December 31, 2015

My resolutions for 2015: the year-end assessment

Today is the last day of 2015, so I suppose it is high time to look back at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and report my successes and failures.

1. Drop below 175 pounds.
That didn’t happen. Though I am always watching my weight — a consequence of having been much heavier in the past and self-conscious — I did not have the willpower to shed the 20 pounds I wanted and should. I’ve hovered in the low- and mid-190s all year, but did drop below 190 for a number of weeks. This is no doubt a goal that I will carry over into 2016.

2. Strengthen my quads, hammies, and glutes.
I am slowly but surely strengthening my upper legs. I began using an attachment to my bench to do leg extensions and leg curls. I do a set of clamshells with a rubber band and added the side-lying hip adduction exercise to my workout routine. I’m getting there. What I need to do, though, is join a gym. Having access to a leg press would be awesome!

3. Get a passport.
I still do not have a passport. I don’t have any reason to get one — but that’s no reason not to get one. Like I said at the beginning of the year, I want to travel abroad at some point and may as well be prepared.

4. Learn to speak German.
Hallo, ich heiße The Quiet Man. Ich lerne Deutsche mit Duolingo. Ich mag Katzen und ich trinke gern Bier. Nein, das ist nicht mein Pferd! Keine Suppe für dich! Needless to say, I am slowly but surely learning German. I try to reach my daily goal on Duolingo every day, but sometimes I miss a day or two. It’s been fun. Interestingly, it has shaken loose my French. (I really should brush it off and expand what I remember, which isn’t much.) I am still working my way through the basics — no past, future, or conditional tenses yet. I’ll get there. There are advantages and disadvantages to using Duolingo, which I need to write about. Bis spater!

5. Take a vacation.
RAGBRAI was not a vacation, which means I did not take a vacation in 2015.

6. Don’t be a “yes” man.
Unfortunately, I did not say “no” enough in 2015. I still have a bad habit of saying “yes” when I should not, when it inconveniences me. I have a bad habit of appeasing and accommodating others because I want them to like me. I fear that if I do not do what people ask me to, they will hate me. That fear continued to dominate me in 2015.

7. Use Facebook.
I logon a couple times a week to see what a few friends have been posting and doing recently, but that’s about it. I suppose that means I used Facebook in 2015. However, I did not post thoughts, pictures, gloat about accomplishments and stuff other people are not doing, comment on the stuff other people are gloating about that I’m not doing, and all the other stuff people seem to do on Facebook. Frankly, I just don’t feel the need to broadcast everything I do to all those I am connected with on Facebook. (I have nothing to broadcast, anyway.) I’m a private, reserved, self-contained person who prefers interacting with people one-on-one. That is not what Facebook is about.

8. Say what needs to be said and don’t sugarcoat it.
I did not do that at all. I chose silence over honesty and the hard truth because, again, I fear people will dislike me. I suppose they would have good reason to if I said some of the things that need to be said, some of the things I want to say. People don’t like hearing the truth — but I wasn’t the one to tell them in 2015. I’m too nice. In fact, I’m so nice that I let people trample my own emotions, compromise my desires and plans, without saying a peep. Why? Because it may hurt them. Ain’t that a bitch?! I let others hurt me because I don’t want to hurt them. Needless to say, that needs to change in 2016.