The tradition of making resolutions for the new year every 31st of December is a tradition I fully support. I think it is a much brighter, more productive tradition than the tradition of high school kids getting trashed out of their mind and speeding through red lights in the middle of the night and killing bartenders in some weird sort of twisted poetic justice, even though the latter creates a much more entertaining media spectacle.
On a basic level I support self-improvement and I support setting goals. With that said I’d like to start a yearly tradition celebrating something else I support: accountability. I made a list of New Year’s Resolutions in December of 2008, and now that 2009 is coming to a close it’s time to check in and see how well I did with keeping to those resolutions in a ceremony I’m calling Past Year’s Accountability. These resolutions have sat on my computer desktop for the past year and I’m copying and pasting them directly as they were written a year ago.
1. Go back to Ballet for at least six months.
I had wanted to go back to taking ballet classes at the Richmond Ballet in 2009. I never got around to doing this; in fact I never even made the slightest effort. I don’t really feel bad about missing this one but I’m gonna label it a completely failure.
2. Start Muay Thai for at least six months.
I had originally planned on starting Muay Thai at Richmond BJJ but I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu first instead and started Muay Thai towards the end of the year. Given that I’ve trained BJJ for six months and Muay Thai for almost two, I’m going to give this one a passing grade and say that I completed this resolution.
3. Go back to slamming.
I have made a resolution to go back to doing slam poetry every couple of months for the past four years. It never happens, this is no different. This was a complete failure as well.
4. Start working out again.
I had intended to get back on a regular lifting schedule to try and get back in shape but I never did. But given that I’m training six days out of the week currently and doing some light supplementary exercises between classes, I’m going to give myself half credit for this.
5. Follow through with travel plans, Hawaii and California.
Mary and I had vague plans to travel to Hawaii and California over the summer. Those plans fell through but instead we went to Europe for three weeks stopping in The Czech Republic and in England. I had previously visited England in January. In May I visited Chicago and in October I did go to California for a week. Overall I visited more places than I had intended to originally, even those one of those places wasn’t Hawaii. I’m going to give myself full credit for this resolution.
6. Move into a cheap house with a basement.
I made this resolution in the hopes that moving into a cheap house with a basement would facilitate starting a band or having house shows. I did move into a cheap house but that experiment failed miserably and although it did have a tiny basement, it did not facilitate any musical projects so even though I did move into a cheap house with a basement I’m going to call this resolution a complete failure.
7. Take month long break after #100.
In March of 2009 I kissed my 100th girl. I had originally decided to take a month long break after doing it, but in the moment decided to abstain from kissing girls altogether. I think I may have lasted a little less than three weeks. I’m going to give myself half credit for this resolution.
8. Not have a girlfriend for the whole year.
While I did get myself into a few weird situations and hurt a few feelings in the process, and while I was tempted at times, I did not enter into any exclusive monogamous contracts the whole year. Full credit.
9. Start a band.
Barely even tried. No credit.
10. Publish my zine.
I published the first issue of my zine in March of 2009. Moved 300 copies all over the world including Belgium, England, California, and Seattle. Full credit on this resolution. I am very happy with how starting my zine went.
11. Get the Venue started.
Brendan and I were trying to start a new venue for Hardcore shows in Richmond in 2009. It didn’t happen. No credit for this.
12. Sleeve left arm.
I added one large tattoo and two smaller ones to my left arm in 2009 so I’m about 60% of the way toward a sleeve. Given that I also tattooed my hands I’m going to give myself half credit for this.
13. Weigh 165lbs.
My highest weight for 2009 was 160, up from my starting weight of 150 so I’m gonna give myself half credit for this.
14. Get back nice guy reputation while remaining Hate Edge.
Looking back I’m not sure what prompted this resolution; I guess I was feeling nostalgic for my high school days when people thought I was a really kind person. I think my reputation is worse than it’s ever been so I’m going to give myself no credit for this resolution.
15. Purge belongings.
I did manage to throw away a lot of junk in 2009 but not as much as I wanted so I’m giving myself half credit for this.
So my total score for 2009 was: 6.5/15 or something like 43% success. I’m not necessarily ashamed of this number because as I have changed over the course of a year some things on this list aren’t nearly as important to me as they were in 2008.
I fully intend to write another ten or twenty resolutions for 2010 and barring unforeseen circumstances I’ll be checking back in with you in a year to tell you how I did.