New Year, New Goals

I hate the phrase “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Resolutions sound ephemeral, like something done purely as a mental exercise.  Across the country, in Congress and state legislatures, resolutions are passed regularly that have zero force and zero effect.  Similarly, New Year’s Resolutions are made by people every year and broken before Velentine’s Day.  Forget resolutions: let’s make some goals.  Goals are good.  Goals have gravitas.  And let’s write them down, because, you know, an unwritten goal is merely a wish.  After that, let’s figure out how we’re going to achieve these goals. 

 To start with, let’s review last year’s goals:

1.  Learn to play a complete song on the guitar.  No more riffs and disjointed melodies, learn a complete song and be able to play it from memory.  Don’t sing unless forced at gunpoint, but at least be able to play it.  Song chosen: Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.

Results: Still working on it, although I have learned to play a lot of complete songs on both guitar and drums on Rock Band (yeah, I know, It’s only a video game, but I should get some credit, because the drum parts especially do require a lot of practice).

2.  Run a marathon in under 4 hours.  I have run five marathons but have never broken four hours. 

Results: 2007 was supposed to be the year to accomplish this, but I opted to do the Ragnar Relay instead, which is a 177-mile relay along Utah’s Wasatch Back.  It turned out great, but cannot be compared to a marathon in terms of time.  I plan to run the Wasatch Back again this year, but would still like to break four hours in a marathon.

3.  Publish a piece of fiction.   I have written a number of short stories and poems which I would like to publish.  I had one story published in a literary journal in college, but have not had anything published since then.

Results: I started blogging in 2007 and I have published a number of things here on my blog, and have also become a guest or permanent blogger on a few group blogs.  I am still working on getting published in print.

Ok, so based on the results of last year’s goals, I still have some work to do on them, so I will continue my efforts to complete those goals, but would like to make a couple more for 2008:

1.  Complete a triathlon.  I have done a couple before, but would like to get into them in a serious way.  Doing at least one this year would be a good start.

Plan:  I’ll pick out at least one triathlon from the list in the race schedule and put it on my calendar to work toward.  Then I’ll schedule regular workouts every week so I can make progress toward it. 

2.  Finish my first book.  I have started a children’s book called The Forest Kingdom, and would like to get it finished this year.  My daughter is helping me with it, so hopefully we can both spend some time on it this year.

Plan:  I’ll publish the chapters here on my blog, so I can see the progress I’m making, then I’ll schedule time with my daughter each week so that we can work on it together until it’s finished.

Let me know your thoughts on goals and what you want to accomplish this year. 

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8 Responses

  1. I agree! “Resolutions” while well meaning, often find themselves forgotten and pushed aside by the mundane matters in life requiring immediate attention. I was taught at an eary age to make “goals” and break them down into categories. Such as, ones attainable in 1-3 months, 3-6 months 1 year and longer term. I try to review them quarterly. It provides a sense of “moving” forward, feeling “alive” and living. Life’s to short to wait for the stars to align and something amazing to happen. I believe an amazing, productive, joyful life comes from a series of experiences one has, if she/he is adequately prepared to seize the moment when presented with it.

    Do you have a list of things you want to do before you die?

    I do! It includes: places to see & climb, books to read, languages to learn and experiences to have.

    You might think about doing something like this as well.

  2. I agree! “Resolutions” while well meaning, often find themselves forgotten and pushed aside by the mundane matters in life requiring immediate attention. I was taught at an eary age to make “goals” and break them down into categories. Such as, ones attainable in 1-3 months, 3-6 months 1 year and longer term. I try to review them quarterly. It provides a sense of “moving” forward, feeling “alive” and living. Life’s to short to wait for the stars to align and something amazing to happen. I believe an amazing, productive, joyful life comes from a series of experiences one has, if she/he is adequately prepared to seize the moment when presented with it.

    Do you have a list of things you want to do before you die?

    I do! It includes: places to see & climb, books to read, languages to learn and experiences to have.

    You might think about doing something like this as well.

  3. Tell us your list!

  4. My list is extensive. I’ve broken it down into the following areas: Educational, Physical, Recreational, Spiritual, Financial, Family, Professional & Service. Each category has several. I’m not sure you want the entire list. But here are a few: Educational – read a book every two weeks. Learn a foreign language. Michelangelo once said “And Still I am Learning”. This is a philosophy that has guided my life from my early years. Physical – participate in regular physical exercise 5 times a week. I am currently running 3 miles a day – not too bad for my age 🙂 I would like to run a marathon sometime in my life, preferably before I’m old. 🙂 Recreational – plan and engage in fun activities – such as skiing, try to keep ahead of my son in Guitar Hero, and try new activities – i.e. sky diving, scuba diving, travel to foreign countries – I have a list of countries I want to see. I am planning trips to France, Thailand, China and Germany. (All separate trips of course.) This list goes on and on.

  5. You should do the marathon now! If you’re running 3 miles a day, you wouldn’t need to do a lot more to be ready for a marathon.

  6. I’m thinking the marathon will be a lot longer than 3 miles. I need some instruction on how to prepare for a marathon – how to pace myself, what to expect, and ways to train properly. I noticed you have run several marathons. Which ones and any advice?

  7. Yes, it will be longer, but if you are running 3 miles everyday, then you are already capable of running much longer than 3 miles.

    Training recommendations would vary depending on your goal time, but in general, you should try increasing your miles by no more than 10% per week until you can comfortably run 5-6 miles per day. When you’re at that point, you can throw in a ten miler on the weekend. If you can do that, then try doing a fifteen miler a couple weeks later. You should ideally run at least one twenty miler in the month prior to the marathon, while still keeping up your daily 5-6 milers on the other days. You should always take a rest day or at least an easy day after a long run.

    There are lots of places you can go for more specific info, but that should give you the basics.

  8. Thanks.

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