My new years ritual is back for another round. It seems that over the past few years, my goals have gotten a little – well – resolutiony. And, as happens with most Resolutions – ineffective. So, this year, I’m resetting again and will try to make sure that I’m following “SMART” goal setting. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Trackable).
- Complete the Master of Your Domain personal challenge for the year on Piano. The challenge is simple – play the Piano every day unless you are sick or away. I’m also thinking I’d like to expand this to doing some amount of creative writing every day.
- Post a Piano recording before Winter 2020. It’s been a few years since I’ve done this – and I’ve got an improved repertoire.
- Read 1 book a month. “5 years from today, you will be the same person that you are today, except for the books you read and the people you meet” – Charlie Jones. I don’t meet a lot of people, so it’s time to start more reading.
- Build a small garden. I haven’t done any gardening or planting to speak of since I’ve been a child. Not sure what Fin plans if anything for this year – but we’ve got enough acreage that I can find a small square to plant some tomatoes and peppers. I’d love some tomatoes and home pickled jalapenos if nothing else. Thinking like a 5’x5′ square somewhere that gets me walking.
- Knock out 2 more grad school classes. I’m still in good standing w/ the college, but need to get back on the train to keep progress toward my Master’s degree. Signed up for a class already starting in a few days.
- Pay off my remaining student loans. The payment term on this thing is stupid long and the payment stupid small to make progress. Time to get rid of this pet!
- Create and publish a blog roll with useful and energizing sources. Since Google Reader has gone away, I’ve seriously missed keeping up with RSS feeds. Some of this is that many bloggers have stopped. I can sit endlessly scrolling on Facebook depleting my energy, or I can find new and interesting ideas.
- Complete a full year guided journal. I recently obtained a yearly guided Journal. Journaling is one of those things that I’ve heard repeatedly should help with mental and physical health – but not something I’ve kept doing strongly. To complete the guided journal, I’d have to write a bit at least weekly.
- Write a research paper. I’ve got enough grad level things I’m working on write now that any number of research papers are possible. I’d like to actually have a few things published and start having a framework to shape a direction into doing actual research on a regular basis. This would be a meaningful first step, even if I don’t manage to get published.
- Actively report on my goals at least 1x a month. I’m good for January now, but nothing motivates like some degree of accountability – even if to only yourself. If I actually sit and work through what I’ve done for my goals, maybe I can achieve them all for the first time.
Well, a New Year and 10 new goals – mostly optimistic. I still have some constant items that I’d like to look towards – getting involve with HAM community, flight / cooking / pottery / glass blowing lessons, and improving health. None of those currently concrete enough to fall into the “SMART” goal framework though.
As adults, we don’t get the nice reboot ever six weeks / term / semester that we had as a child. New Years for me has always been a time to try to create a sense of that. To anyone out there – I hope you take a few minutes to breath in and reset if nothing else. It’s hard out there folks.