Jason Davis: Everyone makes resolutions, so why not me?

Jan. 06, 2014 @ 12:02 AM

With most estimates giving New Year’s resolutions about a 10 percent success rate, I figured I should go big. The more changes I try to make this year, according to the stat-heads and people that study such things, the more likely I am to actually complete one.

So here goes.

Resolution 1 — Get weekly work donepriorto my days off. Seems easy right? Wrong. In my line of work, editor of The Mountain Press, it seems there’s always something else to do. Whether it was the 30-minute call received about annual holiday garbage dump intake (that really happened) or an unexpected visit from a former co-worker, there’s always something cropping up that puts me behind. My 4-year-old looks so forward to my days off, I often feel like a super-villain when I tell him I can’t play first thing Saturday morning because there’s some work I still have to do. Making sure everything’s done before I leave the office on Fridays — even if it means working to midnight — is goal #1.

Resolution 2 — Read more for enjoyment. As the editor of af six-day-a-week newspaper, I read a lot. I’ve noticed, however, that my recreational reading — something that used to be a priority for me — has fallen off substantially. That’s going to change. Also, in years past, I was a big fiction reader: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Patterson. Pulpy kind of stuff. But I also love history, economics and social science. In the future, my reading’s going to go a little more toward the non-fiction section. 

Resolution 3 — It’s no secret, I need a little work on my waistline. Knocking off another 30 pounds this year would get me to my final goal. Ending the regular lunch runs and eating more salads in my office (while taking care of a few more of the aforementioned office duties) would definitely help. But that alone won’t get it done. I’ve got to incorporate some kind of exercise routine into my days. Basketball helped me keep the weight off when I was younger — I was a gym-rat, playing three to four nights a week. But it’s not too practical for me these days. I don’t have the time, or the energy, for hours of pick-up games. I should start slow, with walking, and work my way up to some mild running. 

Resolution 4 — Make more friends. As an adult I’ve learned that making friends, true friends, isn’t as easy as it used to be. Living in a community that you didn’t grow up in means that you have to make a whole new set of friends. My wife and I have lived here for six years now and, while we’ve both made a lot of new acquaintances, real friends — people you have over for a barbecue, go out to dinner, etc. — are hard to come by. Most of my direct co-workers are single and/or don’t have children, making for different post-work lives. Over the coming year, I’m going to try and focus on making a few lasting friendships. 

Resolution 5 — Introduce my son to the great outdoors. Backpacking and camping has been a passion of mine since I discovered the hobby exploring the Big South Fork during my college days. I drug my wife along a few times, and she grew to enjoy it as well — so much that, on our honeymoon, we spent a lot of our wedding gift money equipping her with camping gear. For the first few years we kept up our outdoor adventures, making a trip every month or two to a neighboring wilderness. In the the years since, however, most of our equipment has been gathering dust. Years of working schedules where our days off differed was a big factor, but now we’re back on a similar schedule and our little guy is old enough to actually enjoy the trips. This Christmas he got his own mummy sleeping bag, and proceeded to sleep in it, in bed, that night. With the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just 30 minutes away there’s no better time than now to teach my son the joy nature can bring.

While it’s highly unlikely I can accomplish all of these goals, they’re definitely achievable — no “I want to be a millionaire” wishes here. The first step toward accomplishing each goal has already been done — simply identifying them and getting them out there gets the process started. With any luck, I’ll write next year about how persistence paid off and at least one of these resolutions became a reality.