Jan 01

Past and Future

It’s the end of one year, the start of a new one. Traditionally time to set New Year resolutions, those vague statements of things that you’re going to change. I decided a few years ago that resolutions are too woolly, too easy to get out of, so I try and set goals, or objectives if I want to put them in business speak. Measurable, achievable, and relevant. Not all are set at the start of the year, they get added to and changed. Last year, I did not publish them, but I think it is time to do that for 2011

So how did 2010 go? Not too bad, although the first half of the year was better than the second in my achievements.

1. Visit 5 new places in the UK. It’s too easy when your own country to ignore it, to not appreciate it. So a goal was to visit some new places, to get a wider understanding of the place. I tied this in with my love of cathedrals and taking photos as my ‘reason’ for some of the visits. This was achieved, with visits to Sheffield, Rochester, Salisbury, Winchester, and St Albans.

2. Go to an F1 Grand Prix. This had been a vague idea for a while, but eventually got it organised with Sofia for a trip to the Belgian GP in Spa. An absolutely brilliant trip, really enjoyable despite the rain. In 2011, we’re planning on going to 3 races ;-)

3. Lose 1 stone. It’s not secret I like my food and my wine and I don’t like exercise. This combination has inevitable consequences and I carry too much weight. So I set myself a manageable target at the end of Q1 to lose some of that and over the next 4 months I managed to do that. Not through making too many changes, but by going to the gym, doing some running and just eating a little more sensibly. Due to job changes and injuries to my feet, the gym fell by the wayside in August, but having just weighed myself again, I’m glad to say the weight is still off. One little tool that helped me was the ShapeUp phone app, which allows me to track food and exercise – just tracking it means you think about what you are eating and drinking.

4. Be able to run 5k. I hate running, loathe it, far prefer to be yelled at in an aerobics class than go for a jog. The last time I ran any distance was cross country in school, so setting myself this goal was ambitious for me. But I managed it, slowly. I even did a fun run early in my training, the Sports Relief mile. Not a lot for most people, but a concrete achievement for me!

There were some other achievements and changes in 2010.

1. I finally went back to Australia. I was last there in 2005 and always said I’d go back, using airmiles that I’d accumulated flying back and forth across the Atlantic. The only problem with using these is getting them booked. I tried in 2008, but failed. In 2009, I checked on the 1 year out date and found one seat on one flight on one day in the whole of October and got that booked immediately! Three weeks travelling between Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney was just lovely and as the first ‘holiday’ I’d had for about 4 years, greatly appreciated. (By holiday, I mean just doing touristy stuff, not rowing or conferences or family visits)

2. I got a new job. This was not in the plan at the start of the year, but with social media being one of the hot areas this year for jobs, I was receiving a lot of approaches from recruiters (via Linked In, a brilliant place to find new roles) and I took a few interviews, one of which led to my new role in Momentum, something I just could not turn down.

3. Made a whole load of new friends via Twitter. I’ve been on Twitter for 4 years, a long time in social media. That account has let me meet new people, go to some great events and have a lot of fun. This year, I started a second account focusing on F1 and through that have virtually met a lot of great people and then met them in real life at Spa. They’re now fast friends and we’ve got some good things planned for 2011.

4. I sorted out my driving licence at last. I’ve not driven a car since 2006 and not seen my original driving licence since I moved back to London in 2003. At the end of the year, I finally found my licence and got it replaced with a brand new photocard version, so now I can hire cars and be a bit more mobile in 2011 instead of relying on public transport. (interestingly, when applying for the replacement, I thought I’d have to send in a photo. Instead, they pulled out my 9 year old passport photo from a government database somewhere and just used that)

So how about in 2011? What are my goals for the next 12 months?

1. Lose 1 stone. Again, not a huge target, but it’s achievable with minimal changes. I’ve got the iphone apps all set up, with Shapeup for food tracking and Runmeter for walking/running tracking and I’m writing up my exercise plans.

2. Do 6 planned walks over the year. Last year, I did 3 group walks, which I found a good way to get some exercise and meet new people and just get out and about!. So I’m going to double that number, through a few walking groups in the areas.

3. Visit 5 new UK places. Another repeat, but just carrying on with the theme of cathedrals. I’m thinking at least Canterbury, Bath and Chichester..we’ll see about the others.

4. Do 5 new experiences. The first is getting set up, a driving experience at Silverstone. I’m looking at Burlesque dancing classes, cooking classes and a few others, but open to suggestions!

Update 12 Jan: I’m adding a new goal. Unsubscribe from all of those newsletter emails!

Jan 01

What I did this year

I’ve been looking back at this year’s Flickr photos to see what I did this year – and I did a lot. So as a summary and a reminder for myself, here’s my activity for the year. When I put it all together, I think I had a good year for just getting out and doing things. All the links are to Flickr photos.

Winter Walk Dec 26th 2010