Today is the first day of a new year.  In years past, I've set aside the whole concept of resolutions.  Resolutions are stupid.  To me, it implies that making significant changes in life can only happen one time of the year, as if there's some magic about the new year that allows these changes to effortlessly happen.  We all know that's not true.  What it might be is more drawing a line in the sand, and saying this day is the day I start, and having some hard line to observe rather than some random date along the way.

On Needing a Plan

The trick with the new year "resolution" (a word that I will no longer use here), is that things like "eating better" and particularly things like "waking up with the alarm" are really hard to do on the day that follows staying up partying to late hours.  We've still got guests in our house as I write this, and Berta is off work making pancakes and sausage for breakfast, and I've already slept in until 10am, and it's looking like I've already tread off the path I've set myself for the new year before even locating the trailhead!

A theme that I hope to continue with throughout the new year (the new, revised Owen!) is looking at these outlying situations and making them part of the plan, rather than saying, "Oops, guess we broke it." The end result should be more success and an ability to easily return to the plan when before it might have been foiled by a bad day.

Budget Up

Something that should be but is not (yet?) part of the plan for the new year is budgeting.  I've been looking at this app called You Need A Budget, which is highly recommended.  Budgeting issues aside, one of the basic concepts of this software is something that I think will come in huge use with my planning for the unplannable: Plan only for the future.

You can look at past spending to predict for the future, but ideally, the concept is to take the money you know you have on hand and spend it on bills you know you have now.  Do not plan for beyond this current unit of time.  It's not so much living check to check, but bases its method on getting the current bills paid.

With that, if I miss a day of what changes I've intended here or there, I shouldn't look back.  I should plan to continue the next day and get back on track.  No making up for the miss, no eating less today to make up for yesterday's Twinkie.  Just plowing forward with it.

Seems pretty simplistic, but I think it's an interesting psychological shift.

Habit Change

I read a good portion of this book, The Power of Habit, which talks all about how stopping bad habits is harder than creating new habits to replace them.  I'm looking for a key habit to create that will help affect the rest of my bad habits and start to create the set of good habits I'm looking for.

After doing no research at all, I've decided that the key habit I need to change is waking up earlier.  I think this will give me time to focus my mental energies, get myself together, get done miscellaneous things I keep wanting to do but not making time for, get better rest (since I'll want/have to go to bed earlier), and a bunch of other cascading things.

So that's the simple plan, such as it is: Get Up Earlier.