Past, Present & Future

Around this time every year my brother in law and I often discuss resolutions. Both of us claim we’re not be the type to set specific goals, yet we both end up discussing our goals for the upcoming year. Typical. I remember sitting in his hot tub late Christmas Eve last year listening to Deadmau5′ song Gula contemplating what I wanted out of 2016. Between the soothing song, beauty of the clear starry night, and volume of rum consumed, I found myself slightly overwhelmed. I moved here on a whim, no idea what to expect, and hadn’t really had time to consider what I was looking for here. A new start, that much was clear, but I had achieved that already so what more did I need? I made a deal with myself to focus on fitness and end 2016 at 175 pounds. That definitely didn’t happen. While I am disappointed with my lack of results I can pretty easily identify why I failed. I did so much research and listened to so many different opinions that I become frozen with indecision. This article says high frequency is the way to go so then I do two months of that. This YouTuber says tracking your macros is the most important aspect while this other one says just to eat as much as humanly possible. “Vacuums are the best way to strengthen your core” “You don’t need to train your core directly at all as long as you activate during compound lifts.” I was over-informed and underachieving  due to my inability to choose the right program for me and stick to it. But through all this I learned what doesn’t work for me and what I need to do this next year to make sure I’m happy with where I’m at. However, this year I have many more goals or resolutions I wish to see come to light and in order to convince myself these are all possible I need to evaluate where I was in 2015, how I improved in 2016, and where I want to be at the end of 2017 in five different categories. Personal, fitness, writing, gaming, and professionally.

I’ll start with my professional goals. I rarely discuss work in my writing because, well, it’s work. I work to live and not the reverse. This doesn’t mean I am unmotivated or uncommitted though. I just have a distinct line between personal life and professional life. 2015 was an interesting year for me in general but in regards to employment it was even more unique. I never would have envisioned myself working for Starbucks yet there I was. I thought what I would miss most about sales (other than the commission) was working one on one with someone and really getting to know their specific needs and how you can tailor your services to that. Fortunately, Starbucks encourages us to make those same connections albeit in a much shorter time frame. After five months as a barista I was promoted to shift supervisor and really began to be challenged as a leader. I’ve now been a shift for a little over a year and have experienced a wide variety of scenarios, including Christmas time at the mall. This year has been great for my development and I now have my eyes set on assistant manager. I go for interviews at the end of January so the nerves are starting to set in now but I’m confident in my abilities and obviously the company is too or else they wouldn’t be investing the time and effort into me. I think 2017 is going to be a good year for me and I won’t settle for less, I know I’m management material, I just need to prove it.

Let’s talk about my writing/blog content. Since themodernmanchild’s inception my content has really ebbed and flowed both in terms of quality and consistent output. I was broke, living in my sister’s basement, no job, and needed a way to deal with the withdrawal’s. So I figured I’d try writing and see what happened. That first post I wrote got over 100 views and I received comments on my Facebook post from a range of people but the one that hit me the most was my high school basketball coach. I had never wanted him to see me as anything but the kid who worked his ass off on the court and I had just admitted so much shit. I was pretty terrified. I obviously wanted people to read it, that’s why I created it, but for some reason I had this idea that 99% of the people who crossed over it would just ignore it. Not the case. So what does one do to follow that up? Well I tried to activate what little creativity I had in me by writing some smaller pieces and found that I came off really ‘woah is me.’ So I took what I thought would be a permanent brake from writing. ‘Nah not for me’, just another one of my experiments to see if something would stick, kinda like DJing. Unlike Djing however, which was mainly just an excuse to listen to music high, I found my interest piqued every once in a while and decided if I wanted to continue this I needed to find something I really love and write about it. So I began my mini series ‘Take a Minute’ and had a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately, for someone with a fairly limited vocabulary like myself there’s only so many ways to describe the wub wubs before you’re like alright bro we fucking get it. So again there was a long time with no new content.  It wasn’t until a coworker of mine stumbled upon my blog and told me I should write more. This took me by surprise, ‘but why, I talk about nothing.’ Then I went and read her blog, ‘hey she talks about nothing too, and it’s interesting.’ Then I read some more blogs, and some more, and some more. Then I realized we’re all talking about our own personal ‘nothing.’ To someone it might be boring as all hell, that person probably won’t be back though so no need to worry, but to someone else they might find something valuable and intriguing hidden among the nothingness. So for 2017 I plan to be much more consistent with content, continue Take a Minute though fairly scattered, and start a couple new series I can sprinkle throughout my other ramblings. I find I’m more productive in general when I’m writing so this can only be a good thing. When it does fall apart is when I’m stressed from work, because then my mind goes into ‘there’s never enough time for anything!!’ mode and that’s a tough spot for me to get out of at times.

Next is gaming. While it might seem a bit odd to have goals towards gaming, my vision of being more productive within gaming is probably a completely foreign concept to most. But let me explain. I currently have 48 games loaded on my PS4 hard drive with over twenty more that I’ve removed because I’ve accepted I’ll never get back to them. I’m the kind of gamer who will just buy multiple games and treat them like a shot gun blast. Most of it probably won’t connect but something in the batch will hit the spot. This leads to multiple games being purchased and never touched. It’s not the worst thing because I usually only purchase games on sale, and I also would have never found Overwatch (easily my favorite game of all time) without this type of approach. However this lead to multiple half started games that I never see to the end. The Witcher Wild Hunt, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Dying Light are just a few examples of such games. I love all three but I’ll get bored after 20 or so hours, leave it, and never get back to it. So I want to be more deliberate with my time in these game worlds and with my money that I’m using towards games. I’ve been like this my whole life though so this is a steep hill to conquer.

If there was one thing I was incredibly proud of at the beginning of 2016 vs 2015 is my decision to purchase a vaporizer and quit smoking. I had moved down to a fairly weak potency as well. Then I dropped it in water and wrecked it. Back to smoking we go. It really is a disgusting habit and the fact I was doing so well really hurts. However, today I took advantage of some boxing day sales and got a new one for about half the price I spent on my first one. It’s not kicking the habit but it’s a start. Hopefully I can move down to a 0 mg nicotine content this year and just use it for a placebo effect. As my friend once pointed out being so devoted to working out and then smoking after is extremely counterproductive so here’s to the end of a two year battle.

And finally fitness. After having a specific body weight target this past year I really found myself obsessing over the scale, and it would effect my mood depending on the result. So this year I have two main targets in mind. Becoming the best volleyball player I can be, and getting stronger, regardless of my weight. If the weight comes too, bonus. My strength leaves much to be desired after 2+ years of training and so changing my focus I think will be the step I need to take in order to continue seeing growth as an athlete. This kind of goes hand in hand with being a better volleyball player as strength will obviously be a major part of increasing my vertical. However, I also want to increase my foot speed via skipping and quickness drills and just improve my overall knowledge and awareness. The ladder will be the harder of the two as really the only way of improving is more time on the court with players who are both more skilled and more knowledgeable than myself. With time I think I can accomplish both these things and more! I love both sports and want to play as much, and as long as possible.






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