Seven Resolutions for 2007

It’s that time of year where we’re past the last major holiday of the year. (For the record, I consider New Years Eve to be part of the following year, as New Years is a bookend at the beginning and the end of a year – you’re closing out the year before and opening a new one within the span of 2 days.) At this point, we’re looking back at all the good and bad of the year, what we liked, and what dislike. We get to watch the news go through major news stories, deaths and births, major tragedies and heroic stories that happened. And the one thing we think about most is what we’re going to do next year.

As I have gotten older, I’ve grown to dislike the idea of resolutions, not because it’s flawed, but because we are. Usually, We don’t think about it until the end of the year, and maybe the first two weeks of the new year, when we actually decide to do it – supposedly. Usually by the second or third month, the majority of people I know and see every day have already given up on their resolutions. Hell, even I have, on many occasions.

Part of the problem is that we assign mountains for tasks, without planning a strategy out for how to handle it. Obviously, resolving to was your cloths tomorrow is so easy that it’s not worth wasting the resolutions on, yet no seems to think that that weight-loss plan of theirs is that big of a mountain. Throw in the fact that we don’t start it until on or after the first of the year, and it’s no wonder we fail to keep them.

I told my friends that I wouldn’t do resolutions this year – unfortunately, some people just don’t understand No. 😛 So, I decided I’m going to do this differently. I’m good at making plans – my big failure is in putting those plans into actions. (Seriously, have me plan something for you sometime – you may be surprised if it works!) I’m not going to make my resolutions, I’m going to set some sort of plan for the year – that way, I have something to actually work with.

So, here’s my seven resolutions for 2007:

  1. Return To Health – As many of you already know, this one I have already started, as I am preparing for “The Biggest Loser.” I really would like to get to a point where, maybe 2008 or 2009, I could try for an Iron Man triathlon. I always watch these, and although I hate running, I love to swim, and I miss biking a lot. Throw in the fact that it’d be one of those things, at the end of my weight loss journey, that would be a cherry-on-the-top thing, where I’ve gotten myself into a condition where my health no longer is a problem, where I don’t have to worry about dying every night, can be happier and more relaxed, and I’ve got plenty of reasons to do it.

    The plan I have for this – so far the only one with any sort of full planning – is to break things into three steps. The first step is to regain control, which is what I have been working on. Yes, I still go to Taco Bell and McDonald’s, but when I used to go to Taco Bell before, I’d get a meal, 2 sides, and if I’m sitting in the restaurant, 2 more sides after 2 hours – crazy grease heart attack central. It’s similar everywhere else, as well – I’d come home from McDonald’s sometimes with two or three bags, and most of the time have the contents finished before bed. Now, if I go to McDonald’s, I stick to a combo – If I get up in 2-3 hours, I go for something healthy, such as a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait. With Taco Bell, it’s just a combo, and if I eat something else, it’s usually 2 and a half to 3 hours later, and not overboard crazy like i used to. Yes, I am aware that this is still bad food, but I know myself – there are going to be days, until I get myself straightened out, where that’s what ‘m going to have to have for lunch. If I learn to control it, at least the damage won’t be insane.

    The second step is activity. The thing that sucks right now is that it’s really too cold to do much outside – walking short distances is ok, but for anything longer than half an hour, forget about it. I have to watch how long I go, because I usually have to hit the rest room about halfway through a long-distance hike, such as walking from work to Wal-Mart – it’s partly why I cut back. (It gets embarrassing to go into Cub Foods, hit the rest room, then leave because there is no time for anything else – and it’s worse now that they’re closed, since the next closest place is Wal-Mart!) I’m going to start doing some indoor exercises, though, and walk some distance up until I return to work – at least then I will be prepared to try those long walks again.

    (This is an area where you can help: If you already have a group of friends, or are looking to form a group of friends, that does something on a regular basis, give me a call. If I have the time and the means to do it, I’m game.)

    The third step is the food itself. At some point, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and most of the rest of these fast food joints are going to be eliminated except as an occasional meal. In fact, by the end of the year I’d like to be cooking for myself. If I am laid off and have the money in the fall, I plan to take a cooking course, so that I can learn how to actually prepare meals for myself. I can read recipes, and some of them I have little to no trouble doing, but there’s a lot I admittedly don’t know, and a lot more where I need to figure out alternative means of doing. Recipes aren’t a problem – plenty of cooking shows have free recipes, and the internet actually has a bunch of recipe ideas to do.

    (Two notes: first, the last two are why Control is the first thing – without doing that step, I’m going to fail the other two easily. Second, anyone looking for gift ideas in the future, there’s a hint – I’ll be shopping for cooking stuff throughout the course of the year, so don’t feel bad about asking me about things.)

    All of this ties into “The Biggest Loser” pretty well: If I manage t make the show, the last two parts I can accomplish on the show itself, as mastering control will allow me to stick to what the trainers, dietitians and doctors tell me to do. Likewise, if I fail to make it onto the show, I have a good starting point upon which to build, As soon as I get insurance back I will be seeing a doctor, explaining to him what I am already starting, so there’s no worries there.

    On a side note, I have one other health-related issue to report I will be working on: hygiene. The biggest problem I will face, especially going into step 2, is actually going to e many of the things I get complaints about. (It’s not that I don’t do something about it, but I realize there has to be something more so that people don’t have to suffer around me.) Yes, it means I’m admitting a problem; Until I see a doctor about it, however, the only thing I will be working on is the bad habits that make this worse.

  2. Organize and Clean – Time to admit more of my flaws. There are two big reasons why, even if I lived somewhere else, I probably wouldn’t allow people in. The first is that I am a pack rat: I have stuff going back to Elementary school. (Actually didn’t realize I did until I started going through stuff.) The second is I am a medium slob: I clean up, but more often than not, not enough. If you were to look in my apartment, it’d look like a hurricane or tornado hit.

    Obviously the first plan is to clean, and I have been doing that, little by little. (Those days I’ve been mad lately? That would be an idiot screwing up the elevator, something that seems to happen every 3 days!) I’m hoping by the time I return to work that this is something I have eliminated. I have no plan for maintenance yet – if anyone has ideas, I’m open.

    The other one is to organize. It’s easy to say, “I don’t use this anymore” and throw it out, but there are plenty of things that I still do want to keep, so getting that stuff organized is key. Before I move (more on that in a bit) I plan to buy storage bins and label them properly so that I don’t have a million and one things scattered in a million and two boxes. After I move, I’ll worry about storage and maintenance.

  3. Financial Stability – This is one I’m not going to be immediate in attacking because I have so much to fix early on, but by the end of the year I would like to be at a point where I can go out, have fun, and still have money at the end of the two weeks to set aside. Of course, getting on “The biggest Loser” and winning, or winning some other big prize, could negate the current problems, but I’d still have to learn to control my spending, and will plan to do this in the second half of the year.
  4. Driver’s License – I’ll be perfectly honest right now and say that most of the time I don’t miss driving – in fact, if I were to get my license back, I’d miss being a passenger more. that said, there are plenty of times, such as sitting at places all night because of no bus service, being stuck without something I need for a few hours/couple of days because of no bus service, and times where I have to call and wait for a taxi because of no bus service. You have to fight the weather, and if you’re unprepared, you could easily get sick. You also have to contend with traffic, and while the majority of drivers on the road are complete morons, you also have to take into account that some accidents are not things you can prepare for or prevent.

    This is one of those things where Biggest Loser comes into play, timing wise. If I make the show, it probably won’t be until October (unless I actually make some money while on the show to take home) before I’ll have the fines cleared and I’ll be fighting the legal battle to get it back. If I am not on the show, I’ll be doing this in April, landlord be damned.

  5. Job Stability – Let’s set the record straight, once and for all: Lifetouch is one of the best jobs I’ve had. I get to do what I enjoy doing, and hang out with cool friends and people, with a lot less stress than previous jobs. That said, Getting laid off all the time, or strung around because I can’t be hired, no matter how much I understand the business, is bullshit. At some point you have to say that it’s enough, that you can’t play the games anymore, and stand your ground.

    When I return to work, I’ll be operating on an unknown status until March – if I hear nothing by then, I’m obviously not going to be on the show. I still plan to work my ass off to have a full-time job either way, but if I make the show – and maybe even if I don’t – I’ll be asking to be laid off this year, so that I can focus on my health, on working out and getting in shape. I get enough from unemployment that, with certain factors, makes it a wise enough decision to focus on that this year, and if I need the money, I can always find a second job.

    That said, If it looks like they’re going to lay me off anyways, or if I decide to go for full-time and they do lay me off, I doubt I will stick with the company. I understand all of the circumstances as to why I am not full time, and I’m not bitter anymore about not being full-time. However, try to explain to someone that you work half a year, and they’re going to look at you funny. I should be at a point where I can support a family as well as my self without going broke, and I’m not. Half a year is fine for young adults, but I’m approaching my thirties – I’m not a kid anymore.

    In addition to looking for work, I plan to finish some of my projects. New timelines will come out in the next few weeks detail ing my plans for making side money in 2007. All opportunities are open for you guys as well, so drop me a line if you’re interested.

  6. On the Move – The single thing that i am disappointed in myself in this year is that I have not been able to move. I’d love to stay in the downtown rockford, as it’s a beautiful area with a lot of parks, walking spaces, and close proximity to the YMCA, Library, government buildings, banks, and – of course – the bus station.

    It’s also home to crackheads, drunks and thieves. The businesses down here don’t stay open, as there is little to do down here any other time than On The Waterfront. The building I live in has it’s own fair share of issues, due to a landlord with a soft heart who wants to maintain the building himself rather than call a pro to fix something. Even if my apartment was clean and organized, I wouldn’t risk their safety or trouble trying to visit me – sucks, since there’s a lot to like about this area.

    This goes back to my bad habits, that I have listed above. I obviously can call friends over to help me move if they’re coming over to a disaster area that does not even look prepared.

    The other factor is where I am looking at the moment. The three main areas where where I am looking is close to work: Loves Park, Machesney Park, and NorthEast Rockford. I’d only consider Northwest Rockford with a vehicle, and although I may consider the East State and Mulford/Perryville area, that area is seriously expensive for someplace I’m at maybe once/twice a week. I’m not even considering south of State Street on either side of the river, because I’d have too many issues with the transportation.

    If I look in the NorthEast Rockford, the area I will be searching the most is around the Riverside/Alpine area. It’s right on the bus line, so the only problem I’d run into is on Sundays. It’s close enough to work where walking may be possible, even if it is long. It’s also safe enough to not have to worry about major traffic hang-ups.

    The area in Loves Park is similar: Along Forest Hills Road or Riverside. Again, the idea is to be close enough to work where I can get there without a car, and to be close enough to stores/restaurants for walking.

    As for Machesney Park, I’m considering the Maple School and Rock Cut school areas. I’d prefer to live closer to Roscoe or the River, but anything more than an hour and a half walk (for me) is going to be as much of a strain as where I live right now. the idea is to not have to rely so much on people or the bus, allowing me to actually work a normal schedule, and if I have to ask for rides all of the time, I defeat the purpose of moving.

  7. Relationships and Dating – I’d have to say that this year was a breakout year for me. I’ve made a few mistakes already (my apologies to anyone who got those pics of me – definitely a bad idea, now that I look back), but I have made a few new friends online and off, and although I am still uncomfortable asking people out (Everyone I went out with this year have been met first online), this is one of those times where I can say I did learn some things. (for those who did not get the pics, don’t even worry about them – I’ve thrown them out, and the only reason why I will return to Mate 1 is to delete those pics I did send out like that.)

    That said, comfort isn’t the only problem I’ve had with this. Many of the people I would consider asking out now would definitely say no (especially if they’ve read this) because I have admitted some big flaws in who I am. I lost a couple of people because they felt I was trying to move too fast, and one girl didn’t want to date me because I do want to lose “it.” Many of the friends I did make online live in other areas of the country, and only a handful – 5 of them – could I say were close enough to actually date.

    What about girls in the area? the ones I seem to be interested in the most are taken by good guys, either married, engaged, or dating. The few who aren’t all have reasons in my book why I wouldn’t approach them – I’ve known them too long, work with them, do business at where they work, etc. I don’t go for bar girls much, and I don’t go to church or school, so finding someone there isn’t possible either.

    If I approach anyone in 07, it will be one of my crushes first. The reasons why I have a crush on them is that I can see past their outer looks, can see the person I believe is inside of them. Some, admittedly, are just as flawed as I am, and depending on where they’re at and how much I feel I can contribute is how soon I will ask them. If a flaw is unavoidable, such as me working with them, I’ll wait longer. I really wish I had someone now, while I am so flawed, so that as I dig myself – and therefore us – out of my messes, I don’t have this monkey on my back, but the cards didn’t deal out that way. Next year will be different, especially if I accomplish any of the goals above.

    One last thing: If I get to before my birthday and I haven’t been on TBL, found a girlfriend, or had “it” yet, I will be looking for “it” specifically again. I hate the idea of doing that, but I hate feeling uncomfortable around my friends, who can talk about relationships freely, where all I can do is listen. I won’t drop over for the first piece I see, but by no means should I force myself to suffer in loneliness unnecessarily either. I do want to fit in with people, and if taking that risk is what’s necessary, so be it.

In Conclusion

That’s it – my seven for 07. These are the things I will be working on this upcoming year, my goals, my plans (as loose or tight as they are), and my objectives for next year. With a couple of exceptions coming up (unfinished business), this will be last post in 2006. Happy New Year, and I look forward to speaking with many of you soon!

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