I enjoy listening to the podcast, Cortex. CGP Grey approaches topics in a thoughtful way and Myke Hurley is a wonderful conversationalist. One of their tropes I enjoy is listening to them talk about their yearly themes’. The two eschew New Year’s resolutions in favour of establishing a thematic target for their year ahead.

Over the last few years I have played along, although historically I have tended to arrive at a handful of areas of focus, as opposed to a single theme.

For 2019 I wanted to simplify and be guided by a a single theme myself — no excuses.

After some thought, I have determined that 2019 will be my Year of Fun.

In practical terms, this means that I want to find fun and enjoyment in everyday life. It doesn’t mean I’m going to engage party central each day of the week, but it does mean that I want to take a positive mindset into the day and find ways to maximise my enjoyment.

I will concentrate on doing things I enjoy. I will carve out time for hobbies and recreation. I will sneak turns with my son’s new Nintendo Switch. I will enjoy conversations with both my boys. Even the boring things, I will try to embrace with a positive approach. It might be difficult to make ironing fun, but at least I can try not get depressed about having to do it.

There’s no doubt that this year will be defined by what happens in my wife’s life. This will create familial stress. It will make the kids anxious. What’s the best defence against stress? Laughter. Find the fun! I can take a positive mindset into this adventure and realise that it’s a unique and interesting journey, that few people have the opportunity to experience. So I shall live it to the fullest.

Bonus Round

A further challenge I want to set myself, which is related to my year of fun, is to learn. I want to challenge my brain in new ways this year. I want to keep my grey matter in good order by pushing it to work through learning. I’m still thinking through some ideas as to what I want to set as my learning goals. I have a few ideas — nothing incredibly earth-shattering — that I think will be interesting to pursue.

How does learning relate to fun? It does because I think learning is fun. I like the feeling of having my mind enter a flow state, where it is engaged and concentrating on absorbing and synthesising new information.