Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Resolutions for the Internet, Things to Look Forward to in 2015, and more...

It took me a little while to come up with my resolutions this year.  It was a little odd for me, because I tend to be very goal-driven, gushing with ideas and dreams and wild aspirations.  I think part of me is still a little disturbed about turning 30, and part of me is disappointed in my ability to accomplish every resolution every year.  I don't like to fail.  But I also don't want to set my sights so low as to be bored if I achieve them all.  So instead of writing resolutions for myself right away, I started by looking at what was coming up in 2015 in entertainment and astrology, and then by coming up with ideas and more achievable suggestions for others.  Here's what I came up with.

Things to Look Forward to in 2015
  • January: Watch the premiers of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder (both Jan 29, 2015), Big Bang Theory (Jan 8), Glee (Jan 9), The 100 (Jan 21)
  • February: The Amazing Race (Feb 25)
  • March: Watch the premier of The Following Season 3 (Mar 2, 2015) and Once Upon a Time (March 1, 2015)
  • April: See Furious 7 (April 3, 2015); Total Lunar Eclipse (April 4)
  • May:  See The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)
  • June: See Jurassic World (June 12, 2015) and Inside Out (June 19, 2015), Watch the premier of Under the Dome Season 3 (date tbd) and Extant Season 2 (date tbd)
  • July: Hike Seven Falls in Tucson
  • August: Perseids Meteor Shower (peaks August 12th)
  • September: Total Lunar Eclipse (Sept 28)
  • November: See The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 (Nov. 20, 2015)

New Year's Resolutions for the Internet
  • Stop using "could of", "should of", and "would of"; what you are trying to say is a contraction of "have", so it should be "could've", etc.  Or better yet, just write the whole damn thing out.  If you don't think this is important, just read what urban dictionary has to say.
  • Appreciate the actual message in Frozen, not the strange morals that could be derived from the overplayed song "Let It Go," in which Elsa decides to rebel against humanity and do whatever the heck she wants.
  • Report more positive news.  2014 was a remarkable year, but you probably wouldn't know it based on the headlines surrounding Ebola, the disappearance of flight 370, the Sony hacking attributed to North Korea and the violent racism-fueled events in Ferguson and around the country.  Let's report on advancements in space travel (SpaceX completed 6 missions this year), clean tech (world’s first solar road opened in the Netherlands in November), improvements in education (high school graduate rates are at their all-time high), trends in healthier food at restaurants, and creativity leading to awesome new companies and whole new industries (ever heard of Uber?).  
  • Use Pinterest more effectively.  It is not just for recipes and DIY crafts!  Read more in my blog post here.
  • Kill anything like "firstable" and "secondable."  Immediately.  I mean, really, this shouldn't even be a resolution for 2015, this should just be over now.
  • Watch more TED Talks and less videos about animals, people hurting themselves and kids freaking out about silly things.  It's not that those things are cute and/or hilarious, it's just that we could all spend more time on topics that would allow us to grow and learn.  
  • Support more Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, local businesses and startups.  Just browse these websites and you're sure to find some amazing things people are doing, locally and all around the country (and/or world).  No need to wait for things to go viral or become top funded projects, you can put a small chunk of change and a little social media sharing towards something that can be great!
  • Forget the idea of 3D printing food.  Shaped sugar is not the best application of 3D printing, and there is so much more to do with this phenomenal technology.  Let's focus on more practical applications, and allow the culinary arts to blend and create in all the other ways that don't require a CAD drawing, a nozzle and squishy material to shove through it.
  • Create, post about, and eat the most super-duper creative and nerdy pies possible on March 14th.  Why?  Because this is the most accurate Pi Day date of our lifetimes: 3.14.15, and I think that's worth celebrating.

Achievable New Year's Resolutions
  • Read a book.  Or ten.  Audio books count, listen while you commute!
  • Take a hike.  Literally!  Choose a rewarding, challenging hike you can tackle this year, train a little for it, get a hiking buddy, do it, and take lots of pictures to share your accomplishment.  If there is no great hiking in your area, pick another challenging physical activity, like running a 5K.  
  • Take a college course on a topic that interests you.  There are free online courses on coursera.org, edx.org and similar sites.
  • Go to a museum.  For my local friends, I would highly recommend the Musical Instrument Museum.  
  • Take a dance class or dance lessons.  Might I recommend swing dance lessons with Dabney and Karen?
  • Learn to program.  There are literally dozens of resources to help you get started!
  • Spend a week without Facebook -or- Spend a weekend without Smartphones & internet
  • Re-read a book you read in school but didn't quite grasp or were supposed to read but read the Cliff Notes instead

Finally, I extended some of the ideas and themes from my recommendations into things that I would like to achieve.  I typically have a theme for each year (past years have focused on dance, design, inspiration, etc).  I think one thing I've struggled with a lot this past year is that I feel I have given a lot and done a lot for other people, and have not commanded reciprocity, leaving me feeling a little empty.  So I am dedicating 2015 to doing things for me.  It sounds a little selfish writing it, especially because I have a pretty damn good life already, but it's still something I feel I need to concentrate on, because giving comes naturally and I don't take as much as I probably should.  So, with that said, here are my resolutions for a year of doing things for me.  I also kept thinking that I should break down my resolutions into smaller timeframes, because a year is a really long time and time can slip by without realizing it.  So I've also created a rough schedule that will help me achieve my resolutions.  

My New Year's Resolutions for 2015 
  • Shoot to check off four Life List items 
  • Hike Seven Falls in Tucson 
  • Go on a date to one of the events at Desert Botanical Gardens 
  • Expand my vocabulary.  Learn new words and use them in my blog. 
  • Learn to cook a new dish - using a crock pot, oven or stove
  • Take a lesson in blues dancing 
  • Make a gingerbread house 
  • Host a game night or dinner
2015 Tentative Plan
  • January
    • Use a word-a-day app & journal about words I like
    • Host a dinner

  • February
    • Take a lesson in blues dancing
    • Try cooking a new dish (using a crock pot)

  • March
    • Go on a date at DBG
    • Publish a book (on life list)

  • April
    • Go white water rafting (on life list)

  • May
    • Host a game night
    • Ride a tandem bicycle (on lift list)

  • June
    • Hike Seven Falls in Tucson

  • July
    • Go to Taste of Chicago (on life list)

  • August
    • Tour Hershey Chocolate Factory (on life list)
    • Try pole-vaulting

  • September
    • Go to a wine festival and crush grapes into wine (on life list)
    • Go blues dancing

  • October
    • Try cooking a new dish (using the stove or oven)

  • November / December
    • Make a gingerbread house

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