2014 Goals Update

A few days after the the new year started, I posted about my goals for 2014. I thought that it’d be worth giving an update after a couple of months, as a mechanism to keep myself honest.

Dressing Slightly Better

I think I’ve been achieving this, given that it’s a pretty low bar to hurdle. When I’m out running errands or just hanging around locally, I still tend to dress for comfort (hoodies, tees, jeans). At work, I’ve at least mostly started wearing nicer shirts most days.

It’ll be interesting come spring and summer, when the temperatures give me the desire to wear shorts and tees.

But, for now, I’m doing ok on this one.

Getting Back Into Shape

I’ve been walking more (thanks slightly warmer weather and Celtics home games!), which is definitely helping. More than that, aside from a couple of weeks when the flu was kicking my butt, I’ve been hitting the treadmill a couple of times a week (or more). I’m trying to work myself back into averaging 7 minute miles for a 5k. Right now, I’m not there. I think I can get there over the course of the next couple of months.

When I do this update again, we’ll see where I’m at.

Managing My Time Better

This is where I think I’ve probably done the best. I’ve really been pushing hard to keep my inbox as clear as possible (2 emails right now), get data into OmniFocus and into Evernote so that it’s not cluttering my inbox, and to not spend time aimlessly answering and reading email. I’ve put together something like 20 rules to get useless email out of my inbox, and I add more each week. I’ve been trying to not spend too much time on the computer in the morning, instead using that time to go to the gym, then to start my day fresh, cleaning out my inbox and laying out what’s important for the day.

Next, for me, is to probably try to start doing the paperless thing. I’m thinking very, very hard about getting a ScanSnap, even at the crazy price. The ability to get all of the crazy paper that piles up on my desk (and in drawers, boxes, and closets) into digital format is really, really appealing. And, it should help me continue to steal back a bit time each day.

2014 Goals

I’m not a big “New Year’s resolutions” guy, but I do think it’s worth setting a few goals for the year. Mine are pretty simple:

  1. Dressing slightly better
  2. Get back into shape
  3. Manage my time better

Dressing Slightly Better

This one should be easy. I’m a big fan of dressing comfortably and in a way that doesn’t betray who you are. That makes it hard(er) for me to dress nicely, because that means jeans and a hoodie or t-shirt for me (with beat up sneakers). But, I’ve been working on trying to dress somewhat nicer; comfortable button down shirts, sweaters, and maybe nicer jeans. It’s easier in the winter, where layers are more than styles, they’re necessary to survive teh cold. Come summer, I’m going to need to find a balance.

The other reason this is a goal for me is that I hate spending money on clothing. It feels wasteful. So, I often go years with the same shirts, jeans, and definitely the same shoes. The goal here is to dress slightly nicer while a) not spending a ton of money, and b) not being wasteful. The second part is going to mean lots of donations to goodwill or charity; I’ve been (trying) to live by the “one-in, one-out” rule [1].

Get Back Into Shape

Another easy objective. Well, not the actual getting in shape part, but the “what do I do” part. Run more, which means cutting back on my work hours a bit (win-win, right?). Eat better, which means eating less free stuff at work (just need some will power). And, finally, walk more. I do this a lot during Celtics season, (I walk a couple of miles back and forth to the T), but less otherwise. I’d like to add some walking to my daily activities. When I worked in Kendall Square, that was pretty simple: just go to work. But working in Burlington means a car ride to a place where there’s not really anything in walking distance. Adding more walking will be a bit of a challenge, but it’ll just mean looking for chances to walk rather than drive.

Manage My Time Better

I’m pretty good at this one today. I live in Omnifocus, but I still find myself spending too much time at the office, which leaves less time for getting in shape and less time for making healthy meals. My day often goes like this:

  • Wake up
  • Triage and respond to email
  • Shower
  • Drive to work
  • Work, meetings, work, meetings, work, meetings
  • Try to clear out as much of my inbox as possible
  • Go home
  • Eat dinner
  • Watch some TV to relax
  • Go to bed

Those two parts of the day where I manage my inbox end up sucking up a lot of time. At least one of them is where I could be working out (and the other probably making a healthier dinner). I need to find how to gain back some of that time. Omnifocus will help—I need to get better at pushing emails off to handle in the future—but it won’t solve everything. Part of this just has to be the decision to do less stuff that doesn’t help me get healthier. I’d like to take advantage of better email filtering (automate processing some emails so I don’t have to manage them). I think that little change might help me gain back some time with just a little bit of effort.

  1. “One-in, one-out” means getting rid of an article clothing for every one you get. For me, that generally means a goodwill donation.