New Years Resolutions 2011

These are my personal resolutions for 2011. These are not my writing goals for 2011. I am trying to keep things simple here and so I’m focusing on only 3 things.

1. Get back into shape

In 2006-2007 I went to the gym religiously, worked with a trainer, and by the summer of 2007, managed to get myself into the best physical condition of my life. Since then it has been all downhill. That’s not to say that I am in terrible shape, but for the first time in my life, I am seeing physical signs of middle age creeping up on me:

  • While my weight has not gone up substantially (it hovers right around 160 pounds), I have an increasingly noticeable gut. As someone who has never had to worry about this before, this is particularly embarrassing. Family members have pointed it out in good-natured fun, but in truth, it horrifies me and I’m taking advantage of the new year to do something about it.
  • Even more noticeable: my face looks fat. “Full” might be the more proper word, but I’m not sugarcoating anything here. To me, it looks fat. I really noticed it for the first time a few weeks ago when I had the 16-year old photograph of me at work updated with something more recent. I was so happy to get rid of that old photo but when I saw my face in the new photo (and in subsequent photos), I was shocked.
  • My overall energy level has been down and I think it is directly related to a lack of exercise and eating well.

I don’t plan on returning to the gym, hooking up with a trainer again and going through all of the pain and agony of getting back into shape that way, but I do plan to take steps to improve the overall state of my health:

  • Regular cardio activity, primarily on the elliptical we have at home.
  • Substantially better eating habits, including cutting out a large portion of the junk food and sodas, packing my lunches more regularly, and listening to Kelly about making better food choices.

This is a difficult thing to measure since I’m not really trying to lose any weight. I haven’t yet measured my gut (I’m too scared) but I’ll do that in the next day or two. I’ll also use the new work photo as a benchmark for how my face currently looks and I’ll check monthly to see how things are doing. Energy level is much more difficult to gauge so we’ll just have to see there.

2. Go paperless

Back in September, I went to a “paperless office” at work. It was surprisingly easy to do and in the months since, aside from books on my bookshelves, there has rarely been a sheet of paper in my work office. In 2011, I’d like to begin doing the same thing at home.

My home office is currently full of paper and we have file cabinets full of statements and receipts and goodness knows what else. For stuff that’s already there, I don’t plan on going back and scanning it all in, but beginning January 1, I’m going to attempt to get rid of all new incoming paper. I’ve been using Evernote (premium edition) for nearly a month now and it seems well-suited to this task. I can scan in any paper (receipts, statements, etc.) and then shred the originals. Within Evernote, I can add metadata to the documents and the scanned PDFs are also searchable.

Most of our statements are delivered electronically already but for those that aren’t, I will switch them where possible and scan them where not. It is slightly more time-consuming upfront, but saves tons of time on the backend (as I have discovered at work).

And I’m looking forward to a clean, paper-free desk at home.

3. Better manage my time

Ugh! This is a tough one. There is so much to do in a given day and only so many hours in which to do it. Nothing new here, but I feel like this has gotten away from me a bit. During the week, my days involve:

  • Getting ready for work
  • Work
  • Picking the Little Man up from school
  • Dinner
  • A short period of time before bed
  • Bed

At first glance it doesn’t leave much time for family or for writing or for exercise for that matter, but I think there are some things that I can do to better manage my time so that I can get in everything I want to do without feeling stretched thin. I’m not sure what those are yet, but certainly getting into better shape is a good start since that will leave me with more energy and requiring less sleep. Other things:

  • Making the 5-7am period the time in which I do all of my writing-related work and avoid doing any writing-related stuff outside that time
  • Making better use of the “scheduled” posting feature to post blog updates
  • Using my lunch hour for reading
  • Keeping most of my evenings clear to spend with the family

It’s still not entirely clear how this will work out, but I hope to do better in 2011 than I did in 2010.

So there you have it: my resolutions for 2011. What are your New Years resolutions?


  1. Nice resolutions. I think that you could improve on your exercise and time, by riding your bike to work. You might double your commute time biking to work, but you won’t be taking time away from the family to go work out on your elliptical.

    Also, skipping those two-for-one apple pies will help you and me!

    Happy New Year

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