My Digital Resolutions for 2013

Making Time for Things That Matter

A year’s start is usually the time when the internet is inundated with lists of resolutions, and the occasional commentary on the commercialism of shaky self-promises. I have made mention of some of my personal resolutions for this year on the comments of some websites, but never felt compelled to write them down. Thankfully, keeping them so-called “unofficial” has not deterred the time invested in maintaining them, so far.

The ones I will write down, however, involve addressing the non-tangible.

My 2012 has been a year of good decisions and many learnings, but it was also of getting lost in the universe of busy. This has resulted in me using weekly obligations as an excuse for not being to enhance my own personal digital assets. It was not due to lack of opportunity; nothing in my life prevented me from taking the chance. So, this year, the underlying theme behind all of my resolutions — offine and otherwise — is to spend time on things that matter. As an effort to translate this online, I strive to do the following — albeit a weeks late — in 2013:

Overhaul This Website

Face it: the current look has overstayed its welcome, and the intention to make this domain grow has been a failed resolution for more than a year. The first time I truly acted on planning a re-design was more than two years ago, when I emailed a blogger friend about WordPress loops. Since then, there have been been a handful of clumsy attempts on Photoshop, and one concept that could potentially see the finish line.

Among many others, my plan for this website — aside from a whole other face — is re-structuring it to become a solid converging point for my various web presences. Content-wise, writing will be directed more personally in terms of laying down my own opinions on design topics, creativity, and headlines, as well as losing the dependency on popular culture reviews for post fodder. The course of action may sound reasonable enough, yet nothing happened, and after a long period of homeostasis, I realised the project had too broad a goal. The revamp will start slowly this year, and the first step will be to re-purpose my Tumblr. Lifting the other corners can wait until afterward.

Stop Being Camera-Shy

I do not mean hiding from the glare of the lenses, but rather to overcome the anxiety that comes with capturing moments on a regular basis. To be fair, forgoing the photography opportunity makes me constantly in the present. But I no longer find myself believing that the reason my photo storage accounts are emptier than intended is because of “being”, and not because I am in fact worried about social backlash when I break out my bridge camera to take interior shots of a particularly beautiful space — and getting stinkeye from restaurant managers or boutique supervisors.

This year, I want to throw away all that timidness. Getting permission to photograph freely will always dependent on circumstance, but if I do get burned, at least I can say tried. To start, there are a bunch of great concerts lined up in my city this year. The last time I took photos with any degree of seriousness was when I attended Feist’s gig back in February 2012, and the coming events should provide opportunities for heavily visual posts to make their way back here.

Organise My Digital Files

I am not one of those people who sees an empty inbox as a sign of achievement, because to an extent, I depend on my accounts for back-up and for digital documentations of my projects. Since I use Google, I do avail myself of their labels function in emails, and use their Contacts section for syncing the address book in my Nexus S. However, it does not seem to be enough. I want to work on greater integrating the functions of Google into managing my day-to-day tasks. To start, I will comb through all of the messages in my accounts, toss out the threads I do not need, and properly file the ones that stay. I will also make sure all contacts that I have will be properly stored and hooked up with other online services, and rid my phone of unnamed numbers. Then, start properly making use of Google Drive, update Google Reader — and maybe use Google Calendar, even though I opt for the Moleskine method.

The same is also planned for my Mac. In all the years of accumulating files, I have been able to develop a working system for storage and retrieval. However, in the occasional rush to save items onto my hard disk, a few files become displaced, and those numbered buggers are quite the challenge to find. After finding and restoring them, I will unravel and sort through the contents of my own version of The “Monica” Closet: my “Downloads” folder.

Manage Correspondences Better

The development of email has given communication a new level of immediacy. Compared to the pre-digital era, when the dissemination of words previously involved greater pains to achieve, messages can now be received, acknowledged, processed, and responded to in a matter of minutes. But the darker side of convenience gives way to a sense of complacency, or worse yet, an addiction to getting the last word out. The task becomes synonymous to navigating a labyrinth with no exits.

Better management of email also means knowing which messages should not be dignified with a response. On more than one occasion, I have been put at the mercy of unscrupulous addicts of the “Forward” button, or messages veiled with content that would catapult my eyebrow into outer space. It would be easier on my conscience, and even preferred, to jack up the email filters, then sit back with a warm cup of coffee. Yet, I still yield to my inner internet newbie, thinking I could prove a point. It never works.

I have been somewhat diligent at the former in 2012, but stumbled on the latter. This year, I resolve to be better at both.

One Jotter Post A Week

For the year 2012, I wrote a total of ten jotter posts. On average, that was almost one press of the “Publish” button, per month. In other words, my website had been clinically dead.

I reasoned through my writing dry spell, believing there was nothing worth documenting. However, the lack of practise in any craft leads to its paralysis, and it was then that I knew that it was not for lack of happenings. With the intent of bringing back the routine of churning out words, I have made the commitment to compose a minimum of one jotter post every week. I have also addressed the issue of ideating content, because while I am not in front of the keyboard, I will be behind a book, looking up at a film screen, in front of various literature, and in the middle of experience. All this is not for the purpose of running back here, prompted with an idea, but because enhancing the visual experience is something worth doing.

So far, it is working. I have not had a dip in what to write, and including this post, have written three posts. Here is to hoping the habit solidifies, and perhaps my writing will become better along the way.

To A Fresh Start

You are my witnesses. Wish me luck.

What About You?

What are your digital resolutions for 2013? Do you make resolutions? If so, what are some of them?


  1. LJ

    Great goals! I have been in the planning process of creating a site and it is stressful, so I can definitely feel your pain! Maybe it’s because I’m a new follower, but I still love your site design :) Excited to see your new ideas though!

    xo L

  2. Maria Celina

    @Tamz: Much luck to the both of us, Tamz.

    @Kristine: No worries, Kristine. I’ve checked out both “Diary” and “Day One” via Google, and I like their simple interfaces. I’ll think them over. Thanks for the recommendations.

  3. Tamz

    I have some similar digital resolutions for this year:

    Website overhaul
    File organization
    Blogging more frequently
    More snapshots

    Hopefully, we could stick to these this coming year.

  4. Maria Celina

    @Jannie: Actually, Jannie, the camera-shy that I am referring to it being shy in seizing the opportunity to take photos of my surroundings. For much of last year, I’ve placed my camera aside, because I’ve been afraid of drawing too much attention to myself, and as a result, I do not have many captured experiences. I resolve to make 2013 a photo-filled year, a thousand words at a time. Admittedly, I am a little camera shy, but I don’t flee from all of the lenses which are pointed at me — at least, for the most part.

    I’m glad that you’ve decided to partake in the one post a week goal, too. I hope the habit forms for you, and that it facilitates with your blog writing. May 2013 be a wonderful year for you.

    @Meredith: That’s a fantastic approach to photo-taking, Meredith, and you make a solid point. One of the reasons I find myself with a thin supply of photos is giving up easily on seemingly unremarkable days. I may strive to do that. I hope that so far this year, actively searching for things worth photographing has been effective for you, and all the best to you on the rest of your resolutions, too.

    @Kristine: Those are good digital goals, Kristine. Personally, I’m fine with the amount of time that I spend online, and even have another list of resolutions of the non-digital kind. However, the quality of time I spend on the internet leaves much to be desired, and it has surely contributed to the lack of re-designing around here. I’m going to make sure 2013 is the year I step away from 9GAG et al.

    If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the name of the diary application that you bought?

  5. Kristine

    I have been wondering when you will finally work on your blog. I have been waiting for the re-design since you last emailed me. Well, it’s a new year and you have this opportunity to redesign your already beautiful blog.

    The only digital goals I have are more journal writing on the diary app I bought and keep blogging regularly. For the most part, I like to make goals for things I do out of the interwebs in an effort to decrease time spent in front of the computer.

  6. Meredith

    I did reach warmer temperatures on Saturday haha. Then standing outside without as many layers in -1 degree weather felt AMAZING and so much warmer than it would have before haha. Maybe I’m building up a shield against the cold. But I’m still jealous of your lack of cold weather!

    These are awesome goals! I definitely share the goal of not being so camera shy with TAKING pictures. One of my resolutions is to take a picture every day, so hopefully by the end of the year I wont be so shy about it. I’ve been doing pretty well with actually taking my camera everywhere I go, where as when I attempted this a few years back I would either not have my camera on me, or have nothing going on that day worth taking a picture of. Now, I find stuff to be worth it!

    I’m also trying to have a fresh start this year, both online and offline! Good luck with yours :)

  7. Jannie

    Other than your what’s in my bag posts, this has got to be one of my favorite posts. I discovered something I don’t know about you. I did not know you’re camera shy. I never thought you’d be. When I see you in pictures, you look confident, comfortable, and charming. I’m surprised you’re camera shy. Then again, so am I. We have a different degree of camera shyness though. I more of the person that hides from the glare of the lens though. (Other than being timid around the camera, my eyes are quite sensitive to flash. LOL.)

    As for website overhaul, I love the whole layout right now the way it is. :) Then again, I know for sure you always come up with brilliant layout ideas. Equally brilliant are your content ideas too. I love how you display your talent for art and writing on here. I always appreciate the versatility about your blog. :)

    I’m going to follow…or at least TRY…to follow the same resolution as you. I’ll try to do one post a week. Even with school coming up and work, I may be able to squeeze something in. :)

    Yikes. I hope you don’t mind me carrying on and writing a novel here. I am sure you’ll manage to keep these resolutions. I know I’ve greeted you before, but I don’t mind doing it again. I wish you a fruitful 2013. :)

  8. Caity

    I think these are great goals for 2013! I made my only goals about bettering myself really. They’re mostly diet and fitness related. Last year it was all career related. Maybe next year I can make digital goals.

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