2010 was an outstanding year. I’ve mulled this over for a while, and I’m happy to call it the best year of my life. I would say that in almost every area I’ve made improvements: physical, mental and moral wellbeing; financial; professional; relationships and family. My self-esteem has grown tremendously and it’s fuelling confidence in my beliefs and actions. This whole experience has cemented within me a growth mindset and I look forward, knowing that I can change myself.
A Mental Trick
Last year I made a list of goals – things I wanted to achieve in the year. I deliberately told no one what they were. There was one guiding resolution: “Tell people what you’ve done, not what you’re going to do“. That simple mental trick made a huge difference and I still use it today. It’s a small, subtle adjustment, but it’s the difference between “I’m going to lose weight” and “I’ve lost 193lb in the last 18 months”.
For some reason this really work for me. It’s stops me day-dreaming and focuses me on the reality of making it happen. Tell people what you’ve done, not what you’re going to do.
Resolutions/Goals in 2010
So, here’s what I’ve done (my 2010 list).
- Complete C25K – done (I can run 13+ miles now)
- Take cooking lessions – done (not life changing, but done)
- Organise my Rugby World Cup trip – done (7 weeks in NZ here I come!)
- Eat vegetarian 2-days/week for 6 months – done (I am now a fulltime vegetarian)
- Play rugby again – done (although I stopped pretty quickly)
- Lose 100-150lb by Christmas – done (120lb+ lost)
Failures (that I’m happy to fail):-
- Write a PHP framework. Abandoned: life’s too short, I’m betting my chips on Symfony2 (this is a programming/work thing)
- Complete Justin Sandercoe’s guitar lessons. Abandoned: I don’t want to learn guitar badly enough.
- Eat at The Fat Duck restaurant. Abandoned: due to vegetarianism
Failures (that I really failed):-
- Generate ¬£200/month passive income (no progress)
- Read 5 classic novels (I read 2)
So the stuff that I’m happy to fail are things where I deliberately abandoned the goal. There’s something positive in being able to give-up things¬† you thought you wanted to do,¬† accepting that they are not important or desirable enough in reality.
The two proper failures hurt. They were things I really did want. The passive income is a part of my plans for the future. I want to create income streams that earn me money without being directly related to my time; the sort of thing where you could be sitting on a beach for a month, yet still earn money. ¬£200/month was the starting point, this goal had tranches up to ¬£1,000/month for 2010, so I failed big time.
Failing to read 5 classic novels annoys me, because that really shouldn’t have been hard – I was just lazy.
The successes are profound. Losing that much weight, becoming a vegetarian and being able to run a half-marathon are pretty awesome things. Playing rugby again was a great milestone, but my body just didn’t react well to it ;). Organising my trip to NZ is another big deal: I haven’t been abroad in the last 10 years* and now I’m going on an absolute dream trip. (* until I went snowboarding).
Overall I’m pleased.
So if 2010 was the best year of my life, can I make 2011 better? Yes :). Or at least, I can put in equal or more effort in improving myself and my life, and see where that takes me (as I whisper a prayer to Lady Luck).
What goals have I set myself? Well, that would be telling ;).