Ruminating on Goals.
Here it is the 3rd of January and I haven’t decided what my goals for the new year are. There are fundamentally three or four areas of my life that I pay regular attention to in the sense that goal-making is relevant to them. My sobriety, my relationship, my career, and my health. I recapitulated 2015’s progress on those fronts in a prior post. Overall, 2015 was a fabulous year. Now I start a new year, and I don’t feel pressured to make specific goals for it.
Sobriety is simple: continue to grow in my sobriety and my approach to an unanesthetized life. No alcohol. No tobacco. No drugs. This doesn’t feel like a wildly challenging goal. I’ve done the sobriety thing since February, 2008. I’ve been tobacco free since August, 2009. I know what to do and how to do it. It feels comfortable and I feel centered. I’d like, perhaps, to spend a little more time meditating. Maybe doing more yoga. But overall, I want to spend the year sober again. I do that by spending today sober. And I’m sober today.
My relationship is, in a human context, still quite young. We are approaching our third year together. But it is flourishing and we are happy. Perhaps this will be the yea we get to cohabitate. Perhaps not. That’s not entirely up to me (or even to us) and so it’s not right for an annual goal. I don’t like to make goals that depend on the decisions of others. I’d like us to grow in our commitment and affection. This seems likely.
My career, well, here I have some tangible goals. I am going to be taking more fiscal responsibility in my office. It’s going to be a challenge to be in charge of budgets and finances. Not from a dollars and cents perspective, but from an accounting and administration perspective. The systems are arcane and confusing to me. I am going to ask for a raise when I take on additional responsibilities. I might get it. I might not. It’ll be ok either way. I’d like to take on additional persons who report to me. I’d like to take on a PhD in a somewhat postdoc-y role (though better paid and with the option to stay longer with a career ladder). I’d like to publish and maybe submit another grant.
Healthwise, I made such enormous strides last year. And now I feel fit and ready for the new year and new challenges. But I still don’t know what they should be, for certain. I want to spend more time on my bike. Last year I rode a bit more than 500 miles. But I didn’t even buy the bike until May. So I feel like I ought to be able to about double that. I ran 1200 miles. I don’t know that I need to run that far again. Maybe 1000? I want to lose some weight and gain some muscle. I want to take better charge of my diet (as I eat peanut M&Ms).
So I’m not sure what my goals are. I don’t have much time left before they won’t be annual goals, just life goals. And that’s no bad thing. There’s nothing special really, about January 1. Or 3. Or any other date. A goal becomes a goal when I decide to take it on. A life becomes a life when I decide to start living it.