They’re Not Resolutions

In earlier December, I started an informal list of ‘things’ I want to do to improve both my professional and personal life. While not classifying them as “New Year’s Resolutions,” they are more like resolutions that I care to admit. January 1st resolutions are really meant to be broken because when your resolution is to lose weight, you really shouldn’t gorge yourself on doughnuts eight hours into the new year.

In the middle of summer of 2017, I made the decision to declutter my life by getting rid of all those material things that I hadn’t used in a while. Honestly, I spent more days at the recycling center/dump dropping stuff off I think the guys there are going to name the place after me. Yet with all the elimination of “stuff” in an effort to declutter my life, there is still plenty to do. And the process continues until my stuff problem is normalized.

That is what prompted me to start my December list. It includes so many little odds and ends ideas that I wonder why in the world hadn’t I already accomplished those tasks?

For example, I want to make my internet life safer by utilizing a password manager. My password list is so long, I end up changing passwords a lot of the time because I just can’t remember the current password to a whole range of websites. Also, I wanted to make my  “passwording” stronger. I sometimes use the same password for similar websites. That’s a no-no, but I did it because it was easier to remember those passwords for say news sites.

By using a password manager, I could update all of my passwords with much stronger combinations and have them available through a web browser or sharing sheet on my phone that is “password” protected by my face (I have the iPhone X).

This morning at 3:45 AM, I started using a password manager and began what will be a laborious process of changing passwords and adding all those website accounts to the program. It won’t be completed overnight, but the move has begun.

duckduckgoAnother item on my December list is to stop using Google so much. While I do have a Gmail account and it has been the lifeblood of much of my professional communication, I use Google far too much for web searches. I’ve become privacy crazy – I don’t want Google knowing absolutely everything about me. So I’ve started using DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine. It is not the perfect replacement, but it is doing its job. It was their privacy policy that convinced me to switch.

One other item on my list should have been a no-brainer for me: Keeping my car clean, both inside and out. Yes, there are times when my car becomes a disaster area. Whether it is the reusable shopping bags that are just thrown in the trunk or the two-week-old coffee cup sitting in the holder, my car becomes a magnet for the mess. Also, the outside of my car attracts dirt. In the winter, as it is with most cars, becomes covered in rock salt gunk from just everyday driving around. Thus, I started keeping the inside organized and the outside clean.

There are a lot of smaller items on my list (using Evernote to organize my work notes; canceling over-the-top internet TV networks I don’t really watch; dusting more than once every two weeks; talking more about the Prayer Team at St. Matthew’s). I just have to move and make them important to help refocus my life.

But I don’t consider these little changes “New Year’s Resolutions.”

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