And So Ends 2017…

…I’m usually fashionably late for these. My job usually doubles the workload during the festive time, so I always end up spending the last few days winding down, and spending time with a controller in my hand as opposed to a keyboard. This year’s end and the first few days of the new year have been particularly taxing, but that’s for another time and a different circumstance; I’m OK. I’m going to have to ask Dad to wear a mask when he’s ill and I’m around next time (joke!), but I’m OK. Just a rough throat, and difficulties speaking above a rasp.

In 2017 I had been trying to undo the damage that I caused the past couple of years since moving out of my parents place. I became insular, and suffered because of it. Put some weight on, let my demons begin to get the better of me (given that I haven’t been on anti-depressants for more than a year), and had neighbour issues that at one point had me feeling like moving out of my current flat and moving back into my old block since one had opened again.

But on the other side of the ledger I’d started rolling back some of those problem behaviours, and my neighbours are no longer there; though they did try to do a metaphorical comeback tour, so to speak. Right now the place is vacant, and from all accounts, heavily damaged.

Let’s take a moment to look at the resolutions I set in 2017, and compare to where I am now.

Weigh less at the end of 2017 than at the end of 2016

At the end of 2016, I weighed in at 16st 7lbs. Today, I weigh 15st 11lbs. This is a success, though I feel like I could’ve done more. There was a period in there where I put on another half stone, and then had to lose it again. This brings my total weight loss down since September ’16 to 27lbs. For someone who has issues with overeating and exercising outside of work, any progress is worth noting.

Pass an ‘A’ Bike Test and get an unrestricted bike licence.

Completed the ‘A’ test on my first attempt with three minors. Still have to ride with learner plates, engine limitations and no pillions until my insurance is due for renewal unless I want to incur a charge. A full success on this front, and if you want to see me holding my certificate after we got back from the test centre, click here to visit Derbyshire Motorcycle School’s Facebook page. Along with my ugly mug.

Spend more time with my parents.

This one was nebulous by design; I wanted it to be behavioural change as opposed to a quantifiable achievement, while still giving me a success qualifier. I spent more Sundays than not with my parents, and sometimes when Dad was at work in the evenings I went and cooked for Mum and myself, or brought pizza from work etc. It’s really nice to be able to sit down with them and actually talk, though parents will be parents and sometimes I regret bringing up a subject!

My bonus goal was to begin the AAT foundation course for Accountancy, and I failed on this front entirely. Seasonal Affective Disorder hit me hard this year, despite my attempts to try and curb it.

So moving on from the past, it’s time to look at 2018, and what I want to achieve. Once again, keeping the majority of my goals quantifiable, with some nebulous. But this time, I want to set bonus or stretch goals as well.

  • Lose 1st (14lbs) from my weight at the end of 2017. (STRETCH – Lose a further 7lbs so I weigh 14st 4lbs)
  • Get my AAT Foundation Qualification in Accountancy, and begin the next course (STRETCH – Have a SMART timeline for completing the next course)
  • Begin Tabletop gaming again, whether using Roll20 or in a physical setup. (STRETCH – Join a medium to long-term campaign)

I was planning on increasing the resolutions by one each time I completed a full year, but I remembered that one of my resolutions last year had been in the works for almost half a decade. That, and some things have changed that made resolutions that I had thought of adding irrelevant.

Dennis Prager defines a hobby as “something you can do in your own time, with no external factors, and receive enjoyment from it”, and I intend on finding that again this year. There’s still so many games that I want to play and while my brief fling with Twitch encouraged me to game again, I still have so many on my pile that I need to play. Tabletop gaming (in the sense of D&D, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade etc) is something that four people and a Players’ Handbook can craft a whole world with. I’m not going to delude myself with thoughts of writing a book or learning a new skill as a hobby; the latter is beginning my (hopefully) new career path.

2018 is my thirtieth year alive, and honestly I’ve yet to acheive much of what people a decade younger than me are doing, and that was put in front of me like an anvil to the head recently. It’s not that I need to catch up, as everyone has different goals, but I need to get started. I just need to find the effort, and push through the depression.

Alright, enough with the self-aggrandisement.

Happy New Year to all, and I hope the year bears the fruit for which you have sown.

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