Thought Leadership

12 things for 2019

By Colin Walls

I am not a fan of new year’s resolutions. Although having goals and ambitions is good, starting out the new year with some big change is rather artificial. Last year, I came across the concept of “18 things for 2018”. The idea is to establish a list of “things” – goals, achievements, whatever … – for the whole year. The suggestion was that they should be a mixture of serious and whimsical, easy and challenging. I wrote about my plans late last year, when the outcome of them was becoming clearer. In the end, I felt that I could honestly check off 14 of the 18 and I was quite happy with that result.

Now it is 2019 and I need a new plan …

The obvious idea would be “19 things for 2019”. Although that would be manageable, we figured that this pattern could get out of hand – imagine “29 things for 2029” when I’m 72! ? Something simpler was needed; a number we could use each year. We decided that a round dozen would be enough without being too many. So, it is “12 things for 2019” and here is my list:

  1. Have a meat-free month – Although I have no intention of becoming vegetarian, I know that giving up meat is one of the best things any individual can do to help combat climate change. I want to get into the habit of eating less meat, so a month of abstinence seems a good start. We will allow ourselves fish.
  2. Make up to date photo books – A few years ago I made some books of a couple of years’ best [IMHO] photos. I thought that I would continue to do one each year. I need to catch up. This was one of my 18 that did not get done.
  3. Make some cookies – A continuation of last year’s 18. I want to make American-style, choc-chip cookies from scratch.
  4. 3 new fish dishes (recipes or types of fish) – I am not confident when it comes to cooking fish. Last year, I tried cooking skate [ray] and it was very successful. So, this year it will be 3 new fish varieties or fish dishes.
  5. Have a dairy-free month – An extension of one of last year’s 18. I have a vague feeling that dairy is not good for me, so I am planning a whole month without it.
  6. Scan/scrap old 35mm slides – I have a number of boxes of old 35mm slides, which are just taking up space. I am afraid to dump them, as there may be images that I would like to retain. I want to sort through them, pick out the important ones and make good scans before trashing the lot.
  7. Do regular yoga – For some time, I thought that trying yoga might be good, but I was put off by hearing that classes are full of people who know what they are doing. We took a few 1-to-1 [or, rather 2-to-1] sessions last year and have now started weekly classes. The plan is to keep this up.
  8. Home office makeover – I moved into my house and set up my home office over 8 years ago. It has worked well, but now needs a thorough clear out and some refitting.
  9. Make cheese – I have always fancied the idea of making my own cheese. I bought a kit a while ago. All I need to do is get it done.
  10. Buy no clothes in 2019 – I have more clothes than I need. Many things in my wardrobe have never been worn. It will be good for the planet and for my bank balance if I make do with what I have for 12 months.
  11. Participate in the Hay Festival – The Hay Festival is a literary/music/culture festival that takes place in the summer at Hay-on-Wye, which is not too far from here. We have attended parts of it before and I feel it is time to go again.
  12. Research swifts’ habitat (nest boxes) – When I first moved to my house, there were birds that nested in the eves [under the edge of the roof]. We would enjoy seeing them swooping through the sky making a characteristic noise. We learned that they were swifts and would return each year. We had the roof thoroughly refurbished, which removed the space where they nested, so they sadly never returned. I discovered recently that suitable bird boxes might attract them back. I need to research this some more.

I will report back on progress later in the year.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at