- There is no emotion, there is peace.
- There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
- There is no passion, there is serenity.
- There is no death, there is the Force.
- —The Jedi Code (Based on the meditations of Odan-Urr)
With the New Year and the recent commemoration of my 31st year walking this planet it is time for me to set my Resolutions/goals for the year.
A few days ago I had the opportunity to watch the film, “The Bucket List.” For myself I do have a “things to do before I die” list and each year when I set my Resolutions/goals I always add in something that will help me to check off one of my “Bucket List” items.
At this time I proudly present my year 2K9 Resolutions/goals with a look back where appropriate at my accomplishments of the past.
1. More Time with Family and Friends. This makes my list each and every year as a reminder to not take for granted the people that I love. Like many people I find myself caught up in the current of my life (particularly career and school) that I sometimes neglect those who are most important — my family. Over the past two years I’ve managed to make major headway in this by making more time to visit my parents in particular. This year I hope to increase the frequency of my visits. On the same token, I hope to be able to visit with more friends once a month at least. Things like Facebook and MySpace and Twitter or text messaging and IM helps to keep in touch with your homies but nothing ever replaces the awesomeness of an in-person visit or get together.
2. Improvement in Physical Health. This has always been a perennial Resolution of mine which I conquered in 2K4 with a 90 lb weight loss through a solid, dedicated daily regimen of diet and exercise. In 2K4 the wife and I joined Weight Watchers and mastered healthy eating. That year I also purchased a gym membership and trained my @$$ off daily, finding a passion in the martial arts. In 2K5 I started my MBA adventure this cutting out needed workout time and with the stress of work and school my healthy eating habits eroded and I’ve managed to “find” a good deal of the weight I’d loss that year. This year I fully intend to get back on the healthy eating and regular exercise bandwagon.
3. Karate Black Belt. In 2K4 and throughout 2K5 I started my adventures in karate with regular, intensive study and a meteoric rise through our belt rankings in our dojo. As my MBA studies intensified in 2K6 and 2K7 I put my karate studies on hold. For 3 years my progress up the ladder to black belt has stalled. My goal this year is to pick up where I left off and finish my journey to Black Belt just as I did with my Kung Fu studies last year.
4. Eat Out Less/Control Spending. With the rough economic times even a notorious “tight Pake” like myself has NOT been immune to a stretched budget. For the first time in my life I am beginning to feel the strain of financial burdens and have been needing to seriously look at ways to cut back on expenses. One major area is eating out less. By eating out less we will be able to reign in spending on our food budget and hopefully also reap some health benefits by cooking healthier fare at home then we’ve eaten out (less fast food, plate lunches and junk/snack foods).
5. Get More Culture In My Life. In 2K8 I set the goal of “get more culture in my life.” I accomplished this by attending Improv, theater, poetry slams, Art After Dark, First Fridays and Himeni fests. In 2K9 I’m definitely planning on keeping this up and expanding on it by taking in additional cool cultural events. Culture and the Arts are the one thing that separates man from beast 🙂
6. Learn a New Skill or Develop an Old One Further. One of the biggest defining things of my 2K8 was delving into the world of Improv. I have ALWAYS had a love and interest in the performing arts but never really developed it as I was always too busy being nerdy in life. Over the course of this year it’s definintely my intention to continue down the performing arts path through more Improv and additional studies into comedic arts, acting and music and/or dance. This year I hope to take additional comedy and acting lessons and also take up voice lessons. If I have time and/or money hopefully I can take up dance (an excellent way to trick yourself into exercise). In future years I hope to take up an instrument — either returning to the guitar and uke (which I played in my high school and college years) or take up new instruments like the keyboard or bass.
7. Triple Crown Champion. Within our organization there are three major professional development programs one can gain admittance into. Thus far I have gone through two of those three programs. Should I gain entrance into the third program I will have achieved the RARE distinction of being a “Triple Crown Champion” of sorts (I believe they are only 2 so far — out of a workforce of several THOUSAND employees in the University system that’s quite a statement). I am eligible to apply for the 3rd program this year and I am confident I will gain admission into it as well.
8. Balance My Workload. One of the challenges of leading my lifestyle is being able to balance everything. With so much work on my plate I almost inevitably need to drop a few balls. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as I’ve come to accept the fact that I can’t do everything perfectly (typically the ball I’m forced to drop is my school grades). My academic accomplishments have always been a source of pride for me but I’ve found in recent years with my ever-increasing job responsibilities and family responsibilities I am just not able to perform and achieve at the same academic level as I have in the past. For a while it REALLY frustrated me but I’ve made peace with that. In a perfect world I’d still be able to commit my full energies to my studies and “overachieve” as I am accustomed to but that ship has sailed for now. Ideally I can lessen my workload to be able to achieve academically but realistically my focus is probably needed more at home and at work and for now I am fine with that.
In both 6 months and a year’s time…I’ll review this post and see where I’m at 🙂