I’m a few days late in compiling my list of resolutions for the new year, but I’m giving myself a pass, considering how 2020 turned out.
With that mess clearly in the rear view mirror, I’m looking forward to 2021. I try to cover all areas of my life when I set yearly goals. I try to keep them attainable and at least some of them measurable. I like variety, so I usually include stuff that keeps me healthy and fit, personal goals and something wacky or unusual.
I had mixed results with last year’s list. My first book finally came out, I made it into Texas Monthly magazine with regularity, and I celebrated lots of things with friends, until the pandemic hit. I was on track to use less throwaway plastic utensils, cups and straws, too, but after March it seemed that practically everything was individually wrapped.
Due to the circumstances, I’m reconstituting a few of last year’s goals for 2021. Without further ado, my 2021 New Year’s resolutions:
- GIVE A HOOT: I vow to pick up at least two pieces of trash every day. (In a related note, anyone who wants to join me can meet at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, to pick up trash at the Pennybacker Bridge overlook. Email me at email@example.com for details.)
- FLY GIRL: I’m bringing back an old favorite – I’ll finish every swim practice I attend (and typically that’s five a week) with a 50-meter fly.
- LESS TEQUILA: I’m cutting down on booze. I’m five days into Dry January (but plan to break for a brief toast on Inauguration Day.) Weekend cocktails are fine, but I’m done with the nightly glass of wine.
- ANOTHER BOOK: I’m going to pitch at least two more book ideas to editors and agents.
- ARCTIC EXPEDITION: Last year’s expedition with the Arctic Cowboys got postponed due to Covid, 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.
- READ ON: Something weird happened while I was hatching my own book – I forgot to read for pleasure. I’ll treat myself to at least one novel a month, unrelated to work, just for fun.
- CELEBRATE: My happiest times are those I share with friends. Those times don’t have to be formal or fancy. I’ll invite people to backyard fire pit sessions, meet friends for coffee, and host more dinner parties (when it’s safe.) And I’m inviting people I admire but haven’t previously socialized with in a small group setting.
- LOVE HONESTLY: I’m a passionate person, but sometimes I bottle stuff up inside. I’m sharing the love, unapologetically. Especially after the shit show we call 2020.
- CAMP: In 2020, I spent 26 nights camping, including four nights under the stars during a rafting trip in Idaho, four nights on the Devils River, two nights in my backyard, and a handful of nights on swampy beaches along the Texas coast. If you tack on screened-in shelters and campervan overnights, the number is closer to 35. I’ll rack up even more nights in the wilderness in 2021.
- BE HAPPY: I’ll once again do my best to wring happiness – or at least a little humor – out of every day.