January 6, 2014

2014 Goals

It's that time of year again and my goals this year fall into several categories:

1.  Space.  When it comes to space, physically, I'm pretty good.  I don't generally succumb to clutter and I regularly purge physical things (although, truth be told, right now, due to holiday gifts, I have an abundance of cardboard boxes in our living room that need to be dealt with).  While spatially, I may be good, temporally, I'm terrible.  I used to compare myself against my mother and congratulate myself, but as I've aged, I've realized that even my *very* laid back father was actually a work-a-holic and dedicated socialite who regularly over-booked his time, so, other than my lovely husband who taught me to build in "do-nothing" days on vacation, I have no good role models on this very important topic and my continuum is skewed heavily to the over-extended time side.  I regularly let my time become so crowded that everything I want to do only fits if *everything* goes *exactly* according to plan (side note, this makes me very intolerant of others who have loser definitions of time and inconvenience me).  When the inevitable happens and everything doesn't fit, I triage.  And I do it well.  But, the needs in an emergency are very different than the needs one could address by being thoughtful with foresight.  I've realized that by neglecting to intentionally build in enough buffer space for life, which *never* goes completely according to plan, I'm partially responsible for all of these emergencies that make me triage anxiously while my blood boils.  So, my very hard to quantify goal for 2014 is to maintain enough temporal space that emergencies only happen when they are *relatively* unavoidable.  Note -- startups operate in full-on emergency-all-the-time mode, so professionally, I can't completely control for this one.  But I can admit that it exists and structure my personal life accordingly, which is something I haven't done in the past.  I'm not sure how to quantify this one, but I think I'll be able to be honest with myself about whether I'm successful or not come year-end.

2.  Yoga.  It was with a sad heart that I read the Vanity Fair piece on Bikram being sued for rape and sexual harassment.  Given that I already have a love-hate relationship with Bikram Yoga, this article pushed me over the edge (even if all of the allegations are false, the tone of many in the Bikram community who were interviewed had a high ick factor).  So, my 2014 goal is to find a new studio where I take an average of one class a week.  I am happy to learn that there is a hot yoga studio nearby that only heats to 90F instead of 105-108F.  The class I took in Barcelona was only heated to around 90F, as have been other classes I've taken in SF, ATL, my hometown, and more -- and 90F is just so much more doable than the Bikram-prescribed super-heat. In the mid-100s around 60 minutes is where I really start to devolve into a serious mental struggle not to storm out of the room in annoyance -- yes, no doubt that mental discipline to stay in the room has value, but it's so unpleasant that it means it's hard for me to motivate to attend and I end up dreading and/or finding reasons to skip my yoga practice.  So I'm looking forward to finding a class I can commit to without such a huge mental conflict.  Also, E and I agreed to do 1 healthy day a week during 2014 where we do a minimum of 30 minutes of yoga together, eat only vegetarian food, and consume no alcohol. 

3.  Running.  Oh boy.  I've got a 10-miler, a 10K, and 2 half marathons on the calendar between now and the end of March.  I just wrote up a training schedule that is reasonable for the distances but not *that* demanding and I'm looking forward to trying to stick to it.  Overall, with running, I think my goal this year is to run with joy.  Again, with the impossible to quantify goals!  But, seriously.  I enjoyed hiking on the Queen Charlotte Track so much that if I had time to hike every day instead of running, I honestly think I'd prefer to do that.  This was a huge revelation to me.  I *like* running.  But I don't *love* it the way many in the running community do.  It's functional for me.  It fits (see #1 -- because I'm bad about allocating time, running has been very pragmatic for me in terms of fitting in workouts for the last decade of my life).  I'm very goal oriented, so signing up for races and following training plans means that the runs have importance and will likely get done, unless it's serious triage time.  But the true *joy* of running for me has been few and far between in the last several years -- I do know that I get much joy from running with friends (yay track day and long runs with friends!) and running at paces that aren't pushed while listening to audiobooks, so I'm going to try to maximize those activities along with any and all other running activities that make me feel happy to be alive.

4.  Books.  As I mentioned, audiobooks became such a part of my life this year that they are no longer eligible for goal-setting, they're like my version of television.  So, I think I'd like to have a goal of reading *all* of the book-club books this year (again, back to #1, I was unable to read one of the assigned books this year because work and life spiraled out of control and something had to give, so it was my book club book -- I hosted the club and had to ask silly questions about how the book ended).  On top of that, I think aiming for 24 books read total is a good idea.  In 2013 I hit 21, so I think I should be able to do 24 without too much unreasonable effort.  Plus, I want to be someone who *reads* books.  Yes, audiobooks are awesome, and I sincerely enjoy them, as evidenced by their complete insertion into my daily life and my removal of them from the goals.  However, my experiment whereby I listened to and then read The Great Gatsby (for book club) definitely confirmed for me that I lose quite a bit when I just listen to the audiobook.  The mental effort and reward for me is *much* higher when I actually read (and turn the page for that matter, as I don't have an e-book-reader).

5.  Garden.  Historically, I've never included the Garden in my goals, it's my hobby, and I've always found a way to fit it in somewhere.  But in the interests of #1 -- I'm trying to be honest with myself about what takes time in my life and what I'd like to accomplish, so I'm adding it this year.  I'd like to get my seedlings started before the end of the first week of February.  Normally, I just do this, but this year it will be a bit more complicated because all of the heat mats for the seedlings are currently deployed under Guito's cage.  (I should probably buy him better heat sources and take the mats back for the garden.)  I'd also like to do the following:

a) Get the winter garden cleared out and covered with plastic before the end of February so weeds don't grow.

b)  Turn the soil, add compost and other amendments, and fully prep the beds for planting before the first of May.

c)  Get seedlings in the ground ASAP after the last frost as the weather permits.

d)  Get the tomato cages and staking for beans, squash, etc. all done before June.

e)  Be home for the majority of the harvest season so we can enjoy the bounty of the Garden.

6.  Professional/Financial.  For the record, ever since I was a teenager, I've had goals in these areas but I've never felt the need to share them -- they've just taken first priority over everything else in my life except my family/friends (and, sometimes, if I'm honest, they've even beat those out).  So, I've almost always met them.  This year, my professional/financial goal is to recognize that my life is at a point today where it's okay if I miss a professional or financial goal if I have to do so to meet one of the goals above.  And the big goal is to {gasp} let go enough to let that happen.  I suspect this is actually the hardest goal I'm setting for 2014.



FL said...

It was great to see you at track this week and I hope we will see you more often in 2014.

bt said...

@fl -- THANKS. I may try to move my days out of town around to be able to make it to track day more often this year. Such a great activity.