2020 Goals and Tools

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

― Douglas Adams

Like I said Yesterday It’s that time of the year again. Most nowadays eschew New Year’s Resolutions. And this year, after the horrible shitshow that was 2020 a lot of people will be happy to survive. However, since I had a few days off work over the holidays and there is nothing to do because of the virus I decided to wax philosophical and make some plans for the upcoming year.

OK, first… my actual goals, more or less:

Weight loss – won’t bore you with this – everybody has this as their #1 goal… pretty much. So there it is.

Cycle equivalent – 3,000 days. Ten miles a day, with a few days off. This is either a real mile on a real bike or an equivalent on my spin bike. I put an odometer on the thing so I can measure it. The spin bike is a little easier than the streets, a little quicker… so be it.

Submit 100 short stories for publication (2 per week). I have well over 100 short stories written. But writing isn’t writing, editing is writing. I will edit… and submit. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

Publish 2 ebooks of short stories. One tentatively would be 100 Days of Flash… the other 30 Bad Ways to Die.

Write cumulative 300 words of fiction a day. This is about one hour a day of writing. I intend for the cycling goal above to be pretty much every day, while the fiction writing goal to be mostly a weekly thing. 2100 words a week.

…And those are the major goals. I went ahead and jotted some minor goals down, more as ideas.

  • Get up early
  • Read more
  • Listen to more podcasts
  • Stretch
  • Lift weights
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Learn to use Scrivener
  • Walk (an underrated exercise, might add a derivative of this to my cycling totals, maybe)

I have to be careful about daily habits/goals. I can really pile them on and there are only so many hours in the day.

I also made a list of tools that I intend to add to/edit as the year goes on:

  • Planner
  • Daily Record
  • Journal
  • Strava
  • Blog
  • Google Calendar

Themes, Goals, and Records

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.”

― Neil Gaiman

Pond at Fair Park
A pond in Fair Park. The red paths are part of a massive sculpture by Patricia Johanson – I have always loved those red paths running through the water, weeds, and turtles. A neglected jewel in the city.

It’s that time of the year again. Most nowadays eschew New Year’s Resolutions. And this year, after the horrible shitshow that was 2020 a lot of people will be happy to survive. However, since I had a few days off work over the holidays and there is nothing to do because of the virus I decided to wax philosophical and make some plans for the upcoming year.

First – to get these out of the way – A couple of small changes for me this year….

(1) For the last few years I have struggled with using a Bullet Journal as a planning and recording thing – and it didn’t work for me. For this year I have decided to go back to a ringbound planner. I use Steven Covey seven ring traditional size binders (these are half-sheets, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, or approx. A5) – I have one at work and one at home and one small one that I carry around. I design my own filler pages, print, cut and punch them. I have found that I like to hand draw the filler pages (todo, notes, thoughts, contacts… and such) – it adds a bit of personality, plus I change them as the year goes on (usually print a week at a time).

I will use a fountain pen friendly bound notebook (an EXCEED A5 from Walmart, of all places) as a daily journal and electronic means (Google calendar) for appointments and set events.

I feel good about how this will work out – will keep y’all updated in case you are interested in how it goes.

(2) Making the switch from Map My Ride to Strava to track my bicycling for the year. No real reason – I was happy with MMR. I have become fascinated with the Strava Heatmap.

Instead of RESOLUTIONS, I think of Themes for the year and then place Goals under these themes. I’ll put down my themes today and discuss my Goals tomorrow.

Themes:

  • Health
  • Live Outward
  • Create
  • Tidyness

Health – Ever since my health emergency in New Orleans a year and a half ago I have been struggling. I was doing better for a while but backsliding lately – seeing a new specialist in a few days. Obviously, I have weight and fitness goals, like everyone does, but mine are taking on a new importance.

Live Outward – After the year of Covid isolation I am suffering from loneliness, claustrophobia, and acedia. I think everybody needs to dedicate 2020, especially after the restrictions begin to lift, to reestablish their connections to their fellow man.

Create – for me, that mostly means writing. In 2020 I was able to meet my goal of writing 100 pieces of flash fiction in 100 days and put then on my blog. I have been writing more fiction and keeping it to myself. I have goals for amounts written and stories submitted and publishing attempted. Wish me luck.

Tidyness – I am naturally chaotic and, if I’m going to meet some of my other goals, will need to be more efficient and distraction free. This is more difficult for me than it should be.

So there it is… I’ll post a few discrete goals tomorrow and see what I think about them.

The Hubris of Men

“This is the story of Isaac and his time in America, the last turning of the centuries, when the hubris of men led them to believe they could disregard even nature itself.”
― Erik Larson, Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Oblique Strategy: Children -speaking -singing

When our kids were young we used to come over Thanksgiving, or over New Year, or both – to rent a beach house at Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula, just east of Galveston, Texas. In the off season you could rent an old rickety beach house for almost nothing. It was great with high maintenance kids like ours- there were only two directions they could go on the beach and nothing they could destroy. It was the best of times.

We had to stop going because in 2008 Hurricane Ike wiped the low sandy Bolivar Peninsula clean.

Now, ten years later, a lot of the beach houses have been rebuilt. Their stilts are noticeably higher now, heavier and more numerous. So we rented one for New Year’s – Lee came from New Orleans and Nick from North of Houston.

It’s great to be back, the only problem is the weather is awful – cold, rainy, and very windy.

Lee walking in the surf at Crystal Beach. I checked my old blog entries – this was December 29, 2002. Fifteen years ago, almost to the day.

Lee walking in roughly the same spot, fifteen years later. There was no sun and it was very cold and windy. Same ocean, though.