topher

I normally don’t do New Year’s resolutions.  If I want to change something I typically mark a start point and go with it. This year it’s kind of coincidence that there are some things I’d like to change this time of year. Here’s what I have going on at the moment.

Use Time More Wisely

This is going to be broken into four specific areas, starting with things I’m going to stop.

1. Less TV

I’m not a huge TV watcher, all things considered. I try hard to avoid shows that I know I’d love and get sucked into. That said, most evenings I find myself and my wife on the couch watching TV. We have some favorite shows that we like to keep up with. But then there are times when we’re caught up, and we flip though LOOKING for something to watch. I want to stop that, and cut back a lot, which will give me more time for the things I DO want to do.

2. Better Home Ownership

We’ve owned a house for 18 years now, and there are some things I haven’t been good about. I’m bad about raking the roof after a snow, which hurts both the roof and the gutters.  I’d like a beautiful lawn, but I’m terrible about mowing and watering. My garage is both dirty and messy. Those things are going to change.

3. Do Tasks More Promptly

This is a small thing, but I think it’s going to pay off big.  I tend to procrastinate with things that don’t seem immediately important. The mail piles up because I know it’s all spam. I’d like to take care of it as soon as it comes in. Two of the last three years the Christmas tree has gone in the trash after August. It wasn’t up in the house, it was laying behind the garage. Two years ago our Halloween pumpkins grew into beautiful pumpkin plants the next spring and grew some really nice pumpkins. When I’m done with a dish I don’t put it in the dishwasher, I put it on the counter right above it. All these, and dozens more things I’d like to be prompt about.

4. Get up at 6:30 am eastern time everyday

My wife has asked me to do this for a couple months for a variety of reasons. She tends to wake up naturally around then anyway, and just waits for me to wake up. But we’d like some more consistency in the daily schedule.  We’ll start going to bed more regularly too.

I also want to keep this same schedule when I’m in Texas for work.  It’s only one hour difference, but it’ll keep my internal clock on the same schedule when I get home.

Become more flexible through stretching

Over the last 10 years or so I’ve become progressively less flexible, mostly because I don’t stretch anything, I sit all day, and I’ve gotten fat. I’m being really transparent here. It’s really hard for me to put on socks because it’s hard for me to reach my feet. If something falls on the floor I dread it, because unless I get on my knees I really struggle to reach the floor. I’m pretty convinced most of this issue is due to the fact that I simply never stretch myself. So I’m going to start stretching. I might get into yoga, but I’m going to start by simply doing the things it’s hard to do, many times a day. I’m hoping to spend 30 min or so every morning (see getting up at 6:30) simply stretching.

Lose weight

I actually started this a couple months ago, and I did quite well for a while.  I didn’t revert, the fasting simply stopped making me lose weight. There was some minor cheating, but not much. I’m going to keep working on fasting, it’s the least painful method I’ve ever used.

Don’t buy alcohol

I drink more than I’m happy with. I don’t feel like I have an “alcohol problem” I feel like I have a “I’m spending too much money on something that makes me fat” problem. My preferred type of drink tends to be stuff like Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which isn’t a lot different from pop. It’s pretty low alcohol, high sugar, and probably the most expensive beverage I could consume. So my plan isn’t to quit alcohol, simply stop buying it.  This allows me one or two free drinks at a WordCamp, enjoying a bottle of something someone gifted us, etc, but since both of those things are relatively rare I don’t think they’ll hurt my waistline any, and they can’t hurt my wallet.

Learn Javascript

I remember when Javascript was invented. The most popular thing to do with it was make little messages appear in the status bar at the bottom of the browser.  Then there were the spam pop-ups. And DHTML (Dynamic HTML). DHTML made it so you could make a little image follow your cursor, and make images change when you put your mouse on them, etc. It was generally accepted that it was worthless at best, dangerous at worst. I chose not to waste my time on it.  I learned CSS and PHP instead.

Well, I think it might be sticking around. When I first got into WordPress, custom post types were new, and no-one really knew how to use them.  This put me at the same level as people who had been using WordPress for years, and my strong PHP skills rocketed me to the forefront of WordPress.

These days Gutenberg is the new hotness, and to get really creative with it you have to know not only javascript, but also React. All of a sudden I feel pretty irrelevant as a WordPress developer. I can’t make any of the cool new things that other people are making. I feel like I’m really starting at ground zero here.  All those people I’ve told over the years “if you take some time and learn it, you can make a living as a WordPress developer”. Now it’s time for me to take some time and learn it.

What are your resolutions?

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