Do you do this.. ?
I never used to.. and in fact, didn’t even really set any goals for 2017 until a week or so inside the year. At the time I was on vacay, in Bali, like I do, in a vulnerable, rare moment, reading.. which I seldom get time or motivation for much these days.. which sucks because I actually think I’m quite good at it.
Reading.. if that’s indeed something you can profess skill in.. I dunno, either way, I do enjoy it, if not occasionally rush through it a bit. I do dip into a bit of Kath & Kim speed reading.. it’s unusual.. different.. yeah.
So thereI was, lathered in sunscreen on a sunbed at a somewhat niceish, but still a bit scummy hotel in Jimbaran using my idle time in-between dips in the tepid pool to read through Chris Guillebeau’s book.. ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ ..
Now Chris actually started with me on the wrong foot, and I’m not even sure to this day wether I’m resolved on that but he just struck me as one of these highly motivated whippersnappers that probably had a really twangy, high pitched American accent and used all those textbook gesticulations in his TED presentations and book signings. Something about his approach, his writing and his goal setting just irked me a bit. My problem though, I’m sure he’s a wonderful, well accomplished guy.
But I had to put that aside because the premise of his writing in this case, comes from a good place. And the idea is, whatever you want in life, find a way to ring-fence an ambitious but achievable idea, and just go fucking do it no matter what. And a lot of it is sort of centered around the ideas of ‘a quest’.. so not just little bite sized achievements but really big fuckin things that you can lie on your deathbed and tell your ratty grandkids what they need to measure up to.
So there’s people out there who’ve done stuff like:
- Cook a meal from every country in the world
- Go on 50 dates in all 50 states of America
- Give $10 every day to a different nonprofit organisation for a year
- Visit every country in the world
- Take, process and edit, 1 million photographs
- Become James Bond for a weekend as part of an “Epic Quest of Awesome”
I’ve taken a few of these ideas and stretched them out into life goals or ‘quests’.. these aren’t the ‘what can I get done in 2017’ type things, I’ll get to those later, but instead the big things.. so.. so far I’ve got:
- Learn to sail – take a boat out for a few days/weekend
- Pilot an airplane
- Be a runway model
- Learn to ride a horse (preferably at a ranch, somewhere overseas)
- Be in a movie
- Try a bottle of wine that’s over 100 years old, from the region it was produced
- Take a survivalist course
..and that’s all I’ve got so far. It’s actually quite difficult when you consider you’d be needing to commit to actually doing these things. But on the scale of life, I guess it’s not so bad.
So here’s the more tactical/bite sized ‘do-in-a-year’ things I came up with on that hot day in Jimbaran on a sunbed with a dirty mattress. Rubbing my own sweat back into my body. The ones listed here.. I managed to do:
- Go out for a beer with dad
- Bench my own weight in 3 x sets 5 – 8.
- Complete the PADI scuba side-mount course
- Do at least 60 dives
- Do at least 2 trips to Mt Gambier (cave diving location in South Australia)
- Do at least 1 ‘warm water’ trip and dive
And so the ones I didn’t do.. hence the ‘mostly’ in the title.. this list is longer:
- Host at least 3 BBQ’s / dinners
- Have drinks/food with one of our neighbours
- De-clutter CD’s and comic books to one box – close, sold all my CD’s bar some collectibles, comics are still there – en mass
- Run an average of 15km’s per week – shattered with this one. I got to 14.6km’s per week for the year.
- Complete the DuoLingo Spanish course – nada
- Do the Tec 45 scuba course – the shop I train with didn’t run it
- Do the GUE Fundamentals course
- Write up my journals from my year overseas in 2006, and my Indonesian journals as 13 year old.
- Publish an article – though I did start this blog
- Go somewhere new internationally
- Go into negative leave at work
Hmm.. so now that just makes me feel shitty. So how do I feel about resolutions now given that… and given that this is probably typical of most people who set these sort of goals at the start of the year.
Well, I think they’re useful to get you thinking about what’s important and to sharpen your focus around prioritising those things in front of the easy day filling fodder. I wish I’d taken a bit of a leaf out of that book, now, reflecting on the above. I do feel a bit shitty actually. I think I could have easily knocked a few of those off, given some focus.
I think simply thinking about what’s important to you as well, helps you stay happy in life through accomplishing goals attributed to things that make you happy. I’ve got a lot of diving stuff in there, because I’m totally obsessed with it. I’ve got some exercise stuff in there as well.
So I’m going to take rest of the week to come up with a refined, achievable but ambitious list of shit to tick off in 2018. Whilst a lot of the above were dismal failures, it’s helped me understand why and got me thinking how I might refine my thinking and priorities a bit.