Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More About the Game

I've been thinking about my scorecard categories, making up some good ones and eliminating some bad. Doing so, I have discussed the idea with my wife, mom, and sister-in-law. Surprisingly, they all thought it was a great plan. I rewatched "if i" to see how Demetri did it, and he commented that the entire thing was a huge waste of time that made him realize how obsessive compulsive he was. I'm trying to see it a different way.

By doing this, I hope to push my New Year's Resolution further into the year. In a way, having a New Year's Resolution IS my New Year's Resolution. I always attack my resolutions full force in the beginning, as many people do, eventually giving up on them after too many slips. This year, I am instead making many smaller resolutions, keeping track of how many I accomplish on a weekly basis. Instead of promising to do everything all the time, I am promising to do some things all of the time. My scorecard is worth 50 points. My goal will be to average at least 35 for the week. That way, if school or work or travel gets in the way of certain things, all is not lost. If for example, I am on a week-long vacation without my dogs and cannot run them three times during the week (thus missing out on 2 points), I can pick up the points by eating fish twice durin the week (1 point) and learning something new (1 point). So all should balance out.

About the point system. Everything on the scorecard will be worth either 1 point or 2. Things that I think I'm already pretty good at (e.g., tell wife "I love you" everyday; work a crossword puzzle five times during the week) will be worth 1 point. Things that are harder for me, either because of time or effort (e.g., floss every single day; eat red meat only once during the week) will be worth 2 points. Some of the items have to be done every day to earn points (e.g., drink 8 glasses of water daily) while others have to be done weekly (e.g., turn everything in on time) or periodically (e.g., read for 1 hour, 3 times per week).

Demetri's program included a lot of abstract things like "display moral courage," which I have tried not to do. The subjectivity of those kinds of things will be difficult for me to monitor. Besides, I have come up with so many individual activities that I'm still narrowing them down right now. But I do have some that I'm seriously considering putting in. These include things like "stand up for myself" (i.e., express myself if I disagree (as long as it is important) rather than caving and taking the submissive position always) or "don't take the easy way out" (i.e., don't just pack things up and stick them in a drawer or closet and say I cleaned up; don't swim 4,800 yards and then round up to 5,000; don't eliminate part of a paper or assignment because I don't have time to do it well). A million things could go in this category, but if I honestly think at the end of the week that I've done a good job of doing everything well, I get 2 points.

I'll post again later this weekend and describe the categories, once I have finalized them. The game officially starts next Sunday. It should be an interesting week for a first run. I have three job interviews in three different cities and won't be home until Friday night. Then I'm catering a bridal shower next weekend, so there's a lot going on to get in the way of my plans!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Resolution

I got the idea from Demetri Martin. In his show "if i," he talks about making a personal inventory to track his worth as a human being. He allows himself points for learning new things, eating right, and generally being a good person. He deducts points for various life failures, which I suppose could be different things for different people (in fact, I'm counting on it).

So this is my New Year's Resolution. I will make a personal scorecard for my daily life and assess my performance on a day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month basis. I'll give myself points for working out, eating right, doing well in school, happily doing chores around the house, etc. I'll deduct points for wasting time, not walking my dogs, and getting into petty arguments with my wife about meaningless stuff. Everything will begin January 4th, the first Sunday of the new year. I'll spend the meantime making up my scorecard and designing the rules for my little life game. Sometime between now and then I'll post an example card and explain the rules of the game. Then, if all goes according to plan, I'll post the results once a week. Hopefully blogging about my quest will keep me honest and participating in the challenge.

More later. I'm off to work on my categories!