Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

Progress ReportThe year is done. I’ve reported here monthly on my eleven goals for 2013 categorized in the areas of body, mind and spirit. Now it’s time to give you the final report.

Before looking at the details, though, I want to summarize my main lessons learned for the year. I blogged about them separately in the following posts:

While I will continue to be goal-oriented and publish each January 1st a new set of goals, the first of the lessons learned above is a biggie for me this year – rest. I just didn’t allow myself enough time for that this year and there were times when I was weary of having unending tasks before me. All of these goals are in addition to the 50+ hours of work per week I average, so I longed for more free time and less guilt about what was or wasn’t getting done from this list.

The lesson learned related to taking risks was tied to a major chance I took with a potential impact on my career and professional reputation – starting the weekly Twitter chat #ESNchat. Fortunately, that chance continues to pay off in a number of positive ways.

The third lesson related to health comes after a great stride forward in daily healthy behavior once I started wearing a Fitbit Flex in September. The daily tracking associated with that has truly been major in its significance for my daily healthy routines for activity, diet and sleep.

Some of the lessons learned will be reflected in the 2014 goals I share tomorrow, but others are incorporated into my daily life now in such a way that I don’t feel the need to set, track and report on specific goals related to them going forward.

Overall, 2013 was a very, very good year. I am blessed. I worked hard and accomplished most of what I set out to do, professionally and personally. How can I ask for more than that?

Now, on to the details of my 11 goals…

I first published my goals here on January 1, 2013. These public updates have helped hold me accountable. I color-code the goals with green if I am on or ahead of schedule, orange if I am slightly behind schedule, or red if I am dangerously behind schedule. Here is the final status on the goals.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds – COMPLETE. I’m glad to say I kept this all 365 days of the year, lowering the maximum weight to 145 later in the year and staying at or below that goal since then.

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. Since wearing my Fitbit Flex in September, I haven’t had any day below 10,000 steps.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night – COMPLETE. Since getting the Fitbit, I’ve been able to verify meeting this goal. Six hours doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was more than previous years.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week. The two reading goals were the ones I was woefully short on achieving. I stopped with 12 books this year totaling a little over 4000 pages beyond the untold amount I read for work. That was a more reasonable total than the 26 book goal.

2. Blog every other day (at least) – COMPLETE. With this post, I complete the goal. I had to do some catching up in December, but I did it.

3. Continue to follow My 3 Words: Ground, Stretch, Reflect – COMPLETE. After doing this the past two years, this is pretty much a way of life for me now. 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 – COMPLETE. This goal was passed in early October. With over 26,000 blog views this year, the visits increased by more than 160%. Many thanks to all of you readers for making this goal a reality.

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons. I’m working on the final letter for the year to my boys now and will complete it in the next week or so. I’m a couple of weeks behind where I wanted to be, but I’ll complete it soon.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible. Since it took me until September to finish reading the ESV, I abandoned the goal of reading half of The Apologetics Study Bible also this year. I started reading it and will set a goal to finish all of it by the end of 2014.

2. Review 100 Bible memory verses weekly – COMPLETE. This has been happening for several years, so it is ingrained behavior by now.

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

As I said above, 2013 was a very good year in many ways. I didn’t accomplish all I set out to do, but I did a lot and I feel good about that. As a colleague reminded me several months ago, most people probably don’t even bother to identify goals and track progress for things outside of work, so attempting several in an organized, public manner is out of the ordinary. I’ll be grateful for what was accomplished and won’t beat myself up for what didn’t get done. What I learned about my limits will be reflected in the goals for 2014 that I share on New Year’s Day.

Thanks to many of you for encouraging me in my pursuits this year and for sharing the experience with me. Your presence and words of encouragement make a real difference. I can’t thank you enough for taking the journey with me.

What about you? How did things turn out with your goals for 2013?

image from onlinesciencemall.com

image from onlinesciencemall.com

With Christmas behind us and the new year just around the corner, it’s time to use our mental periscopes and peek around that corner into 2014. It’s time to finalize the goals that will absorb much of our attention for the next 12 months.

Have you thought about any accomplishments you’d like to achieve for 2014 yet? I’ve been thinking about them more and more as this year draws to a close and as I reflect on the success or failure to reach goals I set for 2013. Not everyone is goal-oriented, but I am. It helps me feel like I’m accomplishing things and not getting by with meeting only minimum expectations – from others or myself.

I look forward to sharing my 2014 goals with you on January 1. They will most likely be grouped as they were this year into categories related to body, mind and spirit. That grouping helped provide a well-rounded focus. Some of the goals themselves, though, should be very different from those I worked toward this year. New and different goals help add excitement and enthusiasm to the challenge of pursuing them.

So what about you? Have you been pondering some goals for 2014? Are you ready to commit to them? What will you do to help hold yourself accountable for them? One thing that has helped me is to make the goals public, sharing them here and on various social networks and then providing periodic progress reports.

The new year is fast approaching. What’s around the corner for you? What do you want to be there? What will you do to help make it happen?

Progress ReportOnly one more month of the year to go! This is my next-to-last monthly update on my annual goals that I first published here on January 1 – eleven goals divided into the categories of body, mind and spirit. I share updates monthly as a public way to hold myself accountable. I color-code the goals with green if I am on or ahead of schedule, orange if I am slightly behind schedule, or red if I am dangerously behind schedule.

By mid-November it was evident which goals could be met by year’s end and which would not be. Overall, I’m satisfied with how much I’ve done. I’ve also learned a lot about goal setting that will impact what I plan for 2014, especially considering that these are all goals accomplished in addition to working 50+ hours per week at my job.

So here is where I stand with a few weeks of 2013 remaining.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds. This has been no issue, especially since I lowered the original goal to 145 and maintain that daily. I entered Thanksgiving Day a couple of pounds under so I could enjoy all the normal foods with family that day and not go over the goal. I’ll keep 145 as my goal going forward – no need to lose more.

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. Since wearing my Fitbit Flex in September, I haven’t had any day below 10,000 steps. In addition, I’ve made sure not to have any 7-day period with less than 80,000 steps total, so my average is a little over 11,000/day now.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night. I love tracking this with my Fitbit. I’ve not had a week averaging less than six hours per night since getting the device. It isn’t enough, though, so I’ll increase this goal for 2014.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week. I gave up on trying to reach this goal recently, capping my book reading at 12 this year. The original goal was just too much given all my other goals and work schedule, so I’ll be more reasonable next year in this regard.

2. Blog every other day (at least). I should reach this goal by the end of the year, but being eight posts behind, I will have to blog more days than not this month to reach it.

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 – COMPLETE. This goal was passed in early October. It looks like we’ll finish the year with about 25,000 views, thanks to you, dear readers.

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons. It’s time to figure out the subject of my next letter and plan on getting them to my boys by Christmas.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible. Having completed the ESV in September, I’m still in the early books in The Apologetics Study Bible. I won’t complete half of it by year end, but I’m fine with that. I’ll set a goal to finish all of it by the end of 2014.

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.

I’m eager to set my goals for 2014. I’ll post them here on January 1. They will not be as time-consuming overall as this year’s goals. I need to bake into my schedule next year more free time and more sleep time, so that will require less in the way of goals outside of work.

With only a few weeks left in 2013, that’s where I stand on my goals. What about you? How are you doing on your goals for the year? Are you thinking about goals you’ll want to set for 2014?

Progress ReportThe year is fast coming to a close and it’s time again for a monthly status update on how I’m coming with my goals. 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 to hold 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.

By now I’m fairly confident how the goals are going to play out by the end of the year – not perfect, but mostly accomplished and I’m just fine with that, especially since they were fairly ambitious. I had hoped that taking another stay-at-home week of vacation in October would allow more catching up on the reading goals, but I ended up working half of my vacation, so not much was done that week toward the goals.

That said, here is where I stand with about seven weeks of 2013 remaining.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds. With my new weight goal as of a month ago being 145 instead of 150, I’m staying below the original goal with no problem. It’s been challenging getting to and staying below 145, but I’ve gotten there a few days in the past couple of weeks. Tracking calories consumed and expended via the Fitbit website is very helpful with this goal. The holidays are around the corner, though, so continued attention to daily efforts here are necessary.

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. Since wearing my Fitbit Flex in September, I haven’t had any days below 10,000 steps. Wearing it seems to encourage me to reach 10,000 as a minimum more easily than previous motivators.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night. With thanks again to my Fitbit, I now know I’m averaging a little over 6 hours per day. It isn’t enough, but it meets the goal I set. I’ll increase this goal for 2014.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week. With only 12 books read in 2013, one of which was in October, this is one of the goals I won’t come close to reaching. I’m working on book #13 now. This goal was just too ambitious given other demands. I’ve learned from it and will set a more reasonable reading goal next year.

2. Blog every other day (at least). I took a break a couple of weeks in October from attempting a blog post every other day, resulting in only 10 posts for the month. Therefore, I’m nine posts behind where I should be for the year. I’ll make that up by December.

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 – COMPLETE. This goal was passed in early October. Everything after that is gravy thanks to you, dear readers! We’re approaching 22,000 views year-to-date.

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons. I’m on target here with the next letters to be delivered around Christmas.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible. Having completed the ESV in September, I’m in Exodus in The Apologetics Study Bible. I won’t complete half of it by year end, but I’m fine with that.

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.

I’m looking forward to setting my goals for 2014. My lessons learned for this year combined with new thoughts about possibilities for next year have me excited about some things that I’ll share around January 1.

Ten months into 2013, that’s where I stand on my goals – not perfect, but still satisfying. What about you? How are you doing on your goals for the year?

Progress ReportWith the year more than 3/4 behind us, 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 to hold 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.

September saw some solid progress on a few goals. Thanks to taking another stay-at-home week of vacation and using it for things other than work, I made a little progress. I’ll be taking another week off in late October to do more of the same. I’m resigned to the likelihood that I won’t accomplish all goals, but I’ll complete most and I’m OK with that. To paraphrase someone who wrote me recently, “Jeff, most people don’t even set goals each year like you did, so it’s OK not to meet every one of them.” I’m thankful for that reminder.

That said, here is where I stand with less than three months of 2013 remaining.

Goals related to body:

1. Keep my weight at or below 150 pounds. All is well on this goal. In fact, I recently decided to back that down another five pounds to max out at 145 pounds. That’s about what I weighed when I was my best at running several years ago, so I want to get back to that number as my maximum weight.

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 continuing to reach at least 10,000 per day nearly every day, anyway, to maintain a healthy level of activity. I’m enjoying using my new Fitbit Flex which I reviewed here, so reaching the goal is even more fun now than before.

3. Average at least six hours of sleep per night. With the purchase of my Fitbit Flex, I can now track sleep activity and I’m pleased to say that my weekly reports show that I average slightly more than the six hour per night goal. Yay! I’ve never known that for certain. I’m still inclined to increase that goal to seven hours per night for next year.

Goals related to mind:

1. Read a book every other week. I have only completed eleven books in 2013, two of which were in September. I’m resigned to the fact that I won’t make the 26 goal for the year – not even close. That’s OK. I’ve still read more books than in any recent year in memory. I’ll be more reasonable in this goal for next year after this year’s experience.

2. Blog every other day (at least). I’m only 3 posts behind the 140 I should have completed this year to date, so that will be easy to catch up on.

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 – COMPLETE. I’m happy to report that this goal was passed in early October. That means that even though I’m writing half the number of blog posts I wrote last year (when I blogged every day), the average views per post are more than four times last year’s average. Thank you, dear readers, for making that happen!

5. Continue to write hand-written letters to my sons. I delivered to each of my sons in September another letter, so I’m on target with this goal and will write another to them at Christmas.

Goals related to spirit:

1. Finish reading the ESV Study Bible and read half of The Apologetics Study Bible. I used some of my September vacation week to complete the ESV and wrote a review of it here. I have started in The Apologetics Study Bible and, instead of trying to complete half by the end of the year, I’ll give myself through 2014 to complete all of it. Therefore, I’m changing the color of this goal from red to orange. I doubt I’ll complete one-third of it by the end of the year, but I’m OK with that.

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.

As the end of 2013 fast approaches, I’m overall satisfied with how I’ve progressed toward completion of the goals for body, mind and spirit. Ideally, I would be on target to reach all of them. It appears that the only ones I won’t reach relate to reading, so I think I simply expected too much of myself in that regard given my other time commitments. That’s a good lesson to learn prior to setting goals for next year which will be more reasonable.

One other major lesson learned this year is that it isn’t healthy to set too many goals. I find myself on some evenings or weekends just wanting and craving some down time without any to-do lists hovering overhead. I will definitely keep that in mind when setting goals next year, trying to build in guilt-free time to relax and have fun. I didn’t do that this year. Body, mind and spirit all need down time.

So that’s the report after nine months of 2013. What about you? How are you doing on your goals for the year?