Let me start with the fact that I’ve only ever made 3 NYRs in my life, I think. When I was younger I thought it was dumb to do something because other people did them (“I’m not going to make a New Years Resolution, that’s so cliché”). When I got older I joined the “I don’t need some arbitrarily agreed on reason to start doing something new. I can do something whenever I want! I’m a free person!”

But sometimes you just do things because you should try everything in life at least once. This year I am not making just one NYR but several! Statistically speaking, my chances of following through with a NYR will be greatly higher if I just make more of them.

So here we go!

1. So I was thinking I will read 40 books by the end of the year. Now, I hadn’t actually thought about this until yesterday at work when someone suggested I go for the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. That was when I actually realized the rate I would need to be reading in order for me to actually pull off this 40 books/1 year idea. Instead, by this day next year I will be finishing the last few pages of my 24th books. This puts me at 2 books a month. Still a challenge but a much more manageable one especially for me since I am a slow reader. Comic books will not count for this project but audiobooks will because it takes just as long to listen as it does to read in my head.

2. I am also going to actually follow through with a 365 project which will consist of  some daily record of my life be it a photo, writing, audio or video. I imagine the toughest part of this will be remembering to post something. I assume I will probably go camping at some point which will keep me from being able to post on exactly the day but every day will still be accounted for at the end of the year. I’ll probably post these here.

3. Only one new article of clothing may be bought per month.  I think this will be THE hardest of the resolutions. Mostly because I’m terrible at knowing what will actually be the most loved item in my closet until at least a 3-4 month residency. This is going to take some research and no more impulse buys or boredom shopping. I think the less clothes I buy, the more I can spend on one piece and that one piece better be f*ckin worth it.

The rest of the rules for 2011 are general guidelines for living that don’t exactly apply to just a year of amusing tricks (the resolutions above are probably not going to continue for more than the one year – though #3 probably should stick around for as long as possible). The other rules will be things like no more making excuses for not working out. No more making excuses about eating when not hungry, just make sure you’re actually hungry when you eat. Clean your room, once every two weeks at least. Pursue things that you’re actually interested in. General year round “spring cleaning”, pair down your material things, get rid of things that you never use.

no more of this

2011 is looking to start off pretty good, starting a 401K next week, still got a job, took care of my car, starting to make exercise a part of my regular life (well, not since before Christmas but I will be going back to Bikram yoga soon and I still have my gym membership), family is well, got an excellent boy.


I Spend, Therefore I Am

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t partake in anything that general society would call a vice. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I do however have a bit of a consumption problem. I’ve touched on this here before actually.

I tend to rely on “retail therapy.” The act of shopping gives me time to think through issues in my life (this has to be done alone though) and I think actually buying something comforts me in a strange and round about way. It makes me feel a little better to have stuff. If I just have this one thing then every little thing will be manageable. It doesn’t even have to be something pretty, like a pair of shoes. I could be buying a colander and it would make me think “Okay, now I can wash broccoli easily and I don’t have to worry about it ever again,” or I could go out to the supermarket for groceries and it would make me feel better.

I’m not quite sure where this came from and how it developed but I’ve only noticed it in the past five years or so. I think my mother does it as well, so maybe it’s hereditary? Or possibly just learned.

Anyway I was reading TreeHugger today and come across a post regarding consumption that linked to a piece about our consumption in The David Report. While most of the ideas in the article are not new, it’s still an interesting look at how our need for consumption is affecting to the planet. It didn’t make me feel as bad as reading Cradle to Cradle did though. It’s a little comforting to know that I am not the only one afflicted, how ever it slightly bothers me that now I do not really have a unique vice and that I’m just like everyone else. I just can’t win.

I’m in San Francisco!

 sunrise on flight

I’m actually going to be in San Francisco for two separate trips this month. I’m here now as part of a surprise birthday thing for my friend Brian (or “bean” as everyone calls him). We all came up to S.F. from L.A. met up with some of out other S.F. based friends at the Zeitgeist last night to surprise him. He thought he was spending a quiet weekend in S.F. with his girlfriend… little did he know he’d have to put up with us for the night.

He was actually surprised, he had no clue. We were even more surprised that he really was surprised. We had figured someone would have let the cat out of the bag seeing as how many people knew and it was planned about a month and a half in advance.

So far on this trip I have bought way too many sweets, and have lots left over. I think I’ve changed my spending habits to focus more on food rather than clothing and accessories. This is due to the issue of producing  waste that I talked about in a previous entry. I know with food at least I’m not producing harmful waste – that is, not that I know of… it might be a by product of the food that is made for me.

One thing I love about this city is that even places that aren’t marketed as “environmentally friendly” eating establishments still are. What I mean is that on Friday I went to Bistro Burger for lunch, got a burger and fries to go and they use recycled paper boxes instead of Styrofoam. At Zeitgeist they were using the new bio-degradable cutlery that I’ve been reading about recently on TreeHugger and GLiving. These aren’t some hippie, health food joints yet everyone in this city is already so eco-aware that it’s just normal practice for them to take that extra step.

So anyway, I’m off to visit more friends, eat more food, and look for those damn organic jeans until I have to leave tomorrow morning.

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