Well, I’m 37.
It’s crazy to me because how in the hell am I 37? I vividly remember my old man’s 40th birthday party – lots of friends and acquaintances whooping it up into the wee hours, keeping my then 11- or 12-year-old ass up way too late. I’m now three years away from that party myself and the fact that a quarter of a century has passed since then is a little freaky to me.
Since it’s the start of another new year for me, I wanted to set out some goals and aspirations for myself for the next 365 days.
This isn’t something that I’ve ever done in the past, just because I’ve never wanted to put myself in a position where I’ve made my targets known and might end up failing to reach those goals, thereby creating a situation where my shortcomings and failures are available for public consumption.
But I’ve come to a realization over the last few months that helped me shed that fear or hesitation and it’s that I don’t care if random people I don’t know or even acquaintances that are (sorry folks) outside of the small circle of people whose opinions I genuinely value think about me setting a bunch of goals for myself and coming up short.
Besides, I’d rather set a bunch of goals and fail to complete a few of them than not set any goals at all.
These are going to be all over the map – career, personal life, health, etc. – and my hope is to accomplish as many of them as possible, but I also want to make sure to keep them realistic.
Would I like to get hired by TSN and land a regular spot on SportsCentre talking about UFC fights? Of course I would, but the likelihood of that happening is slim, so setting that as a goal for the next year is setting myself up to fail. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep knocking on that door and trying to make it happen, it just means I would much rather focus my energy towards attainable goals instead.
So here goes: these are my 37-year-old goals.
Lose 20 pounds and keep it off: I’m 230 pounds right now and while I’d love to say, “I want to hit 185!” that’d be some dumb shit because I like cheeseburgers and chicken wings too much. However, getting down to and/or maintaining at 210 would be huge for me because I honestly can’t tell you the last time I was within spitting distance of competing at light heavyweight… not that I’m going to be competing in anything.
How do I plan on achieving that, you ask?
Make more healthy choices: We bought a Vitamix not that long ago and making juices and smoothies is not only fun, but waaaaaay better for me than cheeseburgers and chicken wings. Plus, I make a bomb quinoa salad (grape tomatoes, olives, cucumber, lemon juice) and genuine love being in the kitchen, so I have to stop being a lazy bastard and keep making killer meals for me and the lady 29 days out of 30.
Run another 5k: So we did a 5k last year where we ran for 5 minutes, walked for 2 and it felt good, but I know I’m capable of more. I started running again last week with 5k being one of my targets. I want to get to a point where I can run that distance straight through, in a respectable time. April is six months away and I’d like to cross this one off by then at the latest, because…
Complete a 10k: Notice I didn’t say, “Run a 10k” because honestly, just getting through something like that would be an accomplishment and I don’t care if I use a run five-walk two approach to get it done… it’s getting it done that matters. Even if I just do it myself on a track; knocking out a 10k at age 37 would be awesome.
Hike/Explore More: Schedules complicate things, but at least twice a month I’d like to get out and discover more of my new surroundings. There are a ton of places around here with great scenery and trails and fresh air and whatnot and I need to go see them.
Get a Book Deal: As you may or may not know, I’m working on an autobiography with a fighter friend of mine and we’re getting close to the “pitch it to publishers” stage, so this one should be pretty safe. But still. It’s a book deal. I’m a writer. That’s kind of one of the dreams.
Find Greater Security: It’s not that I think one or more of my freelance gigs is going to fall apart or suddenly get pulled, but you know what’s even better than a collection of solid contracts? A gig where the cheques come every two weeks without fail and I’m not sitting around thinking”Is this leading anywhere or am I going to keep doing the same thing for the same money for the next five years?” every couple of months.
Write More Blogs: I miss this. I miss just rambling about whatever is running through my head like in the old I Blog Because I Can days. I don’t want to set any “blog three times a week” benchmarks because blogging while I’m on the road covering an event or buried under assignments isn’t always possible, but if I can knock out a couple every month, I’ll be happy and hopefully you’ll be entertained.
Connect More with Friends and Family: I’ll admit it – I suck at staying in touch; ask the people I went to high school and university with… they’ll tell you and then they’ll ask what I’ve been up to because I haven’t been in touch with them lately. I want to change that, so that means more Facebook messages, more phone calls, more out of the blue text messages. Consider yourself warned.
Read at Least 10 Books: I love reading and I need to spend more time turning pages and less time looking at my phone. As much as I like flipping through Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and whatever else, I want to get back to reading good books on a regular basis because there are a ton of great books out there and I want to read them.
Play Competitive Basketball Again: By competitive, I mean a rec league with other thirtysomethings that feel achy and broken down for two days after an hour or two of ball, but goddamn I need to lace up some high tops and hoop again.
Take a Three-Day Vacation Where I Don’t Pay Any Attention to Work: My wife has put up with myriad getaways where work calls (literally and figuratively) and between today and October 29, 2016, I’m going somewhere with her (and the dog) where I won’t do anything work related. If you need me for work purposes during that time, too bad… I’m on vacation.
Eat Nat’s Pizza: I’ve been making regular trips to Vancouver for six years now and not once has my Vancouver-born-and-raised wife taken me to Ryan Reynold’s favourite pizza joint. That ends this year.
Quit Drinking: This is my big one and the one that I’ve told a couple people already. They always say, “Why?” or “How come?” or something that makes me sound like I’m crazy for wanting to kick booze. I don’t enjoy drinking nearly as much as I did earlier in life, two beers makes me bloated and why the hell do I have to drink anyway? I’m fun without booze and it should help me hit that 210 pound goal a little easier too.
Since I’m going to blog more in the coming 365 days, I’ll keep you updated on how all this is going.