I don’t like new year’s resolutions that much. It feels like an arbitrary date to start doing whatever you wanted to do anyway. And if we’re going with arbitrary, why not start right now? So instead of making resolutions for the new year, it think it’s better to look back upon 2022 and take stock of the personal changes I made during the year in order.
Bullet journal tweaks
I still use a bullet journal, though in the original sense1. The concept of a bullet journal has kind of shifted to somewhere in-between art-infused scrapbook and meticulously detailed daily planner. Just take a look over at Instagram.
I’ve never been that artistically inclined, nor does an actual planner seem to work for me. I need an overview of tasks, notes, and a somewhat mindful “feel” of the day/week/month. And for that I use the simple text & symbols based setup. My 2022 bullet journal gear featured a Leuchtturm 1917 A5 dotted notebook (though this year, I'm using an Edition 120), a Rotring Rapid Pro ballpoint, and three Stabilo Boss Original neon markers (green, magenta, yellow).
Next to the common symbols used in the bullet journal concept, I use bracketed timestamps to mark events that day, usually meetings, calls, deliveries, etc. That’s a duplication of stuff that’s in my normal calendar, but I find that adding them manually at the start of each day keeps them present in my thoughts as the journal is something I keep coming back to. The calendar is more of an appointment database in a way.
The markers I use specifically to highlight additional aspects: yellow to highlight something that needs to happen/be shared ASAP; magenta to indicate critical (work) issues that can act as blockers; green to denote anything time based (the aforementioned bracketed time symbols get these by default). Next to highlighting whatever needed, I find it created a pleasing cadence throughout the pages giving me an impression of work load over multiple days.
Next to the daily overview, I do have a monthly overview. Here the markers denote location/time off: yellow are work-from-home days, magenta are office days, green are days off. For the moved tasks they follow the same coding as the daily tasks.
It’s a simplistic addition, but I don’t need much more. As said I use a bullet journal to maintain a grasp on the feel of my workflow, it’s not meant as a straitjacket.
Stable lunch, less meat
Somewhere during spring I started getting annoyed by having to think too much about lunch. So I purposefully sought out something I liked that I could prep ahead of time and use throughout the week. I’ve always been partial to beans, so this cucumber and black bean salad proved perfect. Especially when combined with some of Ivan Orkin's taberu rayu.
That inadvertently had a knock-on effect of me eating less meat, as I swapped the tasteless feta with avocado to make it a vegan recipe. That intrigued me after I noticed what I had done a few weeks later, and now I do make a conscious effort to eat less meat. Treating meat consumption more like I would alcohol; something to be savoured or to be enjoyed socially. I haven’t perfected that, and still find myself adding meat to a meal when I don’t think about it, but it’s slowly getting better.
As working from home during the pandemic caused a flare-up of athlete’s foot, I started walking additionally in the morning and evening to simulate my daily commute to keep my blood circulation in order. That kind of fell to the wayside as 2022 rolled by, restrictions got lifted and the actual daily commute started returning into my life.
Over the summer I picked that up once more on my days (working) at home, cementing it into my daily routine. Additionally, I started turning them into rucks. To and from the office I do carry some weight, but at home that was nowhere to be found. Now I just pop a kettlebell into my backpack whenever I go for a walk.
Duolingo for Japanese
My work trip to Tokyo Game Show this year, brought me into contact with the people of the Dutch embassy in Japan, who informed me that yes, Duolingo is now actually a good tool for learning Japanese. Which was something of a surprise. Last time I checked, Duolingo was stuck in a kind of romaji-only mode and had some horrible texts to work through.
When I got back home, I installed Duolingo to give it another go, and yup: kana and kanji everywhere with structured grammar to top it off, making it indeed a good tool. Today my streak reached 106 and I have no intention of angering the owl anytime soon.
Which if you’re reading this, you might have noticed already. The Twitter-pocalypse caused a reset on my side about how reading and sharing info works for me on the internet.
These days, I’ve set up a Mastodon-account, rebooted my use of RSS, and started sharing stuff this here blog first, turning that into my link and thoughts repository. Someone else finds interest in that? All the more fun, but I’m kind of done with advertisement-fuelled “social media”.
Kettlebell training and climbing
Another thing that went awry during the pandemic: my bouldering level. It cratered and once everything opened up and I started climbing again, I found myself lacking in strength and stamina.
For most of 2022 I’ve been trying to build that back up but I guess a combination of two years of almost no climbing and well, getting older wasn’t doing it for me. By the end of November I was getting really sick of it and flipped the table on it: I added daily kettlebell exercises in the morning to focus more on strength and started upping the rucking game a bit, adding progress to the routines on a weekly basis.
Been doing that for little more than a month now without fail and yes, this is much better. Not that I’m instantly back at my previous peak level, but during my sessions on the walls I can already notice me being able to exert more power and generally remain climbing for longer. Let’s see where that all leads to by the end of next year.
1 Sadly, it seems Bullet Journal had its own new year’s resolution and turned completely commercial. You used to be able to find an overview of the basic rules an practices on the homepage, but all traces are now removed to get you to unroll into a 250 dollar “course”. Dear lord.