Ryan  Burns, phd
December 21, 2016

resolutions for 2017

Over the last few years my love of making new years resolutions has been supplanted by a sheer survival instinct: running long distances was my means of self-preservation, not a hobby, and reading fiction essential to reading students’ exams. Enjoyable pastimes became unaffordable due to moving expenses and new student loan payback bills. So, in 2015 I recorded listening to the least amount of music of any year since 2008 - the year I started seriously keeping track; 2016 is set to surpass it (meaning, even less music). I simply didn’t care to keep track anymore, and most the music I listened to was old, dependable, feel-good, standby favorites.

At the same time, this year, with my moving into a tenure-track position, I’m beginning to feel a sense of stability and security that has freed some mental space for more pleasurable endeavors. I read more books this year than I ever have (journal articles not included, and in grad school most my book-reading consisted of exerpts). I’ve regained some momentum that I hope will launch an awesome 2017. In short, I feel myself circling around a bit, looking forward to setting more “fun” goals for the coming year. Here are some of the goals I’m setting out for myself:

  1. Read and thoroughly enjoy more books than last year, at least 20, including:
    • Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
    • Wright, Native Son
    • Morrison, Beloved
    • Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
    • Camus, The Stranger
    • Rulfo, Pedro Páramo
    • Proust, Swann’s Way
    • Kingsolver, The Bean Trees
    • Achebe, Things Fall Apart
    • Knausgaard, My Struggle
  2. Run a sub-3 hour marathon
  3. Run in a 100-mile race, and finish within 24 hours
  4. Submit 4 substantive pieces of scholarly writing
  5. Record listening to at least 12,000 tracks, my third-highest year
  6. Visit a new national park
  7. Don’t work evenings or weekends
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