So – goals for the year. I did that. Third year in a row. And for the third year in a row I made exactly the same mistake. I got too enthusiastic and created lots of goals. I even had goal categories. I felt very proud of myself.
Fast forward three months and little has happened with the goals. Full time work and commuting takes up 50% of my weekly awake hours. I know this, because I just calculated it and that number is way higher than I thought it would be. Then there’s those dastardly chores that have to be done to make sure there is food to eat, clean clothes to wear and such. And I don’t know about you, but I need relax-time as well – unscheduled time when I can read, play a game and other ‘unproductive’ things.
Between all of the have to do stuff and needing some relax-time, there’s only so much time left to work on goals. And if you can only nudge each goal forward a small amount each week and you have lots of them, it feels like no real progress is made. For me, if I’m not seeing progress, even if it is small progress, I lose interest and don’t focus on any of the goals and allow myself to just do what I fancy. Doing whatever I fancy at that moment is nice, don’t get me wrong, but month after month tend to slip by then and then suddenly it’s Christmas again and I look back at yet another year of achieving nothing in particular. That’s not to say I didn’t have a nice time and did some cool stuff and experienced some fun things – but there are so many things I keep thinking ‘I’d love to do that’. I want to stop thinking ‘I’d love to do that’ and move on to ‘How do I make that happen’ and then making it happen.
For years and years, I said I wanted to learn to ride. But living in the big city it wasn’t really feasible. Then we moved away to the outskirts of a small town and I told myself now that it was more accessible, I would definitely do it. It only took me 5 years to get around to booking myself in to a riding lesson. And that only happened after I set myself goals at the start of that year and one of those goals was to book myself into a riding lesson. 1.5 years later, I’ve had some breaks for various reasons, but mostly I have had weekly lessons and I have achieved the goal of having been on a long (3-hours) hack out in nature in a normal ability group (so nothing too advanced, but able to ride at walk, trot and canter). There is still much to learn and it will take me years to get decent, but that’s fine – I’m enjoying my weekly lessons and I’m working towards going out for a hack every month or two (during the summer months). My next riding goal is to pass the British Horse Riding Society level 1 exam for riding and horse care. That’s probably a couple of years away, but it is something to work towards, slowly but surely.
Looking back at my very enthusiastic set of goals for this year, apart from having WAY too many – the main issue was that they weren’t specific enough. Thinking about it, a lot of things that I put down as goals, were really habits – which also did not help.
With all that in mind – how to I move forward with goals for the rest of year?
Horse riding is still on the list, but I reckon I am 6-12 months away from being ready to even consider joining in on training courses for the exam I want to take. That means that for the moment I just keep going to my weekly lessons and doing the odd hack as and when. I suppose what I am saying is that the goal part of the riding doesn’t really come into play until next year.
I had a million and one goals under the ‘Health’ heading. As it happens, we have already been dieting for just over a month, with very positive results. It is admittedly getting harder now and I don’t think we will necessarily hit goal weight by 5 May as we originally planned – but we’ve gotten into good routines with it and though it may take a few weeks longer than anticipated, we should get there by beginning of June at the latest. Hitting the goal, it is then just a matter of keeping up the good habits during the week – allowing for more indulgent weekends while keeping the weight off. The other health goals will have to go on the backburner until after we hit goal weight.
Another goal was sorting out my wardrobe. Work dress code is ‘business smart’ – so not suit formal and not casual. Other half has a great system. A few smart charcoal trousers and enough shirts to last two weeks, so each weekend we trot off to the cleaners to drop off shirts for wash and iron and pick up clean, ironed shirts for use the coming week. Having to spend time thinking about what to wear at work annoys the living daylights out of me (particularly since we should be able to wear pyjamas to work without it mattering, but that is a topic for another day). So I would like to get to a similar situation with my work wardrobe. Currently the main problem is that with the weight I was at, blouses did not work and I was struggling to find trousers that were comfortable AND smart. These things are easy to come by in a size 10, not so much in a size 14 I’ve learnt. If I can manage that, then I can focus on streamlining my non-work wardrobe. Basically, my goal is to never have to spend time thinking about what to wear because everything in my wardrobe is stuff that I enjoy wearing. But I can’t move on this until the weight loss goal is reached, so another one for the backburner.
Gosh – so far I’ve talked myself back from all the goals apart from losing weight. I need something more than that!
Writing – yet another thing that I keep saying that I want to do more of, yet rarely do. The two things stopping me from writing are all in my head. One is tiredness – if I’ve had a particularly crazy day at work, I don’t necessarily have the mental energy to concentrate on writing. But then again if I write more regularly, then there would be editing I could do when I’m not in a good place to write. So what would be a reasonable goal? Let’s start with a goal of posting one blog post each week for the rest of the year. Any extra fiction writing that gets done in that time will be a bonus.
House. Where do I start? I’ve lost count of the number of years we’ve been talking about moving house and done nothing about it. The reasons for moving are good ones, the reasons for not moving are good ones. We have finally made the call put in some money and effort over the next few months to see if we can re-arrange/re-decorate the current house to a point where we will be ok to stay here a few more years. There are many things about the current house that are annoyances, so I suppose the end goal to hit by the end of this year would be to have ironed out all the annoyances that are possible to do without major investment. First step on that path is to make a list of those annoyances, so we can start getting them ticked off.
So, the new goals for 2018 are:
- Get down to goal weight
- Sort out wardrobe
- Publish a blog post each week
- Clear the ‘annoying things about the house’ list
That feels like a more manageable list. I’m excited to get started – and publishing this blog post will help me get started on one of them. Win – win.