New Year’s Day is a Terrible Time to Make a Resolution
New Year resolutions are a foolhardy concept in most cases. The New Year comes right after an exciting series of holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmahanakwanzika!) so for most people it is a time of exuberance and regret from eating too much over the holidays. The way resolutions work for most people is a person decides they want to lose weight but a month later they give up. The practice really only benefits the gyms and diet programs who sell six month or yearlong memberships. Without New Year’s resolutions, many gyms would struggle to remain in business.
If you are going to set a New Year’s Resolution there are plenty of articles offering great advice on establishing achievable goals and building yourself a support network to get there such as this one written by Linda Walter LCSW on Psychology Today. Alternatively there are great reasons to start in February per Gwen Moran on Fast Company or even September per Jessica Stillman on Inc.
You should never wait for a holiday to make an important change to your life. If you see an aspect of your life that ought to change you should tackle the problem right away. Set aside some time to think about it and develop a plan to fix the problem. When it comes to improving your life speed is essential and the best time to start is always now.
My Own Experience This Year
Thanks to circumstances this New Year has worked out favorably for me to actually set a resolution. I had a staycation between Christmas and New Year and took time to think about some major items in my life. I reached the conclusion that I need to give up on some old hobbies of mine in order to focus my life on a smaller number of hobbies that are more likely to bring me success and happiness.
My New Year’s resolution is to rationalize my assets to make sure they support my goals in life. By the word ‘rationalize’ I mean the corporate sense of the word: make processes more efficient by eliminating superfluous assets.
Making Resolutions Stick
Whenever you set a resolution you should break it down into tangible steps and then keep track of your progress. Here is an update on how I am doing:
The first action I took to support my resolution is I cleaned up my rental house, contacted a real estate agent I knew from back when I was a Boy Scout, and got the house listed as for rent. I jump started this process between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and had the good fortune to find a renter for the house in less than two weeks. The first people who looked at the house decided it was the right fit for them. Thanks Diane!
The next move I made to support the resolution is I have put my old guitar and six-string bass guitar up for consignment sale at my favorite local music shop. I got into guitar and bass guitar before I met my wife but I never really put in the practice needed to get great at playing either instrument. I still have a keyboard to play when I feel musically inclined but a realistic assessment of my life indicates that I am never going to be a musician who plays in public. While some folks see glamour in putting on shows I only see that lifestyle as a grind that would wear me down after doing it a few times.
My next big move is I sold some guns. The first major purchase I made in my life was a Remington 30.06 rifle back when I was eleven or twelve years old. When I was a little boy I never enjoyed shooting that particular rifle because it kicked too hard for my scrawny little shoulder. In the twenty years I owned the gun I had probably shot fewer than twenty rounds out of the rifle. I kept it for so many years because it represented my heritage having grown up in a family of hunters, farmers and loggers. After careful consideration I decided it was time to put an end to the nonsense of owning a gun that I never even enjoyed shooting. A large part of my motivation in selling some guns is making my house safer for my one year old son. Fewer is better given my circumstances.
The next asset class I considered selling is old video games. This time rather than sell my old Nintendo Wii my wife and I have made a concerted effort to actually play it once every week or two after we put our boy to bed. The Wii is nice because in addition to being fun to play it gives us a little exercise and stress relief in the process. It also counts as a free date night and a way to enhance our relationship.
Another relic I have from life before marriage is a relatively large number of domain names. I already reduced the number a little last year by transferring a few domain names to a friend. He kept only one out of the five domains I had kept on his behalf. Out my remaining domains I have taken roughly half and put them up for auction on GoDaddy. For those domains that I still plan to keep I intend to put a bigger effort into actually using them and creating websites. PriceAP is my first focus. I will make a separate post for the other domains I own and whether I intend to sell them or eventually use them.
Use It Or Sell It
My mantra this year is to sell it or actually use it. My hope is to make myself more productive by simplifying my life and getting more enjoyment out of the things I already own. Freeing up a little cash by selling these things is a positive side effect. The real goal is to free up time and reduce mental stress.
As I run out of items to rationalize I aim to do more writing with whatever spare time I can carve out of my days. I will still have plenty of tasks to do between being an employee, husband, father, homeowner and landlord. Part of me wishes I had time to be a better friend. I have a lot of old friendships where we have drifted apart, especially in the years since I got married. I hope all of you are doing well and I wish the best for you.
If you set a New Year resolution this year, take a moment to evaluate how that resolution is going. If you are still sticking to your plan, that is fantastic! Maybe it is time for you to push yourself and set a new target.
If you didn’t set a resolution this year or if your resolution has fallen through, maybe now would be a good time to think about how you might have gotten off track and if there are any tangible changes you can make to improve your life.