Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Evaluating last year’s New Year’s resolutions

On January 1, 2010, I posted a list of resolutions here. How did I do? Let's see.

Resolution: Learn a lot about tax policy, in reasonably fine detail
Progress: Pretty decent. What is “reasonably fine detail”? I certainly have more to learn. But I have learned a great deal about tax policy and fiscal policy generally in the past year.

Resolution: Read more books
Progress: Good! Joining a book club helped. Even outside of the book club, I read a decent amount of novels and nonfiction books this year. This one was a success.

Resolution: Drink less alcohol
Progress: Bad, then good, then bad, then good. Mixed.

Resolution: Get more freelance work
Progress: Poor. This will be a resolution for 2011, again.

Resolution: Make more audio stories
Progress: Poor, and I will have this resolution again in 2011. But the asterisk here is that I had a lot of fun podcasting in 2010, on the Insophisticate and for a couple of months on the Daily Herald Politics Podcast as well. So while I failed to make audio stories, I did enjoy audio broadcasting.

Resolution: Take more and better photographs
Progress: Sort of poor to mixed. I was taking some in the early part of the year, but largely stopped after my (fairly nice) work camera was stolen and all I had to take pictures with was the iphone camera.

Resolution: Use more pretentious French, German and Latin phrases in everyday speech. I already use some, but I believe I could use more.
Progress: Pretty good! Weltschmerz, Weltanschauung, Gotterdammerung, ceteris paribus, l’esprit d’escalier -- I have used them all and more!

Resolution: Lose weight
Progress: This one was going really badly, but just in the last month I’ve seen actual progress in the right direction. I’ve lost nearly 10 pounds since joining Weight Watchers online last month, and I am enjoying it.

Resolution: Wear a tie underneath sweaters
Progress: Done. Piece of cake. Actually my fashion choices lately have swung away from wearing ties underneath sweaters. But it’s still a weapon in my arsenal.

Resolution: Write a novel. (Seriously.)
Progess: Stalled. But after I stopped working on the novel -- which I may still return to! -- I started working on these very short stories that I have been really enjoying writing. Have even submitted some to literary magazines. So while I haven’t written a novel, I have been writing fiction regularly again, which pleases me.

Overall grades: 4 resolutions accomplished (taxes, reading, language, ties). 3 with mixed results (drinking, photographs, weight). 3 failures (freelance, novel, audio stories) -- but 2 of those (novel, audio stories) have asterisks. In my view only 1 (freelance) is an absolute unmitigated failure.

I can live with this.

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