So of course, I owe you guys a typical new year post.
I don't (or I try not to) do the 'resolution' thing. For me, its too confining, too all-or-nothing...which makes it somewhat counterproductive, as the whole point is to better yourself. When you set a resolution, it's usually either too harsh (tomorrow, I'm done smoking!) or too soft (over the next year I'm going to try to cut back slightly on junk food). In the first situation, the moment you break it, you're done. And in the second, it's so lax that there's really no self-betterment.
No, for my new year, I just try to set a few well-defined goals that will require effort to accomplish, yet are realistically within my reach.
For this year, I have five goals for myself as far as my recreational activities go:
- For my fly fishing, like last year (and the year before), I want to catch at least one new species on the fly. I don't care about how it was accomplished, only that I got a fish to take a fly. Last year, by dumb luck, I caught a chain pickerel. In 2010, I added a flounder, my first saltwater catch on any tackle. This year, I'm hoping to add one or more of pike, carp, gar, catfish, or, if I make it back to the salt, another species from the ocean. One of my best friends lives minutes from the Chesapeake bay, so we're hoping to get together to fish some of the estuaries from kayaks.
- For my tying, I'd like to explore one specific area that I've been avoiding ever since my first attempt at it: spinning and stacking hair. I tried to tie a few muddlers when I first started tying a few years ago, and they simply looked horrible. This year I'd like to improve on that, and get some nice flies tied with spun or stacked hair. This will coincide nicely with my goal of catching a pike on the fly.
- In October, a friend of mine invited me to do some waterfowl hunting, and I loved it. To that end, I've been making a good effort at finding some good hunting around here, but so far, I've been unsuccessful. While I did manage to take one bird on that first outing with my friend, I'd really like to get a few 'on my own' in 2012.
- For my photography, I'd like to continue to learn, specifically in terms of landscape shooting, as well as macro work. Of course, there's a wishlist of lenses, gadgets, and other good stuff I'd like to get, but the main thing for me is to make time to get out there, and to push myself. Sure, this one is fairly nebulous, but it's probably the one that will mean the most to me on December 31st, 2012.
- Finally, and most difficult, I want to get my work out there. Ideally, I'd get published by a magazine or some other publication, but I don't want to limit my options. While this will take some work (and I may be kidding myself with optimism at this point), I believe this is a goal that I might be able to achieve in the next year. Hopefully, with the right combination of hard work, inspiration, and luck, I'll be able to see my name, words, or photos in print.