2014 Goals: A Break From Usual Programming

Please indulge me another more personal blog post on this little site as I just wanted to quickly note down some goals for 2014. You see, if they’re out there in public, it’s harder to go back on them innit.

2013 was a mixed bag of a year for me. I had some highs, some lows and some inbetweens. Pretty much the same for everybody I guess… some highlights include learning to play the ukulele and guitar, raising a ton of cash for charity and visiting St Lucia. I’ve also forged some new friendships and built heavily on some existing ones … so more of that kind of stuff in the new year please.

If you know me, you’ll probably already know about my “life list” inspired by my friend Sarah. On it, there are loads of things, some silly, some serious, that I want to achieve by the end of … well… my life (that’s the only morbid bit of this post out of the way).

I’ve always been a big fan of lists, but it seems having a permanent, ongoing list, has made me a little list-crazy and so, in what seems like the first proper time ever, I’ve decided to set out a list of goals for the year ahead… some of which will help me on my way towards ticking things off the life list, and some are just, er, because.

If I don’t meet these targets, it doesn’t *really* matter, but it’s nice to have something to aim for – and nice to track everything so that I actually remember it and hopefully this time next year I’ll have some fun memories to look back on. So here goes… the list is as follows:

1. Complete the iMDb top 100 list

For those that don’t know – the iMDb, or the Internet Movie Database, has a list of the top 250 films as voted for by users. I’ve already seen 50 of the films on the list, so I need to average roughly one film a week. It should be doable, and I’ll try to burn through more than one where possible. I’m not looking forward to watching all of the films on the list (Das Boot particularly springs to mind – sorry fans of Das Boot), but there’s a lot of classics on there that would be great to tick off. I also know other people who also want to check this off their life lists so we can do it together.

2. Watch 35 films at the cinema

I have a Cineworld Unlimited card and I like to get the best value from it. I initially thought about putting 50 as the goal here as well but as it’s more of a commitment to go to the cinema than watch a film at home I didn’t want to push it… 50 is probably my real goal though. I saw 27 in 2013, which isn’t bad, but I’d like to do much better than that in 2014.

3. Gym or Swimming 100 times

This is going to be the hardest one. This isn’t about health or whatever (as much as it should be) it’s more about getting better value for money for my gym membership. So that’s a visit twice a week. My gym is only a 5 minute walk away so I need to stop making excuses and get over there more often… even if for only 30 minutes. This is the one I anticipate failing…. but I don’t like failure so having it written down should be a decent push.

4. 3 theatre/live comedy trips & 3 new galleries/museums

It would be nice to visit the theatre more often, so I’ve included three as a decent round number. I really want to see Once – other than that I’m not sure. I’d also like to visit 30 different museums or galleries in London, so I’m adding three to that target as well.

5. 250 new (to me) albums

That sounds like a huge number doesn’t it? Well it is quite high – averaging about 5 albums a week. But, when you consider that I work from home at least once a week and on those days I listen to music all day long, I really don’t think this should be too difficult to complete. I’m working towards completing the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, so a good portion of these albums will be from that list, but I’d like it if at least 50 were new (2014) albums. There’s a lot of albums on the Rolling Stone list that I’ve heard the odd song from, so it’ll be nice to complete some of those. For info: I’m counting any album that I’ve never heard in entirety, even if I have heard songs from it before.

6. Make 5 things

One of the things on my life list is to make something from every one of the many craft books I have, so this will help with that goal. I usually make stuff for my birthday party so it probably won’t be that difficult to tick this off relatively early, but I’d like to do some more sewing this year. I can probably do this while I’m watching a movie or listening to an album, to double up…

7. Read 6 new (to me) books

I used to love reading but as a writer who spends all day looking at words, reading for pleasure pretty much takes a back seat for me. I have a heap of books in the house that have gone unread for too long so I want to rectify that in 2014. I have plenty of long train journeys (as well as my commute) so not too much of an excuse here….

8. Cook 10 new (to me) recipes

I’ve gotten pretty lazy kitchen wise, and just like I have a lot of craft books, I’ve also got a lot of cookery books. Another goal from my life list is to make three things from every cookery book I’ve got. I want to rediscover the joy of cooking…. and another bonus is that I can listen to a new album while I’m doing this.

9. 24 photography blog posts

At one point I wanted to have a new blog post on this site every week, but that quickly fell by the wayside. I have a stack of unedited photos just waiting to be shared, so if I have a target of every two weeks, hopefully that will motivate me to work through that list. And again, I can listen to new albums while I’m doing this…. I should get back into the habit of scheduling posts when I feel inspired/bothered to edit as well.

10. Photograph 10 new people

I love taking portraits – it’s by far my favourite genre of photography, and one of my life list goals is to photograph 100 people. So far I’m on 74. 10 seems like an achievable target, I photographed more than that in 2013 and I’d like to get more into couples/group photography next year too. If you’d like to volunteer your face, please let me know – it would be awesome to actually reach 100 in 2014.

11. Record 12 ukulele or guitar covers

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed a little challenge I completed in 2013 for charity – the 30 day song challenge. I only learned to play uke and guitar this year and I’m really pleased with my progress. Recording videos (especially when you don’t have a crazy daily challenge to meet) is great fun so I’d like to do more of that in 2014, especially when it comes to collaborations, as that’s even better. I recorded 40 covers in 2013, so 12 really should be a breeze – shouldn’t it?

12. Visit 5 new cities and 1 national park (in the UK)

One of my favourite life list goals is to visit every UK city at least once. So far I’ve managed 21 out of 69. Five seems like a more than doable goal, and I might finally go on my northern road trip I’ve been talking about for months and tick them all off in one week…. there’s also a few which are reasonably close to me (Gloucester, Wells and Salisbury spring to mind) that shouldn’t be too difficult to get to. I also want to visit all of the UK’s National Parks, so I’m adding one of those into the target as well. DAY TRIPS! I’d like to travel abroad at some point in 2014, but I’m not too worried about that, as I have BIG plans for 2015 where that is concerned.

13. Finish my 50 teas list.

I really don’t know why I’ve been dragging my heels on this. I’ve tried 41/50 teas… time to get that final 9 and cross that one off.

14. Ride 5 new rollercoasters

I blooming’ love rollercoasters. A trip to Alton Towers was one of my favourite days of 2013, and I have ride 50 different rollercoasters on my lifelist, so far I’ve achieved only 16 so I’d like to add a bunch of new ones in 2014. DAY TRIP!

I’ll update on these goals every quarter – it will be fun to track along the way (I hope). In the time it’s taken me to write this blog post I’ve added a bunch of new goals (there was only 8 when I started writing it) so I’ll probably add more as the year goes on – and of course I’m always working towards the other general goals on the life list. I’m also going to start-up a memory jar to place the little memories in that I might otherwise forget about – something to look at on days when I don’t feel 100% or at the end of the year in a huge reminisce session.

What are your hopes and goals for the year ahead?

One comment

  • Yes, I love this list! 😀 (Predictably, given my love of lists I suppose). I’m looking forward to helping you cross a few of these off and also doing the group memory jar! 😀

    Happy 2014 to yoooooou.

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