Let’s get this started
Last year’s goals
Every year is an artificial starting point, you can begin on any day at any time you chose. We just use the first day of the calendar because it’s convenient. So let’s be convenient tonight and use the calendar. It’s always good to reflect on what has gone on before. So to review my own goals for the last year I can say I met my non-traveling year standard level of readership for the Ministry of Happiness, 15,000 page views. In overall health terms I did ok, my blood pressure is good, I’ve been working out but I had hoped to be 185 pounds by year end. In fact on January 1st I was 189, so I missed, but I was 197 a year ago so I did ok, particularly in a crazy year. That crazy year added a lot of stress and I’m a stress eater. Not in that I eat more, but less healthy. When things are stressful I have a tendency to turn to carbs that make me feel good, a nice plate of pasta, a rice dish, pizza or a nice big hunk of cake. Which is why my big miss for the year was in getting my blood sugar under better control, that didn’t happen, I even ended up on medication.
The most important thing to remember is that those successes and failures are just facts, not value judgements. I missed a goal, that doesn’t make me a failure, it just means I wasn’t successful in that small aspect of my life. The overall, repetitive annual goal for me is always the same, be better next year than you were this year. So as long as I, and you, make strides forward on that, then it’s been a good year and for that reason, 2020 was another good year.
This year’s goals
Now let’s talk about getting this year started. First, let’s address the idea of resolutions and why goals are not resolutions. Honestly, I’ve always found resolutions to be bullshit. They are nice ideas we toss around, play with for awhile and toss away, no big deal, we’ll stop drinking, eating chocolate, lose weight, etc…all over again next year in January. Goals are different. Good goals are well thought out, have metrics, plans are put into place. So, I’ll lose weight is a resolution. I will eat smaller portion sizes, get more active by working out three times a week and counting calories. While also weighing myself regularly and establishing how many pounds to lose will constitute success, is a goal. When setting goals I like to establish two levels, success and my aspirational goals. So for me, for 2021 one of my goals is to continue and improve my running. So first, I have a goal to run 150 miles next year, that’s the base level of success. That’s means 3 miles a week for 50 weeks which gives me a couple of weeks to not have to run at all. My aspirational goal is to run 200 miles, if I achieve that I’ll be very excited. What this does, is give me a baseline, and if I can maintain my baseline it also gives me something to shoot for as well. I have another goal with my running, I want to run a 5k this year, which means a continuous run of 3.2 miles. So far, I’ve done a 2.4 mile run, so it’s a goal that I hope is achievable multiple times this year.
Now a lot of people reading this will chuckle at my goal only being to run a little over three miles continuously. Quite understandably it’s not very far, I get this. I’m a hiker, my best day on a trail with a full pack has been 22 miles, by comparison a 3 mile run is small. But I hate to run for the sake of running. I only ever did it, voluntarily, for the first time last March. So, starting to run for the first time at 55, and not liking it to start with, makes it a task I’m pretty resistant to. More than a physical test, running for me is a mental achievement. It’s about changing my own personal internal narrative to make me receptive to doing it, motivated enough to consistently work it at and embrace the necessity of running, my goals and the health benefits that can be conferred by doing it.
Synergy between goals
It’s often good to create, whenever possible, synergy between your goals. I have a long-term goal of formalizing something I do informally. I have been providing informal life coaching services for years and as I move toward retirement I want to formalize that practice into a business for both personal life and executive coaching. As part of that, I am currently taking a course to become certified in Neurolinguistic Programming techniques, effectively learning how to change my own, and help others change their own, internal scripts. So my first test of this knew knowledge and skill is to adjust my internal script related to how I think about running. So this new course and training will help me not only reach a long-term goal, but help me with a current short-term goal. It’s also making the training more relevant to have a real-world, real-time issue to test it on.
So, let’s get 2021 started and work on achieving our goal of being a better human in 2021 than we were in 2020, irregardless of what the world throws at us. And here’s hoping you have happier days in 2021 my friends. ~ Rev Kane