Last January I put forward some resolutions for 2008. It would be easy to hit the restart button and start over, but I choose to hit the rewind button instead.

Last January I put forward some resolutions for 2008. It would be easy to hit the restart button and start over, but I choose to hit the rewind button instead. Here is a review of my 2008 resolutions with a grade for compliance:

1. Read more.
The plan was to read an hour a day, and my reading did increase, but I only managed to set aside a half-hour most working days. Think the plan for 2009 will be to ease the 30 minutes a day up to 45 and read more on days off. I am delighted that our publisher, Jill Bloom, has cooked up the idea of an RC Book Club for Roofing Contractor readers. See our January issue for the first installment. Grade: C+

2. Whine less.
It looked like 2008 was going to be a tough year and for many it was. I remained gainfully employed, dutifully married, and managed to make it through with good health (of my own anyway … cannot claim that for the whole family as my son-in-law, Mark, went on the list for a liver transplant at age 38). Still in all, I managed to keep the whining down to a minimum. For 2009 we will keep Mark in our thoughts and prayers as his situation reminds us every day how unimportant most of what we tend to whine about really is. Grade: A-

3. Work harder and smarter.
I did work hard in 2008 and managed to enjoy most of it. That part about working smarter is an area in which I continue to struggle. For 2009 I want to work smart enough to survive in an economy, parts of which seem bound for self-destruction. Grade: C

4. Enjoy life.
I was blessed to enjoy a trip to China in 2008 that included a visit to the Beijing Olympic venues and some time with the staff of China Building Waterproofing magazine. There was sufficient work in 2008 to keep me out of trouble and I was able to take some mini-trips with the lovely Kay. The lesson was clear from trying to measure this one: I enjoy my life; I just do. It does not mean I do not have to set aside “me time,” but just do what I do and it is really pretty good. Grade: A

5. Focus.
This was about getting back to the basics in business, which is not difficult when the economy is on shaky ground. I cannot take much credit for any behavioral changes since the world caused many of us to focus on the basics just to get by. But get by we did, and it looks like focusing on the basics will remain high on the agenda for 2009. Grade: B

For 2009 I resolve to work the plans as noted above plus add a couple more. My intention is to post to this blog every week. The blog contains some things that I cannot write my usual column so it is sure to be interesting. Mostly I resolve to survive 2009 with a smile on my face and good words for you in Roofing Contractor.

Happy New Year!