2017 Goals/2016 Goals Review: A Year of Treading Water

16:10 Sun 01 Jan 2017
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On every front except work, 2016 was a bad year for me.

Not in big ways; I didn’t have any major setbacks, bad injuries, or dramatic blowups. It just sucked in a low-key but consistent way.

It was bad in terms of the goals I set myself at the start of the year, too.

2016 Goals Review

My goals for 2016 were:

  • Read 90 books. Nowhere close. I read 46 books in 2016, just over half my goal, below my average, and my lowest total since 2012.
  • Run a Q’Rith mini-campaign. I didn’t even really try. This requires a particular kind of work, and a mixture of creative and logistical tasks that makes it tricky. Even so, I could absolutely have done something towards it that would have made it easier to accomplish in future.
  • Get paid for a piece of writing. No. Somewhat affected by the next one.
  • Make progress on a major creative work. Nothing. I did almost no creative work outside the Q’Rith campaign, and even there it didn’t really qualify for what I have in mind for creative work.
  • Do at least one piece of public speaking. This is the closest I came to achieving a goal, but it’s still a little dubious. I did a short presentation[1] (under 10 minutes) for work, but it was done remotely, which isn’t what I had in mind. It was rather more difficult than what I’d had in mind for this goal, because technical difficulties meant I had to do it without being able to see or hear the audience, but immediate feedback is part of what makes public speaking feel like public speaking. Hence the sense that I didn’t “really” do this one.
  • Package and release my book tracking software. I made some very small steps towards this early in the year, but never got back to it. I just didn’t have sufficient motivation to properly engage with it.
  • Convert tadhg.com from WordPress to a static site. It’s more or less the same with this one, although this goal requires more tedious work and probably more time than the previous goal.
  • Get back in shape. Nope. I made some efforts in the early months of the year, but they petered out around May and I never got back to it.
  • Fix at least half of the long-term things that bug me about my apartment. Maybe I tackled one of these? Far short of half, in any case.
  • Deal with all of the paperwork currently in overflow areas. Not close. In fact I think this got worse, not better, through the course of 2016.

0, 0.5, or 1 of 10 depending on how I count the public speaking goal.

That seems about right for how the year felt, and it’s not surprising to me that the only one I either achieved or came close to was related to work.

My motivation to tackle these goals seemed to melt away as the year went on. While that’s what often happens to resolutions, I’ve also had urges to work towards goals in the last few months of the year—but not this year.

2017 Goals

These are in an arbitrary order, as usual.

  • Read 60 books. That seems like a reasonable number to aim for, and ideally I’ll be a little more steady than usual and try to get through five books per month.
  • Write microfiction and enter it into competition. I just discovered that a friend won one of these for 2016[2], and this reminded me that such competitions exist—and that I used to write microfiction. And that some of it was actually good[3]. So I’m going to enter at least one of these in 2017, with new work.
  • Get back in shape. Same as last year. It’s not that difficult.
  • Package and release my book tracking software. Same as last year, and again, it’s not really all that difficult, it just requires some actual work.
  • Convert tadhg.com from WordPress to a static site. Same as last year.
  • Deal with all of the paperwork currently in overflow areas. Again, same as last year. I don’t see how this could take more than 20 hours, and it’s quite possible that 10 would do it. There are a lot of hours left in 2017, so I should absolutely be able to accomplish this.
  • Run a roleplaying mini-campaign. I’m removing the requirement that this be related to my ongoing game. Partly because it makes it a bit easier, but also because it means I can try some other things I’m interested in (such as Dread). It’s also possible that the target audience for this would be more into some of the other options than the Q’Rith setting.

I’m leaving it at just seven, since achieving a whopping one last year doesn’t foster tremendous ambition. If I somehow complete all of them early in the year and am stuck for things to do, I can always add more later.

Good luck with your 2017, and I hope it’s a good year for you.

[1] A quick overview of eRegs, the main project I worked on for 18F this year, given to a conference of Canadian civil servants hosted by Canada’s Community of Federal Regulators.

[2] Kate Garklavs, who won the Conium Review 2016 Flash Fiction Contest.

[3] “A Tree on the Path” remains a personal favorite.

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