In 2013 I realized that I wasn't happy with how my life was going. Since graduating university and starting work full-time, I found I no longer had the time/motivation to read or run regularly, I was no longer seeing a number of friends regularly, and I wasn't exactly on course to become a world-famous programmer.
Most of those are valid goals, so since 2014, I've been making 25 new year's resolutions each year in the form of a bingo card. This forces me to think about what I want to accomplish for the year, gives me a wide variety of things to strive for at any given moment, and makes so any one failure won't discourage me from trying to accomplish my other goals.
Having gotten back into running in 2014, my main goals for 2015 were to get reading regularly again, learn French, and finish my Master's degree. As always, best laid plains...
2015 turned out to be an important year for me, and largely a successful one, but it was long, not always fun, and much different than what I had expected.
Some things went as planned. I saw my friends and family often.
I just missed my biggest running goal of the year (thanks to a mid-year slump and an injury caused by trying to make up for that mid-year slump), but I still had my best year for running since 2010. I ran to work (~9 miles) several times and was finally able to run to and from work in one day before my office moved. I ran to the Winnipeg Folk Festival (~15 miles) with a bag full of supplies, and thanks to the mild weather, I somehow ran more than 100 miles in December.
Reading went even better than running did. I had wanted to read a book a week and reform my old book club. Instead I read 87 books, reformed my old book club, and started a second non-fiction book club. Reading even resulted in one of the larger life changes I made last year.
For Burger Week, I decided to offset the disgusting number of burgers I was eating by reading vegetarian literature (specifically, Animals Like Us by Mark Rowlands, Making a Killing by Bob Torres, and The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams). I found the arguments against me eating meat compelling, so I ended Burger Week by converting to vegetarianism. I have been genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised that this change has been so easy.
Programming didn't go quite like I planned last year. Outside of work I found myself unable to get anything done for most of the year.I was also starting to stall on my Master's degree. I had finished my coursework and have worked out what I wanted to be doing for my thesis but I couldn't write my proposal. For some reason, every little bit of progress was a struggle.
It took me far too long to admit, but eventually I realized that I was not in a place in my life where I could work full-time and be a Master's student. I had stayed in grad school because I liked my advisor, and I liked the idea of having a Master's degree, but my heart wasn't in it so I dropped out. It saddens me that I couldn't do both but leaving school wa the right decision for me and I don't regret it.
I'm really excited about my plans for this year. I have a lot of cool things I want to be doing and I think I may even accomplish a few of them.
- Go on 182 runs
- Run 666 miles
- Go for a 10 mile run at least 10 months
- Run 3 times a week 48* times
Last year went well, so I just want to improve on those results. I've added a weekly goal to make sure I'm running regularly instead of in bursts. My ankle injury also gave me the bright idea that I should reward making decisions that reduce the chances and severity of injuries (somehow this has taken me a decade to work out). I'll reduce 48 by 1 for each week where I am injured and am choosing to rest instead of forcing runs.
- Read books from 30 countries
- Read book recommendations from 20 different people
- Read 27,450 pages (75/day)
- Read a book in a langauge other than english
- Read The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture and Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision of Canada, Volume One
I read a lot of good stuff last year, but I didn't read as diversely as I would have liked. Most of the books I read last year were by white authors and most were from the US or Canada.
I'm switching from counting books to counting pages because book counting discourages reading long works. That said, my goodreads goal for the year is 90 books.
As an American and Canadian citizen, I feel I have a responsibility to read both reports. I probably would have read books related to both of them regardless, but I think I need to have a specific goal if I want to make it through the actual reports
- Share a photo at least 350 days this year
- Form an art collective
- Make a video game
- Make a collaborative art project
- Make something for my niece
- Build 5 twitter bots
This is the category that I am the most excited about. I dipped my toe in the water with NaNoGenMo this year and now that I'm not in so much of a programming funk, I'm ready to dive in.