Dylan Smith

A look back at my 2018 resolutions

How I did and how I feel about it.

Goals I accomplished:

Buy a guitar

I played guitar and bass for 10 years but sold off all my gear when I came to the UK. This seemed like an easy one to check off the list. I went out in January and treated myself to a new Telecaster, amp, and some pedals. I always hated Tele headstocks until I woke up one day and loved them.

Eat two vegetarian dinners each week

I didn’t keep track of this. However, we replaced almost all of the meat in our regular home meals with vegetarian substitutes or ditched the meals altogether. I also started ordering vegetarian versions of what I would normally order whenever possible when eating out: veggie pizza instead of meat feast, curry wraps with paneer instead of chicken, mushroom instead of chorizo from the risotto man, etc.

Exercise weekly

I did one better; I got a gym membership for the first time in my life. I lack self-discipline when it comes to fitness so I chose a gym with a great schedule of classes. Now I’ve become a gym-on-my-lunch-break person, either squeezing in a class or hitting the treadmill for 5K.

Walk 2,000 kilometres

This was a passive goal — more of a reminder to stay active. Turns out being a dog owner means you’re going to get your steps in whether you like it or not. I did 2,300+ kilometres this year.

Write 12 articles

Every year I say I’m going to write more and don’t. I’ve always been too precious about it. I got some advice in July that changed the way I look at writing and made it easier for me to hit publish. I’d like to up the ante in 2019 and start to turn my blog into a proper catalogue of thoughts.

Goals I didn’t:

Cycle 3000 kilometres

This goal was largely based on my daily commute. I ended up walking or taking public transport a little more than I had planned, either to bring Louis to the office or avoid bad weather. I still managed to cycle over 2,700 kilometres in 2018.

Go on 3 holidays

Alana and I went on two short but great trips (Copenhagen in the spring and New York in autumn). We were eyeing Greece but she was invited on a summer press trip to Santorini so our plans fell apart. We should have gone anyway.

Read books every day

I didn’t do this. In fact, I decided it’s dumb. Books are great, but reading them shouldn’t feel like a chore. I reckon I’ll read more in 2019 without once guilting myself into it.

What I want to do in 2019:

Travel more. Write more. Walk, cycle, and exercise just as much. Spend less time on my phone. Eat even less meat (or none at all!). Plan and save for my wedding. Maybe record some music.

But more than anything I want to relax, stop feeling like I have to optimise everything, rid myself of the chronic guilt of not being able to keep up with my to-do list, and just enjoy life for a while.

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