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 fourth yearly theme. Looking back over the past three:

2022 Retrospective

My summary of the theme was “not wanting perfect to be the enemy of significantly better,” and I did pretty OK on most fronts. I had a few long-ish streaks of no alchohol, with the longest being 34 days. Hosting wine tasting trips in Finger Lakes made it difficult to sustain long periods sans alcohol, though I cut out beer significantly for 2/3 of the year. I’m finding that a glass or two of local (non-preserved) wine has little to no ill effects for me. Still, less would still be better.

I did much better on the meat front, only partaking in meat on 28 days throughout the year. My longest meat free streak was 85 days, and avoiding meat has become a default option for me. I still have fish and seafood from time to time, but try to limit meat to special occasions.

There was one unexpected daily better improvement in 2022: joining a push-up accountability group with son Jacob. Started in the summer at 50 per day, and am now at 120 per day with a typical set size of 30 push-ups. We typically take Sunday as a rest day.

2023 Thoughts

This post isn’t coming out until February, largely because I’ve been waffling amongst a few candidates. My first idea was a “Year of Stupid”: focusing on humility, asking dumb questions, being less concerned about showing off how much I know about something. I’m keeping this in the back pocket for future years.

The Year of Mornings won out for me as I reflect on my daily routine. I think I mostly have good daily habits but I’ve been feeling disappointed in lack of morning routine structure. While I don’t want to commit to specific resolutions, I’ll definitely be making some small tweaks to how I conduct myself in the early morning. Two things have been solid in my routine for at least two years now: journaling and reading a chapter-ish of non-fiction. With a seven week trip to Europe pending, I’m concerned that I’ll fall behind on personal fitness and find myself doing push-ups at 10pm back in our hotel. This past week I tried to get half the push-ups done as part of my morning routine and that has worked well. It also helps to spread the sets out through the day. I could stand for even 10-15 minutes each morning of additional fitness work: yoga, strength training, HIIT.

I also want to begin to prioritize creative work in the morning. This could be guitar playing (once I’m reunited with my guitars), note writing, blogging, even songwriting. I might swap out my language learning each day (mostly via Duolingo) to make room for this.