Happy New Year!

As I’ve been thinking about what I want to do in 2016, a number of ideas have crossed my mind. Some are things that I’ve put on my list every year since I’ve started doing this and others are new. But, for me personally, it helps to write these things down to try to hold myself accountable. There’s a very good chance that I won’t accomplish everything that I want to do. And I’m ok with that. If there is something that I really want to accomplish, then I have learned that I need to check it daily. Last year, using my calendar to mark every day whether I used my car or not was incredibly helpful. Every single time that I was going to take out the car, I’d remember that I wouldn’t get a smiley face for the day. And I have to say, I liked seeing a string of smiley faces. So, for the most important things that I want to do this year, I’m using the calendar. Everything else will just be a see how it goes kind of year. Or maybe I’ll try to check in monthly on those. I’ll see how it goes.

For some reason, I was trying to come up with a theme for the year. Why? I have no idea. I’m not really a theme person. Anyway, at first it was failure. Just let myself try lots of things and be ok with failure. That wasn’t bad, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that uncomfortable might be better. I want to spend the year making myself uncomfortable. Life is pretty easy these days and I’ve been getting quite lazy. It’s time for me to get uncomfortable and start working again.

Here we go. The big stuff that goes on the calendar. I bought a big new calendar and four colored markers to use.

  • Bike – If I make a point to ride my bike every single day, I’ll definitely consider using it for more errands and things that I might use the car for. So I’m putting a blue smiley face (I’d draw a bike if I could) on my calendar on days when I rode my bike. Distance and time do not matter. A ride around the block will do.
  • Working Out – Last year, I combined my commute with working out. I pushed myself to ride as fast as I could and got a pretty good workout in. Toward the end of the year, I just started biking in slower and enjoying the ride more. That’s fine, but then I definitely need to do something else as a workout. It could be lifting weights, going for a walk or even just stretching. I’ll know when I’m biking if I’m pushing myself hard enough to count it as a workout. And if I’m not, I’ll try to do something else. The workout will use the red marker.
  • Eating Healthy – This is without question my worst habit. My kitchen is done, so there is no excuse for me not to make decent meals and quit eating junk food. Junk food is definitely going to be my most-difficult habit to break. I have a feeling that I’m going to have to go cold-turkey (moderation isn’t going to work), much like I did with pop last year. Smiley face in green marker for when I eat fruit or veggies with each meal.
  • Car – I want to continue my habit of not driving my car. So black on the calendar when I do take the car out. (Car stays in garage, no black on the calendar.) Like last year, I’ll give myself a black smiley face if I drove to do something with friends or to help someone out. And a black frown for when I was wasteful, like just driving myself to work and back. And to track exactly how much I’ve driven, I’m noting that I have 33,788 miles on my car.

Those are the big things. Here are my other goals.

  • Knee – Something is definitely wrong with my right knee and it’s starting to affect what I do. There were a few times last year when I wanted to do something, but passed because it required a lot of walking which would aggravate my knee even more. And I’m clearly favoring it because other parts of my leg and back are starting to hurt. I’m going to the doctor to have it checked out, but I have to do whatever is required to get this back to normal.
  • House – I spent a lot on the house last year, but didn’t really do any work myself. It’s time for me to get back into action. I want to finish all the little stuff in the kitchen and start gutting the upstairs. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll have one of the bedrooms done.
  • Welding – This has become the Sir Galaxy of my resolutions. (My brother Paul put Sir Galaxy on this Xmas list every year when he was a kid. Never got one though.)
  • Map Game – I’ve had this idea for a big map game floating around in my head for years. It would require me to learn a bit about electronics and perhaps get a circuit board made. I think it would be fun to build, but will definitely take time. I’d like to try to make a little progress on it this year.
  • Book – I’ve had an idea to write a book for how to set up openldap and samba as a windows primary domain controller. This is a pretty specific thing to do, so I wouldn’t be a big money-maker. But I think it would be fun to write a book and then work out how to sell it online.
  • Celebrate Winter – I read this book Frostbike last year and loved it. One of the things they guy talked about is how winter is now thought of as bad. In the past, people just dealt with winter and lived as usual. But now, all people do is complain about it and it even shows up in movies as the bad guy. (Apparently winter is the bad guy in “Frozen”. Didn’t see it so I don’t know for sure.) Anyway, he thought we should celebrate winter. Since I’m someone who does tend to hibernate in winter, I thought this was a good idea. So I’m going to try to get out more (that’ll be uncomfortable) and celebrate winter.
  • Volunteer – Last year was a failure, but that’s because I think I picked the wrong place. I’m not really a book person. I am a bike person, so I’ll look into volunteering at someplace like Working Bikes.
  • Explore by bike – For the most part, I already do this, but I want to do it more. I want to bike around neighborhoods that I don’t know, drive to different cities and explore. This year, I’m going to Montréal to the Tour de l’Île de Montréal. No excuses. I wanted to go last year, but didn’t. I’m definitely in this year. I also have been looking up other rides around the country. I think there are quite a few. I’m going to schedule as many as I can. I’m hoping that this will be the bulk of the driving that I do over the year.
  • Travel – My family are big travelers. Me, not so much. But I understand that travel takes you out of your comfort zone and that would be good to do.
  • Get Out of the House More – I would not be exaggerating at all to say I’m a bit of a hermit. I like my house, where it’s quiet and I can do whatever I want. However, to get uncomfortable, I need to get out and talk to people and do more things. I thought about trying to go out every single day for a month, but I can guarantee I’d fail at that. I can say that I’m fine with going out by myself, but I just don’t do it a lot.
  • Build Up Savings – The roof took all of my savings last year. It’s finally paid off, which is good. But I need to build up some savings again, in case of any other catastrophes happen.

I think that’s pretty good. I’ve started off by riding to the lake today. It was cold and uncomfortable, but I’m getting a smiley face for that. My niece also called and asked me to pick up her and her friend from the el station and I did. So I’m getting a black mark today, but that’s ok. I think it’s a good start to 2016 so far.