Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thoughts on the New Year

2008 is going to be a tough year to beat.  At the start of the year I began dating my now wife Kaylene.  In May I proposed and this November we were married.  If that was not enough to set 2008 as the "best year of my life" I spent the entire summer away from work, away from responsibility and roamed across the country on my bicycle.  Seeing spectacular sights, having great conversations with both friends and strangers, and spending the entire 3 months outdoors in God's amazing creation.  2008 was truly a great year.  Which was much needed because honestly the last 3-4 years have been pretty crappy. 

 So how do I follow up this year with another good one.  Well there aren't any magic formulas or step by step instructions that will insure a good 2009 (though I'm sure somewhere out there theres probably a book entitled "2009 for dummies") I thought I would post some of my goals for 2009.  I'm not usually one for New Years resolutions, but after reading a couple other blogs on the subject and reading their lists it got me thinking.  So I'm not trying to skip out on Christmas, I just need to get back to blogging so I thought this would be a nice way to ease me back into it.

So here it is, Shawns goals for '09 (and these are in no particular order)

1.)  Bike 1500 miles.  That may sound either like a lot or not too much.  1500 miles/year would be alot for most considering they dont ride at all.  But considering I rode 5000 miles in 3 months it may seem like I'm aiming a little low.  My original goal was 5000/year.  I told Kaylene right after my bike trip that if I do that for 3 years I'm going to get myself a nice racing bike.  But then real life hit and I realized that when you work 9-10 hours a day you dont really have that much time for biking.  And when its a 20 mile commute to work its kinda hard to ride to and from work.  So my goal is 1500.

2.)  Read 20 books.  I'm already starting to see that these goals may be a little out of reach, which is typical of my personality.  But 20 books this year (comic books dont count).

3.)  Read through the Bible at least once.  I'm not usually one for this mindset, quantity over quality, but I've started to see the benifit of reading large portions of Scripture in one setting.  For example, you get a much better feel for one of Pauls epistles if you read it in its entirety at once.  Or stories in the OT, read them the way you would read a novel.

4.)  Time together.  Life tends towards busyness it seems.  I tend to get stressed when life gets too busy anyways, but now I not only have to worry about keeping myself from getting overstretched and overstressed, but my relationship with my wife (yeah, that still sounds wierd).  So one of my goal is to have one night a week as date night.  Now, date night does not neccesarily mean going out to dinner and a movie, could be as simple as a night spent at home playing a game.  But the rule is at least one night a week (and hopefully it will be more then that) spent together with nothing else on the agenda.

5.)  Get out of debt.  I hesitated putting this because money is always a sensitive issue, so I thought I'd just keep it to myself.  But its probably my biggest goal so I figured I might as well put it.  We dont have  "bad debt" (i.e. credit card) but I do have some college debt and Kaylene's car is not quite paid off.   So my goal at the end of 2009 is to not have any big dollar signs hanging over our heads.  That way if we decide to go into some sort of missions we can, or if I decide to go back to school I can, or if we decide to stay here in delaware we can begin to work towards permanetly settling in.

6.) Eat healthy.  May sound stupid, but when you eat healthy you feel better about life.  This summer not only did I exercise more then I ever did in my life (8 hours/day on a bike) but I also ate healthier then I normally do.  Your entire attitude is affected.  Even while working and living in delaware I notice I big difference in how I feel when I'm excercising normally and eating healthier (and getting a good amount of sleep but I dont know if I'll ever get to that point).  This is not something you can necessarily quantify the way the others are, so I dont know how I'll determine at the end of the year if I was successful or not, but thats my goal.

7.) Bike trip journal.  The farther I get from the bike trip the less this seems like a possibility.  I journaled on our bike trip quite a bit, and I also took a lot of pictures.   So my goal is to somehow combine those into a photo journal of sorts.  Somewhat of a book, except with lots of pictures.  And I want to make it somewhat professional looking, so I'll probably use a program like photoworks.com or something. 

Ok, those are all I got for now.  Doesnt look like any of them will beat getting married or a cross country bike trip, but 2009 should be a great year none-the-less.