A crumpled Happy New Year crown on a wooden deck

My 2018 Resolutions

I’ve put a lot of time for many years in resolutions. They drive me forward, and I can continually retool what helps me most accomplish my goals.

After another important year for me, I’m looking to get to work in 2018. I’ll be looking to add good habits and drop bad ones. This year I took a focused look to make sure I was offering SMART resolutions. I also want to have fun. I’m mostly there.

As I have for years, I’ll continue past resolutions that I’ve already made core habits: travel (abroad and domestically) and cooking and gardening and reading novels and foreign policy and history. I’ll also laugh and dance and be silly.

Here’s what’s on tap this year.

  1. JANUARY: Start submitting: I will write and/or submit some piece of fiction or other creative writing every month.
  2. FEBRUARY: Be healthier: I’ve played with these before but I’m going to use a temptation bundle to combine two of my loves. For every day at the gym (which I aim to continue), I can have a cocktail — or two. I’ll also aim to eat smaller portions and pickup my healthy snacks.
  3. MARCH: Return to French: I spent years futzing around with rudimentary travel Spanish, as I traveled to many countries that spoke the language and I liked the idea of being more comfortable. But without the fundamental, I struggled. I’ve found returning to French, which I studied in high school and part of college, has been far easier and so a lot more productive. To keep me engaged, I gave my wife to a Duolingo challenge: whichever one of us makes the most percentage learning progress from now until June and then until December, gets dinner of their choice paid for by the other.
  4. APRIL: Be a great board member: I’m on four boards. I shouldn’t be but here we are. I want to use my position for additional good, like continued efforts to diversify them, and then likely leave at least one of them at the end of the year.
  5. MAY: Finally sync married finances: Though we’ve certainly integrated our financial lives plenty in the last several years, I think we’re ready for a big step here, including joint charitable giving, concentrated retirement savings plan and employing a united strategy.
  6. JUNE: Advance publish project: I have been noodling on a nonfiction book about my professional experiences that I’d very much like to gather some steam on.
  7. JULY: Be a better CEO: I had years before I took the role last summer. I was still surprised how much I felt changed. I put a considerable amount of pressure on myself, particularly now with this role. Among the goals I must lead toward: a fresh growth trajectory.
  8. AUGUST: Drink whiskey better: At some point I’ll write some about my long, maturing relationship to alcohol, as I find the development interesting. At some point several years ago, I found whiskey was my drink, preferring it over wine or beer. I have the early stages of opinions of whiskey culture, an appreciation for cocktails and, increasingly, an understanding of whiskey specifically. I plan to dive deeper here.
  9. SEPTEMBER: Find my own platform: I’m searching for something that can look a little something like my own. Given the fun I had on a pop up project of mine, I’m thinking I might experiment with a podcast on something that I love.
  10. OCTOBER: Be a better mentor: I have a coworker and a former student whom I have the beginnings of a mentor relationship with. I’d like to commit some time to that.
  11. NOVEMBERComplete the novel manuscript: Look, sure it’s corny but I have a draft of a novel. I’d like to make that into a completed manuscript or at least a more cohesive draft. Just consider this my version of you wanting to run a marathon.
  12. DECEMBER: Finish the basement: I started finishing my basement last year and set it aside in the fall for a busy work season. I’d like to save some time for that again.

This photo is in Ocean City from Jerry Kiesewetter @jerryinocmd.