After reviewing the past year, I can see a better way to define my resolutions. You see, I seemed to fail when I set a lofty goal with no specific plan for implementation (run a 400m; business plan), and I did fine when there was an obvious procedure for completion implied (learn a language; reduce caffeine).

So, time to revise the WAY in which I make resolutions. For those of you familiar with “SMART” goals, that’s my plan – create resolutions that have measurable progress, the kinds that I can ask a friend, “Hey, how do you think I am doing?” and they would be able to answer after asking me some straightforward questions.

(Thanks also to Brian T. for the advice on this front!)

Here we go!

  1. Write one blog entry a day.
    A perennial favorite, but I’ve never really made it out of January still observing any sort of bloglike resolution.  Will 2010 be the year I make it over the journal hump?
  2. Spend five hours each week on personal “side projects” – websites, games, etc.
    I would like to spend more time on personal development, development in this case meaning keeping myself sharp and up-to-date in the technology sphere.  I expect that if I work on games using this time, they will be digital games… but maybe another Evil Geniuses is on the horizon!
  3. Exercise three times a week.
    Setting a regular schedule and sticking to it will be the hardest part of this resolution – once I am in the gym or out running, it is rarely hard to keep it going for the duration of that session.  Getting on a regular work schedule so that I can devote hours at the start or end of the workday will certainly help.
  4. Prepare food for myself at least seven times a week (counting breakfast).
    I am definitely eating out too much – it’s so easy and so delicious!  Of course, it’s also more expensive and more unhealthy.  I think among three meals a day, even with work lunches usually being “out”, I have a strong chance of success – as long as I lay some of the groundwork, like a grid of potential meals on the fridge!
  5. Host three different out-of-town friends (or friend-couples) at my place for at least two days each.
    Now that I have a great new house, I want to set it up so that I can host friends (only fair – they are always hosting me when I am visiting them!)  I don’t know who exactly will be making trips to visit, but as long as my place is a hospitable place to stay, I bet I’ll have some takers.
  6. Create a pros/cons document for each reasonable career path I could take.
    I have a lot of pros and cons swimming around in my head for each career I have considered – making games, making websites, working on my own, going back to school and doing physics research – but I haven’t really set them down on paper, much less done a real comparative analysis.  The hope is that this task will inform my decisions about where to go job-wise in the next year to five.
  7. Go out (as in, social activity outside my normal friend circles) at least three times a month.
    I had tons of fun when I was living in Boston and going out frequently with friends – even though sometimes (like for birthday parties) it really was “take the group of friends and put them in a bar,” a lot of time I was out in new places and with new people.  I would like to return to that, and I think I can convince some friends to join me.
  8. Study some physics books and take two GRE Physics practice tests – receiving a better score on the latter!
    Recently, I have been wondering where all my physics knowledge went – and whenever it comes up in conversation, I feel bad that I can’t really teach others about some of the finer points because I don’t really remember them myself!  I would also like to prepare in the eventuality that I return to school, so this sort of kills two bodies with a single ballistic projectile.
  9. Travel to one of {mainland Asia, Australia, sub-Saharan Africa}.
    I travel a lot, sometimes for work, sometimes for fun, but not really enough.  These three regions are three that I have never really spent any time thinking about, and I would like to go and see how different it is from what I am used to.
  10. Stress less.
    A timeless goal, but tried and true.