That's what he said.

New Year's Resolutions: Learn More, Write More, Shoot More, Live More

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 15:27 -- Doug

I'm not usually one to go all crazy with vain promises to myself about how much better I'll be this year than last just because I’m supposed to. In fact, I usually hate the idea. After all, I eat well, I exercise a ton, and I'm pleased with the improvements I've made this year to my photography. But if I had to name single thing that constantly bothers me, it's the lack of time to pursue the things I love.

Day-to-day obligations suck us in like a black hole from which no light—or life seems able to escape. I know I’m not likely to change the amount of free time I have any time soon, so this year I’m determined to do more with what I’ve got. I’ll write more specific, measurable goals soon, but I think this captures the essence of what I’m after:

Learn More
I’m going to put a lot of emphasis this year on improving my technical and post-production photographic skills. I don’t want this to be so much a destination as a lifestyle.

Write More
I love to write, and yet I’ve pretty much let this blog die on the vine. This year, I’ll shoot for one post live on 80% of this year’s Fridays.

Shoot More
I want to improve the quality and quantity of work in my portfolio. There are 52 weekends in a year. I think I can produce something I’m proud of on at least one third of those weekends.

Live More
Life often seems to be something that only happens to us on the evenings and weekends. That said, the intent of these goals is to increase the quality and enjoyment of the time I’ve got. If any of these goals become joyless chores, I’ll find something more suitable to replace them—but not until I can honestly say I’ve worked through enough of the “don’t-want-to” days to know I’m not just being impulsive.

For example, when it comes to daily exercise, I’ve noticed that I don’t always feel like it. Sometimes it seems I’d rather do just about anything else. The turning point for me was when I learned to just do it anyway. I soon learned that I almost always felt better a few minutes in, I never regret it afterwards and it’s clear that my life is better for it. Now I’ve gotten to the point where my resolve is almost stronger on those days than the ones when I’m naturally motivated.

Finally, where it’s possible, I intend to reduce idle time, pointless and unproductive distractions (I’m talking to you, Facebook!), waiting for things to do and waiting on others to make things happen. I’ll look for ways to stop creating unfulfilling and unnecessary work for myself, and find ways to streamline to make that possible.

And that’s it. Think I can do it? Here’s hoping—wish me luck!