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2018 Resolutions

I wasn’t going to do this again. I’ve done it often enough and it never gets me anywhere. I look at last years and my progress at meeting them is dire. I look across the years and each time a core of my resolutions are the bloody same suggesting I’ve had the same issues for eons.

Yet here I am again. Why?

Well, I wrote my 2017 Review and it really vitalised me to give it a shot again. The review was interesting especially how the YouTube channel content got framed within the review. It was interesting seeing the story told rather than individual videos.

I decided I wanted next years life style story to be better. So here we go.

I’m also going to take a different approach to the many other times I’ve tried this as I’m going to establish some targets. Not for all of them, some of them will remain as goals, but certainly for a core of them.

The Channel Video

There is a channel video about this exact same topic with the inevitable content variations!

Read Resolutions

2018 target: Read 12 novels.

2017 was great because I actually started reading again. I’d pretty much stopped reading so it was great that I started reading books, primarily science fiction books. The books I’ve read have included some fantastic ones, but I didn’t read as many as I’d have linked.

In 2018 I want to continue on this upward trajectory, but also a realistic one.

That’s it. 12 novels. That’s only one a month. When compared to the glory days of reading I’d be reading books in 1-2 days and then moving straight onto the next one. I still do read the odd book in a day, but it has to be a particularly good book and when I have the time.

I’m also being realistic because I want to achieve other things with my time. I can also be very picky, so it’s possible it may take me a bit of time to find books worthwhile reading.

Watch Resolutions

2018 goal: Don’t watch TV to the exclusion of all else

I don’t really have a Watch target. I love watching TV shows and this will continue. There will undoubtedly continue to be an over abundance of TV content in 2018.

All is well but for the excessive amount of time I spend doing it. I fully recognise that I watch a lot of TV, quite often for a whole day or until stupid times like 0300 in the morning.

The primary goal in terms of watching stuff is to do it while leaving space to achieve some of the other resolutions. I don’t think I need to watch more, I need to control it so it doesn’t become a distraction activity.

On that basis I’m just going to keep my addiction in mind and try and let the hard targets in some of the other resolutions moderate it, including living by the calendar.

Play Resolutions

This is an interesting one as the play stream is actually about three things, each of which has their own particularities. In the case of board games and tabletop role-playing games this is also about actually using the new gaming room (albeit it already gets used as an ‘office’).

Board Games

2018 target #1: Play both Imperial Assault mini-campaigns.

2018 target #2: Play a Star Wars: Rebellion best of three.

2018 Target #3: Play the Star Wars Card Game

I need to start getting a return on my investment on the board games I’ve purchased. Okay, that’s the economic and boring side of things, in truth it’s about cracking open the fun of actually playing them rather than them sitting on a shelf!

The goal I’m setting is to get some use out of Imperial Assault and Star Wars: Rebellion.

We really enjoyed playing Imperial Assault when we got halfway through the core campaign in the core box. That last session of that was May 2015 as it was a month before my wife left. That’s pretty shocking now I’ve written it down. One of the things that’s shaken things up a bit is the mini-campaigns. At four missions a campaign they’re much more manageable than the 10-mission core campaigns.

As for Star Wars: Rebellion, that game cost £70 and it’s a bloody brilliant game that deserves to be played and its strategies uncovered. I’ve played it twice and I’ve had it on the shelf for about a year.

I got the Star Wars LCG card game for Christmas. Since that’s something I’d have never purchased for myself I’m intrigued by it. It’s essentially a full on collectable card game just with the collecting element removed. I’ve not given a competitive card games much of a go so I’m lookng forward to giving it a shot. It’s a whole type of game that’s new to me.

Tabletop RPGs

2018 targets: Run rpg campaign(s) amounting to 8-12 sessions.

This is probably the biggest target, because it involves other people and because it’s the one I put in 70% of my resolutions and it never works out. It’s not that I’m conning myself that I want to do it. I really do, at least now, maybe some of the other times I was deluding myself, but it’s always all too easy to concentrate on things that are in your singular control.

This is a facet of my personality born from experiences in my career, never take responsibility for things you can’t control or heavily influence it just creates crippling stress!

8-12 sessions. I suspect it’ll be two campaigns, not one, but you never know. Since I’ll never feel comfortable with the commitment of a bi-weekly game it’s going to need a different format. My approach is a monthly schedule, using the ‘Day Con’ model to get a couple of sessions in. You can see at two sessions per slot and twelve months in a year I have left myself a lot of ‘space’.

The biggest challenge will be whether that can be accommodated across 3-4 other people.

Video Games

2018 Target #1: Finish Mass Effect: Andromeda, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Life is Strange

2018 Target #2: Keep pace with the Circumnavigation Expedition in Elite Dangerous

The problem with video games is I’ve left game experiences on the shelf. I’m some way through Andromeda and Tomb Raider and I’ve not even started Life is Strange. God knows how long I’ve had Life is Strange sat on the shelf. The target are about clearing the decks and then I can look at other experiences.

The crazy thing is I really enjoy it once I actually start.

Elite Dangerous is a constant activity in the background as I really want to complete the circumnavigation of the Elite Dangerous galaxy. It’s just something I’d like to say I’ve done plus I enjoy the chats at the bi-weekly meets. It also takes me headlong into Distant Worlds 2, but that may actually be 2019.

Travel Resolutions

Target: Primary holiday that is NOT Florida

Over the next 2-3 years I need to organise my finances with a particular goal in mind: pay off the mortgage I’ve inherited due to the divorce. I can probably do it in two, but that would have an opportunity cost of pretty much saving everything.

So I say 3 to potentially give me space.

I’m not 100% sure yet what that means in terms of holidays as I’ve not planned it out, but at a high level I should be able to afford a main holiday a year.

The target for 2018 is to NOT go to Florida. Well, not go to Florida for the main holiday. There are all sorts of decisions that need to be made around this. Will it have to be a solo holiday which rules some options out and raises the expense? The suffering the expense of a solo holiday is also something I only found appetising once! What are the options in terms of holidays?

At the moment a Canadian Rockies holiday has stayed the distance since it entered my head about six months ago. When something sticks around for that long it usually means it’s something I really want to do. It’s early days though. This would also not be a solo endeavour I don’t think.

Depending on finances I may go to the US but this will be shorter and orientated around a pop culture convention or Halloween Horror Nights.

Live Resolutions

Goal: Live by the calendar

Goal: Follow content plan

It strikes me it’s okay to write all these targets down but it’s actually going to take some application to achieve them. If I just drift along it ain’t going to happen.

This section waffled on a bit then I realised everything I was saying amounted to living by the calendar.

I’ve been playing around with blocking time on Google Calender recently and that’s going to be my focus. I basically have five hours every weekday I can truly block out. Life crap is already accounted for.
Five hours. Every weekday. Not even counting weekends. That is a crazy amount of time.

I have no problem with doing stuff like watching a TV show or playing computer games in those five hours a weekday, but I need to start being conscious of what I’m doing. I need to explicitly use my time rather than implicitly. Living by the calendar means wasting none of it.

This is the only way I’m going to understand if I can achieve all this stuff or if I’m falling behind.

I’m also striking up a content planning process, based on the blog leading into the channel. The reasons for this is the blog loses out to the channel but I miss writing stuff. I also believe my videos are better for having written the blog first and people do prefer the different mediums. What I’ve set up over the Christmas break is rolling deadlines based on having the blogs completed before an assume filming weekend. I’ve also sorted out the stages of the workflow so I can track progress.

And, Finally…

It’s possible before the first quarter of 2018 is out I’ll be asking why I reached for the mouse trap again with respect to these resolutions? It’s feels different this year though, but I’m not entirely sure why. There is a small part of, and I admit on this I my be deluding myself, that thinks YouTube is the defining factor.

Just like vlogging my Solo Disney World holiday was key to making that holiday viable, there is a small part of me that thinks YouTube will act as some odd sort of storytelling conscience when it comes to meeting these objectives in 2018?

After all, it would be interesting to see them play out and look back on it actually happening.

About Ian O'Rourke

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