I'm not generally one to make a big deal about a year. It's just an arbitrary period of time, and my goal setting tends to be in both shorter and longer periods of time, and I typically don't use January 1 as a meaningful date.
However, 2006 was such a poor year for goals, I think maybe there's value in taking a few minutes as we move into a new year to take a look at where I am and where I want to go.
My life gets kinda broken into buckets. There's Work. There's Lifting. Then there's the most important one, Life.
Of course, they all kind of mix together, but you can see the distinction. And if you can't, tough. Get your own blog.
I'm a winner. I'm more talented than the vast majority of people in my position, and, in fact, than the vast majority of people at my level in the organization. This works in my favor. However, I also can't relocate, which makes moving up to the next level a bit of a challenge, as there aren't many more field positions out there in this area... in order to climb the corporate latter, someday we'll have to move.
That's OK, though. I've been in this job for 28 months, and I have the opportunity this year to show that I am not only more talented, but I'm the best performer. (An important distinction. The best performer in this role is far less talented than I.) To that end, I'm resolving (ugh) to really focus on executing my business plan, to taking it seriously, and to putting the effort in necessary to get results out at the end. No more 3/4 throttle.
To do this, I need to get better at planning, and get better at focusing on work when I'm working. Time management is critical, as is ensuring that anything I do gets me closer to success, thus removing those things I do that don't add value.
I'm lucky in that my job allows a great deal of flexibility. (I can work from home, I'm out on the road a lot, so I don't spend much time in a cube. This can be a blessing and a curse.) I need to better leverage that to help me with the other two buckets.
As you may have noticed, lifting was simply not a priority this year. There are lots of reasons, lots of excuses. Given my generally positive outlook, I'm taking a positive from 2006: I don't like being normal. I love lifting, I love the effects, I love having it as part of my life. I think it took a long period where it wasn't (and there are good things about that) to recognize that while not going to the gym is nice, I miss it.
As usual, I have a plan. I have a canned 12 week plan to start out, but the keys, as usual, for me are to stay consistent. Is it tough sometimes with my work schedule? Sure. But it's a priority.
Goals for this year?
Lift in a meet
That's about it. I don't really know where I am, so it's hard to say where I want to be. The good thing is that I didn't really lose too much mass or anything, so I think my lifts should come back pretty quickly.
As an aside, nutrition will be a big part of my lifestyle as well. I'll be following the PN plan, and working hard to use lifting and nutrition to better my health. I am getting older, you know. That said, it won't stand in the way of enjoying the finer things...
This bucket is more about my relationships and my lifestyle. Obviously I want to continue to build my relationship with my wife, although we are a damn happy couple. I'm also going to ensure we do more entertaining. Not just to eat and drink, but to foster relationships with some friends that I've not really seen for a while.
Of course, I do want to appreciate the finer things. I'm building an interest in wine, and building more of an interest in food, so I expect to spend a little more time and money exploring the two.
I'm getting a new car.
I'm also going to focus on health. As I said above, I need to improve my nutrition, and lifting is good for me. I also need to stop self destructive behavior, be it smoking, drinking to excess, not sleeping enough, whatever. Smoking is done. Everything - cigarettes, cigars, whatever. No dip, either. There is absolutely no redeeming value, in my opinion, of the use of tobacco.
I'm also going to work on better running my life, so I have time to do all the things I want to do, as well as get the rest I need to get to be productive the next day. Planning and time management are critical here, but I think I have that down.
I'd like to write more, too. Set some time aside every day to put pen to paper, or keyboard to internet, whatever.
I really want to expand my mind. While I read a lot of news stuff, and I'm up to date on Economics and Classical Liberal Political Theory, I don't read enough (fiction or non). My parents got me a book called Stout Fellow that was all about the Nero Wolfe series of novels and novellas by Rex Stout. I started reading them when I was in middle school, and love them to this day... yet I haven't read them all. I should, given I tore through that book in a day. Satisfactory, Mom and Dad. That just shows me that I need to spend a little more time reading, a habit I've all but lost. (I do read, just I read newspapers, magazines, and the internet... which is fine, but it's not a book.)
Now that our house is pretty much done (save a couple of projects that aren't time sensitive), I'm really looking forward to finding ways to enjoy my life. We've been fortunate and hard working enough to be in a financial position to not worry much (she still worries a little, which keeps me out of a Ferrari, but what are you going to do?) I think now we need to focus on getting to retirement age (55!) happy and healthy so we can just enjoy the fruits of our hard work.
Finally, I always strive to give more back. To the lifting community, I'll continue trying to point new lifters in the right direction. To my local community, I'll continue to watch out for my neighbors, and pour some time and effort into working with kids (I'm teaching personal finance to kids in middle school through the Youth Dreamers this year.) To the broader community, I'll continue to support SPCA, Playing for Peace, and the Special Olympics (and some others). Politically, I'll keep speaking for Liberty.
I'm pretty excited about the new year, I think it will be the best yet. I hope it is for you.