Getting The Most Out Of Life – 2017 Goals Checkpoint

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT IS JUNE 1ST! Where did the time go? It feels like time is speeding up. Perhaps that is just the natural aging process – to feel like time is flying when you have less time left? We are absolutely not going down that philosophical road.

Instead, to mark June 1st on the calendar, I thought I’d post about my 2017 goals, first written here. I don’t make resolutions, I make goals. They are easier to break down into achievable pieces, easier to adjust should the need arise, and I don’t get discouraged should I not achieve them knowing I can simply move that goal forward, or not. So at the halfway point of the year, let’s see how I am faring. I used a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the accomplishment of the goal.
Goals Quote Picture Quote #1

1. Do more local travel – in-town, in-state, regional, etc. I find that when I have time to travel, I rarely consider staying local. This is a shame, because while my city is not D.C., NYC, or SF we do have some great museums, restaurants and unique things to do.
Maybe a 2? I haven’t done much in-town adventuring beyond hiking with the dog before it got too hot. That sort of counts, so I will bump 2 up to 5. It’s my list, I can do what I want!

2. Goal 1 ties in nicely with my second goal of doing at least one cultural thing a month. This could be visiting a museum, attending a play, going to a poetry reading, or even stopping in at a new restaurant in a part of the city I haven’t been to before for some authentic ethnic cuisine. Business travel may take care of this goal for me, but if not I need to have some local options at the ready.
I am giving myself a 7. I’ve been to baseball games (which I am totally counting as cultural), went to a small local art show in Chandler (sort of a first Fridays thing) and enjoyed First Nations culture during my recent trip to Vancouver. Still room to do more, but 7 isn’t too shabby.

3. Get my Spanish proficiency to at least 80% as assessed by Duolingo. I was doing really well, but when business travel started to go nuts, I let that slip to the slide. I ended the year at 55%, so I have a ways to go.
When I last tested, I was sitting at 62%, so this gets a 3, but I have good reason (see the next goal).

4. Take classes in something completely new. I want to step out of my comfort zone and learn something new. Last year, it was the ukulele and I still LOVE to play. I can’t believe how much that little achievement has enriched my life. For 2017, I am going to learn American Sign Language, or at least the basics so I can have a general conversation.
This absolutely gets a 10!!! For some insane reason, I decided it would be fun to learn how to code for front-end website development. In March, I started a coding bootcamp where I learned html, css, and GitHub with an introduction in java script and some other really difficult (to me) things. THIS is where all my spare time has gone! I haven’t touched the ukulele, taken a Spanish or ASL lesson since starting this course. I am letting my other goals slide since this has consumed all the mental energy I have. I am almost finished and have submitted my capstone project for scoring. In another few days, I should be completely wrapped up with it. I feel like there is an “old dog, new tricks” joke to be made here. 

5. Take the dog on a road trip – It has been years since we took the dogs on a road trip so before any more time passes, I’d like to pack the car, load up the remaining pup and hit the road. The last time we went to Bahia Kino and the dogs played in the waves for hours. Perhaps, this time the mountains beckon? I found a resort in the mountains of SoCal that purports to accept dogs, so maybe that will be the destination.
No score, since this wasn’t on my radar until July at the earliest, given the desert heat and the desire to escape it. Hopefully, this will occur sometime between Jul 1 and Oct 1, since the weather is most wretched here during that 4-month span.

6. Read a book each month. I love to read and haven’t been doing it enough the past 2 years. For 2017, I have a list of books queued up and enlisted a friend (who lives across the country) for a virtual book club. This will ensure I make the time to read. First up is The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I am 40 pages in and so far, so good.
Can I score myself a 0? Unless you count my book on coding, I have failed at this goal. I have two books that I’ve half-assed, reading just enough to stall out around page 80. Maybe I can get back on track with this goal once coding bootcamp is over?

7. Perform a quarterly day of service. There are a lot of worthwhile charities that can use help. Of course, donations are always good, but I think that getting personally involved is beneficial to the volunteer and the charity.
Ummm, move along, nothing to see here. I score low on the actual ‘doing’ but about a 7 on the ‘giving’, does that count? I’ve donated money to a few of my favorite charities each month this year and have a large donation ready to go to my local Goodwill this weekend. Let’s call this a 6.

8. Make 1000 paper cranes. I love origami and like the idea of sitting still long enough to make 1000 paper cranes. Almost meditative, I think. Now, I’ve done the math and where I stand right now I need to make 91 cranes each month, working out to about 3 or 4 each day. I’d better get busy, no?
In theory, this seemed like a nice exercise in patience and meditation. In reality, it is like a loose guillotine blade over my head, reminding me that I should be making 2.74 cranes each day. I can’t stand that pressure, so I am striking this from the list and get my meditation from my walks with my beloved pup. That’s fair, right?

9. Continue to travel both personally and professionally. That’s always a goal.
Huzzah! Another 10! I’ve had 3 domestic vocation-related trips so far this year and one international personal trip with a second coming up in July. Funny how my TRAVEL goals get accomplished, isn’t it? =D

10. Keep in touch with loved ones by sending a hand-written letter every other month to a relative or friend. I think the art of letter writing is being lost and, while I don’t imaging myself an Abigail Adams or even a Bronte, I think taking the time to put pen to paper shows a certain devotion to another.
A solid 9. I’ve sent at least one card to friends and family each month of 2017 so I feel rather comfortable with that. I am running out of people I like enough to write to, so if you’d like a card or letter from me, email me your mailing address to and I will drop you a line.

To recap, my score is 50 out of 100. Instead of getting upset with myself, I look at all the little things I accomplish on a daily basis and take satisfaction in those. Things like walking the dog four miles a day, every day that I am home, calling my mother at least once a week, and writing 88 blog posts already this year. Nothing to sneeze at, I say!

How about you? Did you set any 2017 goals? If so, how are you faring? Let me know in the comments and, as always, thank you for reading!