For some reason I didn't publish any New Year's Resolutions-style post at the start of 2023. I'm pretty sure I sat down to write one. Maybe it never made it out of my drafts? Or perhaps I didn't have any concrete goals – I definitely remember being in a bit of a slump last December – but since that's not the case going into 2024, here's a look back at last year and a handful of things I want to commit (or recommit, in most cases) to doing over the coming year.
2023 in retrospective
Despite it definitely having more of a post-pandemic, "things are back to normal" feel than 2021 and 22, last year doesn't seem to have contained all that much that stands out in my memory.
We took a couple of short breaks in Gloucestershire and the Lake District, and I saw some great live music, often in the company of one or another of my now fully-grown daughters – Metric, Iron Maiden, Boygenius and Bartees Strange were all well worth the strain on my knees of standing in a concert crowd for hours – but aside from those occasional highlights the year mostly rolled by uneventfully. I got back into watching Formula 1 after several years, so that provided some weekend entertainment, but gave up playing with a local symphony orchestra after concerts in March and June.
I also decided to give my various creative endeavours a bit of a boost, after deliberately avoiding them throughout 2022. I started writing again in January, redesigned and relaunched this blog shortly thereafter, and then in September started working on recording music as well as teaching myself Z80 assembly language while I develop a game on my ancient ZX Spectrum. In fact, my goals for 2024 are really just a continuation of a post-September regimen that I've been pretty happy with.
Starting in September, I set myself some daily and weekly goals, which I have mostly managed to meet, and since I think they're doing a reasonable job at keeping me on track I plan to carry on with them; so Resolution #1 is to stick to my daily and weekly writing, game design and music-making goals.
After a half-marathon in April, I stopped running entirely until mid-November as I was nursing some bad heel pain, but now I've restarted a routine of sorts I remember how much I enjoy getting outside to run. I also want to lose a little weight this year, so Resolution #2 is therefore to stick to a regular weekly exercise routine; for me that means daily cardio, a couple of runs every week and a longer session on the exercise bike.
And finally, something a little different to usual. Since replacing my creaking iMac with a decent spec gaming PC in mid-2020, I've been enjoying playing a much wider variety of games than I previously had access to, but recently I've been in a bit of a slump, not wanting to pick up anything apart from a couple of games of Rocket League at a time. I think what I need is a bit of a dopamine reset, so I've decided that this year Resolution #3 is no videogames in January. I'll be using the time that this frees up to make some improvements to this site as well as spending more time on the side projects mentioned above.
Happy New Year!