If you are a reader of my blog (back before it went dormant in 2015), you know that I am a goal setter. I like to lay out goals, then make plans to achieve them. Last year, on this date, I set out some goals for myself for 2015. As I said back then, I don’t make “resolutions”. I even remarked that they are all-too-often forgotten before the calendar turns away from January. With that in mind, I set out to make myself some 2015 goals. Today I pulled them out and, well, here is how it went…
Reach my goal weight of 195 pounds, and maintain it. I started the calendar year at 242.8 pounds. By October 23rd I had my weight down to 212.0 pounds. Then I kind of took the 4th quarter off. I had a couple of colds, then the holidays started. I progressively set my goals back from being below 200 at year end, to maintaining my November 20th weight (213.4). I reached NONE of those goals. I ended the year at 225. That is a 13 pound increase from my lowest, and about 12 up from November 20th. For the year I still lost weight (15.2 pounds), which in many years would be respectable, but I didn’t make my goal. As I wrote on my health blog, I am back on track now that the year has turned over.
Scan all of my remaining photos. Yeah, I basically didn’t scan any. I never got started on this one.
Make something useful out of wood. This one I accomplished. I built two 8 foot x 4 foot raised garden beds in which I intend to grow vegetables in 2016. I built them too late in 2015 to make a meaningful run at a late crop. But, they are built and ready to go!
Write 400 blog posts. Back in the Spring, I just lost the thread for writing this blog. My health blog suffered a similar fate later in the year. The goal of 400 posts was based on this one having been updated daily in 2014, and my health blog about weekly. Seemed reasonable. At year-end I wrote about 160 posts combined in the two. Far below my goal
Outline a book idea, and develop another (2 goals). I just never got started on these. Not really sure why, although it was a very busy year.
Visit 10 new lighthouses. I ended up visiting 2 new lights in Northern Michigan, and 2 in Louisiana for a total of 4. Had a great time with the ones I visited. Considering how many I have gone to see, all the easy pickings are done.
Camp 40 nights. This one was always a stretch. We’ve never camped that many nights in a year. For last year I was at 25 nights. Until I retire, I don’t see my wife and I going much above 30, and that would also be a stretch.
Take 15,000 pictures. On my two dedicated cameras I took a total of just over 11,600 pictures. If I had Entered 5 photo contests, or Scheduled 4 hours per month taking pictures, I very likely would have more than exceeded my original goal.
Read 12 books that are not Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. This one I knocked out of the park. I ended the year by reading a total of 26 books, only one of which was a Bathroom Reader. Here is my list:
- The Tipping Point – by Malcolm Gladwell
- Killing Patton – by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- In the Garden of Beasts – by Erik Larson
- The Ghosts of NASCAR – The Harlan Boys and the First Daytona 500, by John Havick
- Black Noon – The Year They Stopped the Indy 500, by Art Garner
- Tom Clancy, Full Force and Effect – by Mark Greaney
- The Catcher in the Rye – by J.D. Salinger
- Killing Kennedy – by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- To Kill a Mockingbord – Harper Lee
- Killing Jesus– by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Dead Wake – The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, Erik Larson
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- Mayflower – Nathanial Philbrick
- Bunker Hill – Nathanial Philbrick
- Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
- The Last Stand – Nathanial Philbrick
- Uncle John’s Canoramic Bathroom Reader – Bathroom Reader’s Institute
- The Wright Brothers – David McCullough
- Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
- Endurance- Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage – Alfred Lansing
- Great Lakes Serial Killers – Wayne Louis Kadar
- Shoeless Joe – W.P. Kinsella
- Killing Reagan – by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- Killing Lincoln – by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
- The Best of Wes – by Wes Oleszewski
- Thunderstruck – by Erik Larson
Looking at this list one might be tempted to say I failed at my goals. To be sure, there are many I didn’t reach, but in no way to I consider the year a failure. I purposely set the bar high, and reached for aspirational things that would be difficult to reach. Throughout the year I took on many NEW challenges, both at work and at home. Along the way I picked up two new hobbies to dabble in (gardening and model trains). I had a great year!
Soon I will set the bar for 2016. There will be things on there that are reachable, and there will be some that are aspirational. The important thing to me is that I not stagnate. Only in stagnation and lack of pushing myself to be better today than I was yesterday, will I ever fail.