January 1st 2019
Today begins 2019, as yesterday ended 2018. Every year on New Year’s Day I sit in front of this blog and analyse the year just gone, go through the resolutions I made, and evaluate whether or not I completed them. (Spoiler alert: I failed this year).
Last year I set two resolutions. One physical goal, and one mental goal. The two resolutions, which I’ve had stuck to my desk ever since, were these:
- Run a sub-20 minute 5km race.
- Align my focus.
Neither of those things happened. In fact, I am now further away from achieving both of those things than I was at the start of the year. But let’s break it down.
- Run a sub-20 minute 5km race.
My enthusiasm for running dwindled, as it always does, when it started getting colder out. I am the definition of a fairweather runner. However, even when I was running consistently this year, I never got close to a sub-20, and in fact my actual PB from 2018 (22:30) is slower than my actual PB from the year before (22:07). So I’ve gone backwards.
I did have some running successes this year. I did a couple of half marathons. I ran at least 5km every day for 21 consecutive days just to see if I could do it. (I could) But overall I’m further away from my target now than I was a year ago. Good work, James.
2. Align my focus.
Yeah, I’m also further away from this now. The wording of this one was deliberately vague, but it was my goal to decide what “my goal” should be. I wanted to figure out whether I wanted to be a novelist, a magazine publisher, a writer, or whatever. At the time, I had lots of different side projects that occupied much of my consciousness, and I wanted to make one of them more permanent. Or at least decide what I wanted to do with my life.
Instead, I’ve gone backwards. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. My magazine died — partly due to ‘losing’ my graphic designer, but mostly due to my own inability to stick with something.
I did finally build up the courage to self-publish my novel to the Amazon Kindle store. So I guess that was something. Maybe one day soon I’ll build up the courage to actually tell people where they can find it.
But instead of finally figuring out what the fuck I want to do with my life, I’m further away. I have no idea.
The other thing to mention is that a year ago, when I made that list, I was living with my girlfriend in our own house. Now, I’m single and living with my Mum and Dad again. The entire year was one long journey backwards. For every step forward there was a leap back. And that’s not how this is supposed to work. In fact, I’d like the opposite. I’m okay with a couple of steps backwards, as long as there are leaps forward.
With that being said, and despite the fact that I failed so miserably in achieving last year’s resolutions, and despite the fact that January 1st is, on the surface, a completely non-unique and arbitrary temporal marker decided on by humans that has no comparable, spiritual or cosmological significance other than what we ascribe to it, I’m gonna go ahead and set some goals for 2019.
- Learn a new skill
- Take better care of myself
Those are small enough to seem achievable, and vague enough that I can bullshit my way into convincing myself that I completed them this time next year. “Well I got really good at Sudoku puzzles” probably isn’t what I have in mind.
There are a lot of big things that need to happen in my life this year. I need to decide whether I want to move to London. Or Europe. Or travel America playing golf. Or stick around here for a while longer. I need to take big leaps in work, and love, and life, but I think it’s best to take the small steps first. So my resolutions are small, and simple.
Until tomorrow, 2018 was bad, 2019 will be better.