Resolutions = Revolutions: 2019 Goals

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I feel like I had a pretty good 2018. I set goals. I experimented with them. I accomplished much. Now that it’s the beginning of 2019, I feel as though I have a clean slate. I have the opportunity to build, maintain, and reframe what’s important to me and where I see the gaps in my ambitions are. Of course, every day is an uphill battle. I am not wealthy nor without the need to work a “day job.” I have a wife and kids, and they have their own needs and desires, which often conflict with my own. Every day requires effort. That’s not to say that some days don’t happen to work out and go smoothly. For the most part, there is no natural smoothness. It takes energy, effort, and a clear understanding of objectives and priorities.

Even though I feel I have a clean slate, I still want to carry over goals or aspects of goals to 2019. I’ll surely re-evaluate as I go, but I need a direction to start in. I learned plenty from last year, some of which I go into in the wrap-up post for my 2018 goals, Got Resolve? 2018 Goals Revisited. As successful as I was last year, I believe that I can make 2X the progress this year. Could I be setting myself up for failure with that thinking? Perhaps, but consider this: I started off purposefully small in January in comparison to where I left off in December 2018. By maintaining my goals starting out in January of 2019, I’ve already increased my potential output for the new year in comparison to last year. I have no intentions at this point to change the 2019 goals I outline below. I’ll let the year inform me.

I want to get to my goals for the year, but first, I wanted to comment on this post’s title. I have never had the intention to reflect a theme for the year within any of my goal post titles, but in a sense, they take on a personality for me. I don’t look to them as a guiding principle or focus, but they do keep in my mind an aspect to the journey I’m on at this point in my life.

I don’t really think of what I do as resolutions, but it’s a popular word that’s used a lot this time of year. A dictionary definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” Yes, it applies to what I do, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. I think people get wrapped up in the idea of what they think a resolution is supposed to mean rather than doing some self-reflection and making meaningful changes in their lives. I choose to name them my goals. They are things that I want to do already but need a little push and self-accountability to accomplish. The fact that I broadcast these goals to the world reinforces that accountability, and hopefully, provides some support.

A dictionary definition for revolution is “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system.” While I’m not in the midst of overthrowing a government, I HAVE been overthrowing a different version of me. We all have the choice to be as we want. Sometimes, those choices are easy and seamless; you may not even notice them. Other times, they are difficult and they may or may not be directed by you. In choosing to do or not do something, you shape your life, and those perpetual choices shape your character and your life’s path. Do I hate the “old me?” Absolutely not. Do I want to be “more” than I have been in the past? Bad habits I want to lessen or end? Are there things I want to accomplish? Things I want to learn? Do I want to be wiser, healthier, stronger, better? I could go on with many, many more examples, but the answer will remain absolutely YES. Resolutions = Revolutions

“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

2019 Goals

I’ve divided up my goals here to make it easier to follow what I’m trying to accomplish and how I’m tracking them. Trackability is key, as I’ve written in the past. Some of my goals this year changed from daily to weekly goals. After plenty of thought throughout last year, the conclusion I came to was that trying to accomplish a list of things EVERY DAY isn’t terribly easy. I’ve adapted some of my goals because of this.

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My Fitbit and Fitbit App are great at helping me achieve some of my goals. I won’t be tracking these particular goals in Google Keep like I did last year.

I am continuing my goal of at least 30,000 steps per day.

I am also keeping my ultimate goal of 96 ounces of water per day (half of my bodyweight in ounces). During the summer, I crush this water goal easily. During the winter, it’s a little harder to get 96 ounces in due to my thirst not being quite as strong. I know it’s still important to drink 96 ounces of water during the winter, but I also want to give myself realistic improvements to make. Whereas I started last year with the goal of 48 ounces per day, I am starting out this year with 64 ounces per day being my minimum. I have been hitting 64 ounces or more every day so far this year.

Other Physical Goals

Stretching daily has been a great change in my life. I’ve increased my daily stretching minimum to 15 minutes per day. This will not only motivate me to do the normal stretches I do but also to try new ones. I have yet to find myself doing too much stretching. More flexibility, no injury, and no soreness is the end goal.

I am maintaining my karate goal from last year and didn’t feel the need to increase it. In fact, I’ve decreased it. This goal has become a weekly goal to do karate for at least 30 minutes per week. The 40 minute class my son and I take pretty much covers this goal, except the fact that I’ve built up a time debt from last year. I don’t practice outside of class as much as I started out doing last year but enough to keep my memory fresh on what moves we are learning and building upon each week. Throw in the fact that my son is likely to NOT do karate during the summer again, and you’ll see that I still need to put in time outside of class to achieve my goal—just not as much as last year.

I am starting a dedicated exercise goal of 30 minutes per week on upper body. When I set my exercise goal last year, I had no idea what it would turn into. I just knew that I wanted to move more for my health and well-being. While I did continue exercising my whole body when I could through the year, my legs definitely got more of the focus because of my stepping and running. This goal is to remind myself to not forget my upper body. Drumming and other things that I do contribute to my upper body movement, but I’d like to get more traditional exercise incorporated.

Running. I have a run streak (a mile or more a day) that I started on June 18, 2018, and I want to continue that for as long as I can physically run or care to. I’m also on a team with my wife for Run The Year. The idea behind that is to accomplish the year in miles. The goal itself can be different for everyone involved. For some people, 2,019 miles in steps for the year is the accomplishment. My wife and I are splitting those miles and are setting out to achieve them through running. So, my minimum total running miles goal for the year is 1,009.5 miles. We are tracking these through the official Run The Year tracker online.

Graham Sedam, blog, thoughts, life, interests, writing, words, new year, resolutions, goals, revolution, fitbit, drink water, step goal, stretch, stretch daily, amateur karate, upper body exercise, run streak, run every day, run the year, run the year 2019, run the year 2019 Minnesota edition, drums, drumming, music studio, music, reading, books,

One area I don’t spend as much time in as I used to and would like to is music. My goal of drumming for 5 minutes daily turned into 10 minutes mid-year and mostly went well. By the end of the year, I had built up some time debt. My drum goal this year is clearing up my time debt from last year. However, I do have a specific yet vague goal to replace it with. My other music goal is to spend time in my studio doing anything musically related for 60 minutes a week. It can be to play drums but only if there is no drum-time debt to be repaid. I loved playing more drums last year as a consequence of my goal, but it was growing ever more present in my mind that I wasn’t doing much else musically. I want to change that this year. The goal as a whole is lofty, I’ll admit.


I set myself a goal last year to read for 30 minutes a day. I hadn’t thought very deeply about how much or often I read and from exactly what. I knew that I wanted to read from actual books more, but I included any reading within my goal. Going forward, I don’t foresee reading any less from the sources I currently read from. However, I have set myself a fairly ambitious and very clear reading goal to finish 4 books in 2019—an average of one book every three months. I am including the book that I started last autumn, as I didn’t get terribly far into it last year. I have 3 books set aside that I want to read for this goal, and the page number total combined is 621 pages. I have not chosen the 4th book yet.


The point to my writing goal last year was to encourage me to write daily and to prevent myself from getting Graham Sedam Writes posts done “last minute.” I don’t think the goal really helped a lot with the latter, but it did encourage me to attempt to write more often. I’m taking a different approach with my writing goal this year, if you can even call it a goal in the same sense. I still want to write when I have time and inspiration has struck me, but I can’t expect those micro-moments to carry me through the ambitious schedule I’ve laid out for myself.

Some variables in my writing practices have changed. The introduction in December of my short-form daily blog,, made the idea of writing for 15 minutes a day a non-issue. I don’t want to chisel in stone that I WILL write a post for daily, but that is certainly the aim. I also would like to stick to the schedule I’ve been following for Graham Sedam Writes, my long-form biweekly blog, alternating between sharing new and old (refurbished) posts the majority of the year. All of that will require much effort and is a goal and an accomplishment in itself. I will be writing more on this subject in an upcoming "R&D Workshop" post.

I hope you found my post on my 2019 goals worthwhile, and maybe, it has even inspired you to try something different or to take another look at things in your life. What have you got to lose by attempting one small change?

I’ll be writing more about my 2019 goals throughout the year, but if you’d like to read some more posts directly related to resolutions and goals that I’ve written in the past, I have linked them below.

Not So New Resolutions For The New Year

Got Resolve? A New Year's Beginning

Got Resolve? 2018 Goals Dissected This post explains my system a little more, including what is and how I handle "time debt."

Got Resolve? 2018 Goals Revisited Year end wrap-up.

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