Goal cycle 5

Iain Smith

Iain Smith / February 01, 2021

10 min read

Crammong causeway

Cycle 5 was from December 14th - January 31st. If you want to know more about my goal cycles, this post has all the details. From the previous cycle, I set the following goals:

🏆 Big Goals

Big GoalMeasureTracking
Improve my Strava fitness of 69Improvement of Strava fitness90 (+21)

🏅 Habits / Small Goals

I am a runnerRun 4 times a week6 / 6 weeks
I am a runnerRun around Arthur's seat2 / 2 runs
I am a runnerRun around Cramond Island2 / 1 runs
I am a runnerRun 600 miles in a year656.4 / 600 miles
I am a bloggerBlog three times0 / 3 posts
I am a readerRead Happy by Derren Brown0 / 1 books
I am a learnerUI/UX design course0 / 1 course
I am creativeDraw once a week6 / 6 weeks
I am a gamerFinish the Deep Stone Crypt Raid5 / 1 Raids

🤔 Thoughts

I am a runner

strava fitness

I continued running four times a week, and it feels like running is now part of my identity. I miss it when I haven't ran in a couple of days. I feel happier and more relaxed when I have running as part of my identity. I would like it to stay.

It's funny - someone asked me the other day if I was a runner, I was about to say "not really" but I have accomplished a lot when I think back on these cycles. I have been running four times a week for 37 weeks. I am a Runner!

My Strava Fitness has increased to 90 from 69. this has been through the tough cold months but I set out some fun activities to motivate me. I wanted to run around Cramond Island, a small island, near Leith, where you can walk along a causeway to the island when the tide is out. I felt like this added an extra sense of adventure, but in reality, the tide is out for ~4 hours so as long as you plan it, you will be fine. I planned it out and asked a good pal to come with me. I wanted to run with someone as I had enjoyed the company in the previous cycle. I manage to do this run twice, back to back, right at the start of the year. It is also a half marathon distance, it is no easy run, the legs were tired that week.

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After Kat and I had finished watching the Trainspotting movies, I suddenly had a burst of motivation to run up Arthur's seat like in the film. I managed to do this twice this cycle, it is tough, but I can feel the benefit of hills.

Me knackered

I also started an "active group" at work to get the team feeling a bit more connected and hopefully happier. We aimed for a personal goal of 1hr a week of "active time" and a team goal of 10hrs. The "active time" can be anything; walking, running, cycling, swimming. The main aim is not to be too competitive and work as a team. We have hit our targets, and I feel it is working as a team bonding activity. We have recently celebrated someone's first 5k!

I now feel running is part of my identity, I will stick to four times a week and add some fun goals to support it in the next cycle.

I am a reader

Happy by Derren Brown

After struggling to find time to read, I have adopted a simple but effective tip that Lynne shared on the previous cycle's post

"try to read a couple of pages here and there every day"

This method is proving to be highly effective for me. I am making significant progress on this book and am looking to finish it in the next couple of weeks.

I am also taking notes as I intend to write a book review. There are many thought-provoking ideas that the book raises. The ideas on goal setting and expectations, I found especially useful for this blog. The main point it presents is not to tie your happiness to goals. We blame ourselves for not achieving a goal, but fate or luck has intervened, and we think this is our fault. It is sometimes nice to have a goal, but it should not be what makes us happy in life.

It also has a section on happiness's history covering Socrates, Aristotle, Christianity, Marxism and others, which I found very interesting and enjoyable.

I'm going to keep working on this book, aiming to finish in the next six weeks and have started another book.

I am a blogger

blogging for Developers

Even though I haven't published any new blog posts, that is not to say I haven't been working on blogging. I have created a blog post ready to be published, but I thought it was too close to this one. To avoid having posts published too close to one another, I have chosen to schedule that one later in the week.

The post coming later this week was the first time I made my own diagrams to illustrate the concepts discussed. I think they turned out quite well, but I'll wait to see what others think.

More interestingly, I have joined a blogging community for developers, which has been amazing! I joined the Blogging for Devs community to keep me accountable, generate ideas and generally keep this blog moving forward. So far, it has been pretty good; there are many like-minded folks, blogging themed events, and I have been enjoying the accountability sessions.

For the next cycle, I have joined the Bi-Weekly blogger's group, which means I should have three posts by the end.

I am a learner

I sadly did not finish the "UI Design for Developers" course. Since learning Figma and design is import to me, I will make it one of my main goals for the next cycle. Possibly even create a review post about it.

I also want to improve my typing speed and aim higher than what I am currently typing - 50 wpm. I will add this to the goals of the next cycle too.

🤩 Serendipity

So what non-goal events have happened?

Wow Bungie make such pretty games

Wow Bungie make such pretty games

In Destiny 2 this cycle, my raid team managed to complete the Deep Stone Crypt five times! We all managed to get up to the right level and worked out all the raid mechanics, relatively quickly than previous raids. TBH, the aesthetics of this raid make it one of my favourites, imagine a factory in the arctic tundra that is the birthplace of self-aware humanoid machines.

Season 13 is about to start next week, and a new raid is possibly going to be released, I am sure I will be aiming to complete that in the next cycle.

I also went to a couple of events:

CodeCraft : Book Club

This event was great, with a lot of excellent book recommendations. Here are some of the ones I added to my reading list:


I also continued this habit, drawing at least once a week. Here are some of the buildings I drew:

building 1
building 2

Flutter Scotland

The Organisers for Flutter Scotland asked me if I would Co-Organise this meetup, which I accepted. We have our second event coming soon, where I will be giving a talk. Keep your eyes peeled for this event!

I have never organised events before, but I know many people who have. Hoping this can help expand my skills and elevate Scotland's Flutter community.

😃 What went well?

My running was excellent in this cycle. I possibly spent a bit too much time on it, but I enjoyed it, so I don't see it negatively. I also seemed to achieve quite a lot of the goals, giving me motivation for this next cycle.

I am also delighted in becoming Co-Organiser for Flutter Scotland. It is something I have always wanted to do but was too scared. Taking on this responsibility is outside of my comfort zone, but I think that is how you grow as a person. I am looking forward to seeing what challenges this brings

👷 What can I Improve?

The blogging has slowed, but I think this is just me still getting used to producing content. It is hard, but I like this new community and feel it has given me a burst of enthusiasm.

Not finishing the design course was a bit lazy but I know I can do it, moving it to the main focus should allow that.

🔁 What do I want to do next?

As I have discussed:

  • I will continue my running but add in some Arthur's Seat runs and exciting places. I also want to run 1000 miles in 2021, so I will be tracking that.
  • I will have finished the book Happy by Derren Brown and have moved on to another book.
  • I will have published three blog posts.
  • I will have finished the course I started from Design+Code on UI Design for Developers
  • I will have improved my typing speed
  • I want to have completed the new raid in Destiny 2 Season 13 if released in that season.
  • I want to continue drawing once a week.
  • I will have presented a Talk at Flutter Scotland

I am going to start cycle 6 on the 1st of February.

See you on the 21st of March at the end of cycle 6!

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