2016: A Review

Black eyed peas soaking in preparation for black eyed peas and ham for New Years Day #2017.  They kind of look like tiny disembodied Rorschach heads.

This is the time of year that we’re supposed to look at our accomplishments from over the past year and make plans for the next. Because that’s the thing we do, I’ve been giving it some thought.
I know a number of people like SMART goals. For those unfamiliar with SMART goals, they need to be

S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable

I hate SMART goals. Forbes magazine had a great article about why SMART Goals are sometimes stupid. I like HARD goals better.
H – Heartfelt – you need to care about them
A – Animated – they feel alive to you
R – Required – you have to do them (saying forget you to them is not an option)
D – Difficult –  hard enough to be a challenge, but not so hard as to feel overwhelming.
In no particular order, I present 8 things I’m thinking about right now which I think I should do to motivate self-growth and improvement. Why 8? Because that’s the number of things I’ve been thinking about right now. Things might be added throughout the year as I complete tasks.
  1. Go to 3 cycling classes and two weightlifting classes every week in 2016. Cycling classes may be replaced with actual biking in warmer months. Likewise, I may choose to lift weights on my own if I find a plan I really like.This is related to improving my overall health, or “being the healthiest you that you can be” as my Primary Care Physician put it. I’m not diabetic, which is a good thing, and my lipids are mostly good. We’re watching a couple of other things in the background that could become something if I don’t take them seriously, but for the most part, we’re at maintenance and watchful waiting.
  2. Follow the dietary guidelines given to me by my doctor.Most of the things aren’t huge changes. It’s a matter of diligence.
  3. Finish one existing WIP every month in 2016.
    I currently have 14 unfinished projects in my Ravelry projects, which is not in line with my personal value of “Finish what you start or cut your losses and move on.”  This goal works to address this.
  4. Develop a list of 12 handknit items to add to my wardrobe in 2016.
  5. Finish one new project every month in 2016.I only finished 9 projects in 2016. This was an improvement by 50% over 2015 when I only finished 6 projects. In my best year previously I’ve finished 20 projects. This would make 12 new projects and 12 finished off malingering projects. I want to knit more and I want to wear more of my own hand knits, so making 12 new things for my wardrobe is a way to feed into that.
  6. Write one short story a month in 2016.
  7. Finish a book by March 31, 2016. Other books may follow if this goal is met.In Stephen King’s On Writing, he says he finishes a book in that amount of time or he moves on to the next thing because he’s not interested enough in the story to actually see it through to completion. Seems reasonable enough to me. It’s not as overwhelming as trying to NaNoWriMo, but it’s still a deadline and solid commitment to finishing.
  8. Read 12 books by December 31, 2016.
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