New targets

2014-12-31 10.46.10

For 2015 I’m going with another Keep Calm and Carry On page a day calendar, and with it I get the electronic version of another one for free, which this year I’ve chosen as Today is Going to be a Great Day! – I’ll receive emails with the message of the day every day, or can access it online. The Keep Calm saw me through 18 very difficult months at work, and then a further 6 months of running a new business, so I’m looking forward to getting back to it. I was a little disappointed in my Runner’s High calendar over the past year, as sometimes the messages seemed a little odd and irrelevant, but a couple did make it as far as display above my desk – You already have everything you need to be a long-distance athlete. It’s mindset, not miles, that separates those who do from those who dream, and The only failure is not finishing, both of which seem to apply to my writing as much as to the running.

At around this time of year I tend to reflect on the year just past and consider the one to come. What have I achieved? What do I want to achieve?

On the first day of last year I set myself some targets. On looking back, I’m pleasantly surprised at how far I got with those targets.


  • Beat my parkrun (5k) PB (currently 34:21) – done (currently 32:27, and working on reducing that further).
  • Beat my 10k PB (currently around 1 hour 18 mins) – done (currently 1:13:45)
  • Beat 50% age grading for 5k (that makes it around 32:24) – my current highest grading is 49.992, which is pretty damn close
  • Complete a parkrun in under 30 mins – this one is still a work in progress, but I haven’t given up
  • Complete a half marathon – not done yet but booked for end of March


  • Write at least 1000 words every day – not so good here, but I’m working on building the habit back up
  • Complete at least a working first draft of my novel – halfway through but also working on another novel
  • Study and work at writing – sort of in progress, too vague really
  • Plan out another novel for next November’s nano – done
  • Complete nano – done and the nano novel is the other novel I’m currently working on

So writing wasn’t as good as running, but still progress has been made.

I guess next year the plan is to tick off those I haven’t done already, and work on keeping the running and fitness up while developing the writing side as well.

In another review I mentioned the house and garden. Well the house is kind of tough – any space I clear is immediately invaded by stuff from another member of the family – and the garden hasn’t received too much attention apart from a rather large puppy running around destroying the grass and digging up my carrots, but I did take on an allotment at the end of March, so I’ll be working on that throughout the year.

This leads on to the other area I need to focus on, which is sort of related to running, and that’s to achieve a more healthy weight. It’s another work in progress, but now I feel I have the tools and motivation to get further on this.

Then there’s the business, which is building up steadily. That’s an area where I need to make sure I have a good work/life balance, not wasting time or putting in time at the computer when I could be doing more productive things elsewhere. In quieter times, there’s plenty to be done without feeling guilty about not working, and I need to make sure I’m allowing enough time for other projects that are more long-term.

Talking of more long-term projects, I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for learning about technology and coding over the past year, which is understandable considering I’d just left the classroom and needed a break from it, but I need to get back into that side of things, and back into my technical writing side generally.

All in all, I think I’ve done well this year, and I’m looking forward to continuing this progress into the next year. It’s always good when a new year doesn’t bring in lots of things I need to change, and it’s more about keeping up the good work.


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