boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.



I might as well put these down in writing.

Though I don't usually bother with New Year's resolutions, I've been pondering 5 specific things that I want to accomplish/work toward this year. Here they are with brief explanations.

1.) Develop a regular weekly exercise schedule. -- I am by far at my heaviest weight ever. A few years ago, when I reached my previous heaviest weight ever (about 210 lbs.), I started a job at UPS. Let me tell you, the UPS diet is one of the most efficient weight-loss programs around. The program consists of a) working at UPS, and b) eating whatever you want. I was down about 20 lbs. within a month, and when I quit about a year and a half later I think I weighed about 165. That was a little over 2 years ago, and I've gained it all back (and a fair measure more).

Wanting to lose the weight isn't all (or even mostly) about the vanity of not liking my similarity to a hairy version of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (sans sailor outfit). I guess you could say it's about health, but mostly it's the fact that I just feel uncomfortable all the time. My body was not made to be this heavy, and it's been sending me that message for some time.

I imagine that while the weather stays cold, and then shortly after will turn frequently rainy, I'll mostly utilize the treadmill that's sat dormant in our dining room (yes, dining room) for exercising. But I've also considered checking into an indoor tennis league (I used to play frequently in high school and college). Then, this summer, I definitely want to take up golf and disc golf again after a few years of only playing a couple of times each year.

As far as weight goes, my goal will be to average losing 3 lbs. per month. That would put me below 200, which still wouldn't be my final target weight, but it would be a significant benchmark.

2.) Blog regularly. -- I know; I know; this is the lamest, most overused blogger resolution known to blogdom. But I really do want and intend to do so. The main reason is, I've always enjoyed doing it. So, expect more to come. At least I'm off to a good start.

3.) Read more. -- I know; I know; this is the second lamest, second most overused blogger resolution known to blogdom. But I really do want and intend to do so. The main reason is, I've always enjoyed doing it. The second reason is, as a bookstore owner, I do feel some responsibility to have a sense of what it is that I'm selling.

My goal is to read 20 books, not quite 2 per month. That seems kind of puny, compared to some people I know who are intending to plow through 40 or 50+ books. But I can't even conceive of reading more than 20 books with my hectic life, full schedule, and slow reading pace (even though those same people I know have lives and schedules at least [and probably more] full and hectic). Thus, I'll be satisfied if I can reach the nice round number of 20. Oh, and I do intend these to be books I've never read before.

One thing I've always had trouble with is skimming books. But one extra-credit goal connected to this resolution would be to skim an additional 10 books throughout the year. By skimming, I mean something more than looking only at each chapter title and section heading, but something less than making sure I understand each sentence before moving on to the next. This would give me familiarity with at least 30 more books by year-end than I have now.

4.) Watch less t.v. -- Really, this means that my t.v. watching will be more structured and intentional. Over the years, Suzanne and I have grown to be t.v. addicts. We watch so much that I'm pretty sure most of the time we don't realize how much time we really spend doing so. (And I'm quite sure I spend more time doing so than Suzanne.)

One of the main benefits of fulfilling this resolution, of course, will be that it would enable me to even have a chance at fulfilling the others. I'm quite certain that time spent in front of the television has been my main pitfall over the past couple of years to having more success in the activities of at least resolutions #1 and #3, and probably #2 as well.

This resolution seems like the most difficult, because it seems like the one in which I'm giving up something I like, rather than committing to something I enjoy. But really, I spend a lot of time flipping through channels, waiting for the top or bottom of the hour until a new set of shows turns over. So, how much time am I actually watching t.v.? Much less time than I'm sitting in front of it, that's for sure.

5.) Commit to daily time in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and biblical meditation. -- I'd say that I probably pray every day (well, not every day, but pretty much every day), but it's not always disciplined, concerted prayer. I cannot say I read and meditate on the Bible every day (probably at least weekly, not counting the Lord's day Bible readings and sermon).

Whatever the case, I've come to the realization over the last couple months, and especially weeks, that my spiritual reserve is very low. I have the feeling that over the last couple of years I've been living off the interest of several preceding years of hard work and large capital gains. But the account is getting depleted. I need fresh insight, clear instruction, and new challenge. Mostly, I need to encounter Jesus and receive what He promises: rest in His care; power to follow His lead.

Okay...well, that's the gist of things. That went on longer than I expected (when doesn't it?), but as I said, at least they're down in writing now.


Craig said...

A really good start on your blogging more resolution, Nick. I'm glad you feel your want to write more, as I for one think you have a lot of thoughts worth reading. I like the redesigned blog, too. Something as simple as format change can help.

You're going to have to help me with the skimming of books attempt. As an author, that goes against everything I stand for, but then again, I wonder how many more books I could at least stick my nose in if I learned how to do this.

Your financial analogy at the end of your post was insightful. I need to think more about that. The UPS diet sounds good, too, but I've already got a part-time job.

Press on, friend.

nickg said...

Thanks for the first comment of my blog re-launch, Craig.

I'm not sure how the skimming thing is going to work for me either. As I said, I've never been good at it. Yet I remember in one of my early weeks of seminary, Dr. Doriani told our class that one of the best pieces of advice he could give to us to help us succeed was that we should learn to skim books and do so judiciously. By that, he meant we shouldn't merely skim every book, but that it would be appropriate and even advisable for us to do so once in a while, given the amount of reading we would be expected to do over the following years. And he's an author too.

Maybe you could simulate the UPS diet at your part-time job if it could be arranged for you to move around heavy boxes, continuously, for several hours at a time. Talk to your boss about it.

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."