The time has come again for me to pick an arbitrary time (the beginning of another cycle of the Gregorian calendar) to resolve to a few items of self-improvement and education.

1. Read 20 Books

I read 12 books last year, largely because I made a goal of completing Stephen King’s Dark Tower cycle. This was major reduction from 2016, but I still feel accomplished (the Dark Tower series comes in around 5000 pages, rough estimate, and I read other books on top of that, including Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time). This year, I intend to increase that number – still less than my total for 2016 – to 20 books. I’m already working on two of them. Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet has been a professional development eye opener, and I am am quickly approaching the end. The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King is an aside to the Dark Tower series, read: not part of the main cycle. I felt the need to close the loop.

Short list of books for this year includes:

  • Astrophysics For People In a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
  • Kingdom Come (Graphic Novel) by Mark Waid, Alex Ross
  • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Golden Son by Pierce Brown
  • Morning Star by Pierce Brown
  • Kill ‘Em And Leave: Searching For the Real James Brown and the American Soul by James McBride
  • Zen In The Art Of Writing by Ray Bradbury
  • Danse Macabre by Stephen King
  • Slade House by David Mitchell
  • The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang
  • The Kid Stays In The Picture by Robert Evans
  • Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • From a Certain Point of View by Ben Acker and other authors

2. Stop Smoking

I would not like to make a big deal out of this one, but it is time. I woke up a couple of nights ago and my chest hurt. Planning to pull the plug on March 1. I did it before, largely cold turkey, and kept off for four years. I should be able to do it again.

3. Stop Drinking Soda

Seriously, just stop. The amount of sugar I am dumping into my body is ridiculous. I’m gonna get diabetes. This one is going on February 1.

4. Complete Some Pressing Home Repairs

There’s a hole in my bedroom wall the size of a television. So, yeah. There’s a list. I’ll play this one close to the chest and just keep track of it myself.

5. Write Something That Isn’t A Work Email Every Day

I’ve been writing for word count, recently, and it’s intimidating. Most days I don’t even do it. So, I’ve decided to remove the structure. I don’t care what I write, or how much. I could write a couple paragraphs for either of my two books I’m working on, a snippet of a story, a journal entry, or a blog post. Word count doesn’t matter. Just write. Every day.

I don’t think these things are too much.

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