Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Progress ReportThe year is fast appearing in the rear view mirror. It’s time again for a monthly status update on how I’m coming with my goals for the year. I first published them here on January 1 – eleven goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit. I share updates here monthly as a public way of holding myself accountable. I color-code the goals with green indicating that I am on or ahead of schedule, orange if I am slightly behind schedule, or red if I am dangerously behind schedule.

I am very pleased to let you know that August was an outstanding month in getting back on track with a few of the goals that were in jeopardy. Thanks to taking a week of vacation and actually using it for things other than work, I caught up quite a bit – not entirely, but meaningfully. I’ll be taking another week off in mid-September to do more of the same, so things are looking up.

That said, here is where I stand after 2/3 of 2013 is behind us.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds. All is well on this goal. I stay 2-3 pounds below my max now to allow a little cushion for splurges here and there.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week – COMPLETE. In terms of total number of days for the year, this was completed in early August. I’m averaging over 18,000 steps per day for all of the days so far in my company’s 100 Day Dash campaign that ends September 10. I’ll keep at the 18,000/day average through the campaign and then return to the goal of 10,000 steps 3 days/week thereafter just because it’s good for my health.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night. I don’t measure this, but more nights than not I believe I get this amount of sleep. I know I’m taking more naps than previous years! That’s fun. After the 100 Day Dash, I intend to purchase a device that will help me track sleep. On a related note, I’m thinking about increasing this goal to 7 hours/day in 2014. That would be radical for me, but I think I hear my body calling me to that.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week. I have only completed nine books this year. I should have 17 complete by now to be on pace. (Of course, one I’ll finish in September has over 2,700 pages, so I suppose it should count as more than one, but I’m counting it as only one.) I read quite a bit during my vacation and have completed two books since last month’s report as well as a significant portion of the ESV Study Bible that is related to another goal below. I’ll plan on more of the same during my September vacation week. I may not reach the 26 book goal for the year, but I’ll keep plugging away.

2. Blog every other day (at least). I’m glad to report that as of this post I have caught up on this goal, posting 124 times so far this year. Ideas have been flowing with a little more frequency lately (could it be the mind-clearing vacation?) and I have a short list of topics on hand already to write about in coming days.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect. All is well here. If you don’t know what this refers to, read this post.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000. As of this post, I am only a little more than 2,000 views away from this goal, so I should reach this by early October if not late September.

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons. I have written drafts of the next letters to send to my sons. I’m now in the period of several days when I revise them nightly for a while before committing to the final contents. They’ll get hand-written and distributed by sometime next week.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible. I made up a lot of ground on this goal during vacation last month. I have finished the biblical text of the ESV and the accompanying notes on that text. What I still lack are the additional articles unrelated to specific passages, which is a few hundred pages. I hope to finish that during my September vacation week and then start my journey through The Apologetics Study Bible.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly. I’m on track with this.

3. Come to some resolution regarding an unsettled situation where I worship – COMPLETE.

It feels good to have a great month in August where I made up some ground. With lots of vacation time built up at work, I’ll continue to take a week off per month for a while to allow time to reach more of these goals than would otherwise be possible. I’m also seriously thinking about my 2014 goals and have started a list of possibilities. There will be some definite changes, although I like the well-roundedness of categorizing them by body, mind and spirit. I’m inclined not to set goals for things have have pretty much become lifestlye habits by now, so I may still do some of the things listed above but just not track them and report on them. I’ll be more realistic in some areas where I bit off more than I could reasonably chew this year. I have a couple of new, ambitious goals in mind for 2014 that I will decide on by year’s end and announce at the appropriate time.

So that’s the report after eight months of 2013 on my goals for body, mind and spirit. What about you? How are you doing on your goals for the year?

Progress ReportIt’s time again for a monthly status update on how I’m coming with my goals for the year.  I first published them here on January 1 – eleven goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit.  I share my updates here monthly as a public way of holding myself accountable.  I color-code the goals with green indicating that I am on or ahead of schedule, orange if I am slightly behind schedule, or red if I am dangerously behind schedule.

July was a good month in that I caught up a little bit in some areas where I was behind, but I still am woefully behind in a couple of others.  I’m hopeful that a week of vacation later in August when I will stay at home and do as I please will allow some much needed time for more catching up, especially in the reading-related goals where I’m lagging the most.

That said, here is where I stand after seven months of 2013.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds.  I celebrated my 1-year anniversary of reaching my weight goal on July 26 and blogged about it.  All is well on this goal.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week – COMPLETE.  As of today, I have completed this goal for the year nearly five months ahead of time!  It helps that I’m averaging over 17,000 steps per day for all of the 100 days in my company’s 100 Day Dash campaign through September 11.  I’ll still keep at the 17,000/day pace through the campaign and 3 days/week thereafter just because it’s good for my health.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night.  I don’t measure this, but more nights than not I believe I get this amount of sleep.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week.  I have only completed seven books this year.  I should have fifteen completed by now to be on pace.  Apparently, I set a goal for a lot more than my available time allows.  Reading one per month has been possible and I may just have to live with that unless multiple vacation weeks between now and the end of the year change the picture.  I read a LOT daily online by following article links and other links to resources through people I follow on Twitter and elsewhere, so I know I’m reading more than the equivalent of the goal I set for books – it just isn’t in the form of books.  If I set a goal like this next year, it will not be for more than one book per month.  That was simply too ambitious for my work schedule and lifestyle.

2. Blog every other day (at least).  I’ve posted 104 blog posts this year, but an every-other-day schedule would have me at 109 already.  This time last month I was ten posts behind schedule, but now I’m only five behind, so I’ve made up some ground.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect.  All is well here.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000.  July was the best month I’ve ever had on this blog for views with over 3,000 for the month, so I continue to be well ahead of the pace needed to reach this goal.  With over 15,000 views through early August, there should be no problem reaching the 20,000 point in the next 2-3 months, thanks to you, dear readers!

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons.  While I’ve decided on the topic for my next letter, I need to write them in August so that I don’t write the two per year too close in time to each other.  One is always given at Christmas, so the other needs to be in the summer.  Time is running out on that.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible.  I’m far, far behind on this goal.  It will take a few vacation weeks of reading to catch up and there is no guarantee that will happen.  If this goal gets adjusted, it may be to finish the ESV this year and then start the next one in January.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly.  This is one of the easiest goals I maintain, requiring less than an hour per week, so all is well here.

3. Come to some resolution regarding an unsettled situation where I worship – COMPLETE.

With seven months of the year behind me, I can say with confidence that I was too ambitious in the goals I set for 2013.  I’ll reach most of them, but I’m beginning to accept the possibility that I may not achieve them all.  I’m not giving up yet, especially since I have about six weeks of vacation due me that I can take whenever I want.  I’m inclined to take one week per month the remainder of the year, giving much of those weeks to making up lost ground on the reading goals.  Stay tuned.

That’s my report after seven months of 2013 on my goals for body, mind and spirit.  What about you?  How are you doing on your goals for the year?

scale-150It was one year ago today that I finally reached my target weight goal which I had struggled for a long while to achieve.  Those who have known me since childhood may remember me as an underweight guy who doesn’t have any issue with extra pounds on board.  Growing up, I was the skinniest kid in the class.  My nickname from some best friends in high school and college was “Runt.”  I weighed only 113 pounds the day I got married a week after graduating from college.  Things had changed, though, 30+ years later as I’m sure many from my age group can understand.

In late 2011, I put on nearly 20 pounds in a relatively short time period.  The Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday season was the main stretch of time in which I threw caution and good sense to the wind and reached what was for me a lifetime high weight.

I didn’t like the new, bigger me very much in a few ways.  The extra weight slowed down my running game considerably.  I didn’t care for the noticeable gut.  Who likes having to buy bigger clothes, too?  Not me.

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Progress ReportWith the year half over, it’s time again for a monthly status update on how I’m coming with my goals for the year.  I first published them here on January 1 – eleven goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit.  I share my updates here monthly as a public way of holding myself accountable.  With this month’s report, I’ll start color-coding the goals with green indicating that I am on or ahead of schedule, orange signifying being slightly behind schedule, and red meaning I am dangerously behind schedule.

The fact that I am on the back side of 2013 now will light a fire under me where needed.  I admit that I too frequently procrastinate on some kinds of tasks, rushing near a deadline to finish the job.  The good news is that I almost always finish the job and do it well.  The bad news is that I get away with the procrastination since it all turns out well in the end (albeit unnecessarily stressful as the deadline nears).  My procrastination ends up being rewarded with good results rather than causing unwanted consequences.  In fact, I recall many times where I have intentionally added little tasks and diversions not originally planned because I knew that I could still produce the desired results in the time allotted and squeeze in some additional activity along the way.  I welcome any free psychoanalysis my readers wish to offer to explain that all-too-common behavior.

Regardless, back to the update… Here is where I stand at the midyear point for each of my goals.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds.  No worries.  My weigh-ins have been at or below my target weight every day since last July 26.  I look forward to my 1-year anniversary in a few weeks of maintaining this goal.

2. Walk/jog/run a total of 10,000 steps per day three days per week. I’m still way ahead of schedule on this one.  With our company’s annual 100 Day Dash underway and me averaging about 17,000 steps per day for the past month, I’m on pace to pass the goal of 153 10,000-steps days for the year by sometime in August.  Of course, you can’t build up exercise and then goof off for long periods, so I’ll still continue the 3-day-per-week goal for the remainder of the year even after I have accomplished the total days goal.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night.  I still don’t record numbers here, but more nights than not when I set my alarm and lay down, it’s for more than six hours from the time I’m going to bed.  I’m also taking many more evening naps in my favorite man cave recliner than in years past.  I’ve started going in a little later to work than previously, not always being the first one on the team to arrive.  I’m considering getting a Fitbit device to wear in a couple of months that will measure my actual sleep.  That would be a far more accurate measure.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week.  I have only completed six books this year.  I should have thirteen completed by now.  Yikes!  This goal is in serious jeopardy of not being achieved unless Dr. Seuss comes to the rescue (just kidding).

2. Blog every other day (at least).  I’ve posted 83 blog posts this year, but an every-other-day schedule would have me at 93 already, so I need some consistent daily posts to catch up – very doable, especially in light of last year’s successful lesson learned post for each of the 366 leap year days.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect.  I don’t think I go a day without doing all three things to some extent, but unless I’m blogging, I don’t spend as much intentional time on the end-of-day reflection as I otherwise do – all the more reason to blog more frequently.

4. Double the blog’s readership from 10,000 views in 2012 to 20,000.  With over 12,000 views just past the midpoint of the year, I am gladly running almost 20% ahead of my goal, thanks to you, dear readers!

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons.  For this twice-per-year goal, July is the month I need to do this since the other time will be at Christimas.  I’ve decided on the topic and will take my time crafting these in the coming weeks.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible.  Why is it that my two seriously delinquent goals are the reading ones?  In addition to getting my act together on this, I definitely need another “monk week” where I spend a week reading at a nearby monastery once or twice a year.  I can get the equivalent of two months of reading done in one of those weeks.  I need to do this by the end of the summer.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly.  This is one of the easiest goals I maintain, requiring less than an hour per week.

3. Come to some resolution regarding an unsettled situation where I worship.  Completed in January.

An interesting observation that comes to me as I look at the above goals is this: even though I feel like I am overall woefully behind in my goals for the year due to the ones appearing above in orange and red, the greater number of green ones tells me that I’m not doing too bad, after all.  Why do we have a tendency to bemoan what we aren’t doing well instead of celebrating what we are doing well?  Of course, I’d like to see nothing but green above, but there is a bit of comfort in seeing far more green than any other color, especially when I know that it is still possible to achieve them all.

I’ve also had one other insight this week as I pondered my goals.  I think I set too many of them for 2013.  I’m not leaving myself enough time to relax and play and, in the words of late humorist Grady Nutt, “do nothing slowly.”  I need to remember that issue when setting goals for 2014.  Maybe some of you can make it a point to remind me of that in late December.  Of course, I’m too stubborn to change any for this year.  I set them, so I will continue to strive to achieve them.

That’s where I am halfway through the year on my goals for body, mind and spirit.  What about you?  How are you doing on your goals for the year?

spinning plateWhen I was younger, it was common to see acts on TV variety shows where entertainers would keep multiple plates spinning on poles.  At some point, plates would start to wobble and the person would have to rush to get them spinning safely again before they fell.  There was a bit of drama at that point where you just couldn’t imagine it doing anything but fall, yet the person usually found a way to keep it going.

It is an ongoing challenge to keep a lot of plates spinning in our lives.  However, what is important may not be the same as what is urgent.  Intervening to keep a plate from falling is urgent.  It may or may not be important compared to what else needs to be done in a limited amount of time.

The subject comes to mind as I find myself over the last couple of weeks spending more time focusing on the wobbling plates than on those which my better judgment tells me are most important.  Got a presentation due in a couple days?  Better get to it.  Have a deadline creeping up?  Get to work on it.  Said ‘yes’ to one or two out-of-the-ordinary requests to help some friends out?  Can’t let them down now, no matter what.

Concentrating on the most wobbly plate is a clear signal that I have too many plates spinning.  The situation is in part my fault for being ambitious in setting certain goals for the year that I am struggling to achieve.  Part of the issue is that I have more to do at work than my mere 50-55 hours per week can get done.  Add to the mix some unusual, temporary personal obligations that could not have been foreseen, and all of that adds up to a plate spinning act that is going on for longer than I wish.  In fact, I made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes at work this week that, while minor and inconsequential, still bother me since that isn’t the norm for me.  Even though others may not have noticed or cared, I felt like I let a couple of plates fall.  I don’t like that.

What to do about it?  There are a few possibilities:

  • Recognize that some of the spinning plates aren’t important enough to keep spinning, and let them go;
  • Plead my case at work for more help in some matters (tough to do when others on the team are also overworked and more new hires are unlikely);
  • Get better at saying ‘no’ to some requests.

Only a week remains until my next monthly update on how I’m coming on my goals for the year, and it isn’t looking like I’ve done more than barely maintain this month.  I certainly haven’t made up ground on any delinquent goals.  Near the mid-year point, there is still time to achieve them, but now it has to be done with the end nearing – not my preference.

I have several wobbly plates in front of me this week.  It will be crazy busy and somewhat frustrating.  All of them are hard commitments that must be followed through on.  Allowing any to drop is not an option, so I’ll do what it takes.  Beginning in July, my calendar looks more clear than it has been in June, so there is reason to believe that I can start to make up some ground next month.  I know it will eventually take some vacation weeks to have time to make a serious dent in some personal goals lagging behind, and I can do that in the Fall.

Meanwhile, for this week, it looks like I’ll keep spinning plates.