It’s customary at the turning of the New Year to look back and reflect on the previous year; look at what went well and what didn’t go so well and make some sort of plan for the upcoming year. In the past I have called them resolutions, objectives, and tasks and even at one point I remember calling them quests, though that was part of a mobile app, I think.
This year is no different, and I will be outlining a few things that I do want to get done by the end of 2014.
First I think a brief summary of last year wouldn’t go amiss.
“I did bugger all!”
There you go, easy.
Well, alright, I didn’t exactly sit there on my posterior for the entire year as you’ll find out but considering I spent ten and half months of last year unemployed and I was at home nearly all day every day, my achievements list is not as long as it could have been.
The Good Stuff
I completed some of my objectives.
• I wrote 25 pieces of flash fiction
• I read 12 books
• I completed two assignments for my writing course
See what I mean? It doesn’t exactly equate to ten months worth of unemployment does it?
There is something that I did achieve last year that although wasn’t on the list, is definitely worth celebrating; I went to the gym… more than once. In fact one might call it regularly. I got off my lardy and ever-increasing arse and exercised, plus I cycled there and back which was about 40 miles a week. The outcome being, that my overall strength increased, I lost a stone, dropped a few inches on my waist, a whole T-shirt size (now in small/medium and not medium/large) and I lowered my body fat from around 22% to 14%. In a word, I got healthy. Not super-freaky healthy but I definitely feel better.
I got married, which definitely falls into the category of noteworthy and I had a fantastic two-week cruise as a honeymoon. Neither of these can really be used as excuses to my lack of writing, but they were definitely the highlights of the year.
In October I got myself a job, which certainly helps on the cash front but my available hours are reduced by rather a large amount. I guess I got too used to the life of a leisurely gentleman.
Well, that’s enough of that. I don’t want to get lost inside a world of egotism and positive energy. Not when there’s negative whining and put-downing to do. Priorities people.
The Bad Stuff
Writing wise, I feel I pretty much wasted 2013. I scarcely wrote a word for either of the two started novels, and I’m sure as hell not going to start a third one until I finish one of the other two. The collection of short stories remains to be started. I managed a couple of the assignments for my writing course (as above) but they didn’t take long.
I know what you’re thinking. I must have had some horrendous disabling illness to prevent me from doing all that work. Maybe, I was kidnapped by some Iranian chimp farmers and forced to work in the Stilton mines of Corby? Maybe there was a transporter malfunction and I was trapped in the transporter pattern buffer until I was rescued by Geordie LaForge? Sadly not, the reason for my lack of activity was far less grandiose. The answer is mundane and inexcusable. I pissed away most of 2013 sat in front of my computer…. gaming.
Yep, gaming, that was the time-wasting curse that lay waste to last year. In my defense, it can be difficult to maintain focus when you can’t seem to get a job though that scarcely covers all ten months worth of inactivity.
Anyway, enough of all this moaning and regret, it’s far more practical to look forward to next year and use last year to make sure that we don’t have a repeat of last year.
The 2014 Targets
These are the targets I am setting myself for this year.
• Read 18 Books – Increase of 50% from last year. (9/18)
• Write 50 pieces of flash fiction – Increase of 100% from last year (8/50)
• Complete assignment 6 by end of March – Three months to meet
• Complete assignment 7 by end of June – Three months to meet
• Complete assignment 8 by end of September – Three months to meet
• Complete assignment 9 by end of December – Three months to meet
• Complete idea for book of short stories
• Complete Draft 0 of either novel
• Increase blog hits from an average of 50 per day to 100
There we have it. These achievements are based on what I achieved last year, with an increase to keep the challenge, and all the stuff that I need to get my finger out and sort.
What targets and tasks have you set for yourself for 2014? How was your 2013? I’d like to know all about your high and lows.