It is a new year so that means it is time for a new yearly theme.

What is a yearly theme? Here’s a summary:

Instead of setting resolutions at the start of the year, you set an overall idea of how you would like to approach each year or season. This then becomes a guide for your personal and/or professional life throughout that period.

This is my third year identifying a theme. Last year I focused on accountable improvement (2020 was the year of less)with good success in my main area of focus (golf) and marginal improvement in my second (language learning). I continue to work on my golf game through focused practice and a dedicated coach, including an in-person session in Erie PA last year. I’ll be returning to Erie in the spring for two days of instruction including some intense GEARS telemetry. My handicap does oscillate a bit but the running average continues to slide down and I’m at about an 8 index right now.

On the language learning front I’m still focused on using Duolingo (nearing a 2 year consecutive streak) and had some fun playing online board games with my German friend and speaking mostly German. My real-time apprehension is still pretty poor. If I want to improve more in this area I think I need to hire an instructor. I’ve switched to Spanish for a while as we’ll be in Mexico for about a week this month. After that trip I’ll regroup and consider what I want to do going forward.

Back to 2022. I’ve had ideas on what I want to focus on for the year but had a hard time coming up with a good encompassing theme. I knew I wanted to continue reducing my meat consumption and dramatically change my alcohol consumption. I wasn’t ready to go cold turkey but wanted to do a lot more than a dry January. I’ve had aspirations before that included “only drinking on the weekends” but found myself making too many exceptions. Could I make significant improvements with any exceptions at all? Not wanting perfect to be the enemy of significantly better, my theme for the year Daily Better. I want to identify as someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, who doesn’t eat meat and have this as my center point. But I will make some exceptions and I’ve identified some of those in my private notes. The exceptions are mainly around some significant family or friend social engagements where I’ve had enjoyment sharing these vices. But we’re talking about a number of occurrences that I can count on a single hand.

I’m still using the Streaks App and will add tracking of meat and alcohol and am expecting some significant streaks (2-3 months) on each. Even if I had 12 streaks of about a month each wouldn’t that be significantly better than I’ve done in the past? I think so.