I rarely watch movies. I didn’t see The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music until college, I’ve had three dental checkups since my last trip to the theater, and not only have I missed the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve only seen two superhero movies of any kind in the past decade.

In 2017 I saw just four movies all year, which was low even for me. So I made a New Year’s resolution in 2018: watch at least one movie per month.

I expected this would be a fun supplement to a bunch of “real” resolutions around hobbies and exercise and personal growth, but it turned out to be the most difficult one to keep. I did manage it, but only barely; I watched exactly twelve movies in 2018, and every one was with days to spare before the end of the month. Often, there were only hours to spare.

I was conflicted about this. I liked watching more movies, but something about the resolution framing gave it an unpleasant whiff of obligation, and so I’d procrastinate—even though I was putting off something fun.

When I relaunched this website, I set a similar goal to write at least one post per month. And as you can see from the archive page, I’ve fallen into the same trap: I have exactly one post per month since October of last year, most of which were published on the last day of the month. (And naturally, when there are fewer posts, each one feels like it needs to be weightier to justify the gap.)

Habits are weird.