Saturday, January 4, 2014

12 goals in 12 months

I actually hate New Year’s resolutions; people make all these promises to themselves but never really sit down and think about the how of what they want to do. Just the same every year at the end and the beginning people go around talking about how they plan to lose weight, write a novel, learn a language, climb a mountain, and a whole laundry list of other things that are normally outside of their experience, and normally by February they are forgotten, or at the very list written off as largely unattainable. People who talk about setting goals for a living talk about the S.M.A.R.T criteria, I work in the corporate world and these sorts of ideas often take root and are crammed down the cogs collective throats where it is quickly forgotten. However I am lucky enough to have a sister who talks with people about this sort of thing one on one as a practical tool (she has her own blog here, you should check it out).

So a smart goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound; most New Year’s resolutions fall short somewhere on this check list, which is why most people never manage to make good on what they say they are going to do. A resolution has no real power in my mind; it’s just something someone says because they feel like they are somehow expected too. I tend not to make resolutions, in part because I don’t think they have any real meaning, and in part because people might expect me to do something about it.

However this year something happened that made a good deal of sense, my sister, the one who talks to people about how they are going to do the things they say they are going to do. Not only did she do one thing she said she was going to do in a year but put a pretty decent dent in a list of 28 things ( and impressive things like writing a novel, a half marathon, making things and reading real literature). It was actually kind of impressive, and it made me feel very lazy. Normally when I feel really lazy I play video games till I forget about it but you know what, I’m thirty years old, and something about that made we want to try my hand at this, but I’m starting small, so I give you 12 goals for 12 months.

1) Learn to program
This is actually one of the geeky pursuits which I am a bit weak on, in school I found programming to be honestly a bit painful and only really learned enough to pass my classes. However these are tools I feel like I could use at some point in my future, so I’m starting with Python

2) Read real literature
I take in a lot of empty literary calories these days, which is fine for a while but it has been a long time since I have read any actual literature, I will come up with a reading list here in the near future

3) Spend at least 5 hours a week working out at the gym
I have discovered that simply paying for a gym membership does not have any effect on the shape I am in.  Rather than setting a target for weight lost or amount I can lift or something else like that it’s the time I want to spend actually working towards getting in better shape.

4) Blog at least once a week
I will be honest; I do have two blogs which might make this a bit easier.

5) Save at least $1,000 and hold on to it for at least three months.
Harder than you  might think

6) Plan and complete 4 electronic projects
I have some already planned out, but I honestly have not made too much headway on these, I want to get one done a quarter if I can help it

7) Go camping at least 3 times
I miss camping, I enjoy the whole experience and I want to get back into it.

8) Go fishing at least 6 times
Just like with camping, but I don’t really need to go away for a whole weekend, I intend to get a license and use it this year

9) Hiking!
So I have mentioned more than once that I am in truth a very lazy person. This last week I was coerced into going on a hike, and much to the dismay of my lazy self, I really enjoyed it, I need to do this more.

10) Take up something creative
I’m honestly not sure where I am going to take this but I want to exorcise the creative part of my brain more. I know that creative endeavors can help with critical thinking and problem solving, and I want to do see where this can take me.

11) Develop a plan to get music back into my life
For a large part of growing up I had hours of music every day in my life and I miss it. Part of me wants to return to the Tuba, however for the sake of those who live with me I may look for something that sounds a little less like a moose in heat when you are starting out.

12) Be an active partner in helping plan my own wedding.
I got engaged this last year, which is awesome and exciting, and all those things people tend to tell you it is. We are planning and paying for the wedding our selves which is a bit daunting though. I need to do more than simply offer emotional and financial support but be an active participant in the process.

So that is it for now, 12 goals for twelve months, we will see where this takes us


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