The December Deadline

December is usually the month where I make a last-ditch-attempt at completing all of the things I set out to achieve way back at the beginning of the year, you know, back when we wrote those New Year Resolutions.

Some things have admittedly gone by the wayside, such as a holiday that didn’t materialise, or becoming fluent in Klingon a particular language. But fear not, there is still time for some things.

Actually, looking over my year so far, this one has been quite a productive one; I feel like I’ve been working my socks off and thus my earnings from being self-employed have been amongst my best few years and already more than last year (not that my earnings are stellar in general, but I’m content with living a frugal life). This is not so much about me putting in extra effort into gaining more work, it’s more about how the dice fall.

The work, and the fact that I cycle to all of my jobs (and everywhere else that I need to be) has meant the number of miles I’ve cycled so far this year is heading me towards being on par with my best year of cycling; that year I cycled to and up and round Scotland and back. With a last-minute-Month push I’m expecting to top 6,000 miles again which feels like a nice achievement. The area I’ve struggled to improve, ever, is my average speed, and this year has been little different, although I did make more of an effort during the summer months when the weather seems to be kinder. Carrying stuff for work, and shopping, and doing more miles in general doesn’t help, but ho-hum; I guess I can’t have it both ways.

In addition to cycling, I’ve been running a lot, although because I struggle to go out for a regular jog round the block it doesn’t feel like I’ve been running all that much, but the miles are up and I’ve long since exceeded last year’s achievement; I accomplished that back in September. Now 300 miles is in my sights providing I run 31 more miles. The thing is, I need to do 35 miles in a month to top my best month of last year.

With all of the cycling and running, and trying to achieve a certain amount of each, I’ve been quite focussed on diet and fatigue. Being worn out after some busy days can leave me with little energy or enthusiasm for other things, and being run down can lead to depression. I’ve also noticed how the fatigue from one busy day might not hit me the next day as I would expect, but the day after that, leading me to wonder “why can’t I be bothered today!?” It has not been about eating more but focussing on nutrients in addition to ensuring I eat enough. I also learned about iron levels and how endurance riding can have an impact on them, leading to fatigue and so I’ve been taking an iron tablet with my meal following a long ride and feel like that really helps me to bounce back.

Another thing I keep a tally of, and this one is more of the relaxing kind, is the number of books I read each year. Last year I read 30 books but when I read too much I feel like I have less time to ponder what I’ve read and thus write less, such as here on my blog, so I don’t like to push myself to read too many books. That being said, I’ve read over 20 books this year and providing I can churn my way through the remaining 1,500 pages of Anna Karenina, finish another book that I started some months back, and find time for another book on my To Read pile, then 25 books should be in the bag.

There are a few other aspects of my life that I’m continually trying to better for myself, but those are a few key ones for now. What was on your list at the beginning of the year, and are you encouraged to make a final attempt before the year is up?

One comment

  1. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, though I guess I have some vague general goals I’m working towards. The trouble with having specific goals is that you can feel like a failure if you don’t achieve them and if you do, you can often feel obliged to move the goalposts the next year: there can be a lack of contentment. Your cycling and running both seem very impressive to me: although I have a daily yoga practice I’ve given up cycling (largely because I don’t enjoy it) and I’ve always hated running: I did, however, walk the canals in the summer and racked up 76 miles, which is not too bad. As for my other goals, making a success of writing, I’m inching towards those, having come on a great deal (in my own estimation) though still looking for the big break in terms of public recognition. So that’s all good. I think I feel a blog post coming on…

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