I’ve been giving a lot of thought to New Year Resolutions for 2010, and of course, I came up with a lot of the usual stuff. I also came up with some stuff that was less usual, but not the sort of thing I wanted to spend a whole year doing.
For instance, in 2010, I would like to go without wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar, yeast, alcohol, caffeine and meat. But not for a whole year – and quite probably not all at the same time.
I’d also like to do some fun, cultural stuff and make resolutions about that sort of thing – more meals with friends, more movies, more books, etc.
But I didn’t want to make any of the usual New Year’s Resolutions – partly because it’s a bit boring, but also because I’m reluctant to commit myself to 365 days worth of something I’m not really going to stick at. A short burst would be okay – or perhaps a high-intensity kickstart into a more sensible habit.
And so I’ve come up with a plan. And it’s just as daft a plan as my one about photographing everything I eat and drink for a year which, incidentally, I’m still doing. People are going to roll their eyes at this plan, just as they do about the food one – but I’m getting used to that.
Twelve things, for 30 days each
I’m going to consistently do (or consistently not do) 12 different things for 30 days at a time each, one after the other.
It’s a bit like the Morgan Spurlock thing, but I’m not going to become a coal miner or convert to Islam for a month, nor use a wheelchair for 30 days. Mine are probably going to be much more minor lifestyle changes or activities.
To be honest, I haven’t thought of them all yet, and I could do with some suggestions – but I have thought of a few. Some sound like fun, and I can’t wait to get into them. Others just fill me with dread, but I think there’s probably some sort of pay off in it for me in the long run.
I may not go with all of these, but here are some samples of the kind of thing it’s likely to be:
30 days not drinking
No big deal, perhaps – and I’m certainly not a heavy drinker. Not even an every day drinker, actually… but I do like a whisky from time to time, and I am a fan of a beer after a long day. Or during one. A month off is probably not a bad idea.
30 ‘must-see’ classic films
There are so many films I never got around to seeing. So, watch one a night for a month. I already have this list, and you’ll be disappointed in me for having missed so many classics. I mean… can you believe I’ve never seen Rocky?
30 days eating without…
…wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, yeast – all those things that people tend to be intolerant of. I’m not unwell, but I do wonder if a dietary change that eliminates some of the usual suspects will lead to a radically improved state of well-being. Worth a punt for just a month, eh?
30 days of writing
Friends of mine have done the NaNoWriMo challenge (National Novel Writing Month) in which they’ve written a 50,000 word novel in the space of a month. Worth a try, right? Or maybe 30 poems?
30 days of daily exercise
Not necessarily going to the gym, but clearly demonstrable, unequivocal exercise for at least 30 minutes – if not an hour. It might be a swim, a long walk, a bike ride, picking up and putting down weights, etc. It might not form a lifelong habit – but 30 days is a good start.
I want to listen to a major work of classical music every day for a month. I know a handful reasonably well, but to be honest, this is an area of music I could stand to know a good deal more about. It’s not a lifetime’s study, but paying close attention to some significant classical works over the period of a month would be a really interesting process.
30 days of meditation
I learned meditation once. It’s really great and worthwhile doing – just in terms of the energy levels and focus it gives you through the day. Usually you do it first thing in the morning before anyone else is up. The idea of doing that every day for a month appeals, but is pretty intimidating. It’s harder than it sounds. Especially the getting up early bit.
30 days of guitar practice
One hour a night, trying to improve my skills. At present, I only know some chords. I spent years playing the guitar when I was young – but 30 hours is probably more practice than I did in a decade when I was officially a guitarist.
30 days not shaving
I’ve never grown a proper full-on beard. I don’t intend to ever be someone who always has a beard – but I’d like to try it once. I reckon a month ought to be enough.
So – that’s my New Year’s Resolution: do twelve things for 30 days each. By my reckoning, that’s 360 days all up. I get a few days off. And since that’s the case, I’m going to start with a day off. January the first is a holiday. My first 30 days starts on January 2nd.
And naturally – whatever I decide to do, I’ll blog it as I go. What will I do first for 30 days straight?