December 5, 2023

New Year’s 2018 greeted the United States with a deep freeze, colder weather than we’ve seen in these parts in half a decade. For me, that meant an evening indoors with some frozen yogurt, cookies and a splash of cider. We watched Mariah Carey beg for hot tea in Times Square, where it felt like -7 degrees, without a thought of stepping outside for any reason in 13-degree Oklahoma City.

A quiet evening inside also afforded me a few minutes to consider resolutions for the new year.

Resolution No. 1: Plan some travel.

Kristi and I worked out a trip to Los Angeles this summer to catch both a Dodgers home game and the UCLA home opener under Chip Kelly at the Rose Bowl, the first football game at the historic venue after my beloved Oklahoma Sooners fell to Georgia in the College Football Playoff. The year in travel also includes a midsummer’s jaunt to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and a pre-summer weekend trip back to the Virginia countryside to attend a wedding. We even worked through a handful of nearby sporting adventures, including a weekend getaway to Beaver’s Bend in southeastern Oklahoma and a weekend road trip to Wichita to catch a Wichita State Shockers home basketball game.

I love doing stranger-in-a-strange-land sports trips, and I’ve always liked the Shockers.

Resolution No. 1 is in the books.

Resolution No. 2 is to drink more tea. I was thumbing through one of my “Cooking Light” magazines that I got last year as part of a ‘Mags for Miles’ promotion (meaning they didn’t cost me a dime), and I saw a couple of ads for tea that looked tasty. I thought, “Yeah, I should have more of that.” Green, black, orange pekoe. Doesn’t matter. One a day.

I didn’t have one today, but I had one yesterday. It’s all about progress, right?

There’s no reason this one is No. 2, by the way. It doesn’t hold any magical weight over Nos. 3, 4 or any other. I suppose No. 2 should have been to eat more roughage, if I were wanting to be cheeky.

Resolution No. 3 is to get back into yoga. Actually, this resolution is more about working in different types of exercise into my routine. That could be a spin class or Pilates, but ideally I’d like it to include at least twice-a-month yoga. I’ve always felt great after a yoga session.

Resolution No. 4 is related to No. 3: become a morning workout person. This one is a challenge for me because I don’t get up easily. I have to wake up and then get conscious, and it takes 10-15 minutes for me to muster the will to move. Hell, who am I kidding? This one is never going to happen, but the benefits of working out in the morning are well documented. It provides motivation for the day in that you’ve achieved something early, and it fires up your metabolism, provided you follow that workout with a healthful breakfast. Plus, you can control the beginning of your day more than you can the end of it, meaning there will be fewer days missed due to the unforeseen. It’s about self-discipline as much as anything else.


Pass the donuts and pour me some coffee.

Resolution No. 5 is to use my slow cookers more. I have three Crock Pots, and I barely touch them. I’ve always been paranoid about leaving appliances on while I’m away from the house, which is ridiculous because you’re supposed to do that will slow cookers. It requires a little bit of planning, but I’d be happy with 2-3 slow-cooker meals per month. I’ve already done well with this one, as I just finished a bowl of pot roast that I made all by myself.


The Crock Pot didn’t burn my house down either.

Resolution No. 6 is the continuation of a routine Kristi and I started at bars and restaurants in 2017, and that’s to never order the same things twice. If you’re like me at all, you order the same things at the same places all the time, over and over. However, it doesn’t allow for nice surprises, such as when we went to Roy’s in Phoenix last year, and I had my first drink with cucumber vodka.


It was a taste-bud revelation!

Resolution No. 7 is more learning. I’ve pondered finishing a Master’s. I’ve pondered delving into home-device development skills. And I’m learning on a daily basis in the world of digital content and social media, which change constantly. From a tactical perspective, that means more reading, more consumption and lots more creation to see what works and what doesn’t. Creating something from nothing is the joy of my vocational and avocational existence — and for what I do and the world I live in, there has never been a better time to be alive.

And last but not least, Resolution No. 8 is to chase imbalance. I read an article the other day in the New York Times about how perhaps what we need is a little less balance, that some of us need to be better equipped with keen self-awareness.

I happen to like motion, the pursuit, the grind, the chase, the process and the evolution. I don’t enjoy rest although I respect my body and mind when they need it.

I’ve never really needed or wanted balance.


Connecting enhances the experience, so if you’re reading this and want to connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Snapchat (soonerryan2000), I’d love it if you did so!

Hope your New Year is fantastic, filled with health and prosperity.

Featured image courtesy of Roudoudou Hirons on Flickr

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