As I have been doing for the past 15 years (see list), my first post of 2024 across all my sites is of three words that are my aspirations or “themes” for the year ahead. They are not “resolutions” so much as guiding thoughts or principles.
This year I decided on 3 H’s: Hope, Health, and Habits.
We live in challenging times… and 2024 looks to present even greater challenges. A colleague of mine noted that there will be over 100 elections in 67 countries in 2024 - all of which will undoubtedly create communication and societal challenges in this time of great polarization. I expect great amounts of mis/disinformation, especially in this era of “generative AI”. With the climate, we’re just coming off the hottest year in recorded history, and signs are that 2024 could be even worse. Economic inequality keeps rising. Fewer and fewer people can afford to buy houses around where I live. We have a dictator who wants to be our next US President (and some % of people seem ready to vote for him 🤯). There’s a lot of gloom out there.
And yet… as the good folks at FutureCrunch remind us - there are a lot of good things going on: “66 Good News Stories You Didn't Hear About in 2023”. The challenge is that all of that gets drowned out in the media’s desire to get eyeballs. (“If it bleeds, it leads!”)
A couple of years ago I wrote this (re-shared on Mastodon last year):
The challenge that lies before us is more than choosing hope over fear.
It is choosing hope *amidst* the overwhelming narratives of fear and doom.
It is choosing hope and optimism *despite* those fears.
It is choosing hope as a daily, gritty act of resistance and resilience.
I believe that is truly our calling.
Last year, as I was preparing to become President of our local Rotary Club in July 2023, I was thrilled to find that the “theme” for this year’s Rotary International president is “Create Hope in the World”. That resonates so strongly with me.
Now, more than ever, with so much chaos around us, we need to provide whatever small shreds of hope we can.
Health (or a health-related word) has been one of my three words in 12 of these 15 years, including last year. This year I had some tests done and some checkups, and while I’m okay overall, my bad cholesterol levels are too high, my blood pressure is creeping toward a point where I need to be concerned, and I’m at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been. Addressing this MUST be a focus, or I won’t be here to write the 2025 version. 🙁
In 2023, I spent some time looking at how I spend my time, and some of the habits I have. Some of those are good (ex. daily language practice), but others need to change, such as being far too sedentary… or doomscrolling through social media instead of creating content. In 2024, I want to change and form some healthier habits… for my actual health, but also just for how I interact in the world. One of these I’ve already started is to rejuvenate my email newsletter (all are welcome to subscribe!) and to start writing there versus on social media.
To that point, I really want to focus on the POSSE model of publishing on my own sites first, and THEN sharing it out on social channels. Too much of what I’ve been writing lately has been on other people’s platforms. I want to form the strong habit of writing on my own sites first.
Interestingly, Om Malik recently wrote about his own desire to return to blogging, specifically to use his blog as more of a “commonplace journal”. I like that framing. Stay tuned to see if I actually do it!
I’m also hoping that the habit I’ve started in 2023 of doing a bit more with music continues. I’m trying to carve out time each day to noodle a bit with the piano or guitar. I want to see about doing even more.
The challenge, of course, will be to excise some of the not-so-good habits that have formed in my life. It will be an interesting year!
That’s what I’m looking forward to this year. How about you?