New Man Plan

A few years ago, a friend of mine instituted a New Man Plan for the New Year. It was his clever name for the annual adjustment in eating and drinking habits, workout regimen, etc. most of us start January with. I’ve always liked that name, and use it anytime I’m making even minor changes in my life.

It might be early, but I seem to have gone full-New Man Plan for November. Examples:

1) NaNoWriMo. Writing a novel, even under strict rules like NaNoWriMo’s, is a big deal. So I’ll count this as a big life change. Week one went smoothly. I did my best to follow the advice for first timers: just write. Don’t worry about gaps in timeline, inconsistency in characters, and so on. Get the words out. As of this (Monday) morning, I’m sitting on 12,144 words. As I expected, the story sucks. I think a couple characters have multiple names because I’m focused on moving forward rather than making sure everything matches up. But I’m on schedule through week one. Now if I can just stretch it out for three more weeks.

2) As I mentioned, S. and I signed up for next year’s Indianapolis Mini Marathon. It’s too early to launch into a big training program, especially when I haven’t run consistently in ages. So that’s been my focus: running 2-3 times a week, very modest distances, and hoping to stick with that through fall and winter so I can start a half-marathon specific program in the spring.

3) I’m letting my hair grow out. After 5+ years of keeping it buzzed down, I decided it was time for a change. It’s been four weeks since I cut it, and it is still growing out.1 I forgot how carpet-like my hair is. Each hair sticks straight out rather than lies down, so even after a shower and ripping a brush through it, it has a mind of its own. Not that I’m complaining: having a full head of hair at 39 is a good thing.

It’s also reached the point where I can see the lines where the clippers went through during my last cut. I have a ridge running through the center of my head where everything is a tad longer than the hair around it. One side of my head swirls the wrong direction because of the last clipper pass. A couple more weeks and I can go get it cut by a professional and smooth out these rough edges. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. I’m certainly not going to let it grow out as long as it was ten years ago.2 But neither is it going to be buzzed down completely.

4) New glasses. A very minor change, but after two years with my current frames, some new ones are on order. You may recall I switched to glasses two years ago in hopes of getting corrective surgery and ditching contacts and glasses all together. Sadly my corneas are too weak to handle surgery, so I’m stuck in glasses. The crazy thing is we’ve discovered contacts were horrible for my eyes. My prescription was constantly changing because of the stress contacts put on my corneas. Two years in glasses, though, and there’s been the tiniest change in prescription, and instead of getting worse, it has gotten slightly better.

Mostly small changes, but when you throw four of them out at once, I feel like a New Man!


  1. I accidentally buzzed my hair down once in college. In four weeks it was ready for a family picture. My hair still grows fast, but not quite as fast as it did 20 years ago. 
  2. M. calls my hair in our wedding pictures my silly hair.