Sayonara, 2019. You’re a worn-out pair of jeans with some serious holes in the seat and knees, and it’s time to set you on fire.
Oh, the patches held for a while. Strange new opportunities rained from the skies in 2019, but my gut still hurts from a couple of nasty rips your siblings delivered a few years ago.
On the bright side, I survived my first full year as a freelance adventure writer, landing stories in Texas Monthly, Real Simple and other magazines. Thanks to my tough-as-nails teammates, I finished the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile paddling race. My image cruised the city on the side of a city bus, and much to my own shock, I finished my first book.
But I hit some hiccups. I dilly dallied. I procrastinated. I let some friendships languish, and I didn’t nurture important relationships. Politics got me down. I overbooked myself and felt the stress.
It’s nearly 2020, though, and time to set some fresh New Year’s resolutions.
I try to cover all areas of my life when I set my yearly goals. I try to keep them attainable and at least some of them measurable. I like variety, too, so I usually include stuff that keeps me healthy and fit, personal goals and something wacky or unusual.
Have you set your New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear them.
Without further ado, behold mine:
- BE NICE TO THE PLANET – No more throwaway plastic utensils, cups or straws. I’ve got a pouch with reusables, and I’m taking them with me. No disposable bags when I shop, and no plastic cups on airplanes, either. Bike when possible, conserve water, and reuse, recycle and reduce. Encourage others to do the same.
- SWIM FLY – A couple years ago, I resolved to swim a 200 fly. I’m not aiming for that, exactly, but I vow to swim a 50 or 100 fly at the end of every practice.
- ARCTIC EXPEDITION – Last year’s expedition with the Arctic Cowboys got postponed, but I’m hoping to follow a trio of Austin paddlers this summer when they kayak through the Northwest Passage, and report about it for major media outlets.
- FREELANCE: I’m going to break my way into large, national publications. It’s time.
- PROMOTE THAT BOOK: My book about land conservationist J. David Bamberger is due out on Texas A&M University Press in early May. It’s time to set up a release party and signings.
- PHOTOGRAPHY: I love taking photographs. I want to improve my skills and sell more of my work.
- PAY ATTENTION: I resolve to make no apologies, and stand up for what I politically believe in. I’ll also vote at every opportunity, and encourage others to do the same.
- CELEBRATE: My happiest times are those I share with friends. Remember that, and remember that those times don’t have to be formal or fancy. Invite people to dinner, hang out in the backyard, meet friends for coffee. Talk. Share ideas. Wring happiness – or at least a little humor – out of every day.
- PERFECT A GRASSHOPPER COCKTAIL: I had one of these minty, old-school drinks in New Orleans recently. I’m going to learn how to make the best one in Austin.
- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Find it, show it, share it. Don’t be shy, and don’t regret it.