Update: I wrote this back in January, but let my blog get away from me again. Still, my goals really haven’t changed much. I’ve had to delay some of the explorations that I mention later on, but I’m working hard at trying to stay on top of all these fun goals. I also made successful exploration of parkour into a regular part of my fitness routine. I’ll probably do a post about that later, though.
As the calendar changes to a new year, I love to reflect on my goals, processes, and how things are working out for me. 2017 is going to be a great year, and I have many plans and goals to make it that way. I still don’t quite know if I’ll be returning to a regular blog schedule here, but I plan to be more informal and stick more to my own voice. Expect at least a few updates a month.
But let’s get back to the main topic. To make 2017 great, I’m focusing on a few simple concepts I feel will help me: discipline, exploration, and connection.
Discipline will be how I approach both my daily tasks and large goals. I feel like all my larger projects and goals are the sort where I need a long-term disciplined approach. To help with this, I’ll be trying each day to meet certain time amounts for different areas while also keeping some weekly deadlines to focus my daily efforts. As an example, to write a book or stories, I’m setting a daily goal of 30 minutes of writing, but I also have a weekly goal of finishing a chapter or section of a story. Discipline is about focusing on both the big task and the little processes at the same time and working to make both great. By having both daily goals (that I sometimes might be too busy to reach) and weekly deadlines, I give myself various ways to track progress and keep myself from falling behind.
Discipline will help with all my yearly goals, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Hiking 18 mountains
-Running in 4 marathons and 1 other fitness event
-Completing the Spartan Trifecta again
-4 music performances (piano, choir, etc.)
-Following my art and writing deadlines for each week
-Reading 48 books
Exploration will be about exploring less developed interests or hobbies and also cover those large projects that I finish by focusing on them for about a month. Instead of making these into specific goals, I will just focus on learning and doing more in each exploration project during the month I am working on it. Some of them might later become part of weekly or daily routines if the exploration goes well. The key to exploration is a sort of focused flexibility to learn and grow in the areas I’m exploring rather than focusing on any particular outcome.
For some good examples of explorations, here’s a few I might be doing: videos/fixing my youtube channel, Nanowrimo (national novel writing month), parkour, martial arts, outdoor winter activities, music lessons (piano, vocal, or composition), crafts like sewing or rockhounding, and programming/video game design. In most of these areas, I’d be starting at a level where I don’t really know how good I am or how much time I permanently want to devote to these areas. Instead of making specific goals, I’ll just be focusing on improving, learning, and growing during the month I explore various interests that I haven’t had as much time for.
Finally, the third area I’ll be focusing on will be connection. After last year, I had to admit to myself that I’m often very bad at staying connected to people and communities that I want to interact with. I often hole myself up in my own little world and stay busy there, but this year I’ll be trying to do better at keeping and building connections to friends, family, and communities. I think a big part of this ties back into discipline. If I work hard to get the things I feel are important done first, I find it much easier to relax and interact with others. But I’m also setting some daily reminders to reach out a little more.
2017 is going to be a great year. I feel like last year was mostly about me finding out what the path and keys to me accomplishing more were. I feel like by following those with greater discipline and continuing to grow through exploration and connections with great people, I’ll be able to help myself and those around me be better this year.