Tag Archives: goals

The Year is Half Over

Today is July 1st, a very special day. Most importantly, it’s Canada Day, a national holiday.  That’s always nice.  Of secondary importance, it’s the beginning of the NHL free agency period, one of the busiest days in terms of player movement.  There may be no better day for a Canadian hockey fan than July 1.

More than that, though, today is the beginning of July, the seventh month.  The year is officially half over.  Six months have gone, six months remain.  It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in 2016, and now it’s half over and soon it will be done.  That’s … quite sobering, really.

Most people have long since abandoned their new year’s resolutions, but not me.  I’m constantly thinking about how I can improve, where I need to improve and what I need to do to get there.  I set some pretty lofty goals back at the beginning of the year, and now is the perfect time to make sure I’m still trending in the right direction or if I need to change something. Continue reading

Figuring Out My Life Goals

I’m a fan of goals. They give you direction: they tell you where you are going, and you know exactly when you get there. Those are powerful things. That said, unlike some people, I don’t set many goals. I don’t have a 100-page bucket list. I could probably write all my goals, absolutely all of them, on a single piece of paper.

See? One single page.

Is this the right way to do it? It’s hard to say. It certainly feels the most natural for me. Having too few goals means you risk not doing enough, while having too many can spread you too thin. Heck, at the beginning of the year I set 12 goals of varying importance, only twelve, and those drained me within a week. I operate far better on fewer but more important goals than many superfluous ones. Continue reading

Earning Your Play

Do you know what’s fun? Doing fun things. Do you know what’s not fun? Not doing fun things. Sorry for stating the obvious, but it’s important for the point I want to make. A lot of life isn’t fun. I don’t know, maybe you find shopping for groceries fun, but it’s not the highlight of my day. Same with doing taxes or cleaning or working out; these things are important, surely, but they aren’t exactly fun.

This person appears inquisitive and healthy, but not having fun.

In general, life can be divided into categories, things that are fun and things that are important. I will admit right away there is a lot of subjectivity here. What I call fun, say chess, you might find completely boring. Similarly, what I find to be very important, learning to write better, you may find only moderately important, or not important at all. That’s okay, it’s natural, and it won’t detract from my main point.

Here’s the issue: very often, we put off doing what is important over what is fun (or easy or convenient). “I know working out is important, but I just want to sit and watch TV today. I’ll do it tomorrow.” And then that gets pushed to tomorrow and tomorrow and, opps, it never gets done. Continue reading

January 2016 Update

One month in, and 2016 is not off to the best start.

In a word, I bit off more than I could chew.  I tried to do too much, filling my days with task after task only to be left with no time, no energy and no motivation to do it again tomorrow.  Within just a few days I basically abandoned everything I set out to do.

I’m perhaps being overly dramatic, but in general, this month has been a failure.  Better luck in February.  Here, let me categorize in depth each one of my failings. Continue reading

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

We all know fitness is important to our health. Working out keeps us in shape, improves our physique, enchances our immune system, makes us feel better and has countless more benefits, both large and small. Why, working out sounds like the best thing we can do! We should do it every day! Multiple times a day! Every few hours!

What time is it? Workout time!

And if you follow this line of reasoning, you pretty quickly find that too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. In this particular example, you spend all your time working out, which means you don’t have any time to do anything else, including rest and recovery. You push your body so much that it has no chance to repair, and soon instead of building yourself up you begin tearing your body apart.

This actually happens with just about everything, including most of my life right now. Continue reading

Struggling With Motivation

Something rather terrible has happened the last three days. Well, maybe terrible is an exaggeration. It’s not as if anyone died or had any health complications. In fact, not a heck of a lot has happened, but that’s exactly the problem. For three days I’ve done not a heck of a lot. I’ve went to work … and that’s it. I have done nothing else.

If I had mad photoshop skills, I’d change that to 24 hours.

I have goals. I was super excited to start 2016 and  to start realizing them. For the first five days or so, I absolutely rocked them. I did everything I wanted to and then some. Then I had a busy day at work and seemingly lost any sense of motivation or desire. I have been ‘relaxing’ for three days. Nothing wrong with taking some time to yourself, but 72 hours is a little excessive. I need to get back on track … but I seemingly have to force myself. I have lost all motivation, somehow. Continue reading

Doing What You Don’t Feel like Doing

I woke up, barely. I think I hit snooze a half-dozen times. The alarm clock said something obscenely early, a number too low for my comprehension. I didn’t want to get up. Technically, I didn’t have to get up. I didn’t work until after noon. I really could use the extra sleep, or at least that’s what it felt like. My bed was warm, whereas everything else decidedly was not.

Good advice, comically small dog.

Here’s the thing, though: there is more to my day than working. I have other goals, other desires, other things I want to do. Due to my work schedule, I need to get them done before I go to work, as I almost certainly won’t have enough energy when I get home by 9pm. Do it early or don’t do it at all; that’s just the way it goes. Continue reading

My Three New Skills for 2016

I have three rather specific categories for my New Year’s goals: physical fitness, writing and chess all seem rather self-explanatory. Then there’s this section, skills. Not so self-explanatory. In a nutshell, there are things I want to do. When you look at, for example, my goals of doing the splits, getting stronger and running a sub-20min 5k, you can group all those under a broader category, that of physical fitness.

When it comes to ‘skills,’ these are simply things that I want to learn that do not fit inside a broad category. Or, if they do, it’s tenuous at best.

Even this professionally-made image has no real theme or cohesiveness among its many words.

I’ll be honest, that these skills do not fit inside a larger category worries me somewhat. It suggests they are somewhat random, potentially a passing fad instead of a real interest. It would be disappointing to put in several hours only to find out I don’t care about a given topic at all. That said, it’s nearly always better to do something than to stand still. If I don’t finish these, or abandon them in the next few months, oh well.

Let’s take a look. Continue reading

My 2016 Chess Goals

I love chess. Years ago I said I wanted to be a chess master … and then I sort of stopped for about a decade … but now I’m back! I spent a good chunk of 2015 actively studying, and in the end I blew past my old rating of 1800 and currently sit in the high 1900s, which feels stratospheric.


I am the 1% apparently.

The appeal of chess is mesmerizing. We start with equal forces, two identical armies on a symmetric board, but a good player will still readily beat a poor one. It’s not luck, it’s not chance, it’s not a teammate dropping a perfect pass. No, it’s all personal skill. If you win at chess, you deserve it, and that feeling really feels great.

I like winning, just like everyone else, but more than that I like knowing I’m right. At any given time, any given position, there is a best move. It might be microscopically better than the alternatives, but it is still the best. The appeal of chess, for me, isn’t just winning but knowing that I played the best moves as often as possible. That’s perhaps my real motivation, and that powers my training plan. Continue reading

My Goals for 2016

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a great 2016!

Last year, I set three goals for 2015, and in general, I smashed them. I definitely can’t complain about the results. I realized in the last few weeks, though, that I never explicitly wrote a blog post about them. I mean, I originally intended this blog to track and motivate my goals, but I never stated what those goals were, at least not directly.

This year, I figured I’d change that. Since I easily handled three goals last year, I’ll set more this year. Indeed, I’ll go into greater detail, completely outlining my expectations and my plan of attack. At this time next year, there will be no mystery about whether I achieved or failed these goals. I also think writing them down in detail is both more motivating and lets me plan it out better, as opposed to just “let’s hope and pray it works.”

So without further ado, let’s get started. Continue reading