We’ll take a cup o’kindness yet…

New year’s resolution time again. Last year, I resolved to spend half an hour a day on creative projects and learn all the songs in The Daily Ukulele. Those sort of… fizzled.

I was doing pretty well on the half-hour a day through about May, and then it petered out in the summer. After I missed a day once, it got harder to motivate myself to keep it up. Unfortunately, once I stopped doing it my side projects lost momentum, which is why I didn’t enter IFComp this year. Maybe next year…

As for the ukulele, I only learned 187 of the 365 songs in the book. But that’s more than halfway, and there are others that I only need a little more practice to master, or that I could probably play now but haven’t tried yet because I’m unfamiliar with the song. I was going to post a sound file of me playing “Auld Lang Syne”, to compare to the one I recorded a year ago, but it doesn’t sound all that different from the old one. If anything, the only difference is that my singing has gotten more confident, which probably owes more to the voice lessons than the ukulele practice. Still, I’m definitely better on the ukulele than I was a year ago.

So what’s in store for 2017? I still want to set aside time for side projects, but half an hour a day proved to be less than ideal: besides the loss of momentum once I missed a day, it made it hard to relax when I had it in the back of my mind all day that I needed to fit that block of time in somewhere. And I want to allow myself the day off for special events like conventions, or visits to family, without that becoming a slippery slope.

Really, what I need to do is budget my time more carefully in general. I think that’s going to be my resolution for 2017. More specifically, I’m going to set aside time once a week–probably Sunday nights, but the timing is flexible–to plan the week ahead. In addition to blocking off time for creative projects, I’ll pre-schedule regular chores like laundry and grocery shopping. Maybe–dare to dream–I might even start figuring in regular exercise. But I’m not going to prescribe what has to be scheduled into each week, because the point of this approach is that it allows flexibility.

We’ll see if this works any better than the half-hour method. In the meantime, buckle up; one way or another, we’re all going to have an… interesting 2017.

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