My life and schedule is…

My life and schedule is generally very flexible, which I really value � it�s one of the best things about having an academic job (and a partner with an academic job). But I�ve been finding in the last few years that too much flexibility can be a bad thing � if left entirely to itself, my brain will choose to spend way too much of its flexible time on internet goofing off and/or tv, which just makes me feel sad and frustrated in the long run.

It�s almost as if my body and brain were not evolutionarily designed to handle the addictive nature of the internet! So for 2014, most of these resolutions are about trying to build in a little more structure to my life, and regular habits which will make me happier on a daily basis, as well as in the long run.

10 New Year�s Resolutions

1. Swim three times / week. (If budget allows, take swimming lessons, so I learn to swim properly, instead of only on my back.) While swimming, take advantage of time to think about novel or other writing projects. Relax in whirlpool and sauna for at least ten minutes along with swimming; it�s good for my tense muscles.

2. Exercise at least twenty minutes daily; if not swimming, there�s the treadmill and weights in the basement. When the weather improves, walk outside as much as possible. Maybe work up to actually running a bit. Start listening to Zombies, Run! again. :-) Long shower after exercise is another great time to think about novel.

3. Continue to eat healthy food, and reasonable portions thereof. Primarily lean protein, vegetables, fruit, even if that takes a bit more work. Cut up fruit for the family, ideally daily. Learn how to make more delicious dishes with dried beans and chickpeas.

4. By 9 a.m. on weekdays, stop internet goofing off and start work. Use the program Self Control if necessary to block Facebook / Pinterest / Hulu / etc. A break or two for internet goofing off during the day is allowed, but not too much. Around lunchtime is best.

5. Start each workday with an e-mail pass; the goal is to not get up to last spring�s height of e-mail dysfunction again (when thinking about my e-mail made me want to cry, and I was almost pathological in my avoidance of it). Use The Email Game as needed to help process e-mail (SO helpful, especially the Boomerang function), with the goal of trying to keep the Inbox clear.

6. To-do tasks should be moved to the actual to-do list, and scheduled. If the to-do list is getting too long, reschedule and/or delete tasks. Remind yourself that time is finite, and you physically CANNOT do everything you would like to do. Really.

7. After 5 p.m. on weekdays, and on the weekends, try not to do work. This is resting / relaxing / family time. Walk away from the computer. Read print books, which are less addictive, especially after 8 p.m. Knit. Make stuff with your hands. Cook delicious meals.

8. Sleep 8 hours each night.

9. Allow time for thinking deeply. This is the biggest lack in the last several years � too much frantic running, not enough deep thought. The writing has suffered, the peace of mind as well. Try to figure out places / activities that facilitate thinking. Don�t always turn on the tv as a distraction; it�s fine for entertainment some of the time, but there has been too much of it the last year or two.

10. Enjoy my friends and family. The children are only small for a little longer; enjoy it. Biweekly date nights with Kevin will make us both happier, especially if they sometimes involve board games. Continue to host monthly gatherings with friends (although more of them may be potluck in 2014, to accommodate budget). �True wealth is biological� � almost everything worthwhile in life comes from the people around us. Remember that.

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