Once again, I reflect on the previous year with goals I set for myself. Last year I made a smaller list in the hope that a narrower focus would yield more results. As we shall see on review, I did not accomplish what I set out to do but thankfully it is not all bad news. Once again, I had a fairly positive year overall despite the increasingly strange circumstances we now live. I think one reason for this is I don’t allow myself to live or be guided by the world but the world has ways of getting to you regardless. I have now been significantly effected by events but I won’t get into this here. Let us instead review the goals I set for myself last year and how I did.
1. No alcohol until at least Easter Sunday on the condition I have lost 10 kilograms.
I could argue in some ways that this was accomplished but as with the previous year, I quickly fell back into old habits. As a result, it is increasingly obvious I need to do something more draconian to curb this particular
habit vice. I had lost a large amount of weight at the end of Lent but not enough to meet my very specific goal. Nonetheless, I felt I deserved to imbibe firewater on Easter Sunday and did. The, once again, my weight came back and later on I lost it and then once again it came back. I fell in and out of this vice throughout the year. You probably see the problem and I do too while finding it difficult to acknowledge.
In fact, I had to confess to drinking to excess far too often last year. This was particularly bad over the Christmas period and I came to the conclusion that I needed to do something similar to what I did in 2018. I began shortly after Christmas and had a little over three weeks without a drop with an intention to go on until Christmas 2022. Unfortunately once again imbibing on a rough day and I write now after another recent trip to confession where my confessor gave good though difficult advice to me. I am now putting it firmly in writing that I will not drink for the remainder of this year. Not only this but I need to consider making it much longer.
One could say that we wouldn’t need confession if we didn’t fall back into sin but falling into the same sin over and over suggests a lack of growth. Alcohol consumption is one area that didn’t much change when I first converted but I have gradually come to realise it is one of — if not the central ruling passion in my life. As such it is one I need to fight to control. If I can’t keep control of it (and one drink is rarely enough for me), then I need to cut it off altogether. This is more than a promise to myself and it is really one I must stick to and it will be my main goal for 2022 which I will write below.
2. Be able to perform 50 push-ups, 80 crunches, 10 chin-ups and running up to 15km by the end of the year.
I didn’t reach this either but I did keep in good shape. I am still close to a lot of them but not where I wanted to be at all. Unfortunately one of the motivations for doing this is now no longer an option. I also had a few minor injuries and setbacks this year but none that could have prevented me getting there if I had worked harder. Sad!
3. Nightly reading with my children.
The silver lining of my cloud of failure. I did indeed keep to this. Not every night mind you but far more often than not. I am still surprised at just how much reading was done this year. This is not yet as habitual as brushing my teeth (at least twice a day), but it isn’t too far off. I also have come to quite enjoy it.
Now for 2022:
1. No alcohol for the rest of 2022 along with serious consideration to go completely dry if I again fall into habitual sin.
This is beyond a new year’s resolution or a personal goal to the point where I feel I need to be public about a serious personal weakness. Pray God, I keep it.
2. Lose weight down to between 75kg and 77kg and maintain.
This is around my BMI and was roughly my weight when I was around peak physical fitness last back in 2018-19. Since late 2019, I have continued to fluctuate. While I am still comparatively fit for my age group, things are slowly getting worse and I still have some bad dietary habits I need to shake. My alcohol consumption strongly contributed to this as did other bad habits. Thankfully I have kicked the doughnut and milk coffee habit that plagued me through 2019 and 2020.
3. Continue fitness regime and exercise three times a week including running, sit-ups and push-ups. (at least 2km, 50 & 35 increasing increments)
So I will start back doing what I was doing but I plan to work it up again. I don’t really have goals for running marathons and I am now ineligible to join the military (which could be a blessing in disguise). However, I still need to get back to where I was physically.
4. More Mass attendance, more prayer and more spiritual reading. Grow in Holiness.
This is a bit general which is something avoid but I have had a spiritual dryness coming over me in the last year. I have noticed myself falling back in some ways where I haven’t since my conversion. So I simply need to get back to basics and work on growing in spirit this year. The best way to do this is generally just to do more and not less of what I am already doing. I always go to Sunday Mass and take opportunities to attend more but I could certainly be more intentional about this.
5. No new books.
I am adding more than last year but this is a rather small one in comparison. I had another good year of reading and even completed Don Quixote as well as a number of other great books. The problem is I am spending a lot of money on books and I am not reading them nearly as fast as I am buying them. So this year I want to focus on a number I’ve yet to get to and simply borrow any others I take an interest in from the library. I know you don’t have to have read everything you own but I am not financially successful enough to indulge in book collecting the way I do. I have allowed some exceptions for certain Castalia House books that are set for release including Vox Day’s A Sea of Skulls which I’ve been waiting for since 2013. I have already made a good start to this too.