Collecting Resolutions for 2013

Yes, everyone is writing one of these, and I resisted last year, but I think picking an arbitrary interval at which to examine one's progress is actually a wise idea. So here's a short list of where I hope to be on December 31 against where I am today.
  1. Enter all my non-blog-queue cards into a database. I'm currently using Zistle, though the site seems a little abandoned by its moderators, so I'll keep my options open. Right now, everything I have from the 1950s through 1992 that isn't sitting in a "To-Blog" pile has been cataloged. That's just 20 years worth of stuff to go, with a sparse number of cards from 2000-2009 when I didn't really collect. I like to do this because I want to instantly and definitively know if I have a card, instead of checking multiple boxes, binders, and stray piles.
  2. Update my want list and trade list every 30 days, or when they change, whichever comes later. Too many times I've been sent cards from my list after already having traded for them or bought them, sometimes weeks prior. Also, I accidentally sent off both copies of a few cards in trades last year, creating new holes in a set I was working on completing.
  3. Make 6 trades. That sounds paltry to many of you, but that'd be an increase for me. I never seem to find the time to look around for what I can send others.
  4. Keep my To-Blog pile, mentioned above, to a minimum, by...
  5. Building up a blog buffer. I like to post something every few days, but when I get busy, I wind up frantically scanning and posting cards to meet a completely artificial deadline, and the result is a poor post anyway. If I can keep even 2-3 completed posts in draft, that aren't time-sensitive, I'll feel less pressured to write on a deadline.
  6. Get Healthy.
If we were playing "One of these things is not like the others", the last one would certainly stand out as the one. I don't think the hobby has impacted my health negatively, though there have probably been a few times I could have come home from work and exercised instead of writing or sorting baseball cards. But the reason I list is here is that I had a vague idea mid-year, and a version of it showed up on Lifehacker.com a few days ago. Essentially, my card budget will be based on some health metrics I've set up for myself. I have a scale that also measures body fat, and a Nike+ Fuelband, which can measure steps like a pedometer, estimate calories burned, and also wraps that all up into a proprietary measure called NikeFuel.

So what's the plan? I'll set a max budget each week, which is an amount of money I can afford to spend on cards. Each week, that will go into a jar/envelope/spreadsheet as money I can spend on cards. However, the amount will also be reduced each week if I'm not at my goal. After some thought, the target budget will be $40 per week, because I won't be getting it all at first, and also, that should be doable if I skip out on some of the junk food habit I've developed. To keep it simple, I'll have just 2 components.

  • Pounds of Body Fat
  • NikeFuel
As I poke around the internet, the top of the ideal range for a 6-foot tall 30-year-old man seems to be about 17% body fat, and weight as high as 180 lbs. So let's say that my goal for pounds of body fat is 30.6. I'm currently at 80.332, which is a bit sobering to realize, since I was right around that high-ideal range 7 years ago. But luckily (at least mathematically) the difference is right around 50, so I'll set the penalty at 1% per pound of body fat above my goal, meaning that to start off, I'm losing nearly half my budget each week on this measure.

For NikeFuel, I'll set a daily goal, and allow myself the other 50% of my budget if I meet the goal each day on average, that is, I reach 7x the daily goal for the week. I've found 2500 to be a challenging daily goal, and 1700 or so almost automatic if I don't sleep in and get lazy watching football all day, so really it's about the motivating myself to earn the extra 800 a day, or 5600 a week. So I'll say every point I'm short of my weekly goal causes me to lose 0.01% of my budget. That means that a 5k shortfall would wipe out half.

I'll measure both components on Saturday mornings, and probably even update my progress on the blog every month or so.

Number 6 on my list is definitely #1 on my mind, and hopefully my little public declaration, and ensuing risk of embarrassing failure, will give me the nudge I need to make it happen.


  1. Hope you can reach your goals. Good luck. :)

  2. Good luck, especially with Number 6.

  3. Wishing you all the best with #6. You can do it!