New Year Resolutions 2018
1. Learn to Butcher and Fishmonger.
These skills make meat eating cheaper, provide you with a hands-on understanding of the flesh you consume and go some way to job proofing you in the case of societal breakdown. It is also a ridiculously satisfying skill to practice.
2. Study with Purpose.
Reading sporadically and choosing books on a whim is fun. Selecting a topic and tailoring your reading accordingly can be even more rewarding. I have enjoyed being able to let my hair down and consuming whatever found its way to the top of my reading pile, but I have missed the satisfaction of really sinking my teeth into something.
By the end of 2018 I will have completed three blocks of reading, each of which will consist of eight weeks of focused study. Micro-economics is certainly a candidate here, as is Python 3.0 and other ‘mathsey’ sub-disciplines that are alien to me.
I will keep a record of when these periods start (and end) along with a note of their content. Where possible I will use these periods to simultaneously work on some sort of relevant project to show proof of learning.
3. The (Youtube) Party is Over!
I have installed a website blocker that prevents access to Youtube on my home laptop between 2am and 8pm – meaning that Youtube will only be available to me in the evening. The potential benefits here should be obvious.
4. Sleep Better. Eat Better.
I am quite proficient at getting in shape through exercise, however there are limits to this approach. You grow in the kitchen and the bedroom. Eating right and sleeping well is vital to mental, physical and intellectual health, and I frequently neglect both.
This year I am going to work on developing a stable night time routine and more conscientious eating habits. Achieving success on both these fronts will require a good bit of experimentation. Until a tried and proven strategy is identified, I will settle for a considerably vaguer intervention.
To start 2018, I will create a cool down period at the end of the day by reading in bed. I will also start writing weekly shopping lists; organised with macros, nutritional density and gross calorie consumption in mind.
Although I have included ‘Learn Butchery and Fishmongery’ in this year’s resolutions I intend to tone it down on the food front. Nitro-charging my cooking skills last year was rewarding and I am proud of how far I have come. However, it was the most time-consuming hobby of last year. Between sourcing ingredients, studying the recipe, cooking the food and cleaning up afterwards you can end up regularly sacrificing the better part of your evening to standing in front of a stove-top cooker.
I will continue cooking and playing around in the kitchen, but I will not force myself to spend time I do not have exploring new dishes. 2018 will be busy for me, so my sojourns in food will have to be reduced to an occasional indulgence rather than an everyday activity.