Goals (12 Months)

or, “How I Would Like To Amend My Resolutions, Because Waiting Until New Year’s Won’t Work”

This won’t be that interesting for most people, I’m mainly posting it for myself because my roommate will be happier than if I Sharpie’d it on my bedroom wall.

The year started with these:

  1. Start a 5-year project.
  2. Read one book each month.
  3. Put 10% away.
  4. Eat healthily, consistently.
  5. Engage in at least one hour of heavy physical activity every week.

But I’m going to elaborate, because I need to. How will I do these? How do I know if I’ve done them?

Start a 5-year project.

What I really need is something significant to work on. It doesn’t need to be 5 years in length. I like building things for myself. I like tangible work. I’m highly (overly?) visual and kinesthetic and it’s much easier for me to feel a sense of accomplishment when I can see a finished product. I’ve learned a lot at my current job. I once said that it’s rewarding but not fulfilling, and that’s still the case. It’s not quite perfect for me, and those traits are what it’s missing. So what is this project going to be? Photography has been my semi-serious hobby in my spare time, but it needs to be bigger than that. It really feels like school, which I’ve made many excuses for not pursuing so far, is exactly what I need in my life. Now, being August, is exactly the wrong time to enroll, but exactly the right time to plan for next fall.

Read one book each month.

This hasn’t been an issue, but I think I can do better with why I want to do this. “If it’s not important to you, don’t consume it.” I find being busier makes sure that I don’t fall into the “check Google Reader, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, repeat” trap. Having an iPad was a great way to read more. It really made Instapaper a powerful tool, and iBooks, although ebooks still endlessly frustrate me, made finishing books a lot easier than I find with real books. The iPad was sold to get an iPhone 4, but I only wanted to downgrade to a smaller model, so I’ll be back on the bandwagon soon. With the previous goal, this one will become more fine-tuned as other priorities force themselves up the ladder.

Put 10% Away.

This was about managing my money much better. I’ve become a lot more conscious about it, I’ve been paying off my debt, I’m much more selective when I shop for clothing now, but I can do better. Food is still probably my biggest drain. Which leads me too:

Eat healthily, consistently.

Consistency. Bleh. I’ve made the decision to cut back on coffee again, opting for tea and water. No soda, sparing consumption of juice. Daily Starbucks is an emotional and monetary drain. I’ll grab coffee as a treat, opting for a slow breakfast at Elm or Transcend or something. Supporting Edmonton’s local businesses also feels more rewarding, and I get to meet cool people doing it. Eating an apple a day is surprisingly good for me (you). Eating breakfast at home, slowly, is also a very pleasant way to start the day. More of this. I need to start cooking at home though, I haven’t since I moved downtown. Start this. How? Two dinners each week, with leftovers for a meal the following work day.

Engage in at least one hour of heavy physical activity each week.

An hour a week doesn’t sound like much, and isn’t much. I had a couple rounds of biking to work. It’s 10KM each way, not a quick jaunt, and it feels great. I want to buy my own bike, which is not a good excuse to stop borrowing my roommate’s spare bike and biking to work, although it has been. I have still been doing the 50 pushups and crunches a couple times a week on and off. Again, consistency. Bleh.

So here’s my list:

I’m also going to try using Jake Lodwick’s wehavestandards.com as a method of tracking some fine-grain improvements I’d like to make. Starting with eat breakfast at home, check Facebook once at most and being in bed by midnight. I love checking things off of a list.