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2008 Goals: year in review

by Rob Friesel

2008 was the second year that we tracked some SMART goals here at F_D for its humble narrator.  Our accomplishments during 2007 were excellent overall, so we decided to repeat the experiment.  We mixed it up a bit for 2008, tweaking the individual goals, adding some new ones, removing other irrelevant ones…  And 2008 mixed it up a bit on us, too.  Let’s see where we landed, shall we?

  1. Write for at least 2 hours every week.  At the end of September, if you had told me that I was going to take a nose dive in my writing momentum, I would have laughed in your face.  But the proof is right there:
    2008 Writing Goal
    I went from averaging about 17-18 hours per month to “hardly at all” — I spent a total of 5.25 hours writing between November and December.  Call it the anti-NaNoWriMo. Two big things contributed to this decline:  our daily (nightly) rhythms with H. changed and I started a new job in November.  Ultimately, any excuse is lame.  It’s up to the writer to make the time, right?  Still, I tallied up just shy of 176 hours worth of writing this year and I’ve got it figured that it accounts for somewhere around 236,000 words between the various drafts written and edited.
  2. Run or walk at least 10 miles every week.  As if to preemptively defend myself:  the spirit of this goal has always been to encourage myself to walk to-and-from work as much as possible.  With the walk to work coming in at about 1.4 miles, that means about 3½ round trips.  With 5 “work days” per week and the fact that we live (practically) downtown, this should be problem at all.  And yet somehow I have a short-fall 8 of the 12 months this year:
    2008 Walking/Running Goal
    The winter months are usually a wash — so cold, so often…  A.’s pregnancy in the beginning of the year meant that we were carpooling quite a bit more often than in 2007.  On top of that though, rock-climbing after work (vide infra) meant that I was getting a lift home 2 of 5 nights out of the work week.  Oh well, 418 miles for the year still isn’t too shabby/  But let’s not talk about running.  Previous attempts and statements to the contrary, I don’t run.
  3. Hike 10 new trails.  Um…  Uh… No.
    2008 Hiking Goal
  4. Go climbing (or bouldering) at least once each week.  For all intents and purposes, win:
    2008 Climbing Goal
    There were maybe two weeks all year where I didn’t climb at all.  And every month I managed to get to the rock gym at least four times.  Even made it outside a few times.  All in all?  93 trips for just over 142 hours.  No wonder my shoes are looking a little threadbare.
  5. Read at least 24 new books in 2008 (with at least 6 non-fiction titles).  I kick reading’s ass:
    2008 Reading Goal
    A guide to the below list: Books marked with a dagger [†] are non-fiction (or a non-fiction equivalent — e.g., David Sedaris); an double-dagger [‡] marks books that I had previously read; and an asterisk [*] indicates a book that was unfinished.  And now:      

    1. Blindness
    2. Radio Free Albemuth
    3. Freakonomics
    4. Ghostwritten
    5. The New Phrenology
    6. Wastelands
    7. World War Z
    8. Don’t Make Me Think
    9. Consider the Lobster
    10. The Algebraist
    11. Selected Stories of PKD
    12. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
    13. Jennifer Government
    14. Catcher in the Rye
    15. The Moral Animal
    16. Powers of Ten
    17. Writing Down the Bones
    18. This Year You Write Your Novel
    19. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing†*
    20. Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills
    21. Idoru
    22. Dozois’ Year’s Best SciFi 24th
    23. Farthing
    24. DSLR Photography for Dummies
    25. Soon I Will Be Invincible
    26. A Canticle for Liebowitz
    27. When You Are Engulfed In Flames
    28. Hyperion
    29. Sputnik Sweetheart
    30. Coyote Blue
    31. Pastoralia
    32. The Road
    33. Gun, With Occasional Music
    34. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
    35. Cosmos
    36. Look to Windward
    37. Year’s Best SciFi 22nd*
    38. Vermont Encyclopedia†*
    39. Foop!
    40. Where I’m Calling From*
    41. The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov*
    42. Slippage*
    43. Cryptonomicon
    44. The New Space Opera
    45. JavaScript: The Good Parts
    46. How to Get Happily Published†*
    47. The Cold War: An Illustrated History†*
    48. Ringworld
    49. Into Thin Air
    50. Just After Sunset (Pending. I’m about halfway through the stories.)
    51. Snow Crash‡ (Pending. I love this book so much it hurts.)
    52. Dirty Wow Wow

    It’s over 18,000 pages.  With only 5 re-reads — that’s pretty good for me, actually — and a total of 17 non-fiction titles in the year’s stack.  I only regret that I slacked off so much in November and December.

Where to from here?  I’ll see if I can’t get my ’09 goals rounded up (like some people) and posted here in the next couple of days.  There are quite a few I want to keep and quite a few I’d like to swap for something different.  Hmm…  See you on the other side of the New Year!

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

One Response to 2008 Goals: year in review

found_drama says:

UPDATE 1/4/09: I fixed the text to correctly specify that the double-dagger was for previously read books and the asterisks were for unfinished books. Sorry for that little Oops.

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