I like the idea of yearly resolutions, but launching them at the start of the post holiday hustle isn't ideal. There's social momentum to make resolutions with everyone else on January 1st, keep them for a couple of weeks, and then abandon them with everyone else as February comes along. So, I make my resolutions on May 6th, which conveniently is my birthday.
My birthday resolutions come in threes as suggested to me by real life superhero Scott Sonnon. In Scott's mind, a good life is comprised of regular growth and success in three areas: physical (body), spiritual (mind), and social (relationships). For most of us, making money, which is a common new year's resolution, is also an important goal. But, what I've found is that improving in the areas Sonnon suggests gives me a better foundation for accomplishing all the other goals I may set throughout the year.
I'm resolving for one year to eat no more than nine tablespoons of refined sugar. That's nine tablespoons total over 12 months.
I've been biohacking, a kind of playful eating disorder, which blogger and author Tim Ferris has convinced us is a smart way to approach lifestyle changes. And, over the last month, I've gained twenty pounds.
More importantly, I've determined that sugar is the culinary equivalent of Rappacini's Daughter. I love sugar with an inescapable passion, but I've journaled how I feel five minutes, an hour, and three hours after eating refined sugar for a month -- and it isn't good. I'm sure this isn't true of everyone. It might not even be true of most people, but far more often than not, eating something with a sizeable amount of refined sugar leaves me lethargic, fighting with a mild case of brain fog, and sometimes feeling at least mildly ill.
This isn't as ambitious or consistent as people who go for "low-carb" or "keto" diets. The negative effects I've recorded after eating sugar are not the case for eating fruit and such, so I'm not going to cut them out.
Be warned, I may not be very much fun until I turn 43.
In his popular Lifewriting course, Steven Barnes prescribes the following to young writers:
"1. Write at least one sentence every day.
2. Write 1 - 4 short stories a month.
3. Finish, polish, and submit.
4. Once submitted, don't rewrite except to editorial request.
5. Read 10x what you write.
6. Repeat this process 100 times."
For my birthday, I'm resolving to follow Steven's advice.
Really good writing -- the kind that isn't always easy -- is a bit like the mental equivalent of lifting weights. It stimulates your neurology, growing and tightening your thinking. You don't get to write a novel like Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and not have a deeper understanding of capitalism. Ernest Hemmingway's thinking about war and courage was no doubt refined by living and writing A Farewell to Arms. And, I'd bet Stephen King knows more after writing It about why the scariness of clowns and the horror of lost children work together to affect us like some kind of evil version of peanut butter and jelly.
For those who are curious, I'm also a big fan of bullet journaling, pre-planning the day ahead, and anything that involves the physical act of creating with pen or pencil on paper. Too much of my workflow is digital these days to make the transition easy, but maybe next year, I'll make transitioning to BUJO a birthday resolution.
working on dreaming of a new podcast, "DebateCast," for at least 10 years. It's a purely creative project that has no chance of a financial return on investment. But, I think I finally have found a way to make it fun for my friends and I to work on together. At the very least, we'll consume a lot of refined-sugar-free pizza and honey-sweetened soda. Stay tuned.
Feel free to share your birthday resolution ideas in the comments.