New and improved goal setting

One of the things I take to heart is goal setting. I’ve found that during times when I don’t set goals, I find myself sitting on the couch watching three to four hours of movies or tv. Not that there is anything wrong with binge watching from time to time, but in the long run that doesn’t tend to make me a better person. When I set goals for myself, I tend to actively pursue them. This blog post is a story about failure.

The year 2014 was not the best year ever for me. At the start of every year, I set out my goals and make a plan to reach them. I tried to be less aggressive this year, and set 6 goals. I only hit two. Heck, I only came close to three of them! The other three I pretty much punted in May! Okay, so which goals did I accomplish?
1) I worked out 200 times in 2014. This is only a couple of times a week, but I wasn’t even sure I’d hit this goal until the last week of December. It’s amazing how little distractions can get in the way of even seemingly simple goals.
2) I completed and handed over my PTA Treasurer duties. This was somewhere between 8-20 hours of effort a week, especially during our busy periods. My term of office ended June 30th, so I was pretty confident going into the year that I would achieve this goal. Mostly, I made this a goal so that when I put in those 20 hour weeks, I felt like I was also making progress on a bigger goal.

My other goals were around various projects around the house I wanted to complete, or fun family activities, and the like. Essentially, my biggest activity of the year was work and keeping the house running. This is the first year where I really didn’t come close to my goals, and I’m feeling bad about that.

However, the eternal optimist that I am, I think back to the phrase “never waste a good crisis.” In the grand scheme of things, how bad is it that I didn’t hit my goals one year? One out of the 39 I’ve lived? It’s not bad, but maybe this is a good opportunity for reflection. A chance to think about changes in my life. Just because something worked for me in my 20s doesn’t mean it’ll still work for me today. So, what am I going to change? What am I going to do now?

My first change is to focus on shorter term goals. Only have one or two that I’m working on at a time, and make new ones periodically. There is a family photo and video project that I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while. My kids are only going to be this age once. With the amount of photos and videos I take due to having an iPhone on me at all times, it seems that the good moments aren’t focused on as much due to sheer quantity. Every year, I would like to summarize a sort of “best of” to have as a keep sake. This isn’t a hard activity so much as one I need to make time to do.

My second change is to set a simple, guiding purpose for the year. You can think of this one as almost the equivalent of a “Festivus Resolution”. For 2015, my goal is to drink more.

To give that statement some perspective, my monthly intake ranges between 0 and 4 drinks. I am a social drinker, and will join in during various festivities, but I don’t spend much time at the bar or drinking at home.

So, in 2015, I am going to drink more such as having a glass of wine with dinner and spending more time socially with people either at a bar or parties. I think the glass of wine is relaxing, and spending time with friends humanizing. I think that with this goal, by the end of 2015, I will be a better person. At least, I will be a better me, by my own standards.

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