05 January 2009

2009: Let's Do This

Today I officially start 2009. I don't typically operate within my own calendar, but I also don't see a point to starting any resolutions before my birthday. Three days into every new year, there are no calories, no limits, and no work. It would therefore (in my opinion) be silly to crack down for two days only to indulge as much as possible and start again. Taking a self-imposed break between years also gives me a chance to name my goals, and consider realistic ways to meet them. This year, I have decided to rely on you (yes you) to keep me in line.

I work well (maybe even the best) under pressure, with a deadline, and with repercussions. But I can come up with all kinds of acceptable excuses when I'm the only one holding myself accountable. Most of the time I don't even consider my rationalizations to be excuses. I simply explain all the other things I did that kept me from whatever had been my "main" priority. I've learned a lot though, namely how to repeat mistakes.

I have had the same resolutions for as long as I've been making resolutions. Every year I promise to lose weight and save money. And to a point, I've accomplished those goals. But I'm ready to be done with them, because I now have other goals.

So with you as my witnesses, here is what I will accomplish in 2009.

I will cut my credit card debt in half. I've had credit cards since I was 18. I think (now that I'm all of 27) I can live without them. I'm testing this theory by freezing my only two credit cards. I put them back to back (or cvn to cvn) in a bag of water first thing New Year's Day. After two days I couldn't see the numbers. Technically yes, I could get the account numbers. But I do not know the expiration date or cvn for either card. This means I have to have an emergency fund, because I don't think it's advisable to microwave them out.

I'm going to achieve and maintain physical health. This means losing 40 pounds of fat and gaining 10 pounds of muscle. No, it's not to much. No, it will not be easy. Yes, I know what I need to do. And it's about time I just did it. I started losing weight a little more than two years ago. I'm ready to be done.

I will read 50 books this year. Jesse and I stopped at City Lights Bookstore a few weeks ago. It's a well known place and I should be glad it's so close. But once we were there, I felt ashamed. Book stores used to inspire me. They made me want to write and read and write some more. I had been excited about the words I had yet to learn and the stories I had yet to hear. But that night I was overwhelmed with the realization I won't get to them all, and that I may not even get to most of them. And I was ashamed that I hadn't even tried. I did a lot in 2008, but I did not read. I regret that and will work to fix it.

I'm willing to read anything, and am taking all recommendations. I've already read Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows this year. It was a re-read, but it's good book. Jesse insists I read The 4-Hour Workweek, and I'll do it even though I don't want to. I have low expectations from Tim Ferriss, and I think he has low expectations from his readers. Kudos to him though for compiling (what I expect to be) common sense ideas that do not pertain to my career. I'll do it for Jesse, because he really wants me to read it. And he's been asking for more than year.