End of the Year Part 3: About those Goals....

For those that have been reading this blog, you may remember that last year, I put out some hopeful goals to achieve in this past year.  Well, let's play the accountability game and see where it lands us.

It's time to take a run through the goals and see where I landed.  I achieved less than half the goals that I set out to do, but that's ok in my book as there were other accomplishments this year that warrant mention.  


Do 10 pull ups

Not even close.  I'm still somewhere around 4.  I didn't make as full use of the pull-up bar in my apartment as I should.  I don't think I took this goal as serious as I did others but I do think it is an entirely achievable goal.  I just need to strategize a bit more.


Eat out only once a week.  

This one too quickly fell off the radar as I got busy and distracted.  Again, strategizing can help me improve upon this and I am also shifting more into using a budget so I hope that helps me as well.  


Fill the Good Deed Jar

This goal fell by the wayside by the end of February, if I remember correctly.  I found it hard to keep up with as well as wondering about the nature of what my "good deeds" were.  Is a good deed soemthing that you would do regardless or somewhere you will go out of your way?  If I do it in part because I remember I need to do it so I can record it, does it count?  


Make Significant Progress on the Book

I made some but not much progress on this.  However, it has been folded into my 2014 goals and there is reason for me to believe that it will get accomplished.  Timing didn't work out and there was a lot going on.  However, I have purposely put aside time to focus on writing said book.   


Begin learning programming.

I did take a course on Cascading Style Sheets and Wordpress.  I plan on taking more courses this spring in programming through my college in both the credit and non-credit programs.  So I'll consider that as a reasonable start that I will hopefully continue with through the next year.


Fill the Thankful Jar

I kept this up longer than the Good Deed Jar but fell out of habit with it.  However, I did also follow through in the last few months with a daily reflection of what I am thankful for at the end of each day and identifying those things that made me thankful for that particular day.  


Run a marathon 

I totally nailed this goal and liked it so much I plan on running several in the next year.  I was quite ecstatic that I did this, enjoyed this, and want to do more of this.  To get a fuller picture of how I achieved this goal, check out the blog posts on running on this blog.


Keep regularly blogging. 

I was also successful in this goal in that I have about 70 posts for 2013 which means I averaged more than 1 blog post a week.  I'm happy with that goal and know that I will do even more in 2014 given the projects I have coming up.  


Other Achievements Attained

Beyond the goals I purposely set up, I did end up achieving some secondary goals.  I finished my Master's Degree, which I was pretty happy to be done with.  I also cleaned up my living space significantly, getting rid of stuff I didn't need or no longer had use of.  It felt good to get rid of the excess, though I know there is most likely more to do.  Besides that, I completed several projects at work of which I am proud and have even created a hybrid-flexible course (to which I will have more to say when I teach the course this spring, but that I did it and developed all the videos for the course (over 10 hours) is also a solid accomplishment.  I also read over 400 books this past year, to which I'm pretty happy with and feel that I gained much from that experience.


Ways to Improve Attaining Goals

Vicuna Peak - Source:  http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-2677832332
How do I get to the top?
In looking at the past year, the successes and the failures with my goals, I think there are clearly some ways that I can better guarantee success.  Granted, these are what work for me but I imagine they are useful to others as well since many of them came from different books on learning and development.


1. Make a visible list.

Having a list on hand that I can regularly refer to has been quite use.  It's a good way to hold myself accountable as well as remind me of what is left to do.  It also means others can see it (which is useful when we get to #3).  


2.  Chunk your goals.

Running a marathon sounded nearly impossible unless I chunked it.  I chunked identifying a variety of other races of shorter distance that I could build up to.  I started with a five mile race in May and ended with a marathon ibn October.  I set markers for where I should be in my training and the goal took care of itself in that I didn't feel too overwhelmed by the task.  I was certainly nervous but comfortable with attaining it.  


3.  Talk/Write about your Goals

It's clear that the goals I wrote about, were the more successfully achieved goals.  Running and Reading (maybe that's what I should rename this blog?) are two things I did a lot in the past year and also wrote about a lot.  That what I write and talk about also help me achieve my goals is not surprise as much of the literature out there tells us that when we speak more to something, we are more likely to achieve it.  Thus, I may end up writing more about my goals throughout 2014.


4.  Reward and appreciate your progress.

I found it also important to celebrate progress towards the goal.  It doesn't have to be huge but giving time and space to recognize that I have made progress helps reinforce the work and keep with it.  


Goals for 2014

So what am I laying out for goals in 2014?  I've got a couple to tackle:


1.  Run at Least 4 Marathons

As I've said elsewhere, I really want to work my way up to doing an double-marathon (50+ miles) in 2015.  The only conceivable way I can think of doing that is by getting in lots of mileage next year and get used to the distance. Regardless of the 4 marathons, I definitely want to try to run 30 miles at least once next year.  But more importantly is just getting in the runs and keeping the distance over the next two years. 


2.  Complete a Half-Marathon in under 2 hours

Equally important, I want to try complete a half-marathon in under 2 hours.  The best I've done thus far is about 2 hours and 6 minutes and I think I can shave off those six minutes.  I would love to get myself under 4 hours for the marathon, but I'm not sure I'll see that year.  We'll call that a secondary goal for now.


3.  Read a short story every day.

I've mentioned this on the blog already, but I aim to read a short story every day for 2014 and write about it here on the blog.  It will be a different challenge than last year's reading challenge. I also have to be care with this one so that it doesn't interfere with Goal #5.  But thus far, I am doing pretty well with this one.


4.  Do 10 pull ups.

I will aim to do this more practically with giving myself a monthly goal and weekly expectations.  I think I underappreciated the challenge of this and didn't take it as serious as other physical challenges I set up for myself.


5.Complete at least 1 book.

I have two that I'm interested in writing.  One is already written but needs serious editing.  The other needs to actually be written.  But again, I've chunked it out this year to more practically achieve it.  


6.  Eat out less.

This time around on this goal, I'm doing more with budget setting and making sure I am holding myself accountable each week.  I know that if I have to account for my spending (even if it's just to myself at the end of the week), then I'm likely to censor my spending a bit more.  I also perceive a less stressful year without having to also work on the Master's Degree that will reduce the need (or rather, want) to eat out.


7.  Meditate More

I got out of habit with this years ago, but the more I've been reading of mindfulness, the more it reminds me of its usefulness and the pleasure I gain from it.  Ideally, I aim to do this for 5-10 minutes a day or at least set that as starting point and see where it takes me.  


Well, there it is.  What about you?  What goals have you set for yourself this year?




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