We are three full months into the 2009 calendar year, and a lot has happened in my life. However great that may be, I can not forget about the goals I set for the year on January 1. Tonight is my opportunity to evaluate how I have done, where I stand, and what to look forward to in the next quarter of 2009.
- Move Out: Still in the same living situation as I was before. I originally had April 1 as my move out date; that ended up being a nice April Fools joke. I still have full intentions of moving out; it is just not happening when I originally thought. Maybe my expectations were too high. Regardless, I said April 1. Grade: F.
- Improve Overall Health: This is one that I have done a lot of positive with. I am training for a half-marathon and my eating habits have improved, which has led me to lose 16 pounds. I started the year at 212, and as of last weigh in, was 196. I am fitting into jeans that I originally bought because they were so cheap, but just a bit too tight. Then again, many of my shirts, pants/jeans, and suits don’t fit as well anymore. This is a good problem to have. Despite all that, I can do more. I can run more, workout more, eat better. May 31 is the date of the Minneapolis half-marathon, and I am running in the Run with the Wolves 5K on Saturday. I need to be in better overall shape to do well in both races and in any other that I may sign up for in the next couple months. Grade B+/A-
- Smile More In Pictures: I have not had too many pictures taken of me recently. I don’t know why I put this as a goal. Grade: incomplete
- Blog: I’ve created it, updated it, and maintained it. There was a stretch of a few weeks in February where I was a little busy dealing with a job transition that kept me from posting anything. I did not want to let any clues out that I was leaving. Another nice thing about the blog: it has improved my presence in the search world. This blog last ranked #17 on Google’s SERP for Jason Douglas. Before this, the highest mention of me was on the 11th page. I need to write about a wider variety of topics, both personal and professional. Grade: B
- Eat Out Less: This has always been a struggle for me. The last two days, I had brought food to the office, yet, I ate out, and spent $22 for no reason. What did I benefit from those two outings that I would not have had otherwise? I have improved and do not eat out all the time. I may have to start an allowance for this, and really teach myself how to conserve. Leftover budget would go to saving for something I really want (iPhone). Grade: D
- Improve Money Management: The eat out less goal has not gone as planned; I am spending less on other frivolous items. Basing my spending habits on material things I need vs. want has helped. Sure, life is a little less exciting; I look in my closet, and realize that is about 60% of what I own and wear on a regular basis, I look at the shoes I have, and everything else in my room; I am doing just fine. Grade: C+
- Ask Questions: I feel I am still struggling with this one. I was just becoming ‘comfortable’ at my old job when I decided to jump ship. For some reason, I am reverting back to the quiet side I showed when I began at the old job. I have improved from where I was; that did not take much. I’ll get there someday. Grade: D
- Become More Giving: I have not volunteered my time with any charitable organizations to date. That is what I had envisioned for this goal. What I have done is become someone people come to for help with career questions, social media questions, etc. I have helped a few people become part of twitter and LinkedIn. Professionals are referring people to me to help them with their career search. I never thought I would be regarded as someone to go to for help. It has been fun helping people establish themselves, learn about themselves, and share any tips that have helped me along my journey. There is always more one can do. Grade: B
- Quit Drinking: I said this one would be easy. I have been sober since December 27, 2008. It has been easy. A friend recently told me he did not go work out because he felt too hung over from the night before. That is the exact reason why I quit in the first place: the night you drink you become worthless; the day after, there is a good chance you become worthless. Two days wasted all because you had a few too many. Most people are understanding of what I am doing; some even admit they have taken an extended hiatus from drinking. A few others do not seem to get it, and that is fine. I am doing this so I can get to where I want to be. Even when I finish the half-marathon on May 31, that does not mean that I will have a beer in my hand after crossing the finish line. Grade: A++
There is my analysis of how I have done in the first quarter of 2009. Based on my tough grading, my GPA is 2.25, which on a four point scale, equals just above a C for the quarter. The saying: “c’s get degrees” does not apply here. A grade of a C is very disappointing. I knew this before, and I especially know this now: I am nowhere near where I want to be.
I am happy, but I can be happier.
Today brings the close of the first month of 2009. Overall, January has been a good month for me. Let us go over the highlights of this month and how I am doing on my 2009 Goals/Resolutions.
- Still have a job; still doing alright, but the ceiling is extremely high, and there is no reason why I shouldn’t destroy that ceiling.
- Social life is pretty good; reached out to a few long lost friends and re-connected with them; hope to do more in February
- The two things I really wanted to work out: with one, I know where I stand and that’s on hold, the other is just not going to happen right now; not what I wanted, but the situation does not allow for anything else. I hope it works out down the road; there is just something about it that is unfinished.
- Someone told me that I don’t have to take the pc route in answering questions, that I should be me and speak my thoughts. I will work on that. Buyer beware 🙂
Evaluation of 2009 Goals:
- Move out: Not happening until spring.
- Improve overall health: I have done an above average job with this. The diet has improved some, working out has gone well losing 7 pounds this month. February brings a more intense workout regimen with more emphasis on just running and training for the half-marathon.
- Smile more in pictures: Well, I can not remember the last time I had a picture taken, so this one is pending.
- Create a personal blog: I have kept up with this; the response has been more than I had ever expected. Thank you to all the readers that have taken even a minute of time to spend reading my ramblings.
- Eat out less: FAIL. I still go out to lunch 2-3 times a week; and eat out for dinner at least twice a week.
- Improve money management: if I eat out less, that will help out in this department. I’ve been alright at this, can be better.
- Ask questions: still working on this one. I need to act like I am five and ask ‘why’ more.
- Become more giving: It is not about what you do when people are looking, it is what you do when no one is looking. I am happy with what I have done so far; again, there is always more that one can do.
- No more drinking: This one has been the most intriguing for many of my friends. I made it through January drink-free, and people are still willing to hang out with me! Here is the shocker: it was extremely easy. There is no reason why this will change. My goal is to go through the half-marathon training without a drink, then celebrate by having three beers the next day on my birthday and passing out. P.S. it has been since December 28th since my last drink, just for the record.
Overall grade for January: ‘B’. I did a good job at most of the above goals. The continuing theme of my life: I can always do better. Once I do, then everything will be in place; maybe then a few other things will happen that I want.
Let us see what February brings.