Hey, Scalzi, Got Any New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m so glad you asked! Yes, I have a few. In no particular order, these are the things I’m going to try doing here in 2018.

1. Better diet and exercise. I’m up above 190 pounds, which is not great on my particular frame, and a good general description for me in 2017 was tired. Also I ate a lot of junk in 2017, and not just in burritos, for those of you who were about to make that crack. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating junk if it makes you happy, but I think I should probably eat less of it this year, since I’m not happy with the results of eating so much of it.

So: I’m going to eat less junk, take in fewer calories in general, and exercise not so much to lose weight but to get up my energy levels. We have a treadmill in the basement. That seems like a good place to start. Which brings us to my next resolution:

2. No computer before exercise. Which I started today; I walked two miles on the treadmill before I came up here to type this. The idea here is, honestly, once I park myself in front of the computer I’m pretty much here for the day. So before I get here, maybe I should go take a walk or something. I brought my tablet down and watched part of a movie while I walked. It was not horrifyingly onerous. I think I can do this on a daily basis.

(Before someone suggests a treadmill standing desk: Dudes, I already have a treadmill and a desk. I don’t need to mate them into an unholy union. Don’t spend my money for me, please.)

Speaking of “No [x] before [y]”:

3. No social media or news before noon. I think my major fall down of 2017 was that I let the world intrude on what is my prime creative time, which is the period of time between when I wake up and when I have lunch. Now, 2017 was a historically bad year, but honestly in retrospect there was nothing so very awful that I couldn’t have waited until after noon to find out about it (or that I could have done anything useful about until then). And the thing is, news and social media helped punt me out of my creative space — I’d get worked up and angry (and depressed), and that’s not conducive to building out the lives and adventures of fake people in my head, which is how I make my living.

“No internet before noon” is not new for me — it’s been a cornerstone of my getting work done for a while. What was new, to be blunt about it, was my willingness to ignore my own established process. A new year is a fine time and place to re-establish that old rule and stick to it.

4. More time reading books. I read a historically low number of books in 2017, which was a real problem, since, you know, I like books, and a lot of my friends write them and are good at writing them. So I’m going to make an effort to put more books into my eyeballs. Lord knows I have enough books in the house. This should not be a hugely difficult thing for me. Also, in general:

5. Less time on the computer — or perhaps more accurately, less time on the computer staring glassily into Twitter and Facebook as a default. I love the feeder bar aspect of social media, I really do, but perhaps I love it a smidge too much, and there are other things I could be doing with my time that I actually like doing. I bought myself a raft of music production software in 2017; 2018 might be the time to start learning how to use it. Or maybe get better playing guitar. Or doing more photography. Or just spending more time with Krissy, you know, my wife, who is fabulous and really cool and interesting.

As much as I love social media, for 2018 I think I’m going to approach it with the question “Isn’t there something else you could be doing?” in my mind. I’m not getting any younger, and I do suspect that when I’m on my deathbed, I won’t be wishing I spent more time on Twitter (“Lol, totally dying right now #ReincarnationBetterHappen #ComeBackAsAPangolin”).

Basically, these resolutions boil down to: Get organized, move around, don’t spend all day in front of the computer and when you are there, have a purpose. That seems reasonable for 2018.