Happy New Sherlock!

Wait, it’s Happy New Year, my bad.

Last night was, as is traditional, not a good night for writing anything at all, really. I took a notebook with me, and we only went to my sister-in-law-to-be’s family for the evening, but they’re long-term family friends and we got distracted playing board games, eating, drinking, discussing the cats and other things that you do on New Year’s Eve. Whatever you did to celebrate, or if you didn’t celebrate it at all, I hope you had a good one.

It’s this time of year that we choose as a completely arbitrary time for setting ourselves targets that we’ll abandon within a couple of weeks. In years gone by I’ve promised to lose weight, learn a new language, lose weight… Mostly it’s to lose weight, as it is for the majority of people. I don’t smoke so can’t give that up, don’t drink enough to be worth quitting. My worst habit is probably the amount of fizzy drinks I consume, and that varies from 2l (following a very cat-bothered night) to none at all. I do need to get a grip on that, I suppose.

One of my new rituals over the last few weeks, though, has been reading lots. I downloaded Google Newsstand and subscribed to a whole deluge of sources, and in the morning I’ll flick through it, save anything interesting to my bookmarks and then consume the lot through the day. If it’s really interesting I’ll shuffle it across to Pocket, Pinterest of Pearltrees, otherwise it just gets purged, and hopefully I have an empty bookmark collection by bedtime, when I do the whole process again and clear it again. One of my favourite sources has been LifeHacker. I have no money at all at the moment, so that information isn’t much help, but over and over again over the last few weeks I’ve been reading about setting targets and resolutions. Every year I set myself targets and every time I fail them, and it took me until now to realise that I hadn’t applied what I learned at university to this very simple task.

I did Business Management, and we did a lot of goal management and target-based work. Even back in secondary school, we were taught how to set SMART targets. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound targets, which are easy to check and therefore easy to stick to. And yet, I’d never figure that out. It seems so simple now, of course, that Sherlock Holmes would be mocking me. I’m writing a blog, he’d be mocking me anyway.

With all of that in mind (not including Sherlock), I’ve set myself five goals:

1. Walk to the library once a week and bring back at least one non-fiction and one fiction book, and read them by the following week.

2. Use my exercise bike at least twice a day, once before breakfast and once before dinner, for at least ten minutes in total.

3. Fill at least one side of A4 with writing.

4. Blog at least 3 times a week.

5. Do four hours a day towards my TEFL course and 4 hours a week towards my journalism course.

Some of these are delayed. I’ll go to the library on Friday, if it’s re-opened after Christmas, and I’ll start on my TEFL course on Monday, when I can get a clear run at it. I’ve been almost sticking to my exercise bike routine since I got it for Christmas (thank you to my little brother, who just went where I told him and gave the lady the princely sum of £20. Best buy of the year.) As for the blogging, here is blog number 2, and I have filled many pages today with a short story I’m preparing for submission to an anthology.
So far, so good.

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