03 January 2016 | 4 mins

I awoke in time to watch the day break this morning. Since then, there’s been a cold winter sun shining down over Edinburgh, releasing a beautiful backdrop for deep and insightful thoughts. I’m writing next to my window; the clouds are drifting lazily by, casting long, languid shadows across the hedgerow outside. There are better views, admittedly, but it’s calming to watch the skies from pretty much anywhere.

I waved off the last of my Hogmanay guests last night, and tomorrow I’m back at work (no Bank Holiday for me, get out the violins). It’s been a pleasant end to the year, and it feels like as good a time as any to think about what I’d like to accomplish over the next twelve months.

As I went over in my last post, I set myself a lot of goals for 2015. On the whole, despite only hitting maybe half of my targets, I think that they make a good foundation to build upon:

Health and Fitness

2015 goals

  • Reduce body-fat percentage to 12%
  • Gym/exercise MINIMUM of three times a week, target five times a week (5-a-side plus gym four times a week)
  • Zero cigarettes for 2015
  • No alcohol outside of social events, and none at all for the first six weeks of the year.

Zero cigarettes for 2016 is 100% achievable. I’m coming into this year after six months smoke-free, and for one of the first times since I first held a cigarette between my fingers, I genuinely do not want to smoke.

I think that the body-fat goal was a good one, but it should be a longer term goal, and really it translates to a want to be more comfortable in my own skin. Realistically, if I work hard to hit the ongoing exercise target, and keep a good diet (I do know how to do this part, I just suck at the execution), the rest will come naturally.

I’m going to totally strikethrough the alcohol goal. I drink because I enjoy it (as my single-malt collection will attest), and everyone needs a vice, right? Damn, I really do sound like an alcoholic. Moving swiftly on!

So, in order to have a checklist for this time next year:

  • Exercise a minimum of three times a week.
  • Zero cigarettes in 2016


In recent months, I’ve started running quite seriously. I have a set of goals in mind, although these are definitely going to be moving constantly as I (hopefully) break my targets:

  • Run a sub-23 minute 5K
  • Run a sub-53 minute 10K
  • Run a cumulative million metres in 2016 (1000km)


2015 goals

  • No negative months
  • Santander overdraft paid off and account closed
  • Halifax Student overdraft paid off
  • £1500 in emergency fund
  • £3000 in travel fund
  • Identify and control poor spending habits
  • Budget tracker kept up to date and accurate, and begin using YNAB regularly

As 2015 was a fairly successful year for my financial goals, 2016 will be essentially making sure I keep myself on track:

  • No negative months
  • Maintain and slowly increase emergency fund to nine months expenses
  • Hit travel savings targets
  • Continue using YNAB


2015 goals

  • Finish the updated Tower Defence game.
  • Write a short story / novella surrounding the Tower Defence universe
  • Develop a small game using a freeware game engine (UDK / Unity)

Last year, I confined my goals to game development, rather than general development. At the time that was a good idea, but since then I’ve spread my wings a little and learned a few more languages unrelated to game development.

That said, I don’t really know where I want to go next. With that in mind, I only have two development-based goals this year:

  • Continue developing and improving my personal website/blog
  • Learn a new language and use it in a work/professional capacity

Since this blog is now tied to a website I’ve been actively maintaining, I will probably remember to follow these better than last year. So says the eternal optimist inside me.

Recent "goals" posts

Seventh 31 Dec 2021
Reflecting 31 Dec 2020
Avaloq 01 Oct 2019

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