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
- 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)
- 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
- 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.