Goals goal goals…

Personal Project: Resolution
photo credit: Jessica Patterson

I love setting goals.  Setting goals is so easy.  I just let my mind wander a bit and bam, I’ve written down a goal.

Usually when New Year’s Eve comes around I go a bit crazy on the goal-setting front.  I end up with a list as long as my arm with things such as ‘be kinder’, ‘be tidy’ (HA!), ‘lose weight’ etc etc etc. These vague goals sit in the notebook app on my phone (goal-failing 21st century-style) and occasionally I look at them and eventually they fade away.

This year I decided it would be different.  I would limit myself to a very small number of goals that were (here come the management buzzwords – forgive me) SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time pressured.  I limited myself to four major goals, with a few subgoals.

1. Run a half marathon

This one is tantalisingly within my grasp.  The furthest I’ve run is about 18km, which is only 3km short.  It doesn’t have to be in a race, just me and the road.

Sub goals:

– Run 120km in a month

– Run 5km in under 25 minutes

– Run 10km in under 50 minutes

– Run 800m at 15km/h

You can read more about my running efforts here.

2. Get down to 8.5stone (120 pounds)

This one, I’ll be honest, is a bit ‘pie in the sky’.  It should in theory be quite realistic: I am a 5ft2, active woman.  But let’s just say I’ve got a while to go.    I’m hoping the teetotalness and the running will help with this, but unfortunately replacing booze with cake is not really proving a lucrative strategy.  The ‘chunky’ gene also runs in my family.  Thanks family.  You love to share.

3. Get a first in my psychology degree

I’m studying with the Open University and I’m in my final year.  This is perhaps the most realistic goal as I’m somehow on track for this (by some kind of mystifying miracle).  But complacency, laziness and sheer exhaustion are starting to set in.  It’s been an intense few years, and studying alongside a full time job is a lonely and tiring preoccupation (something I will write more about).

NB.  This goal is highly incompatible with goal 2.  High fat snackage is essential.

4. Do 100 hours of driving practice

This is the goal I really hate to think about; this is the fruit in the bowl I never want to eat; dare I say it, the coffee one in a pack of revels.

You see, I HATE driving.  I possess a dangerous combination of zero spacial awareness, a nervous disposition, an inability to think on my feet and a disregard for speed limits.  But if I want to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology (which is not something I’m totally set on), I need to get over that.  I did the hard part and passed my test in 2009, and haven’t driven since.  O.H. is an ace driver and there’s never really been a need.

So I’m determined to book some refresher lessons, join a car club (http://citycarclub.co.uk) and get those hundred hours.  So far it’s mid February and I haven’t done any of those things.  But I will… just give me a little longer…

5. Save £5,000

Again, this is perhaps far-fetched.  But I am very careful with money and I have a decent amount in the bank.  O.H. and I are busily saving for a house deposit – assuming, that is, we ever stop bickering about where we’d like to live.  So this goal may be a little unrealistic but it is just this side of impossible.  Barring any accidental mishaps such as a splurge on an electronic drumkit or similar.  In which case I hold no responsibility, obviously.

So those are my goals.  What are yours? Do you like goal-setting? Or do you just go with the flow? As always, please feel free to comment.

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