Inspired by Phil Sorrell’s thoughtful post about the benefits of precision in New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve come up with a few of my own.
Finish Walking Home to 50
The clock is ticking now – I’m in my ‘fiftieth year’ so technically I should finish before my 50th birthday, in early December. With only about 40 miles to go as the crow flies this shouldn’t be too difficult in theory. The (probably dull) Downs Link covers most of the territory in a railway-track curve, so there is a sort of hyperspace wormhole to get me there quickly if that’s what I want. Other routes involving a bit more North and/or South Down-time are alluring, so it’s win-win really. And I could always declare a new form of maths in which my fiftieth year starts with my 50th birthday… But no, my resolution is to get to the end of Brighton pier by 7/12/2011.
Carry on exercising
I always thought I was pretty fit but a bunch of blocked arteries proved me wrong. So I’m much more resolute in terms of exercise, which for me needs to be regular and to fulfil the criteria for effective cardiovascular working out. It would be very easy to get ‘wibbly-wobbly’ (to use Phil’s expression) and drift to missing out days then weeks, or not doing enough. (I sometimes count unpleasant or boring things as part of the warm-up, even though they probably aren’t physically active enough.) So the resolution is to do at least three full cardio sessions per week, preferably more, with 15-minutes warmup, 20 mins sustained work at 95-117 bpm and 10 mins cooldown. (That heartrate, by the way, was prescribed for me in rehab and takes into account my drug cocktail and fitness level. In case you were thinking it’s on the low side and are envisaging me ‘exercising’ by, say, being carried around in a chair reading a novel.)
Carry on with healthy eating
Same reason as above. I’m not on a ‘special diet’, just the same as everyone is recommended to eat, but with added motivation. However being me I decided to declare war on cholesterol and to pursue this with the vigour and inventiveness of Batman or The Punisher. So I avoid saturated fat, poring over the labels on packets with fanatical intensity until they yield their secrets or burst into flames; eat my way through fields of oats, carboys of flax oil and shoals of oily fish; do the 5-a-day thing. With attitude. You should see my muesli – one bowl punches the balls out of cholesterol for half the street and gives you two hits of fruit if you just look at it. The resolution is simply to carry on with all of this, and not to suddenly go mad and eat a pound of lard.
The demon drink
Plagiarising Phil again I’ll stick within the recommended healthy limits. After all, the last thing I want is another health-thing to worry about – and I dislike hangovers. So 21 units it is. To facilitate this I’ll avoid stockpiling bottles – ‘buy it, drink it’ will be the approach.
Smaller reading piles
I also intend to avoid stockpiling books. I have too many that don’t get read, so I won’t be buying new books (other than reference ones) unless I plan to read the straight away.
Bigger writing piles
Back when I was recovering, the writing was just pouring out of me and I had the time to edit, rewrite and self-publish a book. Now that I’m back at work my headspace is more constricted and there is less time. I also do less blogging though I do have Twitter leaching words out of me 140chrs at a time. But I am still writing on the quiet. To give this some focus I’ll resolve to self-publish something, at least a pamphlet, during 2011.
Update: On the Cushion
Cripes – forgot the most important one of all – despite just having read an interesting post on the subject from Solitary Walker… I will continue my fledgling meditation practice with a daily 30 minute sit, whatever occurs. Hardcore.
Happy 2011 everyone. Let us be cheerful, healthy and playful in our explorings.
To illustrate this here’s a picture of me (middle), with >21units of alcohol on the table and an unread book next to me. But that was last year; this year it will all be different.