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Ever hear that expression “you learn something new every day”?

It’s probably true, but probably often unrealized and unsought. It’s easy to stick to a routine, to not push boundaries, to not even notice.

So, that’s where the Something New Project comes in. One year, 365 days, something new every day. Call it my 2014 New Year’s resolution.

Most days won’t be spectacular. It’s not about that. Besides, I can’t afford to see new places, or go hot air ballooning every day unless I win the lottery. Though, winning the lottery would be something new for me. Some days my “something new” will be learning a fact I didn’t know before. It’s about learning, trying and experiencing. It’s about taking a shot when I know I’m not going to excel. It’s about seeing things I haven’t seen before. It’s about acquiring new knowledge, even in very small doses.

So that’s why I’m doing the project, but why make it into a blog?

Well, accountability, for one. And hopefully encouragement. After all, if it’s okay to track ones weight loss or running progress on social media, it’s okay to track ones dubious personal experiments online as well, yes?

But more importantly, I hope that if you’re reading this, you’ll get involved. I hope you’ll give me suggestions of new things to do and learn, and I hope you’ll tell me about the new things you’re learning.

There are rules, of course (aren’t there always rules?):

1) Nothing dangerous, stupid or harmful. I’ve never shaved my head, snorted any kind of substance, or had a one night stand. None of those things are acceptable.

2) Some new things will not be accomplished in one day. For example, I’d like to knit a sweater. That’ll take a while, if I try it. But it only counts for the day I start. If I don’t finish something, I’ll be honest about it.

3) The term “new” is flexible. If it’s been more than 15 years since I’ve done something, say, horseback riding, I think that counts as something new, don’t you?

4) Don’t tell me about your sex life, and I won’t tell you about mine. I don’t care if you’ve never done an around the world before. Wait, an around the world is a sex thing, right? Hold on while I Google… yes, yes, it is, and heavens to Betsy… anyway, if that’s your experimental bag, God love you, but keep it to yourself.

5) What counts as something new is up to my judgment. Watching a movie I’ve never seen, for example, should have some sort of cultural or educational significance. Let’s just say “Step Up 2” doesn’t count. “Gone With the Wind” does. Same thing with cooking. White chocolate chip cookies are not new enough. Baklava? Now that’s new.

6) In addition to the dangerous/stupid/private clauses, I reserve the right to not accept challenges as I see unfit. For example, I will not be running anything with the word “marathon” in it. Don’t even start.

I think that’s all for now. The Something New Project officially launches January 1, 2014. 

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