Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ten Resolutions for 2009

Seems like the time of the year to do this (though doing what is expected grates on my contrarian personality.) Nevertheless, I've been thinking of some resolutions I'd like to make -- again, noting my own sui generis objection that "I don't do New Years' resolutions." Not exactly sure how these differ from "goals", but for purposes of this post "goals" and "resolutions" are henceforth interchangeable, OK? OK.
That said, there are some things that need blogging about. Here's my "off the top" (not in order of importance - just as they occur to me) list:
  • Resolution No. 1 -- Professional: Establish a bankruptcy and consumer law website and/or blog. I want to make something that will get my practice noticed by more and more people -- especially in light of what I predict will be a tidal wave of personal bankruptcies along about the 3Q of 2009. If the economy crashes even half as bad a some are predicting (Dreher, etc.) it's going to be tough out there and a bunch of families will be hurting.
  • Resolution No. 2 -- Professional: Finish reading and fully implement David Allen's Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity.  The "big idea" of GTD (as its proponents call it) is systematically off-loading the stress that comes from not being sure that you've handled everything that needs to be handled. If Allen did a "Don't-Bee"* example for his books, he'd have to get a picture of my pathetic office -- with nearly every square foot stacked with stacks (of papers, files, etc.) It's truly awful. Go here for Shelfari's review: Getting Things Done
  • Resolution No. 3 -- Financial: Implement and stick to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University principles, including cranking through his "Baby Steps to Financial Peace". Another area of my life where I need to suck it up and "do as I say -- not as I've been done."  I regularly recommend Ramsey's stuff to my bankruptcy clients, but tend to get too busy and overloaded and let my own affairs slide. This is the year: no more aimless, non-budgeted frittering away of our income. We're going to have a monthly budget and spend every dollar "on paper, on purpose" according to the Ramsey plan. Dave Ramsey's baby steps: Click here
  • Resolution No. 4 -- Physical:  Re-start my running plan and keep it going every single day.  As recently as a month ago I was running on the treadmill at the YMCA nearly every single night. Then one night I got busy with work (see Resolution No. 2 above)... and you know the rest of that sad story. Well, that does it -- I'm going to make a goal of running another 15k run in 2009 and preparing for a possible half-marathon in November.  I did the former in 2002, and have always wanted to do that latter. I'm doing it again. 
  • Resolution No. 5 -- Physical: Get back on Atkins to control and eliminate my blood sugar problem.  Diagnosed as a Type II diabetic in 2006, I pretty much ignored it all until I had a scary run-in with a diabetic spike in late October / early November of this year. Since then I've been tracking my blood sugar levels on a more regular basis and avoiding most carbs. I resolve to quit screwing around with my health and get serious about living to see my grandchildren.
  • Resolution No. 6 -- Family: Stop losing my temper at my family -- reduce the chaos and replace it with peace in the home. Those who have raised teenagers can no doubt relate, but I've found it 'ow you say ... just a bit stressful. I strongly believe, however, that chaos is demonic and that our Father in heaven, as the author and source of true peace ("My peace I give to you...").
  • Resolution No. 7 -- Family: Make bedtime reading non-negotiable. It seems to me that I read much, much more to my older two sons at bedtime, than I do now with Cam and Maddie. It's not like we never read -- just not regularly enough to suit me. (Plus our chocolate lab Abby really seems to enjoy it as well -- she always comes in and plops down on Cam's bed while I read.)
  • Resolution No. 8 -- Financial: Get my student loans and taxes straighted out. What can I say? Law school, self-employment, an abortive attempt at a business or two and pretty soon you've got a major mess on your hands. I resolve to address these two major financial headaches, make a plan and bring some order to this chaos.
  • Resolution No. 9 -- Family: Re-establish "Date Night" once a week. Even if it's only a couple of hours for iced tea at McAlisters. My wife and I need time to reconnect, regroup and heal each other's wounds. We had a nice streak going last summer, but it fell away with the rush of the kids' school schedules and the increased activities that come with.
  • Resolution No. 10 -- Personal: Make time every week to read more. A voracious reader all my life ('til law school, anyway), I now find it difficult to sit down and set aside even a half-hour to spend reading, as opposed to skimming
More later.... Comments?
*Romper Room reference, anyone?

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