Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Now that we are two weeks into 2008, the glorious year of the rat, I feel it is appropriate to give an initial status report on how my New Year's Resolutions are going. I made these resolutions before the New Year and was very committed to making them happen in '08. It should be noted that I rarely make any resolutions for a number of reasons, one of which being I think NYE is the single most overrated holiday in the calendar year, but also because I generally am of the opinion that I am awesome and need no improvement.
This was not the case this year, as the wheels started to come off in 2007, and so I made several resolutions of things to improve on for 2008.

1. Be debt free by the end of the year.

This does not include my student loans, as it is unrealistic given the balance of that debt and my meager salary that I could pay off those as well this year. This is strictly geared towards my credit card and personal debts. I owe a moderate amount of money to my parents and on my credit card and plan on paying off both debts this year. Luckily, the interest rate on that loan from my parents is zero and the monthly payments are whatever I can afford, so I am essentially free to pay off my card first, which is great. Game plan for the year is to pay off the credit card debt I have now by the end of next month and transfer the remaining balance to another card with a lower interest rate after that. I then have multiple cards issues in my name that I will be cancelling, consolidating to one card. Then I will pay off my parents and after that, my student loans (goal of end of 2009 paid off).

How's it going so far?

Well, my Christmas shopping this year hurt the cause a bit and probably set me back from paying it all off in the next 6 or so weeks. However, not buying Patriots playoff tickets helped, and not using my credit card for any purchases at all really has been a big help. If I can just stop wasting money on going out to eat so often I should continue to be in good shape.

Resolution Status: Very Promising

2. Begin working out regularly and get back into some semblance of shape.

After I graduated and stopped racing competitively, I also essentially stopped exercising. Coupled with an massive increase in unhealthy food intake and alcohol intake, I gained nearly 20 pounds as was in horrendous physical condition. I wanted to get back into a routine of running/cardio type stuff 3 days a week while also sticking to a strict regimen of doing abs/pushups/dips 5 times a week. This would keep my body toned, get me back into relatively athletic shape and prove Peyton Manning wrong (23 year olds who don't play pro football can have rock hard abs, asswipe). I also wanted to accomplish this without joining a gym to save money (see #1).

So far so good?

Not really. I have been doing the abs/pushups/dips thing semi-regularly, but not nearly 5 times a week. I have run one time, which was an embarassing 600m race in an alumni vs. athletes track meet and done nothing else. I also sprained my ankle pretty badly this past weekend making me walk with a strong limp and hindering any progress on the cardio front for the time being. While it is still early in the year, my inability to self-motivate is clearly going to be a continuing issue and I need to be extra vigilant if I have any hope of meeting my goal. Lunch from Wendy's yesterday wasn't helping.

Resolution Status: Bleak, but not hopeless.

3. Reduce consumption of both alcohol and soda.

This was really a complex decision made because of issues on numerous fronts. In summation, it is expensive and unhealthy to drink these beverages as often as I was (see #'s 1 & 2.) Also, I was using drinking as an escape mechanism for dealing with other issues in my life and this was unacceptable to me. Until I can sort that shit out and get some direction and order in my life, these had to go.

This is kind of a mixed review really, since I haven't had a drink the entirety of the year so far and haven't been seriously tempted to do so yet. The problem lies in the fact that without alcohol I turned to soda as a fill-in and have struggled mightily to reduce my consumption in this area. I no longer buy any when I go grocery shopping and if I can successfully reduce my fast food consumption in accordance with resolutions 1 & 2 then I will be in great shape. We'll see how this goes from here on out.

Resolution Status: Strong, getting stronger.

4. Be Happy

I haven't quite figured out the exact formula for this one, so I won't be able to quantify any progress towards it, but I think it is an important goal that shouldn't necessarily be a resolution but something that everyone is doing all the time. If you aren't actively working towards things that make you happy and surrounding yourself with people who support you then you are setting yourself up for a downward spiral.

I guess under this one I'll put the following:
Buy an Xbox360 with Halo 3, a nice flat panel LCD TV and a piece of leather furniture (recliner or sofa, unsure which). While I likely won't have the money for these things this year, and material objects aren't going to drive my happiness or fix my issues, they are cool things to think about having and make me happy right now.
Ultimately, I want to have those things. I also want tons of other things too that will take me long beyond 2008 to obtain so instead of constantly updating the various wants and desires I have, I'll leave those three things up there.

Resolution Status: ??

1 comment:

Arak said...

I support a Leather sofa to sit on while we play Halo on our HDTV in a new apartment after I graduate