a goal

Of goals made and goals missed.

As 2016 winds down, I guess it’s a good time to review my 2016 resolutions and see just how well I did with keeping them and meeting the goals I set myself. (Spoiler: Not very well at all). After reviewing those, I’m going to touch on another few goals and challenges that I had set for myself and my progress therein. First, let’s take a look at each of the individual resolutions and how I did with four days to go.

New Diet

I feel like the main aim of this one (to eat out less) was certainly achieved, as I’ve definitely cooked far more often at home, and my wife and I have documented that on our food blog. Though we did go for a while without updating the blog until we kind of dropped an archive of some of the year’s recipes towards the end of November and December. The minor downside is that things became less collaborative between my wife and I due to health issues on both of our parts at various times, so it became more individual efforts with occasional contributions, which is a pity because cooking together was one of our bigger couples activities. Hopefully we can get back on track to working together in 2017 as our health issues start to resolve.

2017 Goal: Continue in the same vein, with less delays on the food blog.

New Weight

Still working on this. I’ve maintained my weight at around 220 lbs. I’m still shooting for 200 lbs, and I’ve remained committed to the gym for cardio exercise. It had been a lot of treadmill work and stationary bike work, but the treadmill work has fallen off in the last month thanks to my having a broken wrist. You wouldn’t think that would affect treadmill running that much, and it probably doesn’t, but because I’m paranoid, it means I can’t grip the treadmill handles or hit the emergency stop button in the rare cases where that might be needed. Soon I’ll be out of the cast and able to rededicate myself to treadmill running, which I enjoy greatly as a kind of zen way to clear my head. I also use the Zombies, Run! app on my phone to make things a little competitive because I enjoy the idea of metrics and leveling up with any challenge I face.

2017 Goal: Still shooting for 200 lbs, and I have a jacker picked out as a reward if I get there.

Communicate Better

Yeah, I’ve pretty much completely failed at this one. I need to reach out to my parents and sister more throughout 2017 to try and re-connect with them instead of just kind of ignoring the contact details I do have with an “I’ll get around to it eventually,” which is the utterly horrible approach I’m currently taking.

On the plus side, I feel like I’ve done better by my son communication wise. In additional to seeing him in person on a regular basis (at least until this past month where, once gain, the broken wrist has interfered and made driving exponentially more difficult), I’m able to reach out to him between visits thanks to some social media interactions. Notably, he’s became a big fan of Snapchat, so it’s been great to send him a quick picture or video message through that. I need to do it more frequently still, but there have definitely been strides made in that direction.

2017 Goal: Maintain & improve communication with my son. Establish regular communication with my parents & sister.

Blog More

 

Let’s see, my initial target was to add an entry to this blog at least once a week throughout 2016, and this is the 52nd week of the year. If I’ve counted correctly, this is my eleventh entry of 2016, which means that i only missed this goal by forty-one entries, so I made it a whole 21% of the way towards my target. Amusingly, one of the projects I called out was my Supernatural blogwatch project, to which I managed to add a grand total of ZERO entries in 2016.

2017 Goal: Attempt to hit that once per week target. Have at least one season of Supernatural blog watch finished.

Read More

At last, a goal that I was able to achieve! I’ve been keeping track of my reading thanks to the Goodreads app. One of the things i like about that app is that you can set yourself a reading challenge target for the year. again, big fan of numerical metrics and competitive goals to meet. I’ve been increasing my targets by five books each year. In 2014, that was fifty books, in 2015 it was fifty-five. Fans of pattern recognition will realize that means that my target for 2016 was sixty books. And per that very same GoodReads app, I finished my sixtieth book of the year (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) on December 21st. this is in a bit of contrast to 2015 where I was cramming a couple of short books in early on New Year’s Eve.

2017 Goal: Ready sixty-five books. More non-fiction and less graphic novels. join a book club to read titles outside my comfort zone.

Write More

This started with the best of intentions and fell by the wayside as different life things piled up (the aforementioned health issues, moving to a larger apartment). For the second year in a row, I failed to complete the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I was actually close to getting back on track with that with a solid four day writing binge planned over Thanksgiving weekend. Then I broke my wrist and was basically unable to type or write properly for the rest of November. That means my 2017 NaNoWriMo attempt is going to have a lot of making up to do (see the goal below). On the plus side, I’m revisiting the historical fiction idea I had, and now have most of a year to gather and read the research materials to keep it a little more organized.

Outside of NaNoWriMo, I did get some more things written, even if they were mostly flash fiction pieces (a few of which made up those eleven posts for 2016…) and I also got more disciplined at outlining and planning out my story ideas. Hopefully, I’ll be able to translate that into more output for 2017.

Another thing that helped here was the establishment of a weekly writing thread on the Fark.com new aggregator website that I’ve been a member of forever. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get a story into the Start of Farkness fiction anthology that arose from those threads though.

2017 Goal: Complete at least 150,000 words during National Novel Writing Month (Equivalent to the 50,000 for 2015, 2016 & 2017) as 1-3 stories. Successfully submit a short story for a hypothetical 2017 Fark.com fiction anthology. Also, write more short stories/flash fiction and potentially draft one novel outside of November. Possibly invest in a copy of Scrivener software.

Game More

Well, I did game more than I had in 2015, but I didn’t come close to completing the “12 video games in 12 months” challenge, unless someone can recommend 10 ultra-short games I can finish in the next four days. I managed to finish two games in 2016, mostly because I’m not a big gamer, so it’s seldom been a priority for me. I was able to finish Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the original Secret of Monkey Island. I’m also very close to finishing off the original Portal, so I might be able to claim 25% of the goal by year’s end. I have taken advantage of some Steam sales to buy/download a few games for next year. As someone who’s not been a computer/video gamer, I haven’t played a lot of these older games, so I can catch up now without having to buy a new system by playing new-to-me games which have been published since around 1999…

I’m also going to some more tabletop gaming. My wife and I did play quite a bit of Magic: The Gathering, a couple of games of Munchkin and a lot of the DC Comics Deck-Building Game when it came to card-based tabletop entertainment. I’ve also purchased some actual tabletop role-playing games in order to run some games in 2017. You’ve probably seen the fruits of these purchases as part of the It Builds Character sub-series on this very blog (A new entry of which should be coming before year’s end.)

I’ve also finally given up on Games Workshop’s miniature war games as they’ve finally priced themselves out of my comfort zone. Of course, I haven’t abandoned miniature wargaming completely and am switching over to the World War II miniatures game Flames of War. So far, I’ve purchased but not painted or assembled my first few British forces for an Airlanding Company.

2017 Goals: Attempt the 12 in 12 video game challenge again, run at least one tabletop gaming campaign (probably Pendragon) either in person or online. Purchase and assemble enough Flames of War miniatures for two forces so that I can play a few games. Start a small Star Wars: Armada force.

Goal stock photo by Sander van der Veen.

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2016: Resolutions

As I type, it’s still (just barely) the first weekday of 2016. And, as with so many other things about the start of a New Year, it’s all about looking forwards, rather than backwards. That said, 2015 was a pretty big year for me, as I got married. I also got a new employer.

Instead of dwelling on that, I’ve decided to set myself some goals for 2016 just like I did two years ago. These goals ae less self-improvement focused as I’m in a  much better mental space than I was back then. Let’s look at those goals and a little bit of the whys & wherefores of them:

New Diet

This is on of the few self-improvement goals I have for this year. I have made a start on improving this. The biggest flaw in my diet is that I still eat out too much. This is something I want to fix for a few reasons. The biggest is that cooking together became something of a couples highlight/activity between my wife and I, to the point that we would blog about it. This fell by the wayside this summer as we were distracted by our wedding, participating in GIshWHes, various travel commitments and then the holidays.

New Weight.

I mentioned this in my 2014 goals, but I’m still not happy with my weight. I have been carefully calorie counting and taking advantage of the gym in the basement of the apartment building for much of 2015, and it has paid off. At the start of 2015 I was around 270lbs and had gotten down to 220lbs. However, based on relaxing the diet over Thanksgiving, various holiday parties at work, and New Year, I’d assume I was at least 230lbs as of this writing. My goal was 200lbs before, so that’s still what I’m aiming for, though if I lose more, I won’t exactly be complaining.

Communicate Better

I’m horrible about keeping in touch with people, and I need to work on this 2016. I want to reach out to my son more often than I do, because he’s awesome. I also want to make more effort to contact my mother, father and sister.

Blog More

I enjoy writing entries on this blog, and I don’t do it enough to be worth following. My goal for 2016 is to blog at least once a week. Hopefully even more frequently than that, as I want to make serious headway in my Supernatural blogwatch project as I have eight seasons to get through.

Read More

Pretty self-explanatory. I enjoy reading, and have used the Goodreads app to set myself reading challenges. In 2014, my target was 50 books, which I exceeded. In 2015, my target was 55 books, which I just met. In 2016, my target is 60 books. I’m currently reading my way through the Discworld series in honor of Terry Pratchett’s death and am up to Monstrous Regiment the 31st of the 41-novel series.

Write More

This is something I did poorly at in 2015. For the first time, I failed to complete my  National Novel Writing Month project, and I didn’t get much written even outside of that, aside from some brief flash fiction. I think the solution to this is more discipline, so I’m setting myself the target of writing 500 words every week day throughout 2016. Some of those will likely appear on this blog, but many won’t. The reason I say every weekday rather than just every day is so that I can reserve the weekends to catch up if I miss a weekday. Hopefully that won’t happen often (and I’m cheating today be counting this blog entry as my 500 words…)

Game More

This is more of an enjoyment thing for me. I’m generally not a video gamer, but I do enjoy playing the occasional game. I saw something called the #12in12 challenge on Twitter. The goal is to finish 12 games in 12 months. Since I’m a long, long way behind the times on modern games, my twelve will probably be somewhat retro. I’m starting with the first Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic game, as I enjoy RPGs and, well, Star Wars has had something of a media saturation lately and it worked on me.

So, those are my resolutions for 2016, what are yours, dear readers?