My 2017 New Year's Resolutions

Here are my resolutions for 2017. Below that I report on my progress toward last year’s resolutions.

Physical Health

  • I will continue my exercise regimen of daily Yoga stretches, strength training, burst stepping and hiking in nearby parks

  • I will do the physical therapy exercises and traction procedures required to strengthen my neck and back so that I can enjoy a more normal life

  • I will follow my doctor’s instructions to alleviate the pain and discomfort in my left heel, with the hope of eventually no longer having my current symptoms

  •  I will stay on my healthy diet and adjust it as needed to fit my health needs

  • I will eventually get my weight down to between 180 and 185 and keep it there; this year’s goal is 185 (current weight: 193 lbs.)

  • I will not succumb to my prostate cancer fears; I will follow through with all the tests and procedures needed to determine why my PSA is too high and resolve the issue.

Mental Health

  • I will fight off depression and anxiety as best I can and use prescription valium only when I really need it

  • I will continue my habit of rising early each morning

  • I will exercise my brain through reading and writing to regain more intellectual strength

  • I will limit my TV watching to night time and spend my days productively

Personal Growth

  • I will continue my private study of economics and the political philosophies of conservatism and objectivism

  • I will continue my study of writing by reading and listening to books on the subject

  • I will vigorously pursue a meaningful presence on Gab.ai; post everyday, interact with fellow gabbers, build a following to eventually surpass my twitter followers

  • I will try to develop the habit of writing at least four times each week and not get discouraged when health issues or other personal matters makes that impossible

  • I will write more articles for my blog with a goal of posting something at least once a month

  • I will work on character development backstories for my first novel and post finished stories to my blog for feedback as I prepare myself to tackle my largest writing project so far

  • I will improve my photography skills, take good photos and display my best work in a portfolio at myamericanmorning.com

Progress Report - 2016

This is my sixth New Year's Resolutions list since the launch of my first blog (at taomanna.com) and the third list to be posted to my new updated blog at myamericanmorning.com. Each year I will issue a new set of resolutions, probably much like the previous set, and discuss my progress against last year's list.

I lost more ground in my struggle to reach last year’s goal of weighing between 165 and 170 pounds. At the beginning of 2016 I weighed 185 lbs. As of this week I weigh 193 lbs. My goal to get off blood pressure medicine didn’t happen and may not happen in 2017. It depends heavily on progress with my weight and staying on my diet.

What I know about myself is I can easily maintain my weight or lose weight if I have no health issues or problems with anxiety. I’ve had several health issues this year, back problems, heel problems, and a heart scare that turned out to be benign PVCs (premature ventricular contractions.) A few months ago I began have severe pain in my left heel with took a few weeks to get under control; that has limited my walking to shorter walks and no jogging, which led to my purchase of a compact stepper machine for cardio. And then earlier this month I found that my PSA levels were too high. That could mean prostate cancer; I won’t know for sure until weeks or months from now.

These issues spread out across the year and led to a fluctuation in my weight between 184 and 196 lbs. When things were going well I maintained my weight or lost up to 2 lbs. per week. On particularly troubling weeks I could gain 3 or 4 lbs. My will power is quite strong when I have nothing to distract me or make me crave comfort foods.

I have reevaluated my weight goals and decided that my old goal of between 165 and 170 lbs. is unrealistic. For my height, 185 is ideal. When I lost down to the 170s earlier I could fit into 32-inch waist pants (my purely vanity goal) but my face looked like I just escaped from a concentration camp. Having a nice old butt required me to have a gaunt old face, the part people could actually see.

My health issues also affected my writing. I wrote a bit over 120,000 rough draft words, a little more than in 2015 but far short of what I had hoped to do. There were months where I wrote nothing at all and weeks when all I wrote were free-writing exercises, basically a daily journal. I did manage to write a few rough drafts for my back-story project: background stories for characters in the novel I want to write. My plan was to finish editing some of those and post them to my blog; that didn’t happen. I will try to make the back-story project happen in 2017. I will start the novel after that project is complete and I feel like I know my characters. It is possible that some of the backstories might become part of the novel.

Toward the end of the year I wrote several political articles for my blog, not as many as I hoped but I did make a little progress there. And I am especially proud of my article titled Liberty’s Long War. It is my best writing so far. I hope to do more writing of that quality. Some of my readers have said they were moved by my words; that makes me feel like the effort was worth it.

I have done a lot of reading, or listening to books on audible. The books ranged from books on writing to books on economics and politics. I have a long reading list for next year. Most of the year I did not rise early as I had planned. Lately, I have done better with that. During the difficult days, I spent a lot of time watching TV during the day. That’s a tough habit to break, but I will.

2016 had its good days and bad. I must make sure I don’t waste time in 2017 fretting over what I didn’t do in 2016. And I hope I can rise to the occasion and deal with the health issues facing me next year.

Tomorrow I will celebrate the New Year with a meal of hog jowl, collard greens and black-eyed peas. I have followed that tradition for most of my life. It is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity into the lives of those who share in the tradition. Whether it does or not, I’m gonna keep doing it.

We are soon to have a new President. I am so thankful for that. Hopes are high that Donald Trump is what this country needs. If he keeps his promises, if he lives up to what we expect, America will benefit greatly and all of us who love freedom and love our country will feel a new sense of purpose, a new inspiration for what the future holds. 2017 could be a wonderful year. I’m ready to see it; I’m ready to do my part. I’m ready for good things to start happening to our country.

Bring on the New Year!!!