What 2021 Holds

Thank goodness I write my blog posts in advance, or I may never have been prepared for making new goals for 2021.

In 2020, I added a few streaks, but only two on January 1st. I started my joke writing streak and I increased my running streak to 8 miles a day.

On Saturday, March 14th, I started intermittent fasting for at least 15 hours each day, ok, 14.5 some days… There is some scientific discussion around whether or not intermittent fasting is a beneficial dietary plan. For me it’s more about, “stop eating after dinner, and cookies when you wake up.”

On Monday, March 16th, I increased my 8 miles a day streak to 10 miles a day. This was in response to the COVID lockdowns. I realized I was missing about two miles a day of walking, so why not just get it on the treadmill while doing my run? That’s the sane response…

On Wednesday, May 20th, I started playing the piano for at least 15 minutes every day. I played piano for maybe a year when I was about 10? I can’t remember details, just horrorific flashes of having to show up at this old lady’s house and literally sweating about how little I practiced. It was all my anxieties rolled up into one. However, my mom always encouraged me and since we make our kids do it, I figured, I should step up to the plate.

I use Synthesia and played a little recital of the medium difficulty holiday songs in her honor this year.

On Saturday, June 6th, I started contributing to this blog. I have been staying on schedule and getting a new post out every Tuesday. I managed to make 30 posts in 2020.

What Other Streaks Might I Do?

There are a few streaks that I keep in my notebook as a reminder for things I may occasionally do or would like to do.

Sometimes I feel I just need to go on a diet or get on a better track with my health. I will stop alcohol, sugar, and/or caffeine consumption. I also will track days consuming under 2000 or 2500 calories. I also track days of walking at least 15,000 steps, but thanks to running 10 miles a day that has been a guarantee.

A streak that I haven’t talked about on the blog is a YouTube Channel that I started working on with my friend. Unfortunately, with the pandemic and me not finishing editing videos it didn’t happen in 2020. But, I have a lot of videos to edit and can prep for remote episodes.

A hint as to what the show is about

What are Other People’s Resolutions?

I look to others for inspiration as to what I should be doing.

Statista put up a list of top New Year’s Resolutions for 2019.

  1. Diet or eat healthier
  2. Exercise more
  3. Lose weight
  4. Save more and spend less
  5. Learn a new skill or hobby
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Read more
  8. Find another job
  9. Drink less alcohol
  10. Spend more time with family and friends

A lot of my current streaks are around 1,2,3,6 and 9. I’ve barely ever smoked and is not something that excites me. I also don’t have issues with alcohol. However, #2, exercise more, could be something I look in to. It’s not that I want to run for more than 10 miles a day, it’s that maybe I go back to 7 miles and then add some cross-training in for the other 20-30 minutes. I used to enjoy doing P90X and could stand to improve my upper body some.

Saving more and spending less is a strategy that has gotten me to where I am today. I now need to focus on using my money to make my life easier.

I have a daily reading streak.

I have no intention of finding another job any time soon.

Since spending more time with family and friends is the reason I retired, that leaves us with finding a new hobby or skill…

What Hobbies/Skills Could I Learn?

Here are the hobbies that I do daily.

  • I write in this blog.
  • I work on
  • I write code
  • I play piano
  • I dance
  • I write jokes

The other thing that I mentioned earlier that interests me is video creation and editing.

But lets see what other people like to do… according to this random website

  1. Watching TV Shows and Movies
  2. Reading
  3. Working Out
  4. Arts and Crafts
  5. Board Games
  6. DIY
  7. Yoga
  8. Baking
  9. Gardening
  10. Video Games
  11. Meditation
  12. Audiobooks and Podcasts
  13. Writing
  14. Learning a Language
  15. Learning an Instrument

Nothing mind-blowing here. 1,2,3,11,12,13 and 15 are things I already do and/or have streaks for. That said there are specific movies I want to watch for my Youtube channel.

#4. Arts and crafts are interesting as I do have a passion for drawing faces. I enjoyed doing this in the past as it was something I learned from my Mom. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and when you mess up someone’s face they’re usually not too impressed.

I’ve also thought about seriously working on my handwriting skills. I know there are people that get paid for this lost skill.

#5. My brother is full-on obsessed with board games. Knowing the latest Kickstarters and playing at his local shop. I enjoy playing with him, but I don’t have many friends that would come over and it’s hard to find one the kids play with us. My wife enjoys them too though as she is also very competitive 🙂 So, I don’t have a plan on playing more board games, but I am always open and my son got both Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy for Christmas.

#6. DIY. We bought a house that needs renovating. This is a given, but I can’t guarantee a streak.

#7. Yoga. I enjoy Yoga, I don’t enjoy extended periods of time doing Yoga though. I always feel like I should be doing something else while I’m doing it. But I guess it’s like meditation where the point is to stop having your brain racing about other things and focus on the activity you’re doing.

#8. Baking. I like to bake. I make cookies and pancakes and waffles. But I also like frozen food and eating out.

#9. Gardening. Hard Pass. I don’t get it. Not for me.

#10. Video Games. Now we’re talking. Video Games used to be my life. I didn’t have friends, but I had Madden and Resident Evil. I love them and would like to make time to play ones I’ve missed. I own a PS5 and XBOX Series X. I don’t know if this fits into a streak. But maybe playing at least a little bit of video games everyday would be ok. I’d love to spend some time researching top games of all time and playing through them.

#14. Learning a Language. I spent three years in high school learning Spanish. It was not made clear to me that if I did four years I could test out of it in college. I ended up taking another three semesters. I can’t even bring myself to use the little I know. My wife learned some sign language which also interests me, but I always struggle with when am I actually going to use it? I don’t have any travel plans and there’s no one I know that I could have a natural conversation with.

What for 2021 Then?

This year has also really thrown my site for a loop as well. A site dedicated to traveling to different venues during a pandemic isn’t that valuable. I imagine I’ll focus my energy instead on my YouTube channel. I have lots of videos that need editing and a friend I don’t want to let down.

As we’re moving into a new house I also don’t want to put too much on my plate. Video Games will make appearances, but maybe researching games to play and prioritizing them will be of value.

Drawing or handwriting are the other top options for me. I really like simple pencil and paper things and could use my journal to actually practice handwriting techniques.

My main focus is on whether or not I will continue to run 10 miles a day. I wish I was faster and 10 miles only took me an hour as 90+ minutes is a lot of time. When you add in getting dressed and showering and changing it’s two hours a day. I think realistically 20 minutes of running, 20 minutes of cross training and 20 minutes of yoga or stretching is a better goal. But my streak has defined me for so long that it’s hard to change.

You feel like a quitter when you lessen something you’ve been doing for so long. I’ve been running 10 or more miles for almost 300 straight days, 1700 of six or more. But for how long can I go and at what cost to my body? Reducing to 10K/day makes sense, but I’m also afraid of the weight gain.

I treat my running streak like I’m going to let down a nation of followers if I stop, when really even people who know I run a lot don’t realize what I’ve actually accomplished.

On the other side of the coin, what does giving myself back 30 minutes a day actually give me? I’d probably just waste it browsing Reddit or looking for deals on things I don’t need…

You’ll just have to keep reading this year to see what poor decisions I make.

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