Kyle Banks

2016 New Year's Resolutions

Written by @kylewbanks on Jan 1, 2016.

The last few years have been incredible. From getting married to buying a house, not to mention personal and professional growth, it's been pretty crazy. But there's no reason to slow down now.

Last year I resolved to do three things, and I'm happy to say that I succeeded in all three to varying degrees:

  1. Buy a house: success
  2. Quit smoking: so close, had three nights in November that ruined the streak
  3. Read more: success, although I still plan to improve

Last year was pretty good, but this year I've decided to step it up a notch and document 12 New Year's resolutions that I aim to accomplish throughout the year. The idea was to try and knock off one resolution per month, but many of the resolutions turned out to be year-long goals, so that may not work. I plan to come back and update this list as the year progresses, and link to evidence of the accomplishments. Anyhow, on to the goals.

Learn to Play the Drums

My biggest and most exciting resolution this year is to learn to play the drums. I've been searching for a creative hobby that is unrelated to programming for some time, but I always end up going back to writing code. I thoroughly love coding, but I want something else for when I'm burnt out or just in need of a break.

As a kid I played guitar and bass, but I always wanted to play the drums, which my parents would consistently say no to. Recently I was joking with my wife that I had realized that there's nothing stopping me from buying a drum kit anymore, so that evening on the way home from work I went and bought an electric drum kit. I chose electric to keep costs down, and to avoid angering our neighbours. With an electric kit, I can whale on the bass drum until 3 in the morning and no one can here it but me. I'm planning to start taking lessons in the evenings soon, and I'll probably pick up a real kit before long as well.

Take the Jeep Off-Roading

This is something that's been on my bucket list for a while now, and I plan to cross it off this spring. Living in Ontario and owning a Jeep means there is absolutely no reason not to try off-roading, so this is an easy one.

Meet Insane Work Deadline

For the past 6 months or so, we've been working like crazy to meet a deadline that's coming up, and we've made great progress, but there is still so much left to do. The next couple of months are going to involve very late nights and long weeks, but this resolution is really a do-or-die one, it has to be done.

165 lbs, 6% Body Fat

This year at my peak conditioning, I was 158 lbs and 6% body fat. I stand at about 5 feet, 10 inches so I had a decent frame at that weight and at such a low body fat percentage, but the goal is to keep putting on muscle and keep the body fat low. I chose not to go lower than 6% because it will be extremely hard to even keep the body fat that low while gaining 7 lbs of muscle.

Pay Off Credit Cards & Max RRSPs

For the first time in my life I've carried a (little) credit card debt since buying and furnishing our home. I plan to get rid of that in the coming weeks and then work on maxing out my annual RRSP contribution limit, as usual. This resolution is really more about continuing good habits that I'm already doing, but it's a resolution none the less.

1 Week of Pescatarianism

My wife is a pescatarian, meaning she eats fish but no meat, and she's had this dietary restriction for years, even predating our relationship. So, since she will be learning how to write code this year, I'm going to learn how to eat like she does. I have very strict caloric/macro-nutrient requirements, so I'll need to plan this out in advance to ensure I hit my numbers each day.

Watch Less TV

My wife and I love binge watching Netflix, so this is going to be a tough one.

Read Two Books per Month

I exceeded this pace with my resolution last year for the first three months, reading about 4 or 5 books a month, but I just couldn't sustain that and I ended up burning out and not reading at all for a good chunk of the year. I think two books per month will be sufficient to read everything I want to, while not having to force myself to keep reading and end up getting sick of it.

Go from Half to Full Sleeve

I suppose this isn't really a resolution, and this has been underway for a long time, but I decided to put this here because it's technically not done yet. The planning and art for the second half of my arm is underway, and I should be starting on actual tattoo sessions in February. The upper half of my arm took about 12-15 hours, so I expect the lower half to be around 8-10 to finish it off. Should be done by late February or sometime in March.

Write 12 Blog Posts

I tend to go through phases with blogging where I write a few posts in one week, and then nothing for a few months. This year I want to be more consistent with it, and write one post per month.

Heal Nagging Back Injury

Since about May of this year I've been healing a lower-back and hip injury, but it just doesn't seem to want to go away. For about 6 months this year I couldn't do squats, and I still can't deadlift. My squat went from about 325lbs to barely being able to do 135lbs without pain, and who knows how far my 395lb deadlift has fallen.

No Products Tested on Animals

I want to stop using any and all shampoos, soaps, gels, etc. that are tested on animals.

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