2015 Review and 2016 Goals

by Andy Hough on December 31, 2015

With the new year around the corner it is time to look back on 2015. Reflecting on this past year I don’t feel like I accomplished much. I am happy that I was able to travel to a couple of new places Niagara Falls/Canada and the Portland area of Oregon/Washington. Other than that I don’t feel like I did much this year.

I did terrible on my goals for 2015. My three goals for 2015 were to run a 5k in 23:59 or faster, finish hiking the Appalachian Trail, and to keep my average monthly expenses under $1000 for the year. I also later added a secondary goal of being able to do a chin-up.

Keeping my monthly average expenses under $1000 if the only goal I achieved. When I set the goal I stated that I wouldn’t count the cost of getting dental implants or the cost of getting a car. Taking out those expenses and the unexpected biopsy medical expense I did keep my spending under $1000 a month in 2015. I usually do well with financial goals and this wasn’t much of a stretch from my normal spending so it isn’t too much of a surprise that I was able to accomplish this goal.

I didn’t even come close to meeting the goals of running a 5k in 23:59 or faster or finishing the AT. Getting hit by a car did derail my plans for hiking the AT, but I still could have finished the hike starting later in the year. Finishing the AT is no longer a priority goal though.

The 5K goal was my biggest failure. I never got into a running routine and I most likely couldn’t even finish a 5k in my current physical condition. I gained about ten pounds this year and am in worse condition then I was at the start of the year.

My track record for achieving goals that I post on this blog is pretty poor. This TED Talk from Derek Sivers states that you should keep your goals to yourself. This is because when you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a “social reality.” The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary. I’m not completely sure that is true, but I do know that sharing my goals publicly hasn’t helped me accomplish them. Therefore, I’m not going to share my 2016 goals on the blog. The exception will be my goals of running a 5k under 23:59 and doing a chin-up since I’ve previously posted that I was carrying these goals over to 2016. Once I’m making progress on my 2016 goals I will share what I have done to make that progress.

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and a great 2016.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maggie January 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

Happy New Year, Andy! Refraining from sharing your goals is excellent. Even better would be to refrain from setting goals altogether! Instead, frame some objectives in the form of ongoing behavioral changes that fit realistically into your life style. For example, in the area of physical fitness, one that’s worked well for me over the years is to walk at least 150 minutes weekly, which I do by walking 30 minutes five days a week. Setting goals sets you up for failure. Instead, devise a “system” that sets you up for success.

2 Andy Hough January 1, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Maggie – Implementing systems is a good idea. I do plan to do something like that to help me succeed this year.

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