mileszs

I am a lot quieter on the Internet

Update of My 2014 Goals

Not revisiting the goals I made in January would be irresponsible, wouldn’t it? At the least, I think I should update this website with a report on my progress at the end of every quarter. That will help to remind me of the few goals I made that I’m letting slip, as you’ll see immediately below.

Lose Ten Pounds

"Holy shit. What does that say? Let me try this again."

He stepped off the scale, tapped it with his big toe, and waited for it to reset. He removed his shirt, just in case it was stashing a 5 pound weight in a fold somewhere. Damn shirt has had it out for him ever since The Boy wiped a booger on it.

"Son of a bitch." The arrogant scale still thinks he has gained nearly 5 pounds since January. Damn snobby, privileged scale. Damn skinny, flat, low-profile scale. Why can’t the scale have the decency to be chunky and unwieldy? he thought, as he gave it a little kick. Despite the punishment, the scale remained belligerent.

Record More Music

I recorded an idea for a song I had the other day. It doesn’t count, does it? I know. Well… the year is young yet.

Read Ten Non-Fiction Books

I have made progress here, actually. Let’s start with the books I listed in the original post:

  • The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger, Michael Starbird
  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
  • What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark H. McCormack
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
  • Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni
  • Getting to Yes by William L. Ury, Bruce Patton
  • Power Questions by Andrew Sobel, Jerold Panas
  • Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby by Sandi Metz
  • The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Some not on the above list that I’ve read:

  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins (in the middle of this one)
  • The Blueprint by Brennan Dunn (in the middle here, too)

If you’re counting, I have finished 3 in the first 3 months, intending to finish at least 10. If I finish both Good to Great and/or The Blueprint before the end of the month, I’ll be way ahead of the game.

I have been listening to these, primarily. I’ve been driving a bit more this year than last, and audio books are helping to pass the time. Plus, listening at 1.5x the normal speed is amazing. I still need to get better at applying what I learn. Application is a work in progress.

Read Thirty Fiction Books

Goodreads thinks I’m at something like 15, but that counts a few novellas, which shouldn’t count as full books, probably. Here, let’s look at 2013 and 2014 compared by book count:

Book comparison

Now let’s see page count:

Page count comparison

Regardless of specific metric, I think I will be able to surpass the amount of fiction I read last year fairly easily. My to-be-read pile is just… intimidating. I won’t be lacking in choices.

Be a Better Father and Husband

Hmm. Mixed bag. This goal doesn’t lend itself well to measurement. I’d call it a wash so far. I have genuinely been working at it. I think I might be doing better, but I could be even better yet.

I have discovered the obvious, perhaps: a commitment to patience, and focused attention rewards me with a happy family in a given day. It’s seems obvious enough to be embarrassing to print, but hard enough to do sometimes that it’s worth printing to help me commit it to memory. It’s easy to pull my phone out of my pocket and begin reading something. It’s easy to react angrily to my son acting up after a long day.

I am actually making sub-goals of creating a personal mission statement, and then a Sterrett family mission statement this year. (These things take time.) I think that will be a healthy exercise for me and my family. (Yes, that is the musk of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People you smell here.)

The End

This update started off pretty rough. No or negative progress for the first two! Reading is going well, though. Family life is going well, too.

I think I’ve made good progress overall. Other goals have popped up like mushrooms at the end of April, though none that I’ve found worth mentioning, or that are more important that those above.

As I said, I intend to at least type out one of these dry updates once a quarter, so… lucky you!

Seriously, though, this feels healthy. I’m glad I’m doing it. How is your year going?