New Years Intentions- 2017

Adopting New Years Intentions – rather than New Year’s Resolutions – reflects a more generous and flexible approach to my personal development. I’m big into self improvement and goal setting and I think this will provide a good framework for that energy. I’m also hoping to reflect on these intentions every month to set new “goals” or tangible expressions of these intentions.

The headings below are my intentions for 2017 – the bullet points that follow are my January “mini-resolutions” that work toward that goal.

Be Healthy

For me, this is a near annual resolution. But for the last year I’ve lost a decent amount of weight and think that I’m on the right track doing a very normal and consistent diet and lifestyle. I would like to exercise more…but I really don’t see how that is possible during this season of my life. So I’m resolving to simply track my eating and my weight and starting a very simple and basic routine each day.

  • Track the food I eat and my weight using the MyFitnessPal app. Do this everyday.
  • Do at least 50 squats everyday. Do pushups and planks when Sophia is on the blanket.

Be Productive

A somewhat ambiguous intention – this boils down to a more structured approach to my time. I’m going to try, with Christy, to schedule out our weeks in advance -especially in terms of meal planning. I’m also interested in using my morning time to continue washing diapers and tending to other household chores. And listening to podcasts…but that’s not really a resolution per se!

  • Schedule my days and weeks. Create chore chart, meal plan, and schedule my work days.
  • Wake up early (before 7am) each day. Do something meaningful in this time.

Be Present

Lastly, I want to intentionally be present with my family – my wife and child – and be present to myself. The parenting thing is new and difficult…but I think being present is (1) one good intention and (2) something that seems surprisingly difficult to achieve in practice. I find myself often “escaping” into my own thoughts or plans – or into the time wasting parts of the internet. So I’m declaring an intention to be more present to life – especially to my child, my wife, and myself.

  • Read with Sophia everyday.
  • Be present with Christy each day. Show love.
  • Take time to journal and reflect.

Traveling through

Leaving the warm light of the apartment, I drive through the cold and gray city – past the empty storefronts littered with trash. I stop near a huddled group smoking cigarettes and I wonder for the first time “Will my daughter smoke? Will her friends?” I keep driving.

I want to leave this part of the city, or perhaps whitewash the stained concrete and soften the harsh edges. I want to hug and forgive the broken, destitute people — but really I want them to go away – cease to exist – or at least keep far far away from my child. I tell myself “This is not the world I wanted for you, sweet child” and I start to cry because I know the pain and brokenness of the world exists not only “out there” but in me and even in the warmth of our apartment.

But this is the world we all live in, little one. This is the world – it’s going to hurt sometimes.


Personal Mission Statement

I’ve been thinking about writing a personal mission statement for a while now… and think I’ve come up with one that suits me. Here it is:

I work to tell stories using data and technology that facilitate personal and communal transformation.

It’s not great and doesn’t capture everything but I think it’s a good summary of how I see my vocation in the world at this point.

Prayer for 2/6/2016

Dear God,
You created us and you knit us together. We know full well that
we are fearfully and wonderfully made
that we are loved
and that you are always with us.

Be with us now as we start this new season and process.
Be with our bodies – holding the promise of life.
Be with our minds – hold us to the truth.
Be with our hearts – hold to us to each other and to You.

Dear God – our creator and sustainer – fill our hopeful, anxious, dreaming, doubting, glad hearts to be open to our future and your presence with us, in us, and through us.


2012 Resolutions

  • Write at least 1 letter per week (and more thank you notes)
  • Get back to running (6 days per week) at helwig.
  • Establish a good routine each day and each week.
  • Cook a lot more: eat out less, more simple meals, eat/cook with Jim more.
  • Pay off student loans.
  • Donate more money than I spend at restaurants/bars.
  • Donate blood regularly.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Make bike bags.
  • Stop using plastic bags.
  • Keep the neard trimmed for Christy.
  • Continue to cultivate virtue (courage, patience).
  • Continue to grow and develop in the library and CQ work.
  • See Tim Murakami regularly (weekly).
  • More random acts of kindness.
  • Finish Pietism.
  • Ride my bike more often