I haven't always made new year's resolutions. I try to not limit my aspirations to improve to a calendar. And this year, I got a jumpstart on both of my resolutions in the last few weeks of 2016. No need to wait until January, I figured. 

But I do believe in the power of putting something out there into the universe. Mostly because if I say it out loud, other people might here me. And hopefully hold me accountable (even if that other person is just myself). 

1. Be more creative. 

I want to find more time to exercise the right side of my brain. I'm more analytical and process-oriented by nature. Couple that with a job in technology, which requires me to sit in front of a computer screen for most hours of the day (and a few hobbies which encourage the same... Hello, Spacehulk: Deathwing), and I can go for days or weeks without pushing the other, more creative sides of my self.  My occasional fits of writing not withstanding. 

I'm trying my hand at painting (my second ever oil is a work in progress above). And I will attempt to write a bit more this year. I'm not sure if I'm up for another NaNoWriMo (although, who knows?), and maybe pick up my instruments more frequently.  I find that when I spend a bit more time exercising those muscles, it makes me better at the analytical & technical side of my life. And certainly more satisfied at both. 

2. Make healthier choices.

I know, this is rather trite. But I'm certainly not getting any younger. And see the stuff above about "sitting on my ass in front of a screen most of most days."  I don't ever expect I'll be in the same shape physically that I was way back in my early Army days. Or even when I was 30, when I realized that I needed to stop eating like I was still back in my Army days.  However, I would like o not be out of breath when I bend over to tie my shoes.

(That's a theoretical, of course. I realized many years ago that I can't figure out how to keep my shoelaces tied. So i mostly wear cowboy boots. Or anything that doesn't require me to tie my shoes).

I'm figuring that I'm not going to be so good at restricting my food intake (mmm. Goose-neck sausage). So I've stepped up my visits to the gym - something between 2-4 times a week, with a real try for the upper end of that scale. We'll see how long it lasts. I hate working out with the fiery white heat of a thousand burpees. Or something. But I really like to eat. And something's got to give. So off to the gym I go. I find it helps if I whine and bitch about it before and after. (And during, except that I usually can't manage much sound while working out except for small whimpers, and whatever that sound is where ). 

But it's not just about physical activity. A few years ago, I did some math to calculate how many of me-equivalents did I drink in Diet Coke per year. Hint: it was a lot. Sometime in the last few months, I figured out that I was not really addicted to the taste. I just really like the carbonation. Most days, I allow myself a Diet Coke in the morning to give myself a hit of caffeine (I don't drink much coffee), but otherwise, I drink sparkling water or club soda all day.  Don't get me wrong, I'm the last person to judge anyone's cola habit, having supported my own for several decades. But there're plenty of studies that seem to support some link between even diet soda and weight gain, though they're not definitive. But I figured after having supported the stock price of my one of my favorite Atlanta based companies for so long (I'm such a loyal son), I've done my bit, and I can make a switch without guilt. My Bride has told me that since cutting back so much, the sales on Diet Coke are much more frequent at the local grocery. As if they're trying to make up for the loss. 

...maybe that is a sign I should've cut back earlier. 

Besides all of this, there are healthier choices I can make in other areas of my life. Stress. Relationships. Fatherhood. I'm not sure I've mastered any of those so far, and will keep working on them where and as I can. 

So here's to a good year. For all of us. 

New Year's Resolution: v2016

1. Wear flannel more often, unironically.

2. Learn all the words to R.E.M. 'It's the End of the World As We Know It'

3. Call that guy from high school who thought he was so cool because he knew all the lyrics to R.E.M. 'It's the End of the World As We Know It' and I didn't. Tell him he's not. 

4. Convince Alton Brown to participate in a winner-take-all cookoff called "The Bacon Sutra"

5. Convince the executives of Netflix to sponsor my new idea for a reality show: "You probably shouldn't poke that"

6. Convince G.R.R. Martin that not finishing the 'Game of Thrones' book series in 2016 will constitute a crime against humanity under the Geneva convention. 

7. Buy a copy of Freakanomics. Leave it on my shelf with the intent to read it. Someday.

8. Find a shampoo that smells like Jovian afterglow. 

9. Learn enough about the NFL that I can use the phrase "The Gronk, ammiright?" without actually having to watch any sports on tv. 

10. Decide which of the seven bottles of salad dressing in my fridge is actually worth saving. Ruthlessly discard the rest, like I was an all-powerful medieval Japanese Shogun whose word was law within the boundaries of my demesne. 

11. Finish watching 'Shogun'. 

12.  Invent a new flavor popcorn seasoning that becomes all the rage. 

13. Introduce a foreigner to the joy that is a 'Slim Jim' meat snack. 

14. Learn how to tie a chunky man-scarf in a way that looks hip & effortless and like I'm off to fell a tree. 

15. Stop thinking of the floorboard of my car as the Home For Used Parking Vouchers. 

16. Put the smack down on an Islamophobe. 

17. Control the urge to roll my eyes at hearing the word 'signage'. 

18. Accept the fact that loyalty cards are inanimate advertising schtick, and unlikely to scream 'TRAITOR' if I weed them out of my Castanza-wallet & throw them away. 

19.  Learn a new knock-knock joke. 

20. Remind myself on a daily basis that pants are optional in your own house. 

21. Make Siri swear. 

22. Lose fifteen ten some a pound.

23. Take a vote on whether 'puce' actually refers to a reddish-brown or some sickly color yellow-green. Lobby for the latter, based on a childhood misunderstanding. 

24. Sweep the nation. 

25. Stack the Google results for 'Greatest rock band of all time' to correctly identify Styx