An update on my New Year blog last year.
- I did lose weight and continue to do so with little effort. Makes me a bit suspicious about what might be going on internally. Changing my Type 2 Diabetes medication might have helped.
- On 13th October I climbed the Old Man of Coniston with relative ease on a day when the weather was appalling. More than 20 of us supported an old friend of mine who has also successfully dropped weight and made himself more likely to survive the next decade.
- With regard to my other goals, “eliminating world poverty” got off to a slow start although my continued work with the Lendwithcare organisation has made quite an impact:
- My next objective was to “Form an effective national government” and I think it was safe to leave that in the hands of Demonic Cummings who is doing a great job through jigging the strings of his mop-haired puppet or, as Mike Harding calls him, the “Dangerous Clown”.
- My final goal was to publish some written work before December. Still struggling with that one although I have has a couple of short stories published online it’s not what I really wanted to do so this is still a work in progress.
I was chatting with a friend called Nadine the other day about her list of goals for 2019. There seemed to be some pretty challenging tasks she had set herself and it got me to wondering what my goals might be if I wasn’t too lazy to make any. It’s not that I’m particularly slothful, nor am I conceited enough to imagine that I have achieved all I can; but I have always found the idea of ‘New Year, New Me’ a bit twee and self-promoting.
I’ve done the ‘give up smoking’ (stopped for 30 years now). Tried the ‘lose weight’ resolution every year with limited success. Been a member of a number of gyms. Most resolutions end up in the bin together with the gym membership card by mid-February. Part of my problem is that I’m insufferably complacent. Life is good. Money isn’t too tight, I’m reasonably healthy and emotionally satisfied. All this could, of course, change in an instant but my current philosophy is to lie back and enjoy the ride. So I don’t try too hard myself but try to help others if I can. This year I’m supporting an old friend who is trying to get his life back on track in a number of ways. If we are successful then on 13th October this year you will find us both together at the top of a mountain in the Lake District.
But what about my personal goals? Where do I want to be with 2020 vision? For a few milliseconds I toyed with the idea of asking those closest to me what I should seek to change about myself this year. I realised quite quickly that two of their suggestions would be biologically impossible and the rest would require relocation to the surface of Mars. Oh, and the one good friend who undoubtedly would suggest reducing my consumption of alcohol in all its forms has now been blocked on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn, our Instagram and SnapChat links have been severed with the sharpest electronic knife. Just to be unwarrantedly vindictive I’ve dropped him so far down the Christmas card list that he will in future get the card that the local takeaway sends me reposted second class. I hope he likes Chinese food!
So how do I go about setting goals for myself? As a manager and a trainer I would immediately fall back on ‘SMART’ objectives. You know the routine, repeat after me:
Yeah, we know all that, boring!
As a mature adult I knew exactly what my my first goal should be:
1. Eliminate world poverty
It’s easy, right?
I Googled™️ ‘Eliminate World Poverty’ and got the immediate result that the Borgen Project had the answer….. or at least understood the question. Wow! It was only mid-January and I was already achieving. But, to be fair, I’m not doing this all on my own. Later this year, the UN is expected to adopt the World Bank’s ambitious target of ending extreme poverty by 2030. There’s been a great deal of progress already. The poverty rate in the developing world has more than halved since 1981. Back then, 52% of people in developing countries lived on less than $1.25 (84p) per day. That’s now dropped to 15%. In terms of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, it meant that the target of halving poverty by 2015 from 1990 levels was achieved five years early. In 1990, more than one-third (36%) of the world’s population lived in abject poverty. That was halved to 18% in 2010. (Source: BBC News).
I wonder if the UN has taken the actions of this Conservative Government into account. Perhaps extending the goal a further five years would take into account the admirable work that Universal Credit is doing in bolstering poverty amongst the UK’s zero hours contracted working people. (Source: Joseph Rowntree Trust).
Perhaps I might leave these august bodies to do their jobs and I should concentrate on something more local.
Revised Goals 1.01
1. Form an effective national government
Now this should be relatively easy since the existing government is universally discredited already. I have, I think, two options. I could put myself up for election as a member of the Monster Raving Loony Party, the only UK registered party that might accept me as a member (Source: Wikipedia). Now this is going to cost money and I hadn’t bargained on that overwhelmingly negative fact. I would also have to persuade a fair number of people to vote for me. Shouldn’t be a problem really, everybody hates the existing lot and if they can get 17 million to vote on the basis of a number scrawled on the side of a bus they shouldn’t be hard to hoodwink into putting me into Parliament.
Then I need to convert the other 650 odd MPs to my way of thinking. Ahh, umm….
That could be difficult. Most of them are incapable of independent thought so getting them to think about an independent might be more than challenging. If that approach is likely to meet a dead-end then perhaps I ought to rethink it. My second approach would be to take power as a benevolent dictator. Most of the movies I have watched suggest possession of a doomsday weapon which I can use to hold the country to ransom. (Searches in man-drawer for weapons of mass destruction. Finds a blunt emergency can opener and an RS232 lead). Stuck without any real WMD, except this bloody persistent cold virus, I decide to shelve this goal in favour of something less difficult to organise.
Revised Goal 1.02
I pause for a moment and in the stillness I think I hear the sonorous voice of Alec Guinness whispering “These are not the goals you’re looking for”
I realise that I had better get serious. Goals don’t invent themselves. What could I really hope to achieve in terms of positive change in a mere twelve months. Erm….
After a day or so of deep thought I come up with an idea. I love writing, this blog is evidence of that even if it isn’t evidence of any intelligent thought behind the blog. I’ve alway wanted to write a story. Perhaps not a novel, certainly not a series, perhaps a novella or maybe a couple of short stories? It would be fun, it might be rewarding and it would certainly develop my writing ability.
Write and have published a written work by December 2019.
There. I’ve decided something positive. Help!!!