[The obligatory] Happy New Year (2022)

I began 2021 by reading a piece from my Claude Williamson book Great True Stories of the Islands (1961), and this year (2022) I begin in a similar fashion by reading about (the islet of) Rockall. I enjoyed reading (as part of my ‘Brian reads…’ series, various other things throughout 2021, including stories from Volume 9 of Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia (I will begin Volume 10 soon), including abridged versions of Shakespeare’s Comedies (still a work in progress), The Unabomber Manifesto (uploaded in 8 parts), and prior to today’s offering, A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens. For 2022 I want to finish the Claude Williamson’s book as I’m only halfway through it and I feel that as a project it’s dragging on somewhat.

Looking back over a year in this fashion it surprises me how much I actually ‘get done’ when it might seem (to me) that I’m not achieving a great deal (it’s easy to get oneself down with this way of thinking – or perhaps it’s a case of thinking this way because one is already down…). I (therefore prefer to) reassure myself with the fruits of my labours, and recognise that by chipping away each day/week/month at the various things I want to achieve and/or enjoy doing that by the end of the year I have ‘something to show for it’, even if that’s just a list of intangible stuff. In the midst of my efforts progress can seem to be non-existent, and dwelling on this perception threatens to actually grind things to a halt.

I can say the same about my efforts and progress elsewhere; I had my best year walking/running-wise, with numerous walks out in the countryside of Wales – it being my best year to date for miles covered on foot. Cycling efforts have been on-par with other years, although I’d had some somewhat slack months throughout the year and thus when it came to December I was too far behind to achieve a nice round sum (but I can remember with fondness a year that I rolled up in the darkness of New Years Eve having completed 6,000 miles).

I learned and repeated a few lessons throughout this year:

  • Start as you mean to go on
  • Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
  • And, something about that whole “chipping away” each day thing.

I don’t mean to sound like my 2021 was all a raving success with a vast list of achievements; far from it. Indeed some things did stall or see next-to-no progress, and perhaps even some experienced a step or two backwards. But I hope in this brief “look at what I did achieve” and how I got there, I (and perhaps a reader or two) will be spurred on. I believe 2022 will be a great year, if, as in the words of Jean-Luc Picard, you “Make it so.”

3 comments

  1. What I like about you is you make the most out of life and have easily adjusted to the conditions set by the pandemic. Camping in the back garden being an example of treating yourself to a holiday without the need of a passport or travel expenses. Luckily we already live in a holiday destination where we are spoilt for views and a stone throw away from the beach.

    I’ve let myself go a little on the exercise front. Partly due to motivation to do a proper workout. However, I have been active in the garden, walking the dogs and going out on the bike now and then.

    I hope I get more motivated in 2022. Perhaps we could go for a ride together? Having a riding companion will be great. Get me moving more than I do. Build up my confidence and help get rid of my muffin top.

    • I’ve come to treat motivation as if it’s an illusion. To help thwart the illusion I’ve been building on my daily routines. When there is something I want to do but “I don’t feel motivated” I consider how I will feel once I’ve achieved that thing, or stuck to my schedule/routine – quite often (but admittedly not always) this creates the motivation sought.
      Daily routines can start small; make them easily achievable at first, like “a simple ride round the block” – just getting on the bike once or twice a week will build confidence (and get your body and mind used to it); I used to feel like this about running.

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