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Our staff’s top 2014 New Year’s resolutions

Top 2014 New Year’s Resolutions

For many of us, January 1st isn’t just the signal to toss out last year’s calendar — it’s also when we pledge to do better or be better in some way. Among the most popular resolutions we make are to trim unwanted pounds, quit smoking and eat more healthily.

Some members of our staff, however, have different goals in mind. Here, they describe their out-of-the-ordinary resolutions for the coming year:

“My New Year’s resolution is to build a business that makes a profit in 30 days or less.”

—Chris Crowe, SEO manager

Crowe’s resolution may seem like something out of an infomercial, but it was inspired by someone whose startup made $1,000 in fewer than 24 hours.

“It’s based on the results of serial entrepreneur Noah Kagan, one of the early employees at Facebook and Mint,” Crowe says. Kagan created the website Sumo Jerky, where connoisseurs of dehydrated meats can have them shipped to their doors monthly. Launching a profitable startup in 30 days “just sounds like an interesting idea for 2014,” Crowe says.

“For 2014, I plan to take to heart a passage from Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘A Man Without a Country.’”

—Kyle Hanlon, senior video and multimedia producer

In Vonnegut’s 2005 essay collection, he tells a story about his Uncle Alex, whose main gripe was that “other human beings … seldom noticed it when they were happy.” Hanlon’s resolution for the new year is to do what Vonnegut’s uncle did when he was enjoying himself: Think or exclaim, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Hanlon notes that “doing this is important to me because I need to learn to appreciate the present moment more rather than think about what happened in the past.” He says he also wishes that more people would adopt the same attitude and be grateful for what they have.

“To stop staring at my iPhone when I want to avoid eye contact in public places like elevators and gas station lines.”

—Erin Graff, social media community manager

“For 2014, I’m cooling things off with my love affair with my iPhone® [device] and searching for real connections elsewhere,” Graff says, adding that she regularly sees couples in restaurants texting or talking on their cellphones instead of interacting with each other. Her resolution will mean less checking in, tagging or taking so-called photo “selfies” for the Instagram® photo-sharing site.

By cutting back on her social media time, Graff hopes to have more opportunities to enjoy what she calls “the real moments in life — taste, aroma, eye contact, handshakes and hugs.”

“My goal is to read and watch the complete works of James Franco.”

—Dorothy Koch, senior manager, marketing research and substantiation

Franco may be the star of films such as “Spider-Man,” “Spring Breakers,” and, most recently, “Homefront,” but that isn’t why Koch is drawn to his work. “He went back to school to get his PhD [in English],” she says, adding that she respects him for balancing schoolwork and teaching on top of his acting career.

Koch also admires that Franco apparently has no illusions about what he does for a living. “He is not shy about admitting that actors want to be someone else,” she notes, referring to what he wrote in “Actors Anonymous,” his semi-autobiographical novel. “I think by watching his films I can get a look into the kinds of people he’d rather be.”

“To run 12 half-marathons in 12 months.”

—Naureen Saira, senior web designer

For most people, running a single 5-kilometer race is an accomplishment, but Saira wants a bigger challenge. “I love to run,” she says, adding that competing against other people — and the possibility of winning medals, trophies or other awards — helps keep her going.

It’s also more grounding than squeezing tiny rubber balls or meditating. “Running is my way of relieving stress in my life,” Saira says. “When I’m out there, it’s just me, my music and the road. Nothing beats that.”

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