Don’t leave the door open. What are you trying to do? Cool the world?”

The second rule is: Keep that thing from getting so full!

When my wife and I cleaned out our refrigerator recently I estimated that we probably threw away about $400 worth of food that was unusable, either because it was past the “use by” date or rotten or both.

Wow, what a waste!

That was really a wake up call for me, and I resolved that if we were careful and applied a little bit of planning and organization we wouldn’t end up in that situation ever again.

My primary purpose here, you might call it a Prime Directive, is simple. To efficiently eat the food that we buy. I call it our “food efficiency rating.” Any food that has to be thrown away because it wasn’t used in time takes away from that rating.

So keeping the refrigerator neat and tidy, with as few as items as possible, is going to be very important. I’m not exactly sure what “minimal” will turn out to be, but that is my goal. Will it be two items per shelf? Three? And how many in the drawers, doors and freezer?

I hope you’ll find this to be an interesting idea worth of exploration. I’ll try to update this category frequently with updates on how it is going and any insights we learn along the way.

Please feel free to participate by sharing your own ideas, observations and experiences. I want to hear from you.


* In the interest of fairness and accuracy, it is the policy of this blog to refer to readers, visitors, subscribers in the singular. For Twitter this policy also applies to the follower. This is deliberate and used to indicate that one person is the upper estimate of my readership. (Hopefully not including myself.)

Resolution Recap: One-twelfth


So long, January 2011. We hardly even knew ya.

Can you believe it? January 2011 is already in the books. Wow!

For me, February 1st represents Checkpoint Alpha on the resolutions. It’s time to check in and see how I’m doing so far.


Publish a Podcast: Technically this is done but it hardly counts as a success.

Drink More Water: Success. Boring.

Abstaining: Sugar, soda, coffee and World of Warcraft were all successfully avoided.

Shutterboo’s WPC 2011: I haven’t missed a week so far and only I’ve only cheated a little bit.

Blogging: I posted every day on Shouts From The Abyss and every week on Minimal Fridge.

Vegetarian: Success! But, I’m only barely hanging on.

Up In The Air (no noticeable improvement)

  • Being more honest
  • Be a better listener (wife says she’ll get back to me on this, at least I think that’s what she said)
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Be more moral and ethical

And last but not least…

Epic Failures

  • Eat out at restaurants less often
  • Find some way to finally give Jane her birthday present
  • Eat less processed foods
  • Commence work on my book and produce at least one publishable sentence
  • Keep my refrigerator as minimal as possible in the pursuit of 100% food efficiency
  • Invent a 27th letter of the alphabet

I think that’s about it for discussing resolutions this year. That topic has done been beat to death. I gotta get my mind on something else. See ya next year!

I could walk 3,000 miles

walking man tooSo. How you doin’ on those resolutions now, eh? We’re fast approaching the end of the month, or what I like to affectionately call, “Checkpoint #1.”

Reality kicked in yet?

For a lot of us, New Year’s Day packs a lot of mojo. (Or so I’ve heard. I’m not one of the “us.”) Still, sometimes I like to think big. “I’m going to be on Survivor,” I like to say quite often. It’ll never happen, of course, but what if it did? Wow. Even being the first one voted off would be one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I say “one of” the greatest things because I’m one of the lucky people who married for love. What else did I have to bring to the table?

So yeah. There I was on New Year’s Day, calculator in hand, calculating the what ifs.

I punched in some numbers. “Oh hell yeah. I’m going to walk 3,000 miles this year. Totally. That’s only 10 miles a day and that still leaves me 65 days to goof off. Not too shabby.”

My old friend Reason was no where to be found. If he was, he would have smacked me upside the head and said something like, “Hey you friggin’ obliviot. 10 miles a day? Wake up! Even if it didn’t kill you, which it totally would, at three miles an hour that’ll take you over three hours a day! You don’t have that kind of time. Duh.”

Day One. January 1, 2011. Things got off to a pretty good start. I walked about a mile. There’s nothing quite like walking to the grocery store and bringing home groceries under your own power. I’m not sure why, but that’s just so cool. “I don’t need no damn car!” Still, that was only 10 percent of my daily goal. But better than nothing, right?

OK, so Day Two wasn’t quite as good. I was too tired and sore from the previous day’s excursions and took a day of rest. And that day of rest has been extended all the way to today, about three weeks later.

Oops. Time to grab the calculator again.

10 miles a day? What was I thinking? That’s insane. Plan B is three miles a day. With about 330 days left, I can still log 1,000 miles if I push it. That might work.

The point is to have fun and revise your goal each and every month until you have something realistic and workable.

On March 1st, I’ll be doing another revision. “Okay. One mile logged so far. About 300 days left. If I can manage two miles a day, I just might make it to 500.”

On April 1st it will be one mile logged, 270 days left, and at one mile I day I just might make it to 250 miles.

I think you see where this is going, right?

fast forward to December 31, 2011 …

It’ll be early in the morning on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be holding a calculator in my hand. “Let’s see,” I’ll say. “If I can manage to walk 50 feet today, that’ll be, hmm, what? Oh yeah, the overall total for the entire year will be exactly one mile and fifty feet.”

That actually doesn’t sound quite so bad. So I got that to look forward to.

So, how are y’all doing on your New Year’s resolutions?

Music: 500 miles (get it fast before YouTube pulls the plug)

Hyppo and Critter: Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions comic strip

In my previous post about resolutions, Brea had wondered if Hyppo and Critter had made any New Year’s resolutions. I happened to overhear this conversation and it think it sheds some light on that.

I had also written that I couldn’t even remember New Year’s resolutions I made just a year ago. I think that means it is probably safe to say I didn’t do much about keeping them. So I’m going to document mine in this post so I can come back in a year and see how I did.

  • Be more honest
  • Go out to restaurants less
  • Be a better listener
  • Go ovo-lacto vegetarian for the entire year
  • Find some way to finally give Jane her birthday present
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Publish a podcast on my blog
  • Eat less processed foods
  • Be more moral and ethical
  • Drink more water (using my Klean Kanteen to avoid bottle waste) and continue to abstain from things I’ve already given up like sugar, soda, coffee, and World of Warcraft
  • Commence work on my book and produce at least one publishable sentence
  • Keep my refrigerator as minimal as possible in the pursuit of 100% food efficiency
  • Successfully complete the 2011 Shutterboo weekly photo challenge
  • Blog every single day for the 2nd year in a row on the Abyss and blog every single week on my new blog

I’m going to try to conduct monthly self-assessments on my progress on the first day of each new month. The change to a new month seems like a good sort of reminder to help keep me on track.

Testing my resolve

For 2011 I'd like my right foot to weigh less than 40. Also, I want to paint my toenails red.

“They” say that 80% of us will fail on our New Year’s resolutions. I like those odds so count me in!

Of course, one of mine was to get a post about resolutions up by Jan. 1. Oops. Missed it!

Personally I think waiting for a date on a calendar to try to make a change is a bit silly. If you want to improve something, go ahead and do it now. Why wait?

On the other hand, the first day of the year is a very easy day to remember. It will help you with one of the principles of Kaizen – namely, if you measure something it will improve. “How long has it been since I bit someone’s throat? Oh yeah, New Year’s Day. Now I remember!”

Before I pontificate further let’s do a little exercise together, shall we?

Grab a sheet of paper and write down your list of this year’s resolutions. No fair peeking ahead to find out what comes next! In fact, I’m going to do the jump thingy to enforce compliance. Fill out your sheet then click to continue reading.

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