Monday, January 1, 2018, 12:28pm

On the topic of New Year’s resolutions (2018)

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is a thing you’re absolutely going to do and I mean, life is crazy. There’s no telling how things are going to shake out. It’s setting yourself up for failure. I do New Year’s goals. These are things I’m going to work on.

Last year I set four New Year’s goals.

  1. Be more active and eat healthier: I did all right at this one. I was more active and ate less and better food in general, and I did lose about ten pounds from where I started, so overall, that’s not too bad.
  2. Edit/rewrite the book: We didn’t get squat done here.
  3. Read more books: I did quite well at this one. Not as well as I would have liked, but it was a busy year. I’ll put my list of books I read at the end.
  4. Blog better: This one wasn’t a complete wash, but I still didn’t do as well as I would have liked on it.

Here are my goals for 2018.

Be more active and eat healthier.
As of this writing I’m about 205 pounds, which is about 60-70 pounds heavier than I want to be. I’ve heard of people losing that much in a year, but I very much doubt I’m going to manage that. Still, I lost ten pounds last year. I’d like to lose twenty this year. I have a brand new tiny lil’ puppy who needs lots of walks, so that should help some. I’d like to get in the habit of doing some kind of exercise every day. A walk, some yoga, something. I’d like to start doing some weight training. I’d also like to work on my eating habits more. I’m still eating more garbage than I should be. So,

  1. Be exercising a little bit every day, even if it’s just a walk.
  2. Lose 20 pounds.
  3. Eat more healthfully. (Healthily? Whatever.)

Fix the damn book.
I swear one of these years I’m gonna get this done. Failing that, I’d at least like to write some more fiction.

Read more books.
In 2017 I read 14 books, which is not a lot, but more than I had been managing. It was a busy year. In 2018, I’d like to read, say, 20 books. I have a list of reading recommendations saved somewhere. Feel free to recommend good fiction or nonfiction books to me on Twitter or Facebook.

Blog better.
I’ve stumbled across a handful of formats for blog posts that seem to work well without taking more time than I have to commit to the project. Folks seem to like the 5TtRT posts that I do semi-daily, so those’ll stay. I’d like to work on more explainers/analysis this year, too.

Miscellaneous Goals

Here’s a handful of smaller things I’d like to accomplish this upcoming year, too.

  • Get the house clean and keep it that way.
  • Make some headway on my financial debt.
  • Make some headway on my two-year degree.
  • Vape less and/or quit entirely.

Books I read in 2017

  • The Run of His Life: The People vs. OJ Simpson,” Jeffrey Toobin – I read this one because I watched the miniseries on Netflix. Both were pretty good.
  • All the President’s Men,” Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward – We watched the movie early last year and I enjoyed it, but felt like it was missing a lot, so I read the book. It was a bit dry, but still interesting.
  • Thud!,” Terry Pratchett – All the Pratchett books on the list were re-reads (which still count), and they’re all great.
  • Snuff,” Terry Pratchett
  • Going Postal,” Terry Pratchett
  • Making Money,” Terry Pratchett
  • American Gods,” Neil Gaiman – I had read this one before, too, years ago, but I re-read it because we were watching the miniseries.
  • Night Watch,” Terry PratchettNight Watch is in my top five favorite Pratchett novels. I re-read this book on a regular basis.
  • One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon,” Tim Weiner – This book was fascinating. Richard Nixon was a hot mess of crazy, y’all. I’m kind of amazed we survived his presidency.
  • What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror,” David Wong – You really need to read the JDATE books if you haven’t. They are a surreal, hilarious blast.
  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate,” Al Franken – Read this one just before all the allegations came out and he lost his Senate seat. Goddammit, Al.
  • After the End of the World,” Johnathan L. Howard – You must read the Carter & Lovecraft novels. There’s two so far and they’re excellent. Once you’re caught up on those, and while you’re waiting for another like the rest of us, you can read his Johannes Cabal novels, which are the best. Find a listing for both series on Howard’s website.
  • Mindhunter,” John Douglas & Mark Olshaker – Again, watched the series on Netflix recently, discovered the book. The book was decent, a bit dry, but not bad. I would have liked more depth on some of the cases, but I see they’ve written some books about bigger cases, so I might check out those.
  • Ex-Isle,” Peter Clines – Clines’ Ex-Heroes series is a frickin’ delight. Superheroes vs. zombies, guys, and they’ve got some really decent depth and story to them, which was unexpected. Like, you would not expect “Superheroes vs. zombies” to have good, well-developed characters, good plotting, etc. You expect a fun, shallow romp from that pitch, and while they’re definitely a fun romp, I wouldn’t call them shallow.

To Read in 2018

  • The Bad Food Bible,” Aaron Carroll – I’ve started this one already, but since I watch Carroll’s YouTube channel I’ve already heard a lot of this stuff, so it’s taking some effort to get through it. Tons of interesting information, though.
  • The Newsflesh Trilogy, Seanan McGuire (writing as Mira Grant) – Jim reccomended this one, and I think there’s more than three stories, now. You can find them listed on McGuire’s website, at the bottom of this page.
  • The Tiffany Aching series, Terry Pratchett – There are very few Pratchett books I haven’t read. I’ve been kind of hording the unread ones, because once I’ve read them, that’s it. There’s no more new Terry Pratchett to read.
  • Feel free to make recommendations!

But wait, where do I comment? No comments, sorry. Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter, instead.

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