#330 - Christmas 2017, Resolutions for 2018

5 minute read

Motto: 2017 is 99% complete & I'm 100% ready for 2018 to start.

Christmas has come and gone. Gifts were given. I gave Melissa a back & neck massage thing from Costco that we nicknamed Jerry. I do recommend getting yourself a Jerry. It was a hit. Melissa got me ARMS for the Nintendo Switch, which is surprisingly fun!

Melissa and I are the best gift-givers. 

Also the best gift-receivers. Go ahead and test us. Buy us stuff!

Anyway - my dad continued his new tradition of having the kids do a scavenger hunt to find their presents. The grandkids had to follow a trail of drawings on sticky notes. Each one stuck to the thing that the previous one was a drawing of. 

Maclee figured out the location of the next clue
The big kids had to solve a Breakout-Room-like set of puzzles to tell them where their next clues were. We got through all the hard stuff in relatively short order, then got stuck looking for something bigger than a baseball, but smaller than a football, within 6 feet of the base of the Christmas tree. Turned out it was through the floor, through a wall, in a coffee can labeled "Used bulbs". 

A container labeled "Used bulbs" made total sense to me. I just thought dad was really good at 5S. My dad is the best.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I to get to the families' presents, Melissa and I put our heads together and made them this Break-in box:

...which, naturally, contained escape room tickets.

Brief aside about this sentence I'm writing right now!

My favorite form of segue is the kind where you just yell the name of the next thing you're going to talk about.

2017 Resolutions!

In 2017, my New Year's Resolutions fell under three categories:

1. Control
2. Comfort
3. Captain America

Under those categories I broke down 9 individual goals. These were written on a sticky note that's been on my vehicles dashboard ever since then.

For the most part, I kinda sucked.

Control - intentionally more of it
Control faltered in and out just as much as it normally does. The goal was present, but the effort was not. Those times where I DID feel "in control", I felt fantastic. I guess I should give myself some credit that for me "out of control" just means "didn't consciously use my time for productive means" - and not something like "got blackout drunk and stole something". My life has never been that far out of my control.

Comfort - intentionally less of it
Comfort won out over Control. Because I failed to control my use of energy and time, I didn't get out of my comfort zone all that much. I DID try going to some new places. I DID learn how to cook all sorts of new things. I DID make meager progress on the Android development courses I have been taking. I DID NOT do anything that out of the ordinary. I did NOT be much of a Yes Man (although I did re-read that book).

Captain America - be more like him
This goal was in there mostly as a joke to myself. It was just a reminder to try to do the right things. There were some instances in traffic where people did stupid things, and I found myself reacting with the usual minor flare up of road rage - but saw my note about being more like Steve Rogers and I calmed down. So I guess that's a "win".

2018 Resolutions!


Rent seeking behavior, a concept I wasn't even aware of until recently, perfectly describes the philosophy I wanted to write about with this Column. I define "rent seeking" as a type of behavior in which the only desire is to maintain status quo. It's associated with a complete lack of drive to be more or do more. It's you wanting someone to pay your rent, so you can just veg out in your apartment and watch Netflix on your parent's account without being hassled to do anything else.

In business - an example of rent seeking behavior is when companies to tear down your opponent's market share through legal means. Thanks to the repeal of Net Neutrality, cable & telecommunications companies are wide open to engage in rent seeking behavior. Rather than create a video streaming service with a compelling library of content, delightful user experience, and competitive price, they can just strangle Netflix's bandwidth.

So I want my 2018 Resolution to fit somewhere in the theme of no rent seeking behavior... but that doesn't really a good SMART goal make. It's MRT at best. 

Maybe the resolution should be "no zero days". As of right now, that's what I'm going to go with. I'm going to create a list of goals & dreams, and ensure that I'm taking at least one measurable step each day towards at least one of the things on that list, every day... and I'll write down what it was. In a spreadsheet. Cause I'm Aaron and that's what Aaron does.

Top 5: Immediate Additions to the List of Goals and Dreams for My "No Zero Days" Resolution
5. Get more in shape. Reach my "fitness" metric goals. This goes without saying, but I've gone and said it.
4. Get a Master's degree (so I can say I'm more educated than my sister and Nick).
3. Make my garage into a workshop.
2. Writing a "Life Tracker"-style Android App to replace the Google Sheets one.
1. Further develop this list... probably offline. Then make a new sticky note for my car.

"Typical Hal. Didn't crap his pants. Ugh. Typical Hal."
- Chuck -

"Did you see the pipes on Jesus? You can tell Jesus has been working out."

- Chuck, the guy who says the best things -