New Year, Same Old Me

It's New Year's Eve, the day we write of our resolve to better ourselves, only to fail to live up to a single notion in the coming months, as is tradition. Perhaps it's the mild weather or all the coffee I drank, but today finds me favorably inclined to such rituals, futile though they may be. One must aspire to aspire.

This year I'm adopting the Lazy Genius motto, be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. The Lazy Genius is a podcast about personal productivity that admonishes us to identify what has to be done (paying bills, dental appointments, renewing your driver's license, etc.), then decide what else matters most to you (your priorities, not those other people have for you). Do what must be done as well as it needs to be done, and then focus as much of your energy as possible on what you care about. You can half-ass everything else without worrying too much about what other people think of that. I've only listened to a couple of episodes, so my synopsis may not be entirely accurate, but that's what I got out of it.

In that vein, rather than drafting the oft-recommended S.M.A.R.T. goals, I'm bracketing broad areas for improvement. I'm doing so because that's more human. I'm prioritizing the following this year in order of importance and subject to change without notice or even a good reason.

Reducing Stress and Dodging Bad Vibes

My main objective for this year is to drastically reduce my stress levels, which is not easy in these trying times, but I'm committed to finding ways to reduce the pressure where I can, even if that means taking a job making half my current salary or moving out of the city, and I may well have to do that. And if every time we speak, you're throwing down angry, anxious, or bummer vibes, I'll mostly talk to someone else instead. I don't have room in me for all the things that bother other people. At this point, I'm unabashedly at cliche levels of "secure your own mask first before helping others."

I may even cut back on coffee. Maybe.

More Art for More Art's Sake

I feel like my creative output declined significantly this year. Looking back, it was a particularly challenging stretch for me, and I should have complained a lot more, but I didn't want to interrupt everyone's unceasing lament and gnashing of teeth. After dealing with all there was for me to deal with in a day, I hadn't much drive or energy left over for art. Instead, I spent my time on the sofa snacking, doomscrolling, watching YouTube, shopping online, and otherwise engaged in venial sins of the sort.

This year, I'm making creativity my bad habit. Art will be what I do when I ought to be doing something else.

If everything works according to plan, that will amount to the launch of a long overdue redesign (and re-platform) of this website, lots of photographs and prints, drawings, paintings, AI-generated Art with a capital-A, and frequent blog posts you won't get around to reading (and that's okay).

Consume Better

Throughout the pandemic, like everyone else, I've been over-consuming; everything. Too much screen time. Too much online shopping. Too much social media. Too much doomscrolling. Too many expensive gadgets. Too much SaaS. Too much caffeine. Too much booze. Too much red meat and cheese. And far too many cashews. Seriously, I've been eating myself sick on cashews these last few days.

I'm certainly not in the passing lane on the road to ruin, but far too much of my consumption has been of low quality and unfulfilling. The plan for next year is to focus on higher-quality experiences over acquisitions and passive distractions. You know what I mean: reading books, listening to music, eating vegetables, and traveling. Nerd stuff.

Anyhow, we'll see how it goes. Happy New Year!

Stupid- Brendon Maclean