Thursday, June 26, 2008


I need to establish some firm long and short term goals. I need to do this, because without goals and without direction I can make no progress. While my family has made progress recently (my wife has graduated college and begun her career as an RN in the emergency dept), this was the result of an unwritten but very really and focused goal: get my wife through school. And other than a nebulous "get myself through school" focus, one so loose and flimsy that I still haven't figured out what my major is, I am focus-free. This is not good.

I find goal making difficult, because I often don't know what I want. Not in any concrete sense. I know I want what everyone wants: comfort and happiness. Hard to work towards that because they aren't real things. They are the side product of a mindset. You are comfortable and happy because of who you are, not where you are (barring actual world tragedies).

Personal Goals:

1.) Get back in shape. I'm not terribly out of shape, but I'm not where I used to
be. I am heavier, slower, and drunker.

I must
- Drink in moderation and rarely. When I drink, I drink too much. When I cut off all drinking, I freak out and binge. I must drink less and less often, leaving open the door for the very occasional drink
- Run four days a week. Three is too few, and five or more I have experienced becomes a burden. Four days a week. Hopefully at a 30+ mile weekly load, but we'll see what happens. I'll keep this open so that if I train for an event (like another marathon), I run more and focus on that.
- Strength train three days a week. This is on the off days. Two upper body, one lower, all body weight exercises and all honest efforts.
- Eat normal, home prepared food that is healthy, heavy on the vegetables, and no more than 1800kcal on heavy days and 1400kcal on light days. I've found this works best for me.
- Get up at 5:00AM everyday of the week. This allows me to run in any weather, and keeps me from partying the night before. If I need more sleep on somedays, I can go to bed earlier or take a nap.

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* my weight is back under 165lbs.
* one beer wastes me
* I am in size 32 or smaller jeans
**This is a lifestyle change goal and not a one moment event. It continues and must always be worked on**

2.) Become a calmer, more pleasant person. I am far too abrasive and far too easily stressed. I believe these are linked. I would like to be a much calmer individual, easier going, smilier (?), and just generally a more pleasant husband and father.

I must:
- Be quick to praise and slow to criticize.
- Add to conversations, not to arguments.
- More positive conversation, less negative
- Save the fantastic wit and sarcasm for more appropriate (rare) situations. Like writing.
- Actively choose to be more patient. With people and events.
- Learn to recognize what is and isn't important.
- Work with people, not try and change people.
- Focus on this each morning when I wake up and each night before I sleep.
- Step back in moments of frustration
- Blame less and be more giving of my time.
- Establish boundries for important things (studying for classes)
- Remember, attitude and behavior is a choice

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* Me yelling is extremely rare
* Children don't whimper and hide around me
* Children are willing to ask me for things instead of whispering questions to the wife
* The wife finds me more pleasant
**This is a lifestyle change goal and not a one moment event. It continues and must always be worked on**

3.) Graduate College

I must
- Pick a degree and stick with it. This is computer science. Recognize that this is a fine degree, I will do fine with it. It isn't going to make me an astronaut, but it will get me through college.
- Study. Be on top of my studies. Continue to study. Study when I don't want to. Recognize when I need a break and when I am being lazy.
- Stick with the damn degree.

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* I have a degree

4.) Control my urges. This means money spending urges, alcohol urges, compulsive left field desires. I have this odd compulsive nature and it can be dangerous. I recognize it, but don't control it well enough. I need to get a rein on this.

I must
- Recognize the urges as they come.
- Ask myself out-loud "Do I need this?"
- Reward myself on a regular basis for accomplishments
- Step away from all urges for a minimum of a 48hr period. This is important.

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* I purchase less nonsense
**This is a lifestyle change goal and not a one moment event. It continues and must always be worked on**

Family Financial Goals

1.) Pay off debts. We owe money. We need to pay this money off fast.

I must
- Establish an accounting of my debts. It may help to make it public and do a countdown. I'll do this here

My debts
$$$$$- Ezekiel College -
$$$$$- Pashanta College -
$$$$$- Money Borrowed From Parents -
$$$$$- Credit Card Debt -

- Pay monthly, and pay more than the minimum. Pay off credit card and parents first (fastest).
- Do not accumulate more debt.

I will have accomplished this when
* I have no debt.

2.) Live within a budget. Everybody has their problems, and it is easy to blame your situation for your inabilities. Sometimes you really are in a poor position, often, it's just yourself. We have four children. This makes life expensive. But we should be able to get by.

I must
- Create a budget and track my money. I need to create the budget sheet and update it.
- I accordance with other personal goals, I need to purchase what we need, not just urges.
- Regular rewards so that I don't feel trapped.
- Cut food costs by preparing foods, brown-bagging, not eating out.

I will have accomplished this when
* My bank account shows slightly more money month after month

3.) Save for the future. Hell, I mean, get rich. Filthy, filthy rich. Slowly and conservatively.

I must
- Live within a budget
- Pay off debts
- Set money aside
- Educate myself on finances

I will have accomplished this when
* Not sure. Still have a lot of educating to do

Other Goals

1.) Live somewhere beautiful

I must
- Know where I want to live. I am constantly fantasizing, but like with school, I have very little focus. I need to establish a place a pursue it, while realizing nothing is perfect.
- Visit more places. I've now been to Hawaii, but not to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, the UK so on and so forth. Need to travel more

A list of the things I value

1.) Family and family time. Take advantage of family time. These experiences are transient and fleeting. Be a good, patient person and enjoy all of these moments.
2.) Travel.
3.) Running. If you don't take care of your body, you can't run. And running will (and has) take you much further than just around the park.
4.) Education.

I will add to this as needed.

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