I’ve said before that “New Year’s resolutions are bullshit.” Why? Because if you reallllly want to change something in your life, why wait? Make the change.

As an example, I made a resolution to myself last fall as I realized I am sorely missing physical action/adventure/adrenaline (the 3 A’s) from my life. So I’ve committed to taking time to go surfing/snowboarding/get out of NYC when I can and I’m happy to say I’m already better for it.

And as a further example, I’ve already got a list of bigger goals on my blog that I’m shooting for, so it’s not about setting goals for myself… 

But I DO love a good challenge (like the week I went pescatarian versus Lauren) and I also love to experiment with my life. So… this is not a post of my New Year’s resolution, rather, it’s a calendar for my New Year’s Experiments.

I feel pretty good about this list at the moment, but I’m still coming up with some good ones (like “no swearing” which I thought of last night), so the order/approach is subject to change and note that October is still up for Reader’s Choice! Write your ideas in the comments. Further, I’ll make a point to list out the details of each month’s experiment on the first day of the month and then, of course, I’ll post the results.

Disclaimer #1: I know not all of these things will stick (a Portuguese, chef’s-son vegetarian? are you kidding?!), and I realize it’s sort of hypocritical to say “if you want to change, do it now,” but the point isn’t that I want to change drastically. Overall, I lead a happy, healthy lifestyle… the point is to ruffle my own feathers and challenge the way I do things. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some overlap of these challenges as experiments become habits. Further, I’m already thinking I’ll get a jump on “swear-free September,” too bad I already swore in the first sentence… d'oh! 

Disclaimer #2: I should clarify. My issue with resolutions is mostly around people’s BS “New Year’s” resolutions. As my sister points out, “if tackled earnestly, resolutions DO work.” True dat.

On to ‘012… 


Wake up @ same time everyday. I don’t have an issue with sleeping too late. I hate sleeping too much. I have an issue with not going to bed. So the goal is to wake up by 7AM everyday. I can wake up earlier if I want (especially if I get to bed earlier), but the hope is to avoid the late, late nights.

Blog daily. I’m a sporadic blogger, despite how much I enjoy it, so this is a commitment to be more consistent. 


No inbound meetings. I admit, this one is a little selfish, but I need the time to focus. I get asked for advice/help/catch-up meetings a lot and while I actually enjoy them (I love people and I want to help everyone), they can be a real time-suck. So if you ask for a meeting in February, just realize when I say “no,” it’s not you, it’s me. :)


Meditation. I’ve toyed around with meditation for a couple years. I honestly don’t know if this one will stick and/or have a huge impact, but March is lined up to be a crazy month (SxSW in TX, DEF in Italy…) so this may help me catch my breath.


Go Vegetarian. Another one I’ve toyed with for a while. In college, I remember when PETA came to campus, I nearly went veggie cold-turkey. Again, it’s doubtful this will stick forever, but I’ve always wanted to try it and see if it really makes a difference. Plus, I’ll probably need it after all the BBQ and Italian food of March.


Go dry. I don’t actually drink that much, but I like the idea of recalibrating my hardware like this. I also don’t think this will be that challenging - after all, I couldn’t drink my entire freshman year of college - but it will be interesting to see the results back to back with being a veggie.


Write a letter a day. I really love a good hand-written letter and I owe letters to a ton of people, so in June, I want to write a handwritten letter to someone each day. Simple as that.


Strict email routine. I LOVE email, but I can’t stand how much time it sucks up and in the summer, more email means less ocean time, so I’m going to adopt a strict email routine where I’ll answer email in the AM and again in the afternoon and maybe once more in the evening.

**Bonus challenge: Swimming daily. As a kid, I used to make it a point to jump into a body of water (ocean, pool, other) everyday throughout the summer. It’s harder to do that as I spend less time home on Cape Cod each summer, but I may throw this one in as well.


High Mileage. I love training hard in the summertime. Long runs and bike rides are just awesome in the summer sun. I still need to do the math on this one, but I’m thinking I’ll set a goal of 500 miles biked/ran (400 biked, 100 ran) for the month. 


Swear-free September. Let’s face it… I sometimes swear like a sailor. I can usually turn it off when I want to, but why not just shut it down completely for a while? I know I won’t be curse-free forever, but it will make future F-bombs all that more impactful. Will likely keep a 'swear-jar’ to keep me honest on this one. 


Reader’s choice. I was going to say “cook dinner 3/week” but I’m not in love with it yet, so I’ll open this up to suggestions from my friends. Reply in the comments with ideas.


Read an hour a day. This is a habit I would love to see stick, as my list of books to read keeps piling up. Blogs won’t count. Needs to be longer form content, though digital is accepted. 


Draw daily. I took lots of art classes in school but I always “sucked at drawing.” Now that I’ve grown up a bit, I realize it’s ok to still do something if you suck at it. That being said, actually spending some time to do it will probably help me improve… and it may make for some holiday cards for everyone. ;)