It’s christmas and nobody is awake for some reason. (!) I have 3 kids, it’s 7am, and you’d think they’d be eagerly coming to the christmas tree to see what santa brought them.

Instead, I’m thinking about my life and what I want for next year.

I had a really interesting mortality punch-in-the-face yesterday… I tried to snowboard and I was absolutely awful at it. I used to be quite decent, but after having a brain tumor and (probably) gaining a bunch of weight, I’m abject horrible at it. I left the mountain after a single run, in tears over my inability to enjoy myself in an activity which used to bring me so much joy.

So now, I’m thinking about how to not be horrible at it. I’ve previously written (somewhere, lost to the ether of the internet apparently) about how I’ve decided previously to no longer set goals because I think they end up being hollow when you achieve them. Values, instead, guide us on a journey, and there’s no destination but instead we grow and change over time.

But now it’s seven days from the new year and I’m ready to cast off my hatred / distaste for goals temporarily for one simple reason: I want to snowboard without feeling like a complete idiot.

To achieve this, I’m planning on two main lines of attack. One, I plan to lose enough weight to be within 10% of “normal” weight. For my 6’3” frame, that’s roughly 210-220 lbs.  I won’t go to the mountain unless I’ve lost at least 50 pounds, and have a fitness level of being able to run at least a mile without stopping.

Two, I need to improve my balance to a point where I feel in control of my body completely. Since my brain tumor was removed in 2015, I’ve struggled mightily with balance.  My plan of attack here is to do balance exercises, though I’m not sure what they’ll be yet.

I’m ready to set a goal. Let’s check out what a quick Google reveals, and whether it’s actually going to help.

Goal Setting: A Scientific Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals

By James Clear

Rather than considering what kind of success we want, we should ask, “What kind of pain do I want?”
What often looks like a problem of goal setting is actually a problem of goal selection. What we really need is not bigger goals, but better focus. You need to choose one thing and ruthlessly eliminate everything else.

Main takeaways here: 1) This mf’er is thorough. This one article is a pretty great primer, with links to quality resources. My favorite things I hadn’t heard previously: Stack your goals, meaning complete one thing, and have it lead naturally to the next.

Meditation: After I brew my morning coffee, I will meditate for one minute.
Pushups: Before I take my morning shower, I will do 10 pushups.
Flossing: After I set my toothbrush down, I will floss my teeth.

Also, set an upper bound. Essentially, bracket your progress, so instead of just achieving the minimum required effort to do something, you can focus on a middle bound that is more useful to the goal.

I want to lose at least 5 pounds this month, but not more than 10.
I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.
I want to write at least 500 words today, but not more than 1,500.

There’s a bunch more here, and I didn’t expect to learn something so drastically new, but here we are.

Worse is better so I’m putting this out before it’s done for now. It’s useful because I’ve at least learned something. I’ll fix it up before the new year. (My goal!)

Photo by Johannes Waibel on Unsplash