Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update on Goals

I'm a bit concerned about the two goals I stated in January.

In order to read 52 books in the year, I 'should' have read about 13 by the end of this month. Which would seem to put me squarely on course. However, I should also be reading books at a rate of about one a week, but this has not been the case recently. The most recent book took me three weeks to get through, and this was quite a quick read. In order to get through my current book in a week, I would need to read 68 pages per night without fail, and that's a rate I just can't commit to. There are too many other things that I want to get done.

Still, I'm not going to abandon the goal, for two reasons. The first is that maintaining the goal, even if it ultimately fails, should push me onwards, which is a good thing. And the second, of course, is that I'm actually still ahead of where I should be, albeit just barely - it doesn't make much sense to give up at this point!

Similarly, the weight loss gain has been frustratingly elusive of late. This morning, the scales moved downward for the first time in about four weeks. The end is in sight, but it remains a blip on the horizon for the time being - there are some eight pounds to go.

Back in January, I said I would decide on some other goals for this year. I never quite got around to it, but I do now have a (partial) list to share:

  • Super Secret Goal #1.
  • Super Secret Goal #2
  • Pick up a new skill - it has been too long. At the moment, I'm torn between learning Java (again) and really getting to grips with the whole Object Oriented paradigm; or learning either Italian (most likely) or Spanish. The first would probably be better from a professional standpoint, but the latter has the advantage of not being work-related.
  • Save £2,000 by the start of June, in case I need to buy a new car - that's the shortfall between my current budget and the estimated cost of my most likely next car. That said, I'm still hoping to get one more year out of my current car.
  • I have decided that this coming financial year will be the one in which I really get a grip on my finances. They're actually pretty solid, but there are a few things that have been allowed to drift, and where money is bleeding out. That's why I'm conducting the Grand Experiment. It is also my intention to revisit my charitable donations (most of which were set up years ago and then forgotten about, which means they're a bit light), to ensure my pension arrangements are properly optimised, to start rebuilding the savings I've just spent on buying a house, and to determine if there's anything else I should be doing.
  • Improve on last year's dismal performance with the band. I believe the goal here should be to pick up more than one prize in the season, and to qualify for the final at at least three out of the four 'majors' we attend. I believe these are realistic goals, and indeed the Pipe Major may feel those are actually under-ambitious goals. However, this is also the only goal that isn't mine alone, so I'm disinclined to be too ambitious.
  • 'Complete' the move to the new apartment. This involves finishing the living area with dining table and chairs, setting up bookshelves in the Purple Room, acquiring a tumble drier and some pictures for the walls, and hosting the housewarming party. Oh, and getting that damn Sky installation fixed.
  • Reduce the amount of TV I watch. With "Clone Wars" finished and "Battlestar Galactica" ending tonight, that's an hour and a half per week freed up. However, I'd like to eventually get down to no more than six hours a week (plus perhaps a movie or two a week). Ironically, the first step in this appears to be to get caught up on all the shows I've missed in the past month.
  • Complete the "Star Wars Saga Edition" campaign, and begin my next "Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay" campaign.

And that's it. There may be other goals crop up, but with eleven to work on in the next nine to twelve months, that's more than enough. In fact, it's probably too much to do.


Kezzie said...

Good goals. I have not been that organised to set up goals!

Yeh, understand the book thing. It can be hard to keep up with a goal, but worth it. Some of my books are quite short by comparison (esp. reading books suitable for Year 5) with your veritable tomes, some only around 150-180 pages or so, so I am on track with my book reading target. Keep going- you never know, sometimes you get reading greed (like me last Saturday!) and end up using the entire day doing it!
BTW, what IS Java?!

Kezzie said...

And actually, some books even shorter than that, having just looked at Lyra's Oxford!

Oh, and the big experiment is a good idea! I've been doing some shopping at Lidl and Asda recently instead of just Tescos and some things definitely cheaper!

Steph/ven said...

Java is a programming language. The syntax is similar to C, a language I know well (and do most of my programming in), but the way it is actually programmed is really quite different. Also, Java has a number of measures that make some of most common (and troublesome) C mistakes impossible - the downside is that some things that are easy in C are much harder, or even impossible, in Java.