1. Be at least 40 lbs. lighter by the end of 2012
I started to gain a lot of weight when I entered high school in 2003. I picked up some really bad eating habits around that time and I haven’t done much to break those habits. I’ve also lead a very sedentary lifestyle for quite a while. The only exercise I get these days is walking to and from a school I’m substituting in if it’s not too far. It’s probably going to be tough changing to a healthier lifestyle because after nine years you get kind of comfortable with being overweight.
My impetus for trying to lose weight is the news my mother told me that my cousins in Southern California are now diabetic; one of them is around the same age as I am. My family has a history with diabetes. My great grandmother, grandmother, and several of my aunts have dealt with it. Of course it’s common knowledge that being overweight or obese (I think I’m 10 to 15 lbs. away from being considered obese according to BMI) increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Maybe with my family history as it is I can’t avoid diabetes, but I’d like to try to fight it off for a couple of years.
2. Read at least two books every month
I already wrote about the lack of enthusiasm I had for reading this year in my blog post about my new Amazon Kindle. Instead of making a vague promise to read more books (if I only finish four books in 2012 that would surpass my 2011 count), I’ve decided to set a tangible goal to read at least 24 books this year. Indirectly this goal is a way for me to reduce my video game, television, and internet consumption. As good as those mediums have been to me, I think reading words and creating images in my mind from them is just inherently more engaging.
Also, most professional authors tell aspiring writers that they should read a lot. George R.R. Martin of A Song of Ice and Fire fame wrote on his official website that “the most important thing of any aspiring writer is to read…Every writer has something to teach you for good or for ill.” Of course he also advises people to actually sit down and write, which brings me to my next goal…
3. Write four or more short stories
In college I chose the creative writing option for my bachelor’s degree in English. In the 12 months since I’ve graduated, I haven’t acted much like a creative writer. I have yet to write any stories or poems in my life that wasn’t assigned by a professor. For someone who wants to actually be a professional writer some day, I’m really not doing a good job at being an amateur one. So this year I will set myself down in front of the computer an hour or two a day and type away until I have four completed short stories to show for it. I probably should try to write more, and I intend to, but I’m setting the bar pretty low for this one just in case I enroll back into school full-time.
4. Set aside Sunday for in-house chores
No need for a long explanation or background story for this goal (really, did any of the past three need it?). I just neglected cleaning my room and the house in general a lot this past year. Instead of doing chores around the house whenever I feel like it, I’m going to force myself into doing them once I wake up on Sunday morning/afternoon.