Unresolved this new year

RWS_Tarot_10_Wheel_of_FortuneI have learned a lot in 2012. It’s easy to forget things accomplished, and realize how much you didn’t do. I didn’t get in better shape–quite the opposite. I didn’t produce nearly the amount (or quality) of research I might have wanted. I didn’t make a huge sum of money. I wasn’t the best sort of father or husband I would have liked to have been. I watched too much TV.

I had a few fairly trivial achievements, on various fronts, something my new Faculty Annual Report does a nice job reminding us of on the career side. I learned to have a new disdain for the Phillips head screw. I finally got my tread desk set up. With a great deal of help, I think the association I help run has made some significant improvements. But there has been a bit of learning to do little things better, I think.

It was a year, if anything, of transition. I’ve moved a lot in my life, but the move to Arizona and the purchase of a house here was a much bigger deal than I had expected. And Manhattan and Phoenix are very different places in more ways than the weather. I love a lot about our new home base, but the transition has been far more difficult than I would have expected. I feel deeply uprooted, which is strange for someone with no real roots to speak of. In the end, this year will be remembered mainly for that: “the move.” I hope it will be an inflection point for the better, but to be honest, it’s too soon to tell. I think it was a good move for me, but I don’t know yet if it was the best choice for my family. I am hopeful, though.

For me 2012 is then a year of ambiguity. I’ve laid the Wheel of Fortune; the magic eight ball says “Ask Again Later.”

2013 Tracking

I’m not going to make resolutions; or rather, my resolutions should be apparent in the things I am tracking. I will be keeping a record of:

  • The number of articles or chapters I submit each month
  • Grants applied for
  • The number of blog-posts each month
  • The (self-reported) good class meetings I have
  • Student teaching evaluations
  • The hours spent on various projects (in order to see where effort is best maximized)
  • Food eaten (just opened an account on My Fitness Pal
  • Steps taken (Fitbit is charged, and this time, leashed!)
  • Some other random bits

I don’t have goals for most of these yet–or rather the goals are intentionally fairly mutable. I’ll adjust as I see fit during the year, coming up with different goals, metrics, and categories as we go.

I’ll also keep a list of one-off accomplishments, and things learned, that don’t easily fit into quantification.

I plan to put these together into an Annual Report at the end of the year. This isn’t the first time I’ve planned to do so, but perhaps that’s my single resolution this year: to keep track consistently.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 1/1/2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Alex,
    Transitions are complicated states of being to live in. I remember moving from a stable living situation into a stranger’s apartment and sitting in my empty living room surrounded by boxes, my only contact with the world the TV still connected and blaring about the Gulf War. Feeling untethered. It will pass. Goals are good. I am piecing together many this year. Best always …. and do do the fitness thing; I find it helps energize me and gives me a sense of accomplishment (Weight Watchers, 40 pounds lost and counting!).

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