Today is the last day of 2012, so there's no better time than now to reflect on how things have gone this year. And there's no better day than today to determine which areas need improving. There's something symbolic and significant about stepping into a new year and turning new leaves along the way.
Both personally and professionally, 2012 has been a fantastic year for me – the best I've ever had. I have grown more than I imagined possible. And starting tomorrow, I will step up as Managing Editor of this site.
For the last New Year, I created a list of my tech-related resolutions. Looking back, I clung to them pretty well. I bought far fewer phones in 2012 than in previous years. I didn't take nearly as many pictures of food this year. I speak less about work where it doesn't necessarily belong. And I do go to be earlier now than I used to.
Could I have done better? Sure. But I actually held to my own guidelines, and that's progress. But I don't want to stop there. Along the way, I developed new habits, some that I'm not exactly proud of. I would like to build on some of my resolutions from last year and initiate a few more.
My 2013 New Year's tech resolutions are as follows.
Actually use the health and fitness apps on my devices
I am dedicated to the work I do, and content creation – yes, even writing – can be extremely time-consuming. I spent the vast majority of my time awake working, writing and thinking about what I am going to write next, tomorrow or even further down the road.
Because of this, I am no longer the young, in-shape whippersnapper I used to be. I cannot run endless miles or kick a soccer ball with any sort of accuracy. I struggle at rock climbing more than I should. And I've lost touch with my love for nature and the outdoors.
For 2013, I vow to get outside more – even if it's only working from my porch or at the park. I want to get back in shape and enjoy some physical activity.
Best of all, this doesn't have to be done alone, totally devoid of technology. I have at least half dozen health and fitness applications installed on my devices right now. They track what I eat, how far I run and other interesting information. I also have applications that can aid me in eating healthier and being a more active human being.
Stick to a technology bed time, get a sleep study done
I have explained more than once that I have sleep troubles. I have for years. But those troubles have evolved as I've sought to fix them.
My sleep problems originated when I worked third-shift for a paper products company, and sleep has never been the same since. Shortly after, I had trouble falling asleep. I would lay down at 3:00 AM or later, and I would finally fall asleep as the sun was coming up. This went on until January 2012, when I vowed to put an end to my crazy, erratic schedule.
Through most of 2012, I have been going to bed between midnight and 2:00 AM – a step in the right direction, no doubt. But I can do better. I can stop using my mobile devices long before I lay down to go to sleep. I can lay down to sleep earlier. And I can subject myself to a sleep study, in hopes that they will prescribe a CPAP and counteract the sleep apnea I've been told I have.
I'm tired of waking up after seven or eight hours of sleep and feeling like I never even laid down. Stepping into a leadership role here at PhoneDog, sleep will be priority number one, as will be fixing any sleep issues I have.
Make more video calls
Over the last few weeks, I have had to join several video conferences. I've always felt video chatting is a bit gauche. Unlike instant messaging or a phone call, the person on the other end of the line can (and will) watch your every move. That means there's no goofing around when it means business, and it's immediately apparent when someone isn't paying attention.
That said, video calls are slowly becoming more and more prominent. And it's an efficient way to contact someone when you want communication to be more personal.
I want to connect with my family more through video chatting in 2013. Maybe that means I'll have to set my grandmother up with a webcam for her computer, or a tablet of her own. But I plan to video call my sisters, grandparents, mother, father and stepmother and even my cousins.
While 2012 has been a great and very successful year for me, I have very nearly cut my family out of the equation. It tends to happen when you stay so busy. But I plan to fix that in the new year via video calls.
Fewer pictures of food
Finally, pictures of food. This is the one I struggled with the most in 2012. I eat out a lot – more than I should. And I'm always inclined to share my delicious (and equally gorgeous) meals with everyone following me on the Internet.
Truth be told, I can't imagine many people care to see what I'm about to eat. Sure, the food is delicious and it looks great. But I don't care about other people's sushi or other meals. That said, I do take the best latte photos …
I don't plan to completely stop. I enjoy take pictures of everything. But I'll reserve sharing to only the best of the best. Deal?
Do you have tech resolutions for this New Year? Do you need to connect more? Less? Do you need to break some bad habits? Or are your resolutions, like many, geared more towards health and fitness?