Feb 092012

Just over a year ago, I did my annual personal “goal-setting”. Many of the comments I received on my goals basically suggested I was either (a) trying to do too much or (b) not prioritizing family high enough. I do appreciate the comments, but neither are really applicable to me or my personal situation.

First, the whole point of doing this is to be really ambitious, to use a combination of some of the techniques in the “goal guru / time management” industry. And so I am not trying to do all of them. Maybe not even most of them. Really what I am doing is listing goals and creating the list so that I can use it to remind myself of my goals, to take a greater step than most in actually writing them down as well as to get them out of my head and on paper so I don’t have to try and just remember them. Anytime I want them, they’re there for easy review.

Second, suggesting someone prioritize family “higher” is an easy comment, but is actually quite simplistic in concept. No matter what anyone does for family, someone will always say “make them a priority”. Of course, they’re a priority. But I also don’t want to be the equivalent of the stereotype of a stressed out parent (usually portrayed as a mom) who only lives vicariously through their family, who loses their own identity or subdues their own life under that that of their children. That might make a “green” personality happy in the short-term, but I’m a primary blue — I’m always going to want some of own analytical time, for instance. Just how I’m wired…and if others want to follow an unconscious script that tells them family is always the “right answer”, that’s their choice. But I know better. I love my family. But I’m useless to them if that’s all I bring to the table or expect them to be my whole life. So I need to make sure some of those other areas are going too. But family is also not a “to do” item, nor will I treat them as such.

How did I do in 2011? Well, let’s see. First and foremost, I am happy with the fact that my approach included a new colour wheel that resonates with me in terms of psychology, personality, etc. However, it wasn’t entirely successful and I have a slightly tweaked approach for 2012 that I’m going to try that thinks in terms of just the four colours (no sub categories), and “themes” + a storyline. Almost like “branding my year” in a way so I can tell myself the story better. More info on that in future posts.

Second, something that wasn’t really on the list is something that sucked time like nobody’s business. My family and I moved homes — not a great distance from where we were, but huge upgrades on quality of life in a bunch of areas. But it pretty much killed three to five months of the year, maybe a bit more.

So let’s see how I did on the various items I had in my posts from last February / March.

Getting organized
Being organized Maintaining to do lists, etc. — worked well at start of year but by end of year, I was drifting a bit…have now converted over to using Evernote and it seems promising so far.
House I was expecting to do a lot of work on the old house and we did — but different work, work designed to help it SELL! And we bought a new house requiring a lot less work. Lots of new stuff to be done, but starting to sort itself out.
Finances Wanted to do better planning and we did, both with strategic financial planner, wills, etc. But still work to be done that should have already been done on moving investments around, better insurance coverage, etc.
Computers Finished and started using website, reorganized some of the computer backups etc.
Garden Wasn’t a priority, nothing happened n/a
Cottage Wasn’t a priority, nothing happened n/a
Design a house Wasn’t a priority, but buying the new place helped us articulate what we were really looking for in terms of rooms, layout, location, etc.
Fatherhood Mostly about father vs. husband vs. individual, I didn’t do as well as I would have liked on the “father/husband” front in terms of carrying my share of the load — Andrea still does most of the pre-bedtime prep stuff.
 Husband Plus we haven’t made the time for “spousal” time, and most of our conversations are still about Jacob…need more date nights. Still supporting Andrea’s educational efforts, which is good.
 Individual Not doing as much after Jacob goes to bed either, a little too much TV watching of late.
 Family Hardly saw my family last year, which is not what I hoped for.
Body and Soul
Physical Massage time down, Prevacid steady, eyeglasses replaced, got new doctor, but need to find new dentist, I became a greater couch potato, developed blood pressure problems, didn’t get new orthotics, no golfing, didn’t compensate on charitable giving. Plus other new stuff showing up on the health risk front.
Astro Pontiac Need to get more organized for supporting Stephan on this astronomy proposal.
Figure out spiritual beliefs I don’t really know what I believe anymore, and should really figure this out a bit more.
Ethics Created personal rules / principles but not really sure I’m living them.
Weight No real change
Meditation Did nothing
Martial Arts Did nothing
Giving blood Tried to get this organized in late December but coordinator screwed up donation date, need to rebook
Online courses Did nothing
Personal interest courses Did nothing
Further studies Did nothing
Learning sign language Did nothing
Use own telescope Did nothing
Learn photography Did nothing
Learn to drive a standard transmission Did nothing
MMMMM outings Did nothing
Remembrance Day / Corn roast Wiped out by moving
Coffee with Amanda / Hockey with Seb / Brunches Pretty much a wash out.
Book reviews 28 all up and converted
Movie reviews Did nothing
Ebook collection, pruning paper Nothing
Billboard music Nothing
Learn to knit Nothing
Play Pai Gow Nothing
Movie weekend Nothing
List of top books List compiled
Business model for publishing Lots of research, looking good
Writing Blog only
Capital Crime Nothing for new year
HR guide (employees) Started posting
HR guide (employers) Preliminary
Gods novel outline Nothing
Cookbook Nothing
Recipe nights Nothing
Mentoring, coaching Some 1:1, some group
Focused content Not really, still main stuff
Day job vs. SR / SORO Caught up in SORO, not able to extricate myself
French Nothing
Presentation Continued learning series
Teaching role Continued learning series, some blogging on tech issues (SEO)
Municipal issues Nothing
Local theatre Nothing
Windmill to tilt at Nothing really, some blogging
Travel – England Nothing
Travel – Territories Nothing
Travel – Grand Canyon Nothing
Travel – Galapagos Nothing
Travel – Ortona Nothing
Travel – Iceland Nothing
Travel – Scotland, Ireland Nothing
Travel – Aust/NZ Nothing
Travel – Fiji Nothing
Travel – Egypt Nothing
Travel – Antarctica Nothing
Other (Miscellaneous)
Red Tie to web Nothing
Garage sale Nothing
Porch swing Nothing, but moving reprioritized
Basketball hoop Nothing, but moving reprioritized
Bicycle setup Nothing, but moving reprioritized
Car insurance claim Nothing
ETFs Nothing, but moving pre-empted it

In the end, some progress, some slippage. My only real concern for the future is where there are whole categories essentially that I did nothing on, indicating that there is a sub-area that I am relatively ignoring. Part of that is the way I set my priorities, and some of it is the way I remind myself what to focus on. I think the new approach for 2012 (themes, storyline) will help counteract that…at least, I hope it will! Stay tuned!

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