Every January 1 for the past six or so years, I have laid out a set of goals for the coming year, establishing standards that I can reach, but goals that will stretch me or remind me of who I want to be.
There have been years when I accomplished everything I published on Jan. 1 and years when I didn’t come close, but they are always there as a reminder that I need to work. Improvement in ourselves is not free and it is not accomplished without conscious effort.
So, here goes:
- Contribute to the effort of making my country a kinder, safer, better place to live. That means helping to take care of the less fortunate, the immigrants who are running from violent countries, resisting the culture of guns, opposing those who support Trump without denigrating them as people, supporting environmental cleanup and sustainability efforts. I want to continue to strongly oppose war and the militarization of our country, which often results in supporting keeping the very rich and overly powerful comfortable. I want to help support giving the poor a place to live, food and medical care–and a job. I want immigrants to feel welcome and safe.
- Lose enough weight during the year to say I’m slimming down and getting healthier. For the past three years, I have kept a daily diary of my weight, but it has varied little except when I was sick (I lost 20 pounds twice and promptly regained it when I felt better).
- Keep exercising, but intensify it. I have a tendency to get lazy during the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter.
- Eat the right foods in the right amounts. Careless eating is unhealthy eating and I get lazy (hence my weight problem).
- Be the best father and grandfather I can be. Continue to teach and learn from my kids and grands.
- Continue to work with young (and even old) journalists when I have the opportunity. The delivery of news and the perception of my profession are changing dramatically, rarely for the good, because of efforts to crush the truth by those who are afraid of it. We must resist that daily.
- Continue to work with my community to make it a better place to live.
- Develop a full outline and begin again writing my second novel, NEWS! This book contains the best opening chapter I’ve ever written and all kinds of good possibilities as an interesting read.
- Independently pursue stories that interest me and make the community a better place.
- Be frugal and resourceful and make certain that some of my small income goes to helping other people on a regular basis.
- Be as humble and as graceful as possible.