Goals for 2015

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I have successfully avoided making any New Year Resolutions this year, acknowledging that, as the previous article I posted on the topic pointed out, “You don’t need a big resolution to change your life, because your life isn’t established in big moments.” That said, I have set several goals that I am working on this year.

The first two include my wife. We have been working our way through Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening together. I picked it up probably halfway through last year and liked it so much I wanted to do it again this year. I had done them on my own last year but asked if she would be interested in joining me and she was. We have kept this so far.

We are also attempting to read the Bible through over the year. We have both read big portions of the Bible, some much more than others, but it has always been in a disconnected manner for a particular study of one book or another, or Sunday School. I’m excited to see everything in context and watch God’s promises unfold across generations. What we have read in just over two weeks has been enlightening. Instead of a brief passage pulled out for a lesson or sermon, we have traced God’s hand down through generations.

Exegesis is an amazing way to study the Bible, and it definitely has its place, but it is really the only way I have interacted with God’s Word. We have really been enjoying seeing the big picture in context. For those interested, we are using Charles Ryrie’s plan found in his study Bible’s. Someone scanned the front of their Bible so others could have the plan here.

I plan to read two books a month this year. I hope to have them all be non-fiction, though I am ok with some of them being Great Books. I realized that my son is reading much more than I am. He is averaging a book a week and has read thirty books since we started this homeschool year back in July. I considered reading all of the books he is but I really don’t have any interest in some of his choices (some of these books have been things I assigned and others his pleasure reading choices).

Since we started this homeschool journey I have found myself reading non-fiction almost exclusively. Selections like Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis, Norms and Nobility by David Hicks, and Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott, and I really enjoyed them. They stretched my thinking in ways that fiction never could. So I decided that I would like to continue that trend but include the kind of books that will be covered in VP’s Omnibus. I do plan to read along with my children when we go through the selections so that I can really discuss with them. I figure reading tougher books for the next year and a half will have me primed to keep up when we finally start. I am reading On Christian Doctrine by St. Augustine, and plan to read Beauty for Truth’s Sake by Stratford Caldecott. I am also planning to reread Norms and Nobility. I don’t really have anything planned beyond those. I am just trusting I will be led to them like I have been everything else. I will keep up with what I read using Evernote.

Last year, inspired by a board game video blogger, I made several board game resolutions. I wanted to play all of our board games at least once, wanted to play ten games at least ten times each, and have at least three hundred total plays. We succeeded with the last, but came up short on the other two for various reasons.

As far as playing all of our board games at least once, that one is the easiest to explain: we kept buying new games. We also attended game meet-ups with local groups so we had their games to helps us meet our overall play goal, so some of our older games just didn’t get played last year.

The 10×10 goal was just more difficult than I had anticipated. We accomplished six with at least ten plays, two with nine, two more with eight, and few more with six or seven. Ten plays of a particular game can be a lot in a year, though it may not sound like it. If a game is light and quick then it can easily be played two or three times in row without a second thought. Four out of the six were in this category; games like Love Letter, Skull & Roses, or King of Tokyo. These games generally take between ten minutes and half an hour and are usually card, dice, or light bluffing games. It is pretty easy to pull them out on a few nights over the course of the year and hit ten plays with them.

But a game that takes ninety minutes to two or three hours to play and requires a lot of thinking and strategy can be difficult to get to the table ten times a year. You really, really have to like it to play it that much. Games like Madeira, Brass, Age of Steam, and Roads & Boats are in this category. I discovered I have a lot more of this category than the lighter games. The only two heavier games that made it to ten plays were Castles of Burgundy and Keyflower, though Castles really isn’t that heavy. If you are interested in what we played last year you can see the list here.

In the long run I discovered that, not only was it difficult to get some of these games to the table ten times in a year, but it was also constraining. We found ourselves playing games we didn’t necessarily want to play to meet a goal. It took a lot of fun out of it. So, while I do want to continue to keep up with our plays this year, I am no longer interested in setting goals about specific games or amounts of games that we need to play. Instead, I am interested in charting what we play so that we can look back at the end of the year and follow trends in what we played, look for favorites that we naturally gravitated to, and also look for games that didn’t get much play as possible trade items. If you want to keep up with years plays, you can here.

But, inspired by last year’s 10×10 resolution, a board game blogger came up with the D12 Challenge for 2015. The challenge is to introduce twelve new people to the board gaming hobby. The tongue-in-cheek description of the challenge:

Together we will wipe out the question “What, like monopoly?”
Together we will help publishers create more games
Together we will play more games
Together we will take over the world!

This will not be an easy thing but I am looking forward to it.

So, have you made any resolutions for 2015? Any goals? How are you keeping yourself accountable? Share in the comments!

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