My goals are broadly to make big personal strides.
I started this year by losing my list of New Years resolutions.
This does not bode well.
Update: After searching a half dozen places, I found them.
One downside of trying to get your act together is that the process itself is bloody. Until your individual habits build up to the point that you do them without mental inertia, everything is fits and starts. Losing my resolutions is a side-effect of a related problem: I never know where to jot things down. The one thing that I have on me at all times is my phone, and there are a good three or four apps that I can use to save data, depending on the need. Offhand, I can
- Create a list in Notes
- Save a scribbling in Bear
- Create a Reminder
- Create a Calendar event
And when the intent of a chunk of mental energy isn't clear, it's not clear where to start[^1].
Regardless, I found my list, and I can see now that it was more of a brain dump (which, again, is why I had trouble finding it). Looking it over, I'm … cognizant of my goals, but I keep performing tasks that are related to one goal at a time.
If I had to summarize, my goal this year is about "process over results." I'd like to lose 50 lbs and (ignoring the problems of weather at the beginning of the year) that means meeting my step goal more days than not, and performing fitness activities more days than not. The beginning of the year has been consumed, on the other hand, with projects that are nothing but what I call "infinite work" problems—ambitious stuff with nebulously defined endstates where the outcome is second to the process itself.
This is fine in software development ("fine"), where you go into the office eight hours per day and work on whatever piece of the project is next, in sprints or tickets or whatever quantum you choose. In life, it's equivalent to doing nothing.
So, for reference, the processes I want to undertake this year:
* Read 12 (hard, not pulp) books
* Play 10 games (to the point where I feel I have gotten as much out of them as I can)
* Watch 30 classic movies
* Study Chinese
* Hit my step goal more often than not (9/10 days, or 329 days total for the year)
* Run X miles (I still haven't set a realistic goal here)
… and more. There's a nebulous "organization" block that sort of centers on content for this website, and a "project" block that involves things like getting this website in a state where every new feature is an addition, not a part of bootstrapping. And there are goals that are consequences of the processes I've identified: I want to stay informed, increase my depth of understanding of the world, and have my physical fitness no longer be a burden. I want to be better at some set of skills (which is why the project block is largely nebulous—there's an infinite slate of things to learn, and it doesn't pay to be a generalist, in general).
I do have to acknowledge that none of these things will be perfect, but that's also why I've concentrated on process goals over outcome goals. Process goals offer you/me a chance to start over with each new day, and while each day can be viewed as a failure, every moment offers the chance for small successes. Instead of futzing around on the internet at any given moment, I can lace up my shoes and go out for a walk or a run, or find the next book I can read (or read a half chapter). And certainly, I've seen some of that in my day-to-day since we returned from IL, but … but. But I'm not at the point where I'm honoring my own commitments, and that's going to be the big challenge.