Should I set a goal to reach a rating, and is this even realistic as a resolution? I mean, resolutions are based on what you set yourself to do regardless of others, and a new rating depends very much on who you play against and how they play. Perhaps a more realistic resolution is to set how much to play. These past couple of years have been bad for me in terms of the amount of serious chess I have played. I've probably played less than at any time in the previous 20 years so maybe that would be a good start.
Resolution #1: To regularly play long play competitive chess (let's say at least 80 games in 2015)
What about study? I guess this is somewhat dependent on the amount of time that a working person can put into the game. My time is taken up with work, a life with my wife, chores, and other activities that I enjoy like running and reading. So before looking at what I should be studying, I really need to set an amount of time that I'd like to put into the game each week. Ok, well I think I should be able to put at least 10 hours a week into chess, that is only between 1 and 2 hours per day, and once I get into analysing one of my own games the time just flies past.
Resolution #2: To devote at least 10 hours each week to studying chess
Do I really need to resolve to do anything more than this? Probably not. I have set some realistic goals that will hopefully direct my thoughts and consolidate my play. Where I play and what I study are questions that I'll need to decide, and will be based on how my life shapes up in 2015. In the meantime what I can also resolve to do is stop procrastinating and get on with things. The 31st December is a great day for planning, but from tomorrow I need to be doing.
Resolution #3: No procrastinating
Well, that wasn't too difficult. Funnily enough these chess resolutions are very similar to the resolutions I should be making in life generally. Do more, make better use of my time, and get on with it!
Happy New Year!