Monday, 4 January 2016

Goals for 2016 (and looking back on my 2015 goals)


Unlike last year, I'm not going to even pretend that I'm not going to set goals.
I LOVE having a goal, whether it's a getting to a certain page number in my book or finishing my to-do list with time to spare. I'm one of those annoying, Type A, "goal-orientated" people.
And unlike last year I'm going to own it.

Now it makes no sense for me to write my 2016 goals list without taking some time to address my 2015 goals and where I got to with those. As much as I like the idea that new year is for starting afresh, I think it's silly to completely abandon last year's goals and not look at whether you achieved them, or didn't, or if they are no longer relevant.

What did I achieve in 2015?
I looked through my 2015 goals last week and wrote a list in my phone, assigning the goals I hit a tick, and the goals I missed a sad face. Of my 19 goals I achieved 14 and missed out on 5 but two were no longer relevant. Here's how I did:

Goals I achieved in 2015:

  • Run a 5K in under 30 minutes (achieved in April 2015. Current 5K PB stands at 27:13)
  • Run a 10K in under 60 minutes (achieved in May 2015. Current 10K PB stands at 58:08)
  • Run at least three races (in 2015 I ran three 10Ks - Stroke Assocation 10K, the Great Manchester Run and the We Heart Manchester 10K, plus one half marathon)
  • Signed up for another half marathon (this goal was supposed to merely be sign up for a half marathon, instead I ran one in 2 hours 8 minutes in October 2015 - 54 minutes faster than my last one)
  • Hit 40 parkruns (I ended 2015 on 47)
  • Exercise 5-6 times a week 
  • Read 25 books (I actually read 40!)
  • Go to the cinema twice a month 
  • Progress in my job (I was promoted in October 2015)
  • Take at least three weekends away (we went to London, the Lake District, Whitby and Spain in 2015)
  • Do one cultural activity per month (I didn't actually keep track on this through the year, but I wrote a list last week of all the cultural activities we did in Manchester in 2015 and there were at least 12)
  • Eat at 10 different places (easily done living in the city centre!)
  • Save up 
  • Keep blogging
Goals I didn't hit in 2015:
  • Complete Insanity again
Thanks to training for a half marathon and a marathon in 2015, completing Insanity again fell by the wayside, but given what I achieved I don't feel too bad about it
  • Take time for photography
Just didn't happen as much as I would have liked this year. Back to my list for 2016.
  • Learn to cook meat
Sorry Phil. I'm planning a post on what it's like as a veggie living with a meat eater, but it's fair to say I didn't really learn to cook meat this year, and I no longer want to. I guess this falls into the "no longer relevant category" because Phil has been brilliant at a) eating everything I cook and b) cooking meat himself when he wants some. More to come in a future post.
  • Volunteer
This is one I feel bad about, but not for lack of trying. I did look up volunteering at my local food bank, but the shifts were only during the day, and my free time outside of work (which I'll discuss in my next point) has been few and far between. I am doing my marathon for the Manchester Food Bank, and I am in a charity choir, so I do feel I do my bit, but this is one I'm disappointed I didn't achieve.
  • Use my free time effectively
Next to this in my list I've just written "lol what is that." I was hopelessly naive last year about that "magical" free time I was going to have when I had no commute. What I didn't factor in was all the time it takes to run a home, on top of running a blog, training for a marathon, blogging, singing in a charity choir and a full-time job. I do all the cooking at home (entirely my choice), and this takes up far more of my evenings than I expected!

Goals for 2016

So this naturally leads to my goals for 2016...

Worry less
Okay this one is a bit intangible but one I want to really focus on in 2016. I've recently been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) so "worry less" is a bit like telling a depressed person to "stop being sad", but this year I really want to get a handle on my anxiety (while the diagnosis is recent the symptoms have been manifesting themselves for years), figure out my triggers and most importantly, what I can do to manage it.

Be more brave in the kitchen
Another slightly vague one, but I cook dinner every night and we eat something new at least once a week, usually twice. I have over 40 recipes books, read hundreds of food blogs and love to try new things. But I am only just finding my feet with "oh I don't have that, I'll try this" and throwing things in. I'm a person who really likes to follow set instructions, so this year I'd like to be a bit more creative in the kitchen and try new things without following recipes all the time.

Run my first marathon
Bit of a cheaty goal as I signed up in April, but yeah, I need to run a marathon this year...

Achieve 10K and half marathon personal bests
This did say "run a 10K in 55 minutes" and "run a half marathon in under 2 hours" but you know what, I don't need that kind of pressure, especially with training for a marathon. So I'll take a PB in these distances, whether that's 5 minutes or 5 seconds.

Start looking into buying a house
Phil and I have just signed on for another year in our flat, but next year we are going to buy a house! So far we are just scouting out areas (we won't be buying in the city centre) and the next step is to go see a mortgage advisor to figure out what we can afford and what we need to save. Very exciting!

Read 40 books
I read 40 books in 2015, but rather than up the goal I thought I'd go for 40 again.

Learn one new skill, or develop a skill I already have
If you haven't read Six harsh truths that will make you a better person yet, do. I'm really glad that I do a lot of things outside of work (such as this blog, and choir, and running) but I want to continue to learn and grow more in 2016. As I mentioned before, I want to practise photography more, but I'm also playing around with Duolingo to learn Spanish at the moment. So I don't know yet what skill I want to learn or grow, but we'll see.

Spend more time doing what I love
One of the things that really triggers my anxiety is feeling like I'm "wasting" time or not using it effectively. And sometimes it's during nice times when I'm watching a film with Phil or just lying in bed. I always feel the need to be productive. And sometimes I need to just let that go and enjoy myself, even if I'm just relaxing.

Treat myself more
As with the above, money is another thing I worry about far more than I should. I don't need to worry about it as much as I do. So this year I will try to treat myself to the odd coffee, or an unexpected lunch out, or whatever it is and not neat myself up about it. This is especially poignant with looking to move out of Manchester. Yes, Manchester is expensive, and going out to eat and for drinks and to the theatre is expensive, but these are the things I'll miss when we move so I need to enjoy them.

Spread more positivity
I can be a real Debbie downer at times. I can moan constantly about people that annoy me. Look through Instagram accounts of people I don't like. I can complain a lot when I want to. And I don't want to be like that all of the time. I want to spread more positivity and job this year, and stop before I open my mouth to complain.

What are your goals for 2016?

Charlotte x

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