Resolved, the 2016 Version

Before I regale my few loyal readers with tales of Chicagoland, I think I’ll take a moment to share a toast to the New Year. The amazing photo below is the annual New Year’s Day OJ toast with Alex, Jodi, and Dana, in clockwise order of appearance. You can easily tell which way is clockwise thanks to the fancy clock hanging in Dana’s living room. We usually do this toast in our pajamas, but this year we retrieved a geocache for a souvenir first, so we all look especially good.


Traditionally, people make “resolutions” for the New Year, which we may or may not keep. Last year I was too distracted by Wind Cave, Mt. Rushmore, and Crazy Horse to share any, so I don’t remember if I made some or what they might have been.

Of course, there are some goals that never wear out, that get renewed every 365 days around the New Year and come around again to remind us that we need to be present (“give the generous gift of our full attention” in the words of Chade-Meng Tan), take care of ourselves, and nurture our spaces and support systems to thrive for another trip around the sun.

This year, I will share some of my specific ideas about what I can do in 2016 to stay happy and well, and I’ll do this as a way to be accountable to my readers and self so that this time next year, I can look back and measure my progress. In the immortal words of someone else that I can’t remember but I think it had something to do with Dreamforce (customer management), “If you’re not measuring, you don’t care.”

Also, “measurable,” as you will remember, is the M in SMART goals.

Here are some thoughts about my SMART goals for 2016:

  • practice more math by working in my math workbook at least once a week
  • make better use of my screen time by doing something else, like practicing math, knitting, or grading papers, while watching shows and movies
  • visit at least 6 places that I haven’t been to before, while secretly (?) actually aiming to visit at least twelve

Those will be my Big 3, the GM, Ford, and Chrysler of my New Year’s situation (can you tell I’ve been vacationing in Michigan?). But there are plenty of other micro-goals that I can list as well, including but not limited to:

step up my mall-walking game, eat more Snickers bars, see more sunsets, mail more letters, share more media, teach more English, etc. etc. etc.

This particular post began on a couch in Weidman/Beal City, Michigan. I added a few sentences on a couch in Zionsville, IN, then added a few more at the Indianapolis International Airport, still more at Minneapolis International Airport, several more at the Denver International Airport, and now I’m drafting the exciting conclusion on my couch in Chadron, NE.

They say that the way you spend the beginning of the year will be the way you spend the whole year. If geocaching and watching Netflix on New Year’s Day, followed by stops in six cities over the next two days is any indication, I think 2016 is off to a very good start.

What are your resolutions?





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