As the title suggests, I’m back once again with an update on my progress from this year and my goals for the new year. As with last year, there has certainly been success but also a few failures. Overall though, it was certainly worth setting the goals and striving to achieve them even if I fell short.
So to start with I’m going to go through the goals I set for 2017, whether or not I accomplished them and a bit of commentary where I feel it is necessary.
1. Finish writing at least one book as I set last year. Perhaps I should go for two as punishment.
FAILED. I did not really get anywhere with my novel. I did start writing a shorter book but I fell short of finishing it though I have written enough and have enough of a framework to finish it. I would say the latter is more of a pamphlet than anything. But I simply, came nowhere near accomplishing this is one of the goals I really should have accomplished.
In search of a silver lining to this, I did at least notice that I consciously avoided this by telling myself that other things were more important or favouring other pursuits when I had the time. I wrote a little less on the blog this year due to both a lack of time and inspiration but it would have been better had I stopped altogether to focus on the books and get at least one of them done.
So I’m disappointed with myself on this especially since I knew as early as September that I would simply not be meeting this goal.
2. Make Southern Rainbow into an e-book.
Although this has not been done, I certainly made progress. I decided to incorporate this into the curriculum this year and have now copied over half my copy into a document and this should be finished in the first few months of 2018. I have not found information on the copyright holder but having it ready to go will be a big step towards this goal.
3. Prepare for and join the Australian Army.
This was derailed completely and may not happen at all. In short, I decided it was not the best plan for my family and took an opportunity to continue working at my current place of work. I am still strongly considering joining the military but I want to make sure that my family can cope with the change this will require.
4. Read at least one good book a month including War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov.
This is the one goal I think I can safely say was totally accomplished. I read both books as well as a great many others. I may be doing a separate post on the books I read this year. This was also arguably the easier goal I set myself as I enjoy reading and very much and the two books mentioned I now consider two of the best books I have ever read.
5. Buy only five video games for the entire year of 2017.
This is the one goal where I learned by direct experience how good the human mind is at rationalising. While I more or less kept to this goal, I managed to interpret this restriction in truly unique ways.
So the five games I bought this year were
- Golden Axe: Beast Rider
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Destiny: The Taken King
Now watch the human mind in action. Paprium was delayed into the next year so I took that as a license to buy Sonic Mania. I asked for a number of games for my birthday and Christmas including Splatoon 2, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Recore and Halo Wars 2. I also bought an Xbox Live Gold deal that included a free copy of Minecraft (which I have yet to play). I also re-bought a couple of games I had sold in a hurry when I thought my entry into the military was imminent. Super Mario Odyssey was also my own “birthday present”. Overall, I bought far fewer games and played many I already had but I will have to be much stricter with this sort of goal to avoid my clever reinterpretations in the future.
6. Work towards passing N3 Japanese proficiency.
7. Run a second marathon under five hours.
No. I have been much busier than normal this year and this is one I put on hold early.
8. Continue to minimise my alcohol consumption.
I’d consider this one accomplished but I have a bigger challenge for next year.
9. Maintain a disciplined diet and exercise at least three times a week.
I have honestly slipped in the past few months but I consider this one accomplished overall. I am still at a healthy weight but I will need to do some work to shed the holiday weight. I also have a few bad habits with food I need to address in the new year.
10. Love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind.
In a way, I can be happy with my progress this year. This may be one of those goals that is easily failed because it is hard to measure and isn’t specific but I have seen significant spiritual growth this year. I am now a member of the Catholic Church and have continued to learn about the faith and improve my practice of the faith.
Through prayer and focus I have discovered many flaws in my character that I have begun to address. These include my impatience and inattention with and to my loved ones at times. I also have noticed the selfish way I have behaved at times and have reflected on my past actions. I understand now what people are on about with Catholic “guilt” but I see this as a positive. If feeling guilty means always striving to do better for God then that can only be a good thing.
I want to stress that I remain a scoundrel but I am still working to be better. I won’t say I accomplished this goal but I hope Christ will agree that I didn’t fail it.
So my goals for 2018:
1. No alcohol for all of 2018.
I have decided to take things further and just go a whole year without a drop of alcohol. This is an extremely strict goal that I am swearing before God so breaking this is breaking a commandment. When I go to sleep i the early hours of 2018, I will not be drinking again until the first hour of 2019 or later. No exceptions.
One major reason for this is my family will be relocating and I will need my wits about me for the entirety of the year. The state of the world is also far from ideal and I need to keep vigilant. This is one way to do it.
2. Finish at least one of those books or another.
This is on the list again and I will get it done.
3. Maintain current BMI and expand weight and marathon training.
Generalised goal but one I need to keep on the list.
4. Love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind.
Or in other words, continue to strive to be the best man I can be.
I only have four for 2018 but this will give me little excuse to not accomplish them.
Happy New Year!