Resolutions? No way. Goals? Bring ‘em on!

I remember when I was about 8 or 9.  Each New Year’s Eve my friends and I had a sleepover.  We would play Monopoly, watch TV (Dick Clarke and the countdown/ball drop in Times’ Square), and make resolutions.  I can’t really remember what on earth we resolved to do, at age 9.

Actually, I can’t really remember any resolution I have ever made.

To quote @DrSamuelJohnson

New Year Resolution (n.) Deception writt’n in December, enact’d in January, discard’d in February & forgott’n in March.

Ain’t that the truth.Since I was about 10, I realised I just couldn’t do resolutions.  I decided that goals work best for me.  And not just goals I set once a year.  But goals that live, breathe, change and evolve.  Goals that I can change if the circumstances call for it, adapt if I need to, and discard if I grow out of them.

Someone told me on Twitter that having a goal that changes is like having no goal.  I disagree!

Goals and challenges get me out of bed and keep me going.  They help me to find structure, purpose and motivation.  And, by definition, my goals need to change and evolve – because *I* change and evolve.

So, what goals do I start 2010 with?  And what plans have I made to achieve them?  I’ll give you my top three… I’m sure more will crop up as time passes!

Goal Number 1:  To complete an Olympic distance triathlon

This was my 2009 goal, but life, injury and common sense caused me to modify my aims midway through the year.  Realising the challenge is going to be tougher than I think I ever imagined, I have done a couple of key things already to help me to achieve this.  First, I have enlisted a tri coach.  And with that, we have committed to a monthly run session as the run will be the most difficult element of triathlon for me.  Next, I realise that to get to my goal without injury I need to improve my ankle foot stability.  I am already booked in to see the orthotic specialists at the National Hospital for Neurology to get some custom made ankle foot orthotics – to stabilise me for running without impacting on my ability to push (or my running shoe selection).  I have my 2010 race calendar cooking, and plans for reviewing this with my coach on January 9th.  Once final, you can be sure I will post it – and you can also be sure that I will continue to chronicle my journey on this blog.

Goal Number 2:  Shifting my charity fundraising focus

Since 2003 I have primarily fundraised for breast cancer related charities.  In 2010, my focus changes.  I will be supporting the institutions that research and support those diagnosed with CMT, my nerve condition.  CMT is the most common nerve disorder, impacting 1 in 2500 people, and CMT1A (my type) impacts 1 in approximately 3400 people.  With today’s technology, targeted drug screening techniques, and advances in the understanding of gene expression and protein production and regulation, there is no reason why a treatment for CMT1A cannot be found – except for constraints on the financing required to support such efforts.  I throw my support behind fundraising for CMT.  It doesn’t mean that I care any less about breast cancer charities, rather, I think that CMT researchers need strong fundraising and strong voices to support their efforts.  I’ve already set up my links with the CMT Association so that people can easily donate to the Strategic Targetted Accelerated Research programme, and I have been in touch with the National Hospital for Neurology Foundation so that I can also set up a Just Giving link to support the fantastic work being done for patients like me.  Now, to come up with some innovative fundraising ideas… Any thoughts on this are welcome!

Goal Number 3:  To work my way through the stack of awesome books I have bought

Simple, yet sometimes the simplest goals are the easiest ones to neglect.  I have a large stack of amazing books that I haven’t read yet.  The time has come to whittle that stack down to nothing.  Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Pankaj Mishra, Azar Nafisi…  They all await.  This is one goal that will be pure pleasure!

And what of 2009?

To be honest, I am not sure I can remember exactly what I set out to do at the start of the year.  But I can remember what I achieved.
* I launched my website and blog.
* I finished two triathlons in one season.
* I ran my first 5k in about 25 years.

And I continued to laugh.  Often, heartily, deeply, and with love.I wish you all the best in your goals, plans and (if you make them) resolutions for 2010. 

And I look forward to sharing experiences along our respective journeys!

2 responses to “Resolutions? No way. Goals? Bring ‘em on!”

  1. I think that is such a good way of looking at it. Thank you for saying what you did. I need to look at some stuff this year and get my goals in line with what I want in my heart.

  2. … and once you have the goals, the plans to turn them into reality are fun, and offer me a great sense of achievement (the journey is as much fun as the destination!).  Good luck Mish, I am sure you will have a wonderful 2010!

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