Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Failing Goals

It's the last day of January already! The first post of this month/year involved setting my big goals and a few little goals just for this month. Now it's the last day and I really should have checked on and monitored the progress of my goals throughout the month.. Well it's too late now and there's nothing left to do but look at the cold hard facts:

What I set myself to achieve:
  1. Complete the blog coding course that I got that will enable me to set up my site better and do things the way I want to.
  2. Practise viola 6 days a week, two hour sessions.
  3. Start regular 4K runs three times a week.
  4. Mend the clothes in the "need-to-be-mended" pile of my sewing cupboard.
  5. Read a bit of non-fiction everyday.
  6. Knit more - I don't think it's feasible to do a bit of knitting every day but I will certainly try.
  7. Revise the chapters in my German book that I have already done.
What I actually achieved:

  1. Finished the first session (of ten..)
  2. For the whole month I practised a total of 11 times.
  3. I did 3K runs about once a week.
  4. Didn't mend any clothes.
  5. I didn't read non-fiction every day but I certainly read it more often and even started reading the news more (half a point for that?).
  6. Knitting went fairly well, I almost finished the back segment of my cardigan project and I knitted two squares for my blanket (and learnt a new technique so that they would look better: intarsia).
  7. Didn't even open my German book.
Of all of these I'm really disappointed that I didn't get off my ass and do more practice. The German thing I'm not so disappointed in myself about, or the clothes mending, but practice is really important. My mum used to make me practice every day (except birthdays and Christmas, of course) and the thing that she would say to justify her pushing was: "you're only cheating yourself by not doing it". Mums tend to be very wise and this is a gold nugget from mine; I am totally minimising my opportunities and chances by not practising. I find it difficult in the moment to gee myself up to practice and in the last two weeks of not practising it's been because I felt like I wasn't making any progress. But then how can I make progress if I stop doing it? It's so easy to reflect on it like that, from a third person point of view, but in the moment I'm just sick of the stupid wooden box. Love/Hate relationship to the extreme. So this month I'm going to really work on that goal.

Goals for February:

There's a reason that we fail our goals, and once we have there is no point hiding in a cave and woe-is-me-ing about it.. time to evaluate and change my goals in a way that will help me work towards them better.

  • Practice. I think part of the reason why I wasn't so motivated to get up and do it was because I wasn't playing much in the way of repertoire and was getting bored quite quickly. Although all the technical work is improving me I really need something to apply the skills in and to provide my brain with regular changing tasks. So this month I'm going to add studies every week. I adore studies: it's fun to try and make them sound like music and you can change them up every week.
  • Running. I've decided to do a half marathon in September, which only gives me 8 months to increase my current mileage (perhaps it should be kilometreage?) by 7 times !! So this month I definitely have to man up and push for the 4K three times a week (and then my plan in March is to start doing a long run on one day, like 10K). To help me get there I'm going to allow myself this reward: I can buy myself a new running outfit if I do 4K runs three times a week every week of this month.
  • Blogging. Recently I have been thinking more and more that I should give up this blog.. It takes a lot of time to maintain and although I love doing it sometimes I think maybe I should focus more on what I'm supposed to be doing: viola. But I've decided not to give it up just yet because it really motivates me to be creative and actually complete creative projects. And although I would definitely still be creative without it, it's nice to record it and share it with people that care (thanks guys! =P). I really want to complete this blog course so that I can make the page more user-friendly and have it set up the way I want to (and basically just be prettier).
  • Read. I want to read the News Review segment from the Saturday paper every week as well as check on the news briefly a few times throughout the week. I want to get through at least 2 chapters of my big fat Ideas book, but hopefully 3; and I want to read more than half of my "Understanding Politics" book (I have no clue about politics, I recently learnt what an MP is, so I'm reading this book because it's an election year and I don't want to be clueless in conversations about it). Ideally I'd like to read a bit of fiction too.. but I think this is already a lot of reading to undertake.
  • Knitting. I need to complete 5 squares for my blanket this month.
  • Friendships. I must send letters to my friends in Florida and Germany. MUST! I didn't do anything nice for them this month so I really have to be a better friend and send something.
I'm going to leave out the German this time round in the hopes that I'll be able to complete the others better. If I happen to open the book then that would be a positive! 

So here is the final definitive list for this/next month:
  1. Practice - one day off a week, one study per week. No set time as long as I do it.
  2. Running - 4K three times a week.
  3. Blogging - complete the blog coding course, set time aside on Sundays to write all the posts for the week so during the week all I have to do is publish them.
  4. Reading - News Review every Saturday, 2 chapters of Ideas book, get through half of Politics book.
  5. Knitting - complete 5 squares for my blanket.
  6. Friendships - send letters to overseas friends at least twice this month.
  7. General - eat a piece of fruit every day
And I'm going to check on this list every week to keep it on track.

How have you been going with your goals?

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