In December of 2009 I started a new tradition in my life, of doing a recap of my new year’s resolutions from the preceding year. I really enjoy the tradition of making new year’s resolutions; I think it’s one of the few positive traditions — if not the only positive tradition — associated with the new year. Even if most people don’t follow through with their resolutions, it’s still infinitely better to think of the new year as a time to improve yourself and your life instead of a cheap excuse to get drunker than usual.
That being said I have started trying to keep up with my resolutions at the end of the year and hold myself accountable for my successes and my failures.
My resolutions for 2011:
1. Get three stripes on my white belt.
At the beginning of 2011 I was still training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and had hoped to be able to have three stripes on my white belt by this time. However I had to take an indefinite hiatus from training when I started my apprenticeship to become a hairstylist in March of this year. I simply don’t have the time to train anymore. I can’t give myself any credit for this resolution.
2. Become conversational in Spanish.
Learning Spanish has been something I’ve wanted to do for a couple years now, and while I did get Rosetta Stone for Spanish this year and have started working with it, it wasn’t until the past few weeks here at the end of the year so I can’t give myself any credit for this.
3. Publish issue three of Litmus Test.
This is one of those resolutions that requires of a lot of money and given that I was laid off for the first quarter of the year and have been making minimum wage since March I wasn’t able to make this happen.
4. Publish book of my dad’s writing/photographs.
This is another creative project like Litmus Test 3 that got put on a shelf for the time being. I’ve been working way too much to start work on this yet.
5. Publish book of my own short works.
We really are off to a bad start with this. The first five resolutions got no credit whatsoever. Once again I didn’t have much time for creative endeavors because my apprenticeship took up most of my time this year. I’m currently working on revising some stuff but I can’t give myself any credit for this resolution.
6. Not reactivate my Facebook.
Even though I did reactivate my Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I am going to give myself full credit for this resolution for two reasons. 1. It was inactive for an entire year, December to December. 2. I only reactivated it for professional reasons, to find people to let me practice on their hair. Last year I deactivated my Facebook because I was frustrated with how much time I spent online arguing with people, lurking weirdos, and hitting on girls. Since I reactivated my Facebook I’ve removed all my personal info and use it primarily for work stuff. I think it’s fair to give myself full credit because I followed the spirit of the resolution even if I didn’t follow the letter of it.
7. Convince my mother to go Vegan.
No credit here, my mother is bull-headed and obstinate.
8. Use Warehouse to benefit arts community outside of Hardcore.
No credit here. I had plans for using the space to do some interesting things but never followed through with them before the space was shut down.
9. See Earth Crisis.
Sadly I didn’t get a chance to see Earth Crisis this year. No credit.
10. Read 20 books of intellectual worth.
I’m gonna give myself half credit for this resolution because while I didn’t hit the number mark, some of the books I read this year were dense and intelligent enough to count multiple times. Reading “Of Time and the River” by Thomas Wolfe took up a big chunk of the year. That book in and of itself counts for ten in my opinion. Additionally “The Moral Landscape” by Sam Harris was especially enlightening.
11. Take a college course.
I’m gonna give myself half credit for this resolution because while I didn’t take a college class, I am taking a cosmetology class in a classroom as well as one online. I think it’s conservative and fair to count two tech center-esque classes as half of a college class.
12. Study a subject that is outside my normal realm of interest (math, science, economics).
I’ll give myself full credit for this resolution for reading two books that dealt with math or science. “The Moral Landscape” by Sam Harris and “The Golden Ratio” by Mario Livio.
13. Write a novella.
I’m gonna give myself half credit for this as I finished a 28 page short story in 2011. I would give myself full credit but I only finished it in 2011, I started writing it in 2010.
14. Start a band.
I always talk about starting a band but never do it. No credit here.
15. Finish watching all of Star Trek.
Full credit for this one. I have now watched all of The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and all of the movies at least once.
16. Finish my sleeves. Tattoo hands/neck.
No credit for this one at all. Other than letting my friend tattoo Christopher Hitchens’ initials on my arm I didn’t get tattooed at all this year. This is actually the longest I’ve gone without getting tattooed since I turned 18.
17. Visit London/Hawaii.
No credit for this one either. Other than traveling to DC and North Carolina to see Eisley I haven’t traveled at all this year.
Overall my success rate for this year was 4.5/17 or 26% success. In 2009 my success rate was 43%, and in 2010 it was 29%. That means I have gotten progressively less successful on my resolutions every year. It’s a discouraging fact but I have a very optimistic feeling about 2012. I’ll check back in with y’all at the end of 2012.