My 5 regular readers will know that 2022 was the year of my 50th birthday, and that I had my “50 Year Plan”. Which, looking back at it, I think was pretty damn successful!
Using my social media posts as a reminder, a 2022 Recap:
- I took my military fit test in January and did well enough I got an award.
- I played in the Commandants Cup (Military) Hockey Tournament in Feb, and my team won! (Bonus: I got a mild concussion.)
- I completed 2 Conqueror Fitness Challenges: a 42km (aka “Marathon”) running challenge, and a 1330km (aka “The Ring Road”) cycling challenge.
- Did a Novice Bicycle repair course (in April), AND enjoyed it enough I did a Professional Bicycle Repair Course in Nov/Dec. I am now a Park Tool Certified bicycle mechanic.
- Did a Spartan 5km Race in May. Placed 9th in my age group, and 152 of 645 overall. (Literally within seconds of being top 5 in my age group.)
- Did the Great Cycle Challenge and rode 500km in the month of August to raise money for Children’s Cancer, beating my goal of $500 by raising over $600.
- Signed up to do CrossFit and was really enjoying it before an injury AND an illness suggested I should perhaps, set it aside……temporarily…..probably.
And that is just the stuff that I recorded on social media. (With the exception of the Spartan Race, which I somehow did NOT post about.) I’m sure there is more, and I just can’t recall.
I wish I could say that I haven’t blogged/written because I’ve been too busy, and that I didn’t have time to “talk the talk”, because I’ve been busy “walking the walk”, but I haven’t. Don’t get me wrong, I had a pretty busy year, but it hasn’t been that busy.
One of the biggest goals I had for myself during my 50th year I did not check off: starting my novel.
And that’s ok! My year was still hugely successful, and deeply fulfilling! I set myself goals and challenges, and I hit just about all of them. Would it have been better if I had hit those last one or two? Sure! Did my year suck because I didn’t hit all? Definitely NOT!!
As a society it seems that the vast majority of us have a tendency to adopt an “all or nothing policy” to our goals, and our lives. We set overly ambitious and unrealistic goals for ourselves in order to completely reinvent ourselves, or worse: impress others, and I was determined to avoid both.
I spent a lot of time working on my 50yr Plan. Selecting and vetting my goals, choosing things that would push me, but not be so intimidating I wouldn’t do them, and that (most importantly) wouldn’t require a huge change in my habits or character. My 50yr Plan had some pretty ambitious goals, but knowing how I think, I set myself up so the primary requirement in almost every goal I set was to take the plunge and just sign up! Once I was committed, I couldn’t back out and had to follow through.
Looking back on it, for the most part, my year was great. It wasn’t 100% great, I struggled at times, but the vast majority of the struggles I encountered I chose; and that is the secret:
A good and happy life isn’t a life without challenges, its a life with meaningful challenges. Challenges we have chosen for ourselves, but special care needs to be put into selecting our challenges. It’s all fine and dandy to have huge aspirations, but small ones are just as valid, are much more easily attainable, and can have a far greater impact than you realize.
I follow James Clear on social media and he tells this great story about the British Cycling Team, getting 1% better at many small things, and the huge impact it had on their results, and I tried a similar approach with my 50yr Plan: pick a bunch of things to do over the year, that only required a small change on my part, and see how I felt at the end. It may seem a bit risky considering the importance I put on my 50th year, but the results more than justified the risk.
I’m trying a similar approach to 2023, with a bit of a theme: “Side hustles”.
The “Word for 2023” is “Commit”. Its similar to 2022s word “Start”, but the idea this year is to tackle 2 of my big fears that have potential to earn: my book, and my business. (aka: ”Side Hustles”.)
My book is a carryover goal from last year, which turned out to be the most intimidating thing on my list. (Why it is intimidating is a whole blog post in itself.) While I didn’t get any writing done, I had some great ideas. 2023 is the year I really “commit” and start writing.
As for my business, I’ve had the bucket list item of bicycle repair for decades; now that I have taken a course and have the basic skills, it’s time to “commit” and get my hands dirty. (Figuratively and literally.) My goal for 2023 is to just lay the foundation for a mobile bicycle repair business: buy the tools, get some experience, and set up the web and social media pages. Eventually I want to have a functioning business, but I’m not expecting to have that for at least a few years.
I haven’t set any specific goals relating to either yet, and I probably should, but I want to take my time, and set goals that are ambitious, without getting overly enthusiastic and setting myself up for failure.
With any luck in 2023 I’ll be spending more time writing, or at least blogging; or maybe I’ll be working on a bike!
Time to “Commit”!