This piece was lovingly crafted for Ruminations of an Old Soul, released January 26, 2017.
I have set ten lofty goals for this year. Three weeks in I have not been doing too well with them. Time to make an action plan for each before they get too far out of reach!
Goal One: Fitness.
I started working out in September with the lofty goal of getting in the best shape of my life. Last summer I hit a low of 139 lbs and had very little muscle mass on my frame. I’ve been working out with a plan called Shortcut to Size. Despite its name, the program is no shortcut! I am on week 9 of 12 currently. I have only gained six lbs so far, but I have much more muscle and much less belly fat than when I began. My ultimate fitness goal for 2017 is to get all the way up to 175 lbs while having six pack abs. Difficult? Sure. Attainable? Why not? I know what I need to do. I already eat well, just need to up the quantity of calories I’m taking in. I also need to ensure that I get my four workouts in per week. Caloric surplus plus workouts equals success. Time to get after it.
Goal two: Write more, write better.
Simple enough. The only way to become a better writer is to write frequently. Therefore I’ll have to do just that. Now that I have a wireless keyboard for my iPad which provides a pleasant typing experience I don’t have an excuse to avoid doing so. Going without a computer for a little while had become a copout. Ultimate goal? Write an entry here at least once a week, and write a fictional short story. Time to up my output. Next!
Goal Three: Write music.
I’ve been passionate about rock and roll since I was a young teen. Bands such as Bush, Rage Against the Machine and the Foo Fighters captivated me during my formative years. Nowadays my tastes have shifted towards classic rock and extreme metal. I have an Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar, an old Ibanez acoustic guitar, a headless electric bass guitar and an acoustic bass guitar. I also have recording equipment and years of ideas filling my brain. Frankly there is no excuse for all that to collect dust anymore. It’s now or never. My aim for the year is to write and record one song.
Goal Four: Use my phone less.
Sometimes I tend to space out, phone in hand, missing out on what is in front of me. Maybe my pets are doing something silly, or my wife is saying something of importance that I should be hearing and comprehending. The fix is simple enough: put the thing back in my pocket! I have written about this topic a while back but have fallen away from my own advice. At that time I had purposely bought an old BlackBerry Bold phone in order to gain some perspective: “My attitude has changed from the phone being a source of entertainment to the phone being an assistant to put aside when appropriate.”. The phone has reverted to entertainment in my book, which is silly because I have an Xbox, books, Netflix and pets! Ultimate goal? Utilize my iPhone as a tool and keep it in my pocket when appropriate.
Goal Five: Spend more time outdoors with my dog.
Self explanatory: the dude is awesome!
Goal Six: Make more family time.
A constant struggle in my life for the last few years has been finding a good work-life balance. Working strange hours certainly doesn’t help. This year I intend to get myself into a situation (see Goal Seven) where I can work reasonable hours and actually get to see my family. Not seeing them because of work has become increasingly frustrating to the point where something has to give.
Goal Seven: Find creative employment.
While my career is important, it is not the ultimate focus in my life. I do wish to find a more creative line of work however as my current situation is devoid of satisfaction. My goal is to find something such as video editing or making graphics to scratch the itch. While having reasonable hours and leave. This one may be a tall order, which makes it very much worth pursuing.
Goal Eight: Pay off debt.
Debt is a weight on the shoulders that I have zero desire to carry. Budgeting is necessary to free me from the grips of obligations. Budgeting is also a pain in the ass. But it has to be done to hit my goal of being debt free.
Goal Nine: Defeat anxiety and depression one day at a time.
Anxiety and depression are two things I’ve written about in the past. They are both a great burden, and possibly a great assistant to my creative mind. The links between mental illness and creativity are fascinating. Regardless, I’d like to maximize my creativity while reducing my negative effects as much as possible. Being depressed enough to stare at the wall silently while a loved one asks if you are okay for the tenth time that day is rough. I will fight through the wilderness that is my mind one day at a time.
Goal Ten: Enjoy the year.
Time to tackle my goals one by one and live in moment!