Day 316: I’ve been looking back at my paper journal and remembered that each January I normally set myself some personal aims for the year ahead. I don’t think I’ve ever hit them all – but are we even meant to?
Ordinarily I don’t share the personal targets I set myself because for a start they are pretty boring and generic however I was keen to look at them given the journey I have been on in the last calendar year. I set the targets in early January 2021 in the middle of my deep depression and drinking and so it is interesting to see what was my ‘focus’ at time of writing.
Lose Weight – At the start of 2021 I stepped on the scales and was the heaviest I’ve ever been (16 stone) which for somebody no taller than 5ft 10″ it’s a tad chunky. As of my last weigh in on Christmas Eve I’m now 14 stone 2 pounds so we are certainly ticking that target off! Not drinking since February has no doubt played a big part in it because my diet is still very much ‘eat what I want when I’m hungry’.
Regular Running – I’ve been running since school but as an adult I have gone through peaks and troughs with the regularity of it. I think I sickened myself off running a bit with my constant focus on running quicker Half Marathons and picking up back injuries as a result. I’ve used running as a major outlet this year, stripping back the distance and putting less emphasis on times. I’m now running 5KM several times per week because it’s a run that requires little recovery time and you can box it off within 30 mins of your day. I’m back in love with the leg burn!
Improved Mental Health – At the time of writing this aim I was in a bad place but maybe still in denial regarding how bad it was. Interestingly I don’t mention drinking and maybe reducing or stopping it? My mental health had to get worse before it got better but slowly as 2021 has progressed I have seen improvement in my mental health and as of now it’s as good as it’s been in years!
Read More – Maybe off the back of the above aim I thought reading more would help. Well, I have certainly read MUCH more. Not only do I now write this blog, I enjoy reading other blogs on WordPress and I’ve also had a Runner’s World magazine subscription since the Spring. Books wise I have read more this year than I’ve ever read in my lifetime. I started reading my 17th book of 2021 yesterday and I’ve loved the time I’ve spent indulging in novels, autobiographies and the many books on Sobriety and Mental Health. Tick.
Strong Year at Work – I’ve always been very very conscious and passionate about having a positive impact in my workplace and despite the ongoing pandemic and full time working from home (in my instance) I’ve become an integral part of my small team at work, I’m enjoying the job and I got a good end of year appraisal. There is always room for improvement but given the personal battles I’ve had to focus on I’m proud I have been able to give my employer value and output too.
No Debt Build Up – I don’t like talking about money but I am very money focused in terms of making sure we can afford to pay our bills, live comfortably and save. I wish I was a little more relaxed about money because I try and budget every penny (much to the annoyance of my wife). That being said I do have a habit of booking holidays, making home improvements and buying technology on a whim so I need to be a bit more restrained in 2022! My love for betting on the horses is generally tracked and monitored by my profit and loss tracker and I use money in my ‘winnings pot’ for this hobby but 2021 is the calendar year I’ve had the biggest losses. Not a debt but it is money I could have banked. Enough about money though!
Marriage – My marriage was not in a healthy place at the start of the year. It was to be expected given my mental state and secret drinking. I wasn’t engaging with my wife regularly about my issues and putting additional stress and strain on her. Our marriage hit rock bottom when I was sectioned but she has stood by me and we have come back stronger as a result of it all. My continued dedication to recovery and my family can only further support my marriage to the woman I love.
So I can’t complain with that. I’ve ticked most of my targets for 2021 and can cut myself some slack all considering the journey I’ve been on.
For 2022 I don’t plan on making any grand targets because I am very much living my life one day at a time and cutting back on lists, aims, targets, planning, etc.
That said I think it would be dismissive of me to say I have no aspirations at all for the year ahead. Let’s go with these three…
- Continue my Sobriety
- Continue Reading (at least one book per month)
- Running regularly and compete in a 10KM race
If I can achieve those three things I know that I will have had a very good 2022. All three of those things help my marriage, my mental health, my finances, my weight, and no doubt my work life performance.
What will your targets be for 2022?