January 2017


Theming my years, the start of a new chapter


If you’ve filled me for awhile, you likely know I am a big fan of CGP Grey, a YouTube video producer and podcaster. One thing he did last year that made an interesting large impact on me was to make a theme for the year.

The idea behind it is that New Years resolutions don’t really hold for many people. In fact, just me writing this blog post about them will give my brain a dopamine response similar to what I would get in the process of accomplishing them. By making a year follow a theme, that makes it go all year round. I decided this year i will do the same, but with a small twist; a theme and a subheading.

The theme will be my major goal for the year while the subheading is a “nice to have” side ideology to work on. With that, here’s my theme and subheading for next year:

The Year of Wellness

The Reduction of Overwhelm

On the year of Wellness

I have been out of shape, eating crap and having bad cardiovascular health for way too long. I’ve always made jokes about diet, exercise, etc. but for me I see that this was more a coping mechanism for myself. I was originally thinking “Fitness” for the theme but I figure “Wellness” better shows that there is more than simply lifting weights or running. You can’t outrun a bad diet. I have already started on this goal by cooking more and trying to eat out less at the office, to continue into the new year.

By having a static goal weight, personally I feel that’s looking a little too far forward. Heath is the most important piece for me right now, not losing weight for the sake of weight. Though I have a goal I’d like to reach by the end of the year in that regard, I’ll break them down in priority for me right now.

The BMI is not perfect by any standard, but it’s a decent guide to go by knowing it’s weaknesses. I feel hitting 29.9 is a reasonable goal over a 12 month period and would be a large psychological win as well, finally leaving the 30’s in the BMI sector.

I have begun the running piece already and have done 3 runs/1 week as of the time of this post on the Couch to 5k plan. I am using Run5k on iPhone to track my runs and progress and overall I really like it. I will say it has been a little easier this time finally getting running shoes that work best for the way I run. If you’ve been having a pain, go by a local running store and have them work with you. They’ll watch the way you walk and run and get you shoes base on your form. That alone has been night and day for the pain that I would feel.

I won’t share more about the Couch to 5k on the blog until completion unless I’m directly asked by friends and family, as I don’t want to share and get the reward, I want to compete it and get the reward. There of course is some fallacy to that in the regards of typing out this post, but I hope it gives others some thoughts and will be helpful to them in whatever theme they would like their year to go by.

On the reduction of overwhelm

This is my subheading, and my “nice to have” theme for the year. I have had the nickname “Clackapedia” for some time due to being able to quickly recall facts, documentation, current events, deals, etc. But lately i fell I have been maybe getting a little too much input. Having so many sources of information thrown at you can be exhausting and overwhelming, so my plan is to reduce this overwhelm in many areas of my life.


I am killing my subscription to the New York Times and will be flooding all my blogs and other sources of information through Inoreader. Inoreader is a powerful RSS feed manager that allows you to do a lot to control how information flows to you, and if you want to cut information before it reaches you.

I have already created my first rule, deleting any article that is about sales or deals, as I already have too much as it is and they are a weakness of mine.

As time goes on, I’ll add more rules, filters etc. as I find a particular topic overflowing or too bothersome for me.


As I sad above, I plan to reduce my viewing of deal sites as much as I can. I have already blacklisted Slickdeals from my computers requiring me to instead use my mobile devices if I truly want to use it, as well as filters on news of deals coming to me.

I also intend to institute a guideline of anytime I’m tempting into getting something, add it to a wishlist and wait 7 days. Whether or not it’s on a sale when that time expires. The urgency created by sales is what pulls me in too many times.

How many times have you ordered something on Amazon and it arrives and you forgot what you had? Too many times for me this year.

I’m removing my credit cards from 1Password, Amazon (minus the one they have to have on file), etc. so It’s more difficult to purchase so a 1 click can’t be done.

As a test as well I’m instituting a no online purchase rule for January, I’ll see how that goes for me…


I am currently using SaneBox to reduce my mailbox to only what I need to see any any given time, allowing me to see the low priority stuff when I’m ready and not interrupt me. I’ll do a future blog post on this service in the future as to what I has done for me and what it is capable of, its a fantastic service!

“Dialing Down”

CGP Grey had a great blog post earlier this year about dialing down, and a lot of what I am doing is similar to what he is discussing. I hope to report back more on this side of later this year and report in on how it goes.

This in particular spoke to me.

he came to realize the ‘overwhelmed’ problem wasn’t about the number of things to do, but was about the number of things he let into his brain. The news is a rather effective vehicle for delivering a large number of small things: each story a single guest arriving to a party.

Individually the guests don’t make a lot of noise, but adding one by one makes the collective volume creep up in a way unnoticeable until you take a break from the conversation and realize that it’s way too loud in here.

The solution was to kick most of the guests out and be more careful at the door: college-me stopped reading the news and cut back on TV. The number of non-actionable things on the mind decreased, and with that did the amount of ‘overwhelm’.

On that note, it’s time to put this further into action. Happy New Year to you all and may your year be wonderful!


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