Every year, I like to set myself a public list of goals that I then do my best to acheive. Some years it works, some years it doesn't, most years I manage to make this list before nearly a quarter of it is already in the past, this was not one of those years.
1 Reach 200lbs
Every year I've added this goal and every year I'm sure it will be the year I acheive it. However this year stands a fighting chance as at the end of last year, I made one major change which I've - so far - managed to stick to.
I actually exercise now!
As we do not currently have a bath in our house (see Goal #3) we decided to join a local gym which has a spa pool, for me, the reason to join the gym was so I had a place I could soak my - usually - aching body body on a night, I never really had much of an intention to do any working out and fully intended to bin the gym membership as soon as our bathroom was done.
However, connected to the spa pool was an actual pool. So - on the odd occasion when I felt I could be bothered - I jumped in the pool and had a paddle about. Then after a few weeks, I started to swim properly in it. Then I bought some goggles and a nose clip and started swimming at least 10 lengths every time I went to the gym.
Fast forward a few months and now the spa-pool is where I go to soak my incredibly aching muscles after I've had a proper swim workout. I've started doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) swimming, which means I only actually swim for 15 minutes but I go hell-for-leather when I do it. Amazingly, I can already feel a huge difference in my body. I feel stronger, less achy and I have definitly got some muscle now!
I'm still very overweight and have a long way to go before I will be 200lbs but it's actually feasible that this will happen before 2020!
2 Learn to drive
I haven't listed this goal in 7 years because even though it kinda bothered me that I couldn't drive, I have - until recently - always live in an area where driving didn't really matter. Going from Leeds city centre (everything I wanted was on my doorstep), to Portsmouth (a pretty compact city so easy to get around on foot/bike/bus), to London (It's London, I just took the tube everywhere). However in 2016, we left city life behind us and moved to - what I thought was - the country, at first I didn't really mind, I spent most of my time either working from home or going into London, I didn't really need a car and the times I did, Colette could drive me.
Then we bought our house and moved to the proper countryside, it was only then that I realised that the area we lived in before was bascially a more rural extension of London, I had high-speed internet, great transport links everywhere and if I needed a car during the day I still had Uber.
Now I live in a town 4 miles away from the nearest city (Guildford) and we're on the outskirts, behind our house is open countryside which goes on for miles and the internet here is so slow that it takes me 22 hours to upload a blog post (ok that's an exaggeration, it's more like 21 hours and 50 minutes).
The problem is that I love it here, it's peaceful and relaxing, it smells amazing and I have a balcony which gives me panoramic views of the incredible Surrey Hills instead of some fat dude having a topless BBQ on his own balcony (alone).
So I can't go back, I'm countrified now and that means I need to be able to get around, there isn't even a realible taxi company here, let alone Uber and the buses are pretty terrible so there is nothing for it. I have to be able to drive.
I'm almost certainly going to succeed at this one (famous last words), I actually started my lessons quite a while ago and I even have my driving test booked so I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing a big ol' 'success' label on the 'how did I do' post in 2020.
3 Get my bathroom done
I still don't have a bath in my house, Colette and I decided that we were not going to settle for any old bath, we're going to get a freestanding copper bath, we've already chosen the one we want and we've even had some preliminary works carried out ready for our bathroom remodel.
Yup, I said 'remodel', we're not just having a bath installed now, we've decided to basically demolish everything that the previous owners did in there and rebuild it from scratch. How will it go? Find out next year!
4 Get my office sorted.
I've been a remote worker for about 5 years now and last year I acheived the coveted goal of 100% remote work (or near as dammit). I've had some pretty ropey home offices in the past but in this house, I've struck gold. However it's not perfect. I would love to have a properly kitted out home office with everything I may need in it.
Again this one is pretty much a foregone conclusion, I've got practically everything I need now to achieve this goal, I just need the time to put it all together which I hope to do within the next month.
5 Build that wall
No, not THAT wall. Our house is lovely but we are not loaded and couldn't afford a big beautiful house without making some fairly big compromises, so our compromise was that we bought a house next to a busy road. This turned out to be more of a compromise than I anticipated as the noise can occasionally drive me crazy.
We have two options to alleviate this, get triple glazing installed at the front of the house (which we might do anyway but that's boring) or build a two-metre high wall around the perimiter.
The latter is a lot more preferable to me as a) it blocks people out of my world a bit more - always a bonus, b) It stops fuckwits from throwing litter in our drive way and most importantly c) having a big wall around your house is baddass.
This goal might not happen this year as although Col has accepted that it's going to happen, she's not really sold on it as a priority. I've got a much better chance at selling her on the triple glazing as that's also more energy efficient. However we shall see.
Tune in next year to find out how I did!