As 2012 gets into full swing, it’s time to enact the yearly tradition of setting some goals for the year ahead. By no means an exhaustive list, here are a few that have caught my imagination in the last few days.
Blog more (worry less)
Launching my redesigned website in July encouraged me to write more for it. Still, a number of posts got abandoned (or worse still, never written) and it pains me that I can’t point to some interesting topics and opinions I had throughout the year. The introduction of link posts in the new design removed one mental barrier (the thought that every post need be an essay) so expect more of these in the coming months.
But I also need to become a better writer, both in style and tone but also in terms of speed. I often feel I have a long to-do list, yet it largely consists of the posts I wish to write. These items needn’t languish for so long; think, blog, that’s it!
Related to the previous goal, one way of improving my writing would be to read more. I read a lot online, but I need more time away from the computer screen. I’ve purchased a number of fantastic books, many published by my peers (The Manual, 8faces, A Book Apart, Codex…) and I should probably read them.
I’m also starting to read at bedtime as an incentive to go to bed earlier. Going to bed at a reasonable hour (and seeing more of the following morning) is a persistent, yet seemingly unattainable goal. If you have ideas on how to achieve more sensible sleeping patterns, please share them in the comments.
Make beautiful hopeful mistakes
Cennydd’s tweet at the end of last year chimed perfectly with the attitude I have in mind for this year. The death of Steve Jobs gave me a chance to reflect on his legacy and perspective on life; the themes covered in his Stanford commencement speech combined with my own dreams and ambitions leads to some enthralling prospects. Whilst I’ve achieved a modicum of success in my career, I have a tendency to be lazy, with my natural talent allowing me to sail through life with little challenge.
I started to stretch myself last year, finding a couple of topics that interested me and speaking about them publicly. I also worked to have my first article published. What could I achieve if I really pushed myself, both professionally and personally? This should be the year I find out. I certainly don’t want to end it in the same place I started.
The big hairy audacious goal
Finally, it’s time to take on a long standing ambition; to run a marathon. By taking running a bit more seriously, I’m fitter — and lighter — than I’ve ever been. Completing last year’s Brighton Half Marathon (running the complete course distance) gave me hope that the full marathon distance might be within reach. It’s going to take a serious amount of dedication, and I’m under no illusions about how tough it will be on the day, but this feels like the right time to give it a go.