Most New Year’s resolutions fail, but I make them anyway. I can’t resist a fresh start. My slate is as blank as ever in 2011: For the first time since 1993, I’m not a student. Life is changing whether I like it or not. With that in mind, I present my New Year’s resolutions.
Learn something new. Until now, school ensured that I was constantly learning new things. I doubt I would have learned Latin or classical political theory without a nudge from my teachers, so I worry that post-grad life will make me lazy about learning. But my Christmas gifts will start me off on the right foot. I’m excited to read “The Digital Journalist’s Handbook,” especially the chapters about Web design and data visualization. And, in the rare event that I get sick of staring at a screen, my Real Simple cookbook will teach me something new. Bonus: Real Simple’s awesome photography and design will keep me thinking about journalism while I’m mixing, measuring and marinating.
Get back into fighting shape. Journalists aren’t exactly known for their healthy habits, and I’ve written before about the struggle to make health a priority. While I resolve to get back into the gym a few days a week, I propose a resolution for all journalists: Stop thinking of your bad health habits as a point of pride. Secretly, we all think our fast-food lunches and all-nighters show that we’re busy and important. But couldn’t it just be poor time management? Go for a run already.
Perk up my portfolio. My online portfolio is woefully out of date, and the hard copy has been sitting in my back seat since October. It’s time to settle in with Photoshop for a few hours and hammer out a real portfolio.
Take more pictures. I promised myself I’d take pictures of the leaves changing on KU’s campus this fall, but I never got around to it. Now the trees are bare and the campus won’t be photogenic until spring. Over the holidays, I took a week-long trip and returned with only 19 pictures. Later, I realized I could have written a fun little post about all the great Dallas restaurants we visited, but I didn’t think to take any photos. No more missed opportunities. 2011 will be the year of the camera. From now on, everything fun in my life will be documented with excruciating detail.
Write more. Specifically, write a blog post once a week. I have a few ideas that could finally give my blog a real topic, and they could even lead to a domain name. Without school, I have time to explore my ideas.
Upgrade my laptop. I got an iPad for graduation, but I can’t sync it to my laptop because my operating system is too old to run the latest version of iTunes. I could just buy the upgrade, but my disc drive is broken. So far, attempts to install the update using flash drive have failed — but I’m determined.