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OutofCharacter / Goals

December 15 2011 - BOB's Musings


I have always been a goal oriented person. This has meant setting up plans for the future, tracking progress on any of multiple topics or just comparing things against a yardstick of some sort.

As I write this at the end of 2011 I want to focus at first on my physical goals for the upcoming year.

Looking at how I respond to goals is important as I try to see what is realistic and reasonable to achieve for the new year. Over the past couple of years I have tracked on here my mileage for walking and biking.

I wanted to look at how I actually did versus my stated goals.

YearWalking GoalWalking Total% of GoalBiking GoalBiking Total% of GoalTotal GoalGrand Total% of Goal
2009      750991132%
2011 - reasonable15201729113%10001201120%25002929117%
2011 - high15201729113%12001201100%27002929108%
2012 - Realistic10001520121%10001501150%25003340134%
2012 - high15001700108%13001501115%30003340111%
2013 - Realistic15201997131%10001431143%25003428137%
2013 - high17001997117%13001431111%30003428114%

In 2009 I was just starting to figure out how I wanted to stay in shape and what sorts of goals made sense for my lifestyle and what I was capable of doing. I have not ever been in horrible shape. I started thinking about this back then because I was a little frustrated that I was out of breath walking a half mile to mile across a downtown. Once I started riding my bike (and talking about it Here and Here) I found that I liked how I felt the days I rode more than the days I did not.

When I switched my job in the libraries and went from teaching classes to being a supervisor in Circulation I had to find ways to stay more active. I started a tradition of off-loading materials and shelving materials by the handful rather than take a cart. I managed to add in several hundred extra steps to my days that way. I also started to do laps around the outside of the building during my breaks when ever I felt I needed a bit of fresh air or needed to clear my head from my duties around the building. That got a couple of other people at work to start to do the same thing also.

Adding in comments about 2012 and beyond

For 2012 I set a fairly high goal for myself and was able to beat it by a decent margin. I was nicely surprised to see that I was able to accomplish 40% or more aerobic steps for an entire year and I am using that as a standard from now on. I was happy with my biking totals overall but still see where I can improve things. In September with such a low total I felt let down that I would not make an insanely high goal of doubling my miles. Then in December when I saw that I was already at 150% for the year I did not feel impelled to ride at all. It is the first time after I started recording things that I had a zero in any category even after getting hit by a car in 2009.

It did make me want to push more in 2013 so I put in a very high goal of beating my driving total for the year by walking and riding more miles than driving. We shall see if this pushes me in the right direction.

Adding in comment about 2013

I looked at my ability to meet my goals and how it compared over the last 18 months. I decided that I should modify my goals that I have set in my pedometer's program. That will radically change my accomplishments in the historical sense. I have changed my Aerobic Steps daily goal from 2,000 steps per day to 4,000 steps per day because I have been able to meet that upper limit on a regular basis every month in 2012 and 2013. For my overall steps total I have changed it from 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. I have been able to achieve that goal for the previous 18 months as well.

I think that by changing my goals in that program to these higher marks that it will more closely match what I am actually doing. This will mean I will break my goals here far fewer times because it will be much harder to hit 150% of a goal. I am going to look over some ideas for what mark I should be considering to signify breaking a goal.

Adding comments at the end of 2013

I liked how I made progress on my goals in 2013. I want to push my self a little further without going too crazy.

So I have decide to set reasonably high goals for the year and change my daily goals up just a bit as well. I have also added in some additional goals to try to keep my self more focused on what else I am doing in life besides walking and riding.

So in 2014:

  • 13,000 steps a day on average
  • 4,000 aerobic steps a day on average
    • that will beat my 2014 Log goals by 110%
  • 4.2 miles per day riding the bike
    • that will meet my 2014 log goals for the year
  • 100 words written per day on average
    • that will be the equivalent of two additional stories added to the Small Kingdoms novellas

In 2013 I managed to achieve at least the 13,000 steps on average for 5 months and only got less than 90% of that goal one month. I am keeping the aerobic steps the same as I found I was able to meet that goal consistently but pushing it higher would mean taking away from other activities. So I set my self a goal on those other activities of writing to help keep me focused on time management.