Getting it done - 2009 style

Last year was a pretty good year for me - all things considered.

Maybe it is the looming 4-0 but after years of pfaffing about, I decided that it was time to start taking action and I decided to make 2009 my year of determination. Both in terms of helping me to determine who I really am as well as being determined to make some progress on a number of life things that I've been dissatisfied with.

No more would I see, think or hear about something and say to myself - I really must do that sometime - my new resolution was to actually do it. No more excuses, laziness or procrastination (which I must say I'm bloody brilliant at - it can sometimes take me days or weeks before I even realise that I'm procrastinating about doing something) - just doing. As Yoda says, there is no try, there is just do or do not. Even failing is still doing on many levels.

So Mr bloody Wonderful - what did you do then?

Well, the short highlights list (and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to miss a few things here):

  • Took a tandem hang glider flight
  • Travelled to Tasmania and more extensively around Darwin and Kakadu
  • Started learning piano
  • Became a dual AUS/UK citizen
  • Presented at a (reasonably large) education conference
  • Took up mountain biking (strained back aside I'm calling this a win)
  • Put a towbar and bike rack on the car (not huge but had been on the list for years)
  • Rode some very pretty rail trails, including a ride longer than any I've done before in a day (100km)
  • Made some real progress on the second draft of my loooong neglected script
  • Lost 8kg
  • Put some solid work into improving my posture
  • Bought some Aboriginal paintings
  • Went away for a cycling weekend with a group of complete strangers 
  • Developed some useful work skills

Mostly the achievement for me came in gradually shifting my mindset to be more focussed and determined.

Taking the time to understand how I work and particularly how to get past the equally determined procrastinator in me has also been really useful. Something I worked out very early on was that I've long used relationships and the attendant lack of independence while in one (or the quest for a new one when out of them) as my do-nothing excuse numero uno. Which has clearly been unfair to the girlfriends I've had (and loved) - in terms of using them as the excuse for my own lack of will and perhaps even trying to blame them, knowing all the while that it was probably actually my fault.

So to be sure of this, item number one was that the year had to be a solo mission - remove the excuse/scapegoat and take complete responsibility. So now I know that there are times when I can be completely slack (I had hoped to finish the second draft of the script entirely rather than the 10 - 15% I currently have done - though I'm pretty happy with the quality so far at least) and times when I can push myself to get things done. On reflection, I probably haven't actually answered the question of whether relationships have slowed me down or just been an excuse (and I am very sorry for any confusion I may have caused on this front as well - a man's not a camel, as the poets say and my head has been turned a couple of times this year before I got back to the project.

As for this year - probably still leaning towards keeping things going as they are at present - I'm really enjoying the sense of taking control of my destiny and the lack of complications that singledom brings. Honestly though, who knows what might happen - at least now I think I have enough self-awareness to know what's an excuse and what's an obstacle.

So for this year - the plan is more of a sketch at this stage but so far:

  • Finish 2nd draft of Boonsville script.
  • Try Fencing
  • Piano – continue lessons and practice
  • Present or co-present at an International educonference
  • Organise 2011 NZ cycle tour
  • Under 90 kg
  • Have at least $12,000 in savings by setting a solid budget and sticking to it
  • Resume Couch Media blog
  • Resume Gamer/Learner blog
  • Become a Moodle/Equella/Wimba guru
  • Focus
There's probably still more - but the wheels are slowing turning and I've come back here.

So what about you - how are you going with your goals/dreams/etc and what do you want/need to do?