In a similar vein to birthdays, the worst part about a new year is the realisation that you’re getting old. Or maybe when you’re old enough to realise that, it’s already too late? Damn, I sure hope that’s not the case.
This time last year, I sat and reflected on 2014. I’d had a great year, graduating university, starting a new job, moving back to Edinburgh, travelling eastern Europe, etc. But, for some reason, I still felt unfulfilled. I thought a lot, considered what my priorities were, and wrote myself a list of goals; and promptly forgot all about them (in fact, the post “New Year, New Me” was the last post I ever wrote in my old blog.) However, a few weeks ago when I was designing this blog, I came across that very post, and figured I would see how successful I was at meeting my targets:
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)
Outcome: On and off. 5-a-side has been a constant Monday night feature, but I’ve drifted in and out of love with the gym. As of today, it’s been about two months since I was last there; but on the other hand, I have taken up running, and run about 10 miles a week. So there’s that. I imagine I’ll write a bit more about my running in the coming months actually, although I’m taking a small break over the festive period.
Zero cigarettes for 2015
Outcome: I regressed into my bad habits in April, and started smoking again at social events. However, after a chance encounter in Cologne in June, I quit entirely, and have been smoke-free for six months now.
No alcohol outside of social events, and none at all for the first six weeks of the year.
Outcome: HA. A Geordie living in Scotland with a love of whisky, this was never going to happen. Although I did avoid alcohol for the first six weeks of the year, I’ve now regressed back to rampant alcoholism.
No negative months
Outcome: This one I actually did (unless something crazy happens in the next few days). In fact, I think my finance was the most disciplined category, as I actually focused on improving this area of my life.
Santander overdraft paid off and account closed
Outcome: Done. Account closed in April.
Halifax Student overdraft paid off
Outcome: Done. I borrowed some money from family to pay this off, but I repaid it all in full in August.
Two months expenses in emergency fund / £3000 in travel fund
Outcome: Technically, no. I do have a fuller emergency fund (six months expenses rather than two), but I only have about £300 saved for travel right now. I did spend about £2500 travelling this year though, so on the whole I’m pretty happy.
Identify and control poor spending habits
Outcome: Hmm. Yes and no. I do know where I’m leaking money now, but I haven’t really plugged the gaps, because I enjoy the outcome of most of them! (This loops back to the rampant alcoholism.)
Budget tracker kept up to date and accurate, and begin using YNAB regularly
Outcome: Dropped the budget tracker pretty early on, but I’ve been using YNAB4 all year (and become a little cult-like in my following). I’ve also started using the beta version of YNAB5, and I’ll write a review on it once I’m a little more comfortable with it.
Finish the updated Tower Defence game.
Outcome: Not yet. In fact, I’ve barely touched on it this year, having been working on this website, and more recently the blog. I do miss C++ though, so I’ve promised myself to do something about it soon.
Write a short story / novella surrounding the Tower Defence universe
Outcome: Nope. Totally forgot I even wanted to do this.
Develop a small game using a freeware game engine (UDK / Unity)
Outcome: Not yet, although I have downloaded Unity, and I imagine I’ll look into this in the next few months.
All in all, I think I did okay with hitting my goals (bearing in mind I totally forgot about them). I’m hoping in 2016 I’ll be able to focus more on my goals, as I’m getting more settled in Edinburgh and I can get myself into a better routine; hopefully I’ll be writing a similarly positive post in twelve months time!