My 2018 New Year's Resolutions

Here are my resolutions for 2018. Below that I report on my progress toward last year’s resolutions.

Physical Health

  • I will resume 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 get back 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 lbs and keep it there; this year’s goal is 195 lbs (current weight: 210 lbs.)

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 resume my lost 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 nighttime 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 continue to pursue a meaningful presence on Gab.ai; post everyday, interact with fellow gabbers, build a following, exercise my writing skills through succinct and interesting posts
  • 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
  • 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 make a final decision on upgrading my camera gear, work to improve my photography skills, take good photos and display my best work in a portfolio at myamericanmorning.com

Progress Report - 2017

Overall, this has been a bad year for me. I lost more ground in my struggle to reach last year’s goal of weighing between 180 and 185 pounds. At the beginning of 2017, I weighed 193 lbs. As of this week I weigh 210 lbs. I gained 17 pounds this year, instead of losing weight as I had hoped. When things are going well it is easy to stay on my healthy diet. But, when troubling issues fill my life, I quickly turn to comfort food and my weight suffers.

I’ve had several health issues this year, the most serious being prostate cancer. My prostate was removed and right now my PSA numbers are undetectable. If they go up again I will have to take radiation therapy.

After my operation, I could walk around some but had to avoid lifting anything or stretching in a way that might bust open my stitches. My extended bed rest, and an incision that did not heal properly, kept me from exercising for several months and made progress in recovering my strength quite slow. My left shoulder and arm suffered greatly. They are painful, and their range of motion is inhibited. Soon, I will begin a new round of physical therapy that should resolve those issues. Hopefully, that will permit me to get back to my full exercise regimen.

My health issues also affected my writing. I wrote less than 6000 rough-draft words, about two week’s effort, when I’m doing well and staying on my writing schedule. In other words, for all practical purposes, I did almost no writing in 2017. I did create a number of original posts on Gab. With the exception of three blog articles, that is the only writing of consequence I accomplished in 2017.

Although I made no progress in the past year, I have not given up on my goal to write a novel. I have a story idea and several characters that I plan to develop. By now I had hoped to have written several background stories developing those characters before I began the actual novel. I will work on those stories in 2018. My writing energy is low now … but, if I can get back in the habit of writing daily, even if it’s only free-writing exercises, the energy and inspiration should return.

Nor did I do much reading or listening to books as I have done in past years. Actual reading, I did none at all. Listening to books, a task I save for when I’m exercising, was thwarted by my inability to exercise after my cancer operation and my lack of interest in exercising while I was distracted by health concerns. I plan to do better in 2018.

I’ve gotten out of the habit of rising early. Sleep is difficult for me now; I wake several times each night to go to the bathroom, a result of my operation. I stay in bed a few more hours in order to get enough sleep. I will try to go to bed earlier so that I can wake at 5:00am.

This year I watched a lot of TV during the day. I needed something to keep my mind busy that did not make demands on my brain as I dealt with cancer and other issues. My television is on the wall across from my bed. I own a number of videos of old TV shows and I have Amazon Prime video. Watching TV kept me company and distracted me from my worries for many long months. The habit of watching TV became so important during that time that it has been a mighty struggle to free myself from it. But I will.

2017 was a bad year for me. I accept that as historical fact. And I will let it go. No fretting over the past. The future, 2018, tomorrow and beyond, must be my focus and must be my inspiration to rise above my troubles and make my life have meaning. I’ve lost ground; I will gain it back. And then, I will make progress toward my goals.

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.

Bring on the New Year!!!