Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions for 2011

As before, with the end of the year, I pause and reflect on what I've achieved over the last 12 months, and in particular, what I said I'd try to do, twelve months ago.

As it turns out, I think I did rather better than I might have expected, given previous performance:
  1. Write every day.  Successful, even if there were a few days where I only managed a sentence or two.  In November I managed to write something here every day and write 50,000 words of my Hong Kong horror novel, which surely counts for something.
  2. No coffee in January. A piece of cake.  A piece of lovely, relaxing, fall-asleep-at-your-desk-every-day-for-two-weeks cake, but a piece of cake nonetheless.
  3. Make shodan. Or attain my black-belt, for those of you less au fait with Japanese martial arts.  Done, even if it took me until the end of September and a very bruised toe to do so.
  4. Run the Taroko Gorge Marathon. Failed.  Hardly ran at all this year, apart from a 9 km sprint in Taiwan in June.
  5. One hundred press-ups. Successful.  I forgot all about this until today, then cranked out a hundred in half an hour.  Glad I never said they'd all be in one go... :-)
  6. Pilates. Well, that was sort of regular.  As in I did it more than once.  But I never quite got to average it once per week.  Something to improve for next year.
  7. Learn to dance. Not exactly.  Oom-pah-pah oom-pah-pah aside, the closest I've got to learning to dance is remembering that it's one foot forward, then one foot back, and some other combinations to-be-determined. But that doesn't look like a success by any sensible measure.
  8. Save 25% of my income over the year. Well, hurrah for Hong Kong and its super-low tax rates.  Shame they can't keep the air pollution that low, eh?
  9. Redraft The Great Old Game. Well, sort of a success, in that I rewrote it.  Hopefully I can add polish, plot and plausibility in the next year.
  10. Have 10 solid minutes at the comedy club. I think that succeeded.  Here's eight minutes from this year's competition, anyway.
  11. Remember to write a letter every month to somebody. Failed. Did write fifty-odd postcards to people I didn't know via Postcrossing, but that doesn't really count.
  12. Read all the books and watch all the DVDs in the apartment before buying any more. Failed. Oops. That was a consistent failure throughout the year: I've now got much more unwatched and unread than I started with.  However, I think I should get a handle on that this year.
  13. A rational life-plan. Failed. Some other time, perhaps?
So that's about eight out of thirteen for the year - more than a 50% success rate. Several pats on the back for me, then. What for 2011, then?

  1. Carry on writing every day. Possibly I should stop using Blogger and change over to Wordpress, or to something that actually has a nice layout and doesn't seem to get in the way of writing in the way that Blogger sometimes does.  But that's a technical project, not something that's a resolution-worthy target in itself.
  2. Get married. There, that one's simple, isn't it?
  3. Read all the books, watch all the DVDs in the apartment and in our suitcases, before buying any more. To try to make myself stick to this, I'm going to make a list when I get back of what they all are, then attempt to work my way through it over the next 52 weeks.  This may mean I don't get to read much new fiction until this is complete, but it should help the household budget and not increase the load on our over-worked bookshelves for a while.
  4. Keep the apartment tidy. A bit prosaic, perhaps, but it would be nice to end the year with everything in its proper place, odds and ends tidied up and bits and pieces finished up.  You know, stuff a man of my age should have, like a bedside lamp and a functioning alarm clock.
  5. Run some races, keep weight below 12 stone. A marathon would be nice.  At the least, I'd like to enter the run-up-Taipei-101 race and neither die nor get beaten by a 97-year-old man.
  6. Redraft The Great Old Game.  Properly, this time.  In at least good enough a state to carry off a speaking tour of the Philippines, just because.
  7. Learn to dance.
  8. Learn to speak some Spanish.
  9. Stay in touch better with everyone I care about. Less Facebook, more letters.  Since this should work better if it's quantified, let's try a letter (or at least a postcard) once a month.
  10. Take a photograph every day.
  11. Finish things properly. Real artists ship, and all that.  So by the end of 2011 I'd like my automated comedian to be up and running properly (possibly insulting people on Twitter, who knows?) and make sure that any other projects I start this year I finish too.  No trailing ends, I guess.
Since I'm feeling retrospective, I think I'm going to spend a few days at the start of 2011 reviewing what I was proud of in 2010, what I think worked well, and what I should do more and less of.  So if you found the last year boring, then you won't find the next week very interesting either.  But then if you found the last year boring, I don't know why you'd be reading this now...


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