Six months in - How are my goals for the year going?
📅 4 Jul 2021
~ 7 min read
We're half way through the year now, so I think it is as good as time as any to reflect upon the goals that I set for myself in 2021. There are some areas in which I am proud of the progress that I made, there are some areas in which I could have done better and there are some that I didn't bother with at all.
I wanted to see if setting quantifiable and gamified goals would make me more likely to achieve my goals.
I know that when I set my list of goals, I was being very optimistic. There were many areas in which I wanted to make improvements in my life and it was unrealistic for me to expect to make so many changes stick. I knew that and set the bar high on purpose because I was interested to see how I would do with the challenge.
Without further ado, let's take a look at how I did in each of my categories. If you would like a reminder of my goals or the thought process behind my system, please read the following link.
My goals for 2021
| Task | Avaliable Points | Points so far | |-----------------------|------------------|---------------| | Read 18 English books | 18 | 15 | | Read 6 Chinese books | 12 | 4 |
The reading habit I've managed to develop in 2021 is the runaway success story of the year. I have already managed to read more books in the first half of the year than I probably managed to in the last few years combined.
There were several secrets to my success, but these are the ones that I think helped me the most:
Build a habit of reading every day
I try and take my Kindle with me wherever I go and any time I have the desire to take out my phone as I have been programmed to over the years, I instead take out my Kindle and read a few pages of a book I have on the go.
I also read every night before bed and it has been a great way of getting in the few final pages of a chapter. Swapping my phone for a book before bed, has seen the quality of my sleep increase too.
The best discovery of the year for me has got to be audiobooks. It took me a while to get into them, but now that I've gotten used to listening to them, they are my preffered listening material.
To be honest, I don't know why I didn't get into them sooner. My friends and family are probably all annoyed at how much I've been recommending them lately.
The next step for me is to listen to a Chinese audiobook. It will be difficult to keep concentration for such a long stretch of time, but I'm excited to give it a try.
Have more than one book on the go at all times
This is particularly useful for reading books in a second language. When reading Chinese books, I generally feel tired after one chapter and don't want to read another. The times that I have tried reading a second chapter, I find that I normally don't really take any of it in and have to reread it once I'm feeling refereshed.
I generally like to have one novel, one audiobook and either a non-fiction or Chinese book on the go at any time.
You can see what books I have read on my Bookwyrm profile.
My reading list on Bookwyrm
| Task | Avaliable Points | Points so far | |-----------------------------|------------------|---------------| | Write 18 English blog posts | 18 | 8 | | Write 6 Chinese blog posts | 12 | 0 |
This is the area of my goals in which I am most dissapointed with my progress. I've done a lot of writing but besides my monthly football updates, I've not really been inclined to share anything.
I've been wanting everything that I write to be perfect, and I'm spending so long writing and rewriting my posts that I never get around to publishing them. My post about the fediverse took me three months from when I started writing it to when I published it and many, many hours in between.
The book, Show your Work by Austin Kleon provided me with lots of inspiration for how to go about putting things out there on the internet, but I still worry about people not enjoying my writing even though I know that nobody is reading it.
“On the spectrum of creative work, the difference between the mediocre and the good is vast. Mediocrity is, however, still on the spectrum; you can move from mediocre to good in increments. The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something.” -- Clay Shirky
Show Your Work on Bookwyrm
I would still like to do more writing and I plan to take part in a #100daystooffload challenge at some point, but it will have to be some way in the future as I have some upcoming commitments that will take up a lot of my time.
| Task | Avaliable Points | Points so far | |-----------------|------------------|---------------| | Score 100 goals | 10 | 3 | | TBD | 10 | 0 |
As of writing this post I'm on 32 goals for the year. It's not bad at all considering that when I wrote my initial post setting my objectives, I was playing football twice a week and now I'm only playing once a week and have been limited to 15 games through injury and other commitments.
Even though I doubt that I will reach my target of 100 goals, this is most likely the one target/resolution (using the word goal in this section was geting confusing) that I will directly transfer to next year and try again.
With regards to the TBD, I didn't start a new sport this year and doubt that I will in the second half of the year. This is one that will have to roll over to next year too.
| Task | Avaliable Points | Points so far | |---------------------------|------------------|---------------| | Write a Linux application | 5 | 0 | | Receive a pull request | 3 | 0 | | Get 10 stars | 2 | 0 |
I've been learning Python on and off for a few years now and have never really done anything of note with it. My original plan for the year was to write a graphical front end for Beancount, the plain text accounting software, for the Pinephone.
However I ended up cancelling my order for the Pinephone when my main phone which I need to use for work needed replacing. I have also recently stopped using Beancount, so this is one project that is not going to see the light of day from me at least.
After reading the great book, Atomic Habits by James Clear, I realised that my second two goals were really poorly set up. Basing your habits on the input of other people is just setting yourself up to fail.
It's impossible to predict how people online will react to your creative work so it's best to just do it as if nobody is going to see it and just get on with doing it for yourself.
Atomic Habits on Bookwyrm
| Task | Avaliable Points | Points so far | |---------|------------------|---------------| | Private | 10 | 5 |
The biggest change in my life so far this year is that I got engaged. The proposal itself is something I am quite proud of and it required lots of planning.
Post about my engagement
I gave myself five points for this and I still have a further five points available for private objectives I don't want to reveal just yet.
| Task | Avaliable Points | Points so far | |-------|------------------|---------------| | Total | 100 | 35 |
Overall, I'm very happy with 35 points this year. If I'm to get closer to my target by the end of the year, then writing more blog posts is the area in which I need to work the most.
Having said that, work is starting to get quite busy and I expect that my free time will be limited in the second half of the year. Reading and football are the two areas which will probably see the biggest impact.
I expect that come December, I will have accrued more points in the first half of the year than in the second. Now I just need to keep chipping away at the challenges that I've set for myself and see how I do.
There will be an end of year update published in December, that will talk about my progress, what I have learnt and what I plan to do next year. Having initially set the bar so high for myself and knowing that I would not be able to achive 100 points, I would be happy with 60 points this year. A solid 2:1.