A new year wouldn’t be worthy if it didn’t include a reflection on the past and a discussion about the future. In that light, I want to document my desires for this new year. Some call them resolutions, I call them encouraging words. I will review them during the year to measure progress, and make mid-stream adjustments hoping to keep myself on course.

1. Look out for my wife more
My wife is the most wonderful person. I take her for granted and must stop. She is the most giving, tireless person I know, and puts all of the energy into our family – and no time into herself. Treat her more and love her more, not letting her put herself behind all others. Buy her flowers and leave work early to make dinner. Take her out on a real date occasionally. Take her to an adults only movie – or just send her by herself (or with a friend). Have her take the night off. Have her actually be ready to enjoy herself on vacation this summer.

2. Look out for my children more
Spend time with them doing what makes them happy. Go on dates. Play. Go to the movies 1 on 1 so you have a special experience to talk about later. Teach your daughter how a man should treat her. Show your son how to be a man.

3. Look out for me more
I spend little time working on me – my body, my mind, and my spirit. I’ve somewhat lost my personal drive in my job. Exercise and sleep more, eat and drink less. Watch more inspirational movies and less garbage sitcoms. Read two good non-technical books this year.

4. Take a vitamin every day
Easy to do, yes. Keeping myself healthy is the real goal, and I think about these things when I take the vitamins. Eat out less, eat less junk. Take your lunch to work and spend time on improving some aspect of my mind during that time.

5. Spend less time working for “the man” and more time working for myself
I spend many more hours working in my head than actually at the office, but I will check in less mentally, so I can be more productive when I’m actually there. Stop work at 5 and go home. Your family is more important than any job is. Give it a full 8 hours, but not 9 and not 10. Sleep in on vacation and weekends, then give full attention to your family.

6. Exercise more
Knees withstanding, walking several times each week keeps my head clear. It provides room for random thoughts – the title of my blog, afterall. I listen to music when I walk and find that I enjoy the solitude. Walking is free exercise that takes dedication. Every day is a challenge, but every day is a chance for success.

7. Consider leaving the safety and comfort of my current job to find one more challenging and with better pay
Remember what it is like to have a passion for my job. Stop working with slackers. Stop putting up with coworkers that think that they are good at what they do when they are not. Stop putting up with a lack of career path. Figure out how to build your own career path since it will not be built for you. If this means going back into management, so be it.

8. Listen to comfortable music more
Add selections of Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, and others to the walking music. Remember that this is the music that you know, and that you can work while listening to it.

9. Allow new memories to replace old ones
Remember that stuff that happens today is more important than what has happened in the past. Friends of old are not your friends today. Love the memories they bring, but build new memories that blow away the old ones in satisfaction.

10. Talk to my parents, rather than keeping it burning inside
Ignore what your parents do if you can’t talk to them. Tell your mother what it is that bothers you – since you know that she just doesn’t know. She loves you but doesn’t have any idea how her actions make you doubt the love. Tell her that her grandchildren want to see her and know her – but that the time is rapidly slipping away. Fly your father up to see you and your children so they can see him outside of the choking experience his wife brings. Show him your wonderful, loving kids and let your son show him that you are a good father.

11. Play more
Find a hobby that has nothing to do with computers and attack it with a passion. Do something that you love. Do something that defines you. Be the best at that hobby that you can be. Share it with others – be a mentor.

12. Take care of my body
Besides what is said above, go to the doctor and your complete blood work done. You’re over 45, so you need to grow up and take responsibility for your own body. Make sure that you are not a burden on your children later.

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