On New Year’s Eve, for the last three years, I’ve made a list of goals for the new JanFebMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugSeptOctNovDec. Not last night. We flicked the lights off for bed at 7:39. But the baby was babbling da-da-da da-da-da so we stayed up lights off, bouncing her from breast to breast, then walked her around the living room, saying “time for bed” like a skipping CD. By 8:39, she had da-da-da’ed herself into REM regions.

So here is the New Year’s Day AM version goal list. I bet these are more reliable, written without the liquid courage of alcohol.

A List of New Years Goals.

1. No sugar. Benefits are mind boggling. Support Kate’s no sugar year. Joe Rogan’s podcast with Dr. Rhonda Patrick discusses how this is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do to improve your health. Check it out for more info on the connection between heart disease, LDL cholesterol, and sugar!! 1:17-:1:21. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-joe-rogan-experience/id360084272?mt=2

2. Social media fast 1 day/week—at least. I tried this four years ago with booze. Tried Sober Thursdays. One day per week of no drinking. I think I made it till noon or 11am most Thursdays. And then cracked. This was the prelude to me giving up drink for a full year. Now I notice myself becoming addicted to checking for likes on my Alt Dad Diary posts. Every two hours. It’s an ego issue, a waste of time, and energy, and focus.

3. Add regular swimming to the exercise regiment. It’s back to my roots—I spent the first 18 years of my life swimming daily. Burned out, took a 12 year hiatus. Maybe it’s time for a reunion with my roots.

4. Write and record a full-length hip-hop album. I have so much to say. And I love the aggressiveness and originality that’s possible with hip hop. You don’t even need a beat. You can just slam the words.

5. Give Mouse one bear-hug daily. Everything takes upkeep. Growing a family, we need to stay connected, physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc.

6. Give Mouse one “special” kiss each day (out of routine, ie. not before bed). From Google: “Kissing lowers stress. It decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases serotonin levels in the brain. Kissing has also been measured to lower anxiety and has similar benefits to meditation.” Also apparently by increasing saliva flow, kissing keeps cavities away.

7. Try mushrooms. Still haven’t. And I still have a calvary of horses named anxiety stampeding in my head. Situational anxiety—people holding the baby too long—but whatever it is or why, it’s not going away, and I believe maybe the plant medicine world has some wisdom, passed down through the ages, to offer my fear head. Recently, Noah Chomsky addressed "young people" and said: "You’ll be facing problems that have never arisen in the 200,000 years of human history—hard, demanding problems. It’s a burden that you can’t ignore." I feel it in my chest as tightness and panic. And it’s not the future I’m going to pass onto my daughter. The seventh goal for this year is to unwind that anxiety.

I have other goals, like keep up yoga, add in meditation, increase gratitude, continue reducing possessions, etc. But seven seems a good stopping point.

I also have a working list of anti-goals. Things I want to avoid. Like moving to MN and getting some bogus corporate 40 hour slave job just to “provide.” But I won’t do that. The trade-off isn’t worth it. Keep the faith. Chin up. Aggressively work for what I believe in. The rest will come. Or die trying. Which is just as good. The apostle’s creed. Maybe that should be the first song on the hip hop album.)

I also have a rough list of possible-goals. Like a year of alcohol sobriety, or 10 sun salutations every day or learn to do a backflip or a handstand without kicking up. But I’m not firm on those.

Got goals? Please share.

Cheers.

<If you'd like to support The Alt Dad Diary, go to patreon.com/altdaddiary. Your contributions keep the posts pumping through 13 below Minnesota mornings.