The year is coming to a close yet again and with it the usual self reflective post for my future self to gaze upon. Also, the anime reviews will kick in soon. Not that anybody cares, but it makes for an interesting read later on. But, without further ado, let's see how I did on last year's list of self improvements and what to look forward to in 2013. I hadn't counted on this seeing as we were all supposed to die a couple weeks back...
A note on productivity
Before I begin eviscerating myself for, again, not adhering to the goals I set out for myself in the previous year's worth of days, I want to note the brighter part of the year, namely that 2012 was probably the most productive programming year I've had in a long, long time. You've been privvy to a lot of the personal projects I've engaged in, but I also got a lot of shit done at work (compared to the previous year where most of my time at Winnercomm was spent on projects that eventually got canned). Not only did I rewrite or re-engineer in some way nearly every page on our main news sites, but I also wrote our new mobile sites from the ground up, taking control back from a third party. 2013 is going to be difficult to live up to in terms of programming, but the almost guaranteed return of the awwnime bracket (which garnered over a quarter million votes by the time it wrapped) and work officially carving out some time for game development, it should be an interesting one.
Okay, enough back patting. Now for the self-deprecation!
MOAR EXERCISE - On the whole, I didn't do terribly in the exercise department. I've been a bit lax lately, what with the cold weather and such, but I managed to lose ~15 pounds from my heaviest point this year, so I guess there's that. Also, 45 minutes of walking at 3.5mph doesn't affect me near the way it used to. I'm going to label this one as OKAY, which is to say not a failure nor a success.
MOAR GAMING - From the list I provided, only Skyward Sword and the Left 4 Deads were completed. I did make some headway on Catherine and never even touched the others. However, I did do a fair amount of gaming and acquired two new consoles, a 3DS XL and Wii U. I also played a lot of visual novels, but I'm not sure if that really counts as "gaming" or not. Mostly reading, I suppose. I'll again chalk this one up as OKAY.
MOAR SOCIALIZING - Compared to 2011, I was pretty social this year. I went on a combined total of four dates between two girls before putting my foot down on any more dates with either. I also went outside of my normal bubble of do-nothing weekends and spontaneously agreed to a trip to six flags with some friends from work (doesn't seem like a big deal, but spontaneity is not my strong suit). I also did some volunteer work in a charity program my company runs. Granted, there wasn't much socializing going on there, but I was outside the house and amoungst a group of people. Finally, and perhaps this is a negative, but I enjoy the social niche of the /r/awwnime guys. It's kind of like the old YPN days in a way. To the original point of joining some organized, recurring group, I failed. But I think I made up for it in other regards. Either way, I'm going to label this one as simply OKAY.
MOAR DRAWING - A handful of comics notwithstanding, I hardly drew a single thing this year. FAILED
Onwards Towards 2013
Health - The trend of exercise must maintain or increase. But, more importantly than that, my eating habits have got to change. The late night runs to McDonald's and Taco Bell must stop. I need to be making more meals at home and healthier meals at that. The goal I'm going to set for myself is to be 200lbs when I sit down to write this post at the end of the year. That's 20lbs less than I am now, more than doable.
Finances - I made a lot of unnecessary purchases in 2013. A lot. I must make the note that never once did I spend outside of my means and am even ahead in YTD funds, but the amount of money I spent on anime alone could have paid off my credit card. Or a large chunk of the remaining loan on my car. That's just anime. Gaming purchases, random one-off items, and eating out combined probably rival that number a couple times over. My goal for this year is to pay off in full three major bills: car, credit card, and the LASIK loan. Between those three, that's an extra $600 a month that I can begin throwing at my insane student loan debt, the ultimate goal there being to have those paid off by 2018 at the very latest.
Learn Japanese - This is something I actually attempted last year in earnest by trying to take a course at a local community college (an insane amount of very specific circumstances prevented my entry). I've also made some lame attempts in the past to learn and can speak and write the language on a very, very basic level. However, I need to either shit or get off the pot, so I've ordered myself some honest to god text books and will be giving this high focus this year.
Japan Trip - My two oldest brothers and I have been entertaining this one for years and, in hindsight, 2012 would have been the best year to pursue it. However, with us getting older and everybody losing time to responsibilities, it's only going to get more difficult from here out. I feel that if the trip doesn't happen in 2013, it may very well not happen at all.
Drawing (yet again) - This has been on the list for three years running, now. However, my approach was wrong. My start and my goal were to draw comic and Japanese styles better when, in reality, I should be shooting to become a better over all artist. Aside from a self-defeatist attitude, not knowing what exactly to draw has also been a major problem which in turn leads to not drawing at all. So, what I'm going to do this year is partake in the subreddit known as SketchDaily, wherein they provide a subject for you to sketch everyday. This is a good way to provide with something to draw and encourage persistence.
Finally, tying all of these things together will be PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY. It's easy to say you'll do something and then conveniently ignore it because you're the only one holding yourself accountable. For a better man, this is all you'd need, but I am not a better man. I thrive off of public image much more than one should, but if it keeps me on the path I have laid out before myself, so much the better. So, I will be posting here the results from above in the form of weekly sketch dumps, what I've learned in teaching myself Japanese, and maybe some periodic updates on exercise and the avoidance of cheap McDonald's food. Lying on the internet is easy, but luckily that's one vice I've managed to rid myself of and lying to a bunch of people you know and talk to in person makes the whole thing a lot more difficult.
Well, I've rambled on long enough. Congratulations on surviving the apocalypse and here's to a long and prosperous 2013!