So it is 2017. January. The year that was 2016 is over, and as per usual, it is time to see how I did. It is NOT going to be pretty. I’m starting with my “blue” / analytical / learning goals.
MY BLUE GOALS – Live Blue or Die!
- Astronomy was on my list at the start of the year, and I did almost nothing on it all year. Not quite nothing, I did get my laptop setup to try linking with my camera for a bit of astrophotography, but the astronomy part was minimal. I’ve entered a bit of a inertia problem with my astronomy, much of which will sound like a series of excuses rather than explanations. For me, there are four inter-related problems. First and foremost, I struggle with my equipment. I have a good scope for me and my interests, great optics, some filters, etc. But I struggle to “find” what it is I’m supposed to be seeing still. Some of that is technical, some of it is intellectual. I also hate my power supplies for the equipment, need to fix that. Second, I struggle with having a good location to view from. Basically I have two currently — a park in a suburb nearby, not great, or my backyard. I had bad timing this year for the Star Parties and outings, but also with the equipment challenges, wasn’t exactly encouraged to leap to viewing. I’m hoping my friend’s AstroParc is up and running this year, a bit farther away than I would like, but if I timed it for after work, might be an option once in awhile next fall, or even some late spring / early summer nights. Third, it is extremely rare for me to say something like this about ANYTHING, but I find it a bit boring to do alone. Not to mention that hanging out in a secluded dark park is not exactly at the top of my list of things to do with thousands of dollars of equipment. Fourth and final, one of the solutions to all of the first three is to find a star buddy, and that didn’t exactly happen when I joined RASC (the national astronomy club). I thought there would be obvious buddy-like experiences, but I’m not the most extroverted of people, and while the star parties are fun, you’re basically walking around in the dark talking to nameless and faceless entities most of the time. Not the most conducive to finding a buddy to go to the next party with. As I said at the top, mostly lame excuses, not real challenges, but it just didn’t end up being anything I wanted to prioritize this year. Definitely RED.
- For Courses, I was fully expecting to hit the ground running in early March/April, finish the Video Games course, get going on Psychology, and maybe even add a third by the end of the year. But for a variety of other issues, mostly under red goals, almost none of those happened. Coursera moved the course around for structure, but I managed to download all the videos I need, so I *can* finish, I just haven’t yet. But I still intend to. Hard to motivate oneself when there is no urgency or payoff other than basic interest. A little bit of yellow near the start of the year, RED by the end.
- Reading tends to be something I do in fits and starts. I gave Kindle Unlimited a try, but it’s just not worth it to me in Canada — most of the books I would want are not part of the program. Random guess, I would say I probably did about 30 books over the course of the year, but I’ll have a better idea in the next couple of months as I now have my ebook collection fully under control and organized, and I’m back to doing reviews again. I’m also confident that I’ll be able to keep going this year on regular reading. Mostly I need to stop just reading the news while I have my lunch and to actually dive into novels and non-fiction titles. Call it YELLOW for the year.
- Writing is really hard to measure, and I’ll talk a bit again about this in the red goals. I moved the blog and completely rebuilt it, as well as my picture site. I finally reached 500K words, etc., and I got my Book Reviews up and running. But I’m still coding it RED as I didn’t finish my HR guide despite ongoing demand.
- Photography is a hard one to evaluate. Mostly it’s red as I didn’t finish my course or setup cards, but I did keep PhotoBooks going and we did end up with some great shots for the year. Still leaving it as RED though.
- For my Reviews, I’m going to be a bit generous to myself for three reasons. First, I already took the hit on the blog/writing above, so I don’t want to “mark myself down” twice for the same infraction. Second, I have been tweeting my TV episode reviews like crazy for the year. Some 2800 plus tweets since I began. I also put up 90 old book reviews and I’m almost ready to start with new ones. Definitely would be yellow at least, but I’m upgrading myself to GREEN.
- For Organization, I was mainly looking at new ways to use digital apps, and I’ve done that throughout the year with calendars, to-do lists and shopping lists. Even got our passports redone this year, all newly issued. Again, I’m going to be a bit generous, and call it GREEN.
- On Cyber, I had four main areas I wanted to handle — sorting photos (green), scanning photos (umm), sorting music (umm), and backup options (yes, except not current, umm). Okay, so the main work was the sorting of photos, and I did that. Rest would be red. Call it YELLOW overall.
- On the Honey-Do List, a sexist name for basically a home activities/renovation list, we did a few items on the list, not many. Dealt with the things that needed to be done, plus a few others. Nothing major looming. Call it YELLOW, albeit a bit generous.
Let’s see where that leaves me:
- GREEN: Reviews, Organization,
- YELLOW: Reading, Cyber, Honey-Do List
- RED: Astronomy, Courses, Writing, Photography
Honestly, now that I’ve coded them individually, I’m a bit surprised. It’s not as ugly as I thought it would be, even for blue.
The ones that are my standards i.e. Organization, Reading, Cyber were not too far off where I want them to be overall (I’m ambitious in my goals, but not unrealistic in expectations), and the Honey-Do List is not a crisis. I did okay with the reviews overall for the year, so that’s a plus.
Where I really fell down though was going beyond the basics to my growth areas — Astronomy, Courses, Writing and Photography. And that makes sense to me, particularly in light of what I will have to say in my red goals post.
Overall, I’m coding my blue goals as YELLOW. Down from where I would like them, but not nightmarish.