When I came back to Northern Kentucky back in August of 2010, I thought I’d be here for a few months. I was going to help run the Cincinnati Film Festival, spend time with a dear friend who I was hoping would become my girlfriend, and save a little money by working for the magazine in a place with a lower cost of living. The film festival went badly, as did everything else. Magazine shut down. Friend did not echo my wishes for more. So it goes.

Last year, I spent the end of November and most of December working on a feature film. I got back to Northern Kentucky a few days ahead of Christmas, and said, “This is my last Christmas spent living in KY.” Some weeks ago, I realized it was almost Christmas again and I had no idea what the hell had even happened in 2013. I know I wrote a pilot, spent some time on the radio, and hosted a week of Upstream Color screenings. There was more, but damned if I can remember it.

So I decided to begin 2014 with a shock to the system. I haven’t had routine in my life for a long time, so I’m forcing myself to adhere to one for 31 days. I’m cutting off ties with the outside world, and instituting a severe regimen that incorporates physical exercise into my daily routine, as well as maximizing productivity while minimizing time spent watching films and TV. I will also be adhering to a mostly vegetarian diet, and cutting out alcohol entirely.

My goals for this are significant weight-loss and increase in overall health, rebuilding my bank account, and finishing at least one script. I will be posting updates here, as I want to stay off Facebook for the month as well. I’m not sure exactly what the posts will be. For the most part, I imagine they’ll be dry tallies of that day’s workout and productivity, as being accountable to something beyond one’s self is usually a good idea and keeps one on track. Beyond this, I’m sure there will be posts as the month wears on that reflect cabin fever, my cravings for booze and unhealthy-but-delicious foods, etc.

Oh, and about my next post: As part of my hermitage, I am shaving my head. Not entirely shaved, like the Army did all those years ago, but a buzz-cut, where my hair and beard are all the same length. I am doing this because I think having an external reminder of what I’m doing. If I’m thinking of cheating, of going out or ordering a pizza, it is my hope that seeing my shaved head in the mirror will remind me of what I am trying to do.

So anyway, that’s my January plan. Wish me luck.