“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

New Years Resolutions on Coconut Drive
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We are definitely one of the most over-achiever, Type-A families I know, and a sign of this is what we do every New Year's Eve. We all separate for half an hour or so and contemplate, then write down our goals for the upcoming year, separating them into three different classifications: personal, professional/school, and travel.

Then, before we share those goals with each other, we take out the PREVIOUS YEAR'S goals and read them out loud, verbally grading ourselves on how we did. We all praise each other on the successes and then discuss how and why we missed meeting other goals. If someone missed an exercise-related goal, for example, then the three of us will ponder how that person might have tweaked his/her life to reach success. It's all very constructive and helpful, humbling and energizing.

Over the years, we've gotten smarter at making these lists. In the earlier years we all had 30 or so goals, but our lists are usually now about 15 items... sometimes even shorter. A few years ago I wanted to spend more time nurturing my relationships with friends and family, and it was very important to me, so this was my only goal ... and because of that focus I was able to do a bang-up job being Mr. Kind-and-Social that year.

So... tonight I will be looking at these goals, which I penned last year:

PERSONAL:
-Drink in moderation, which means one cocktail per work night or no more than three on a weekend night, and only one weekend night of drinking.
-Be more attentive to Carol; spoil her as I spoil Haley
-Waste less time online
-Read at least two books per month.
-Call my parents at least once a week
-Help Haley find scholarships and apply for them
-Reconnect with Tommy Herman (old high-school buddy)
-Benchpress max of at least 260
-Canoe at least two Bluway trips.
-Bird-watch at Corkscrew.
-Get Haley to understand Credit Cards and show her statements MONTHLY

PROFESSIONAL:
-Do well enough as guest lecturer at University of South Florida that I get a good reference
-Finish Novel #5

TRAVEL:
-Boise/Oregon trip
-Rainforest in South America
-Burlington for Thanksgiving (my hometown)
-Some sort of Everglades immersion
-Day trip to Lover's Key (an island off Fort Myers)
-Portsmouth, NH with Carol
-Midwestern college-hunting trip

I must say: At first glance, this might be one of my worst years in history. I usually attain 40-60 of them. This year? Well ... I'll tell you later.
Ugh.