dental floss

As I said a couple of posts ago, I don’t do the whole New Year’s resolution thing. What I do do — and this is where the whole 365 albums came in — is make a list of things I’d like to accomplish over the coming year and knock ’em down one by one. This is not a static list. In fact, it’s best when it’s continually being added to. Think of it kind of like the jaws of a great white shark; a tooth disappears, another replaces it.

It’s not a list specific to my life; everything on it would be beneficial for all. Also, it’s a collaborative effort. Since the end of December I’ve been asking my friends and other folks what would be some good things to accomplish/do in 2008 to better one’s life. I didn’t include everything that was suggested — editorial privileges on my part — but I think it’s a good place to start.

  1. Backup that computer, yo. This one I’m ready to knock down. I bought a hard drive the other day (after way too long) and I backed up everything that was important to me. If you care about what’s on your computer, back that stuff up. External hard drives are becoming very inexpensive. While doing this, you should also think about backing up your cell phone, PDA or whatever other digital gadget you store information on. Also, think about photocopying your Social Security card, birth certificate and credit cards. I’m not saying the robot wars are going to happen, but when they do (May 12, 2010) you better believe they’ll go after your personal information first.
  2. Learn a new language. This requires discipline and it’s something you need to stick with every day, but if you do the rewards are massive. Being fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lot of Spanish speakers, my choice of language was an obvious one. I’ll be spending a minimum of an hour a day rolling my R’s.
  3. Get a passport. I plan on leaving the country within the next 365 days, so for me this is a no-brainer. Even if I wasn’t, getting one would be suggesting that the possibility was real. I like that. If yours has expired, get it renewed. You can find more information about passports here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/
  4. Do a spring cleaning. Go through your house, apartment, condo, studio, what have you, and decide what function you want each room to serve (if you have more than one) and then get rid of whatever doesn’t serve that function. For example, in my case, I have a metro rack in my kitchen that’s filled with pots and pans, books and old surfer magazines. I want my kitchen to function as a kitchen and so the books and surfer magazines must find a new home. Also, go through your clothing and give away anything that doesn’t fit or that you just don’t wear anymore. Somebody out there would love what you’re not using. In the end, this is all about simplification.
  5. Set aside time to meditate or pray. 5 to 10 minutes a day is the minimum I’m setting for myself. If you’re an atheist, this isn’t about God, and if you aren’t, then, well, it can be. Try focusing on all you have to be thankful for.
  6. Exercise. If you’ve been reading this site you know where I’m at on this subject. If you haven’t been doing anything then anything above that will do. Just do something. Try loosing the remote and get up to change the channels manually. If you have been exercising think about stepping things up a bit.
  7. Check your credit report. Make sure there’s no fraud or mistakes. If you’re a US citizen you are entitled to a free one every year.
  8. Plan a camping trip. It doesn’t have to be more than a weekend, but it’ll be well worth the effort. If you like warm weather and you’re in the Northern Hemisphere then you’ve got plenty of time to plan for a great summer outing. And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and you like warm weather, well, then you better get cracking. Time waits for no one.
  9. Give someone you appreciate a gift just because. Sure, it can be your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or husband, but I’m thinking more along the lines of a friend, coworker, secretary or mailman. You get the picture. Birthdays, Christmas and the major Hallmark holidays don’t count.
  10. Try something new at least once a month. Type of food, music, route to work, experience, etc.. Myself; I’d like to hold a tarantula before the year is out.
  11. Do something creative and artistic. Make a custom card for somebody’s birthday, make a mobile, create a T-shirt design, graffiti a subway train (if it’s your subway train), experiment with oil paints on a 20′ x 20′ canvas.
  12. Seriously evaluate the footprint you’re leaving on this planet. Change your ways, little things do matter. You can start with replacing your old lightbulbs with those that are more energy-efficient. Simple.
  13. Vote. Unless you’re a lobbyist with millions of dollars at your disposal don’t squander what little political power you have. If you’re a US citizen register if you haven’t already done so.
  14. Floss.

And there you have it, our 2008 road map. If you have anything you’d like to add, please leave a comment. Like I said, it’s a list in perpetual motion and I like to keep those shark teeth stacked.

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