Here are 7 habits I’m going to work on this year…most of them ones you won’t typically see on other people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions:
1. Back into all parking spaces:
I’ve dabbled with this in the past, but have been hesitant because it always irritates people in other vehicles. I’ve had people flip me off, mouth recognizable insults, and the most common retaliation, make a point to speed past me once I’ve backed in. But here’s the reality. You either back in a spot or back out of a spot. Either way someone waits while you do it, and the former is by far safer. I back into spots quickly and smoothly, so it shouldn’t irritate people—but it’s not the societal norm. People are not used to you stopping first, then backing in (hence the aggressive reactions). People are used to stopping when someone backs out (which is more blind, hence more dangerous, and takes even more time than backing in). Bottom line: backing in is smarter, and it comes in very handy during a zombie apocalypse when you need to exit fast! I choose to back in every time in 2020.
2. I’m salting my food from 24 inches:
Why do people hold the saltshaker just 5 inches from their food, getting some parts very salty and other parts void of salty goodness? The solution is simple. Raise your arm higher and achieve greater dynamic equilibrium (an even spread of savory goodness). People will make fun of you (the same people who mouth curse words at you when you back in), but try it, you’ll be glad you did it.
3. I’m stretching while I pray:
I’m 49. I turn 50 this year. I get injuries just thinking about bending over to pick up something. My ankle hurts right now. Lori asked me why. True answer: I have no freaking idea. I’m just getting old and stuff hurts for no reason. Solution? Stretching solves a myriad of pains, but I never have time to stretch. So I’ve learned when I stop and take time to pray, I often pray in a hurdler stretch or other positions that benefit my hamstrings and back. I asked God. He doesn’t mind.
4. I’m eating more chicken burritos:
Another benefit of turning 49 is weight gain, which didn’t help my previous 2019 New Year’s resolution of “eat more donuts” (because they’re amazing). So being a little more health conscious, I’m going to try to eat a little less burgers and donuts and a little more chicken burritos (protein rich, and not a lot of carbs other than the tortilla). I now have a really cool hole-in-the-wall Mexican food place 7 minutes from my house that makes amazing burritos (if you know how to order in Spanish). I’ll be frequenting them mas rapido (okay… my Spanish needs work).
5. Talk less:
I get paid to talk. But honestly, I’m a closet introvert. I’d waaaaaaaay rather be sitting at home in front of the fire with my dog 10 feet from me curled on his little bed, and Lori next to me reading (she likes silence too). Problem is, in social situations I sometimes fill dead silence with talk (flowing from my own awkwardness and insecurity—you’d have to read my story about being picked on as a kid to fully understand). But this is truly a situation where less is usually more. People like listeners more than talkers. Wise people are observers. And Clint Eastwood’s toughest characters barely talked at all—and what guy wouldn’t want to be tough like Eastwood? I’m talking less.
6. Reading first:
I do research for a living. My life is reading studies and articles about parenting and youth culture. So when the day is through, I don’t feel much like any personal reading. It’s just more work. But these last few years I’ve been trying to read more books from Godly men (right now I’m reading two from Tim Keller—yeah, he’s that good), and leadership books (like Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life that my friend Eric recommended—great book). I’m reading a little bit of each of these in the morning before I get all tired out. If I wait until night… it ain’t happening.
7. Eat with my neighbors
A little over two years ago we moved into a new community in NorCal on the way up to Lake Tahoe. So far we’ve met several neighbors and had them all over for a Christmas dessert. Two of our neighbors had never met the people next door, and they lived their for over 20 years. I don’t want to be a neighbor who disappears onto their property never to be seen. I want to connect with my neighbors and invite them to do my favorite activity—eating.
What about you? What are some of the habits you’d like to develop in 2020?