O Me of Little Faith

Last January, I decided to post my New Year’s Resolutions here at the blog. That may or may not have been a good idea, but in the spirit of honesty and self-promotion and too much information — which is what blogging is about — December 1 seems like a good time to see if I’ve achieved them. If not, I’ve got 31 days.

1. Write three books (no details yet, but I’m pretty close to being contractually obligated to fulfill this goal, so I can say with some assuredness that it’ll probably happen).

Done, Done, and Almost Done. I’ve completed Pocket Guide to Sainthood and Pocket Guide to the Afterlife. Pocket Guide to the Bible has been slightly edited and prepared for re-publication. And I’m on the final chapter of my book about doubt for Zondervan. Other than a couple of months off in the summer, I’ve been writing steadily, six days a week, since November of 2007. This was a crazy goal to set, and I do not recommend it…at least not while holding down another job. I’m glad it’s nearly over.

2. Maintain this blog on an almost-daily basis, especially so you can follow along as I write the new books.

Done. Hope you’ve been enjoying it.

3. Also maintain my family blog, so that I can remember, in vivid detail, the stuff we do. I greatly dislike not being able to remember when-we-did-this and what-we-did-then and what- was-that-funny-thing-that-happened? Hopefully a digital scrapbook will help.

Done. And, yes, it helps.

4. Take more photographs.

5. Take better photographs.

I’ve been taking lots more photos than in the past, as evidenced at our blog. Not sure if they’re better. But definitely more.

6. Read more books. This is hard when I’m writing, as I have very little unassociated free time. I read a lot when I’m working on a book, but most of it is for the purpose of research. So it’s work. Not fun reading, or reading for knowledge, or reading to be challenged. I need to do more of that, if only to become a better writer.

I haven’t been too good at this one. I’ve probably read less than ten books this year for purely fun, non-research-related purposes. My favorites include Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin, and The Year of Living Biblically, by AJ Jacobs. Next year will be better.

7. Produce more art.

Not much. I think I’ve done three paintings this year. One project for friends and two for our home. That’s all. The dearth of painting is definitely due to Item #1 on this list.

8. Sell some shirts.

Sorta done. I’ve sold a few. Nothing huge. You can help with this one, by the way. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a fake band shirt.

9. Go on at least one backpacking trip.

Bushnell Lakes, Colorado. Late July. See this and this.

10. Stay in the exercise habit, but keep the means of exercise fresh.

Done. I decided in May or June of this year to spend the summer preparing for a sprint triathlon. I ended up competing in two of them. I’ll do it again next year.

11. Drive as little as possible, even in the winter.

Sorta done. I think I drove more this year than in the previous year. But I did ride my bike this morning. It was 34 degrees outside.

12. Be outside more.

Not sure how to quantify this, but due to my triathlon training over the summer, I spent nearly 45 minutes of every day outside running or biking. Add in time with the kids and riding to work and backpacking and all that stuff, and I can probably check this one off.

13. Maintain a regular Sabbath, especially from book-writing. This will be hard, because there’s a lot of time on Sunday to be spent writing. But it’s good to stop creating one day a week. Real good.

Done. I recommend this, whether you’re working on a book or not. Unplugging one day a week is good.

14. Flyfish as often as possible.

Nope. I did worse on this one than in past years. I think I fished three times total, and one of the times was on the backpacking trip. And it being winter, it’s not like I can go perform this one before the year’s up.

15. Get the other business thing rolling.



How about you? How are you doing on your 2008 resolutions/goals? Or do you think the idea of setting yearly goals is dumb? Please discuss.

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