Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

New Year Resolutions (2015) – time to get them finished!

ny_res

Normally around the beginning of December I open up my ‘Word’ document titled “New Year Resolutions”, which contains all the New Year Resolutions I’ve made each year, dating back ten years, to see what last-ditch effort I need to make in this, the final month of the year, to ensure I meet my targets. Yep, I set myself targets. Being a little behind schedule now, because it’s already the 11th of December, I just fired up that document to discover I never made any new New Year Resolutions for 2015 *scratches head*

Having failed at that hurdle I turned to my blog to see if I posted anything here, and what I found was my “New Year Resolutions (2014) – time to get them finished!” post – perhaps I might be content with seeing how I’ve done so far in 2015 based on the resolutions I made in 2014…

It turns out 2014 was supposed to be a chill-out year after deciding I read too many books and cycled too many miles (can you really do too much of these things?!) in 2013. Some things were losing their enjoyment and feeling like a chore. I guess I was so chilled out at the end of 2014 that I neglected to make New Year Resolutions for 2015… but lets see:

Cycling and Jogging

I’ve cycled more miles already this year than I did last year, I will have jogged the same number of miles (although not my best year for running/walking), and I have read the same number of books as I did last year (although not as many as my mad reading year of 2013). But I still have things to improve on here for the final month: 400+ more miles to cycle to get me up to the nice round figure of 5K, and somehow jogging my favourite route of 2 miles each day (the distance isn’t an issue, just having the motivation to go out each day is tough).

Reading

A side target I set myself a few years ago was to read one volume of my set of Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia, each year, and I’m on target to finish the third volume this year. I’ve also been reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, bit-by-bit this year – can I finish it before the year is out? Or rather – I shall get this finished! I also want to read another of Dickens’ novels this month – December seems like the right time to be reading his work.

DIY

Then there is my house. It has been a DIY zone since I moved in. I’ve had a habit of doing odd jobs here and there without finishing one room, or one job even. My bedroom was my first room to ‘finish’ yet there are still network cables dangling from the wall and a half-installed light fitting – I will get these finished. My dining room actually became a dining room this year; gaining paint, a carpet and a table – I just have a picture to put up, curtains to hang (when I can finally get my mum to cut and stitch them for me) and some plug sockets to replace – I will get these done. My living room gained green paint, a sofa, and light fittings (installed just this week) this year – but it still needs a carpet (likely a purchase I’ll postpone for some time yet until I finally solve some roof leaks), and some paint on some wood – I will finish painting the wood. I have shelves and cupboard doors to hang – I will get those finished.

I will get these things finished! – I’m making a list now!

Languages and Music

I have taken on board some new things this year also. I’ve been learning German, playing piano (having bought a keyboard back in January), and I’ve been making an effort to get singing (again). According to the Memrise website that I’ve been using, I’ve learned 273 of the 319 words of the German lesson I’ve been doing – it’s not a lot of words, but I’ve always struggled with learning stuff like this, having almost failed French at high school, through no want of trying. Just 46 more words to complete the lesson – I’ll make a final push to get this finished by the end of the year. I’m not sure what targets I can set myself with my music though – just like with guitar playing I have formed a list of songs I like to attempt, but hardly any I succeed in ‘perfecting’, not to a standard I’m happy with – I promised a rendition of Mad World for a friend some months back and I worked on it a lot, but it got pushed to the side before I could get it finished – I will get that finished. I recently met a guy who has uploaded some music and a track of his intrigued me and I succeeded in creating some lyrics for it – I just need to get my voice in gear to produce a recording I’m happy with – I should practice this more so I can ensure I finish it before the month is up (these things shouldn’t take me more than a month!)

Writing

If you read my post recently about “Hoarding the To Do’s” you may recall I had a To Do list of topics to write – I’m still adding to this more frequently than I write – it’s sort of a writer’s block where I have things I want to write but don’t put pen to paper to actually get the stuff down – I often feel like a topic is incomplete in my mind, waiting for further input, something more, to make it worth reading (or writing), or topics seem to overlap and I worry about repeating myself, or I keep the topics in my mind until I can figure out how to combine them. I feel I should just write each, force a page at least for each topic, and if I’m still not happy, save them to my “Writing – not published” file, along with the 40-odd other documents/topic ideas there. Some people do this whole “A post a day” thing – perhaps I should do/attempt that for the remainder of the year?! Looking at my list there are enough topics to write one a day for the rest of December (not taking into account how many more I will add to the list in the meantime, so that’s it, I will write up one topic a day.

Plastic

Finally, one new effort I took on board this year was to purchase less plastic-wrapped food. This effort has waxed and waned, although today’s grocery shop was good; I took my own carrier bag to the grocery stall (where the guy insists on handing out a fresh new bag to each customer, which I’m trying to subtly persuade him not to do with me – it’s working, gradually), and I reuse the egg carton I receive, even though it’s cardboard (hell, if it’s still got some more life left in it, then why send it to be recycled already?) I’m now thinking what greener presents I can pass on to my family this Christmas time that will avoid me giving them mass-produced and plastic-wrapped stuff – I usually just buy them chocolates or such, but I’m capable of baking biscuits and spreading melted chocolate on them (I made some Halloween ones that I was going to blog about but that was another topic I let slip) – my gifts are usually sub-standard anyway but I can’t be bothered with the faff (or expense) or putting mental thought into buying clever presents for people that say “I know you this well and thought of you when I saw this [after trawling through 100s of shops/web pages]” – I will have a green end to the year.

Now on with my December-special To Do list!

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6 comments on “New Year Resolutions (2015) – time to get them finished!

  1. bribikes
    11 December, 2015

    How are you liking Canterbury Tales? It is a book I have on my “I need to get around to reading that sometime” list.

    • Brian
      12 December, 2015

      I’m first reading it in y’olde english which is hard work for my brain to figure out, occasionally I’m able to follow a story, and then I turn to a translation (http://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/teachslf/tr-index.htm). I’ve read the first two tales so far – The Knight’s Tale is a classic sort of tale, and The Miller’s Tale is pretty funny and even raunchy, which surprised me.

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