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Achievable goals

I don't do well with vague goals. I like having clearly defined, measurable objectives, so that when you've reached them you can definitively congratulate yourself on having achieved whatever it is.

Vague goals:
  • I will lose weight
  • I will read more
  • I will get in shape
  • I will write more
  • I will make time for myself
Specific goals:
  • I will lose 5 pounds
  • I will read one book per week
  • I will hike to Camp Muir
  • I will run 5k in a single exercise session without keeling over and dying
  • I will write five blog posts per week
  • I will select one hour out of each weekend for myself and spend it however I please
Along with being clearly delineated, I belong to the Make Your Goals Achievable school of thought. I am not about to set a year's goal for myself of climbing a giant mountain, or writing a novel, or singing at Radio City Music Hall. Obviously, without the proper background for any of these things, I'm doomed to failure.

And I really don't like failure. You may have noticed.

So! In an effort to improve myself within well-defined, manageable terms, I have settled on the following goals for 2013:
  • I will climb to Camp Muir at 10,000ft (this is contingent upon my lungs not having a serious problem with moderate altitude; never having been this high, I'm not sure how they will react)
  • I will go on one hike per month (at least, might be higher, but this is an achievable level)
  • I will check out books both digital and physical from the library instead of buying them 
It's easy to get carried away and set out 13 goals for yourself. But if you have too many, you'll probably decide they're not all worth the effort after about a week. Remember, there's likely a reason you weren't already doing this stuff, whether it be laziness, apathy, genuine lack of interest (I have a problem with this - doing stuff because I think I should in spite of not actually having interest in whatever it is).

I was tempted to set myself a bunch of other goals, but I tried to stop and think about it, deciding if I really cared enough about each particular goal to actively work at it. I really do want to achieve Goal 1. I've seen pictures of the views from Camp Muir, and I'd like to see them for myself. Also, I apparently have a fascination with mountaineering literature, but with my lungs and panic attacks I don't think I'll ever be able to climb huge mountains myself. Camp Muir is an acceptable compromise.

Goal 2 will help me to achieve Goal 1. Plus I genuinely do enjoy hiking, and since we just bought a bunch of gear for it, I feel that I should use said gear regularly.

Goal 3 is both an exciting opportunity to read a lot more and will save both space and money! I was hampered for years by not having enough money or space for all the books I wanted to read, and it's silly to buy them when you think you might only want to read them once.

I thought about making weight loss goals and blogging goals, but really? If I cared that much about my weight, I'd already be slaving away at the gym. I don't have any health problems related to my weight, and Patrick thinks I'm attractive, so meh. I can't be bothered to set a goal for that. The hiking should get me a little fitter, anyway. On the blogging goal front, I realized that I don't want to regard writing as a chore. I undoubtedly will if I think I'm being forced into doing it, even if I'm the one doing the forcing. Some days the inspiration juice just ain't flowing, you know?

Have any of you come up with goals for this next year?
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