Goal cycle 1

Iain Smith

Iain Smith / July 05, 2020

7 min read

The water of leith

Since the 17th of May 2020, I have been tracking my goals to keep me focused on the things I want to achieve. Here is the progress from the last six weeks:

🏆 Big Goals

Big GoalMeasureTracking
Improve my 5k PB of 25:23Improvement of PBMy 5K PB is now 23:06
Learn about BLoC and RxDartDo course2 / 5 hrs

🏅 Habits / Small Goals

I am a runnerRun 4 times a week6 / 6 weeks
I am a runnerRun 500 miles in a year285 / 500 miles
I am a bloggerwrite one blog post1 / 1 posts
I listenComplete listening skills course1 / 1 courses
I am a homebrewerBrew one beer1 / 1 beers
I am a readerRead 3 chapters of EssentialismRead Show your Work

🤔 Thoughts

😃 What went well?

In general, this approach is working for me. When I have a spare moment, I know I can work on some of the goals rather than looking at social media or procrastinate. From seeing everything I achieved in 6 weeks, it is motivating me to move onto the next cycle.

I started to track my cycles in Trello and on Sunday would reflect back on the week. Highlighting how the week had gone and what I should focus on the for the next week. For example, I realised I could utilise some of my time in the morning to focus on courses or supportive tasks. I also came to realise that running during lunch lets me switch off from work. I am going to keep this up as I kept tweaking my routine to adjust for the goals at hand.

I am a Runner

My fitness has improved massively - I no longer get out of breath when I go upstairs; my knee is not hurting anymore; I feel much more energetic and positive mentally.

Strava fitness

I can see from Strava that my fitness levels have improved, from 38 to 52. Running no longer feels like a chore, and I am genuinely enjoying it. I am also over half of my yearly goal of 500 miles, from 209 to 285 miles. I am finding that the consistency of running 4 times a week is improving my PBs, rather than having to go out and push myself to hit a PB in a short time.

I am a reader

Show your work - Austin Kleon

I set out to read three chapters of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown but after watching the "3 Books that Changed my Life" video, from Ali Abdaal, I decided instead to try to read, Show your Work by Austin Kleon.

I managed to finish this short book while sitting by the Water of Leith, see the header image. The main idea behind this book is to share your process. I am going to write a more detailed review of this book, as it has had an impact on what I am doing with this blog.

I am a blogger

I am not a confident blogger, but after reading the book Show your Work, I decided to give it ago. Instead of creating elaborate technical posts, I aimed to go about my usual business and see if anything came up that I thought was interesting, inspiring or useful. Lo and behold this popped up. I created the post in a lunchtime after a run, because I was in the moment it seemed to flow much more natural. I am planning on creating more and even came up with the next three blog post ideas.

I listen

Recently I came to the realisation that I am not a great listener, I decided I wanted to improve on this. So I took a course in Udemy about active listening. The course was OK, but I didn't truly feel like I learned anything. I could summarise this course to this sentence, "You should always pay attention". I am going to continue to improve on this as I feel there is a course or technic I could use to become a great listener.

I am a homebrewer

I have brewed beer in the past but felt like I was neglecting this hobby. I decided to keep this up by using the ingredients that I had lying about and brew a beer. Turns out 6 weeks is the ideal time to brew a beer and I brewed a cross between a Stout and IPA (due to the mix of ingredients). It also highlighted some changes that I will add to my brewing process going forward.

👷 What can I Improve?

On the whole, I feel this was a successful experiment, and I am going to keep doing it. I accomplished a lot compared to the previous 6 weeks when I didn't do a cycle, and I feel like I am forming good habits. I am going to continue the end of week reflection as I think it was useful for staying on track. I am going to take a week between cycles to recalibrate and see what I want to focus on. It doesn't mean I need to stop any habits I have gained I might just not have a big goal to complete in that week.

I found I was very busy with work and a Hackathon on the last weekend of this cycle which through me off but this extra buffer week has helped. I wouldn't say the hackathon was a detriment, but instead, there doesn't seem to be any flex in this plan. So I will work on ways to add flex to the goals as I am proud of what we achieved in the hackathon. I will see how the end of cycle 2 goes and adjust if need be.

🔁 What do I want to do next?

I am going to continue with my running habits, as I am seeing a massive benefit to my fitness. I will still try to push my 5k PB to under 23mins or 22mins depending on my progress.

I really enjoyed the book Show your Work and plan to read the other two books from this author "Steal like an Artist" and "Keep Going".

I want to finish the course I started on BLoC and RxDart, for my own learning.

I am also going to blog three times in the next cycle as I am getting the hang of it and these don't need to be monstrous posts.

Also, I want to finish the hat I have started knitting in lockdown, hmmm this might be too ambitious... 😂

See you on the ~16th of August for the end of cycle 2!

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