Happy New Year 2009!
Well, 2008 came and went a lot more quickly than I was expecting. I’ll be doing one of my usual annual summaries later, but for now I thought I’d do something completely new and write down some New Year’s resolutions. In the past, I’ve scoffed at such practices, believing that, if you want to change something, the best time to do it is now, not when you hang up the new calendar. However, I’m beginning to come round to the notion that, sometimes, we all need an extra little kick to do the things we know we should do but can’t face up to, and the start of a new year seems like as good a time as any to make an actual commitment. So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2009, in no particular order:
Write more reviews. Once upon a time, I was quite prolific as a writer at DVD Times. In 2008, however, my output slowed to a trickle. Some of this can be blamed on my workload: I’m researching a PhD and also holding down a part-time job. That said, I could definitely stand to make better use of my free time, so my first resolution for 2009 is to attempt to write one review per week. These might not all be fully-fledged, in-depth pieces like my Wall-E Blu-ray review, which was a massive undertaking, but I could at least stand to write technical reviews of BDs whose DVD counterparts have already been covered either by myself or other DVD Times reviews.
Pay off my student loan. When I did my undergraduate degree between 2001 and 2005, I took out a student loan. Given that I lived at home and was within easy travelling distance of the university, I qualified for the smallest available loan, something which I am now exceedingly glad of, having heard the figures bandied about by some former students (particularly those in the US - yikes!). In comparison, £2,500 feels quite maneagable, and, in any event, payment will be facilitated somewhat by a generous donation I received from a dead relative on Christmas Day (thanks, Gran).
Lose weight. In Spring of 2005, I lost a considerable amount of weight in a short space of time. Unfortunately, some of that has subsequently piled back on, and while I’m far from as large as I once was, I could stand to be smaller. I can also see myself ending up on the slippery slope to becoming a fatty again, something I don’t particularly want to happen. I don’t subscribe to any particularly outlandish diets: my weight loss system is basically “Three square meals a day, five portions of fruit and nothing else in between.” It worked in 2005, and it can work again in 2009. All it takes is a little willpower in the first couple of weeks, and then I don’t even miss the crisps, sweets etc.
Watch more films. I saw a number of “significant” films in 2008, some of which I’ll list in my review of 2008 post. In general, though, viewing figures were down: I saw a total of 67 films for the first time, a mere seven of which were released that year. I’m not much of a cinema-goer these days - I tend to think it’s just not worth the hassle - but I could have done better. I still can’t believe I didn’t at least go to see Quantum of Solace. I know some people try to watch a film every single day, but that’s just not possible from my point of view: as much as I’d like it to, my entire life doesn’t revolve around watching movies. I’m not going to make a pledge to watch X number of movies this year, as I surely wouldn’t be able to keep to it, so I’m simply going to say “I’ll do better.”
Post more. I definitely wrote considerably fewer posts for this site in 2008 than I did in 2007. While I wouldn’t say I neglected the site as such, I do think I could have written more. While I’m not a believer in posting something every day simply for the sake of it, on far too many occasions I neglected to post a news item that either myself or others would have found interesting simply because I couldn’t be bothered. I’m not sure what the solution to this is, but I know some people have a habit of setting aside a specific time of the day for blogging, so that’s one possible answer. In any event, expect to see more activity at Land of Whimsy in 2009.