Things to do in 2016
There is a danger that this post may come across as a little self-serving and possibly even smug. That is not my intention. I am always fascinated by this time of year and the tradition of News Year Resolutions, mainly because so many people fail at them. Because I take a somewhat different approach, which is very much driven by my personal nature, I tend to fair a little better than some at achieving the things I wish to. Perhaps by sharing my approach and philosophy, it may be potentially beneficial to others. Then again it may not. Humans are such a wonderfully bizarre mass of contradictions.
At the start of each year I like to set myself some achievable goals to work towards. I do not waste my time on unrealistic and unachievable resolutions because they serve no purpose. I prefer setting specific targets that can be reached through planning, application and diligence. Overall this process usually works and I successfully managed to meet the goals I set myself for 2015. I have continued to blog on a daily basis more or less and am pleased with the way that the new podcast is developing. My business ventures have also progressed positively and I find myself in a better position financially twelve month on. Therefore it is time to consider what projects and undertakings I shall pursue this year.
Overall it simply comes down to more of the same. I want to continue to write for Contains Moderate Peril as often as I may. I also want to continue to podcast and would like to have more guests as well as broaden the range of subject covered. The main difference this year is that I want to reach a wider audience. I want the presentation and technical aspects of both to be more professional and I want to interact with more people. I would also like to see the The Gaming and Entertainment Network expand and include a greater variety of shows. That however is a group decision and not something I am solely responsible for.
On a personal note I am also looking to move this year. I tweeted in jest last night that I’d like to retire. However the more I think about this, the more I realise that I actually mean it. I’ve worked for thirty years and frankly the novelty has worn off. For me and a good many other people, work is driven by a financial imperative. If an alternative way could be found to finance my lifestyle, then I’d cease working immediately. I have a multitude of hobbies and interests and I am not afraid of my own company. Retirement is something I would happily embrace. Achieving it is another matter though. I think that a staged withdrawal from working is more realistic goal. Time will tell.
To achieve any sort of goal, it needs to be thoroughly scrutinised to determine if it is possible. For example it is highly unlikely that I shall perform a set at Glastonbury with Wilko Johnson, as I do not know the gentlemen and have no musical ability whatsoever. However it is not beyond the realms of possibility to have a guest such a John Smedley on the Burton & Scrooge Podcast. It would certainly take some work but it is a far more plausible aspiration. I think if people take time to temper their resolutions with a healthy dose of realism then they will stand a greater chance of being successful.
Once you’ve set your goal then you have to set about achieving it. This will require dedication, motivation, a degree of self-sacrifice. Dedication requires you to be focused and continually work towards your goal. It is not easy and there will be days when you will think about taking a short break or deferring what you need to do. This is where motivation comes into play. With regard to my continued blogging and podcasting aspirations, I frequently find that my motivation is lacking at times. I have plenty of ideas but have to really work hard at just sitting down and writing them down at times; hence the need to embrace self-sacrifice. If you want to get the job done and achieve your goal then you will need on occasion to give up something enjoyable to accommodate the work you need to do.
As I mentioned earlier, people are not homogenous and what suits one will not suit another. Therefore my somewhat glib advice may be obvious to some and akin to walking over hot coals for others. I appreciate this and am not trying to make it all sound incredibly easy. It is not. We all wrestle with my own demons in our own particular way. However there are things we can do to help us on our way. Creating a list or basic strategy can help. Setting daily tasks and then assigning a reward is also good psychology. Avoiding distractions or the company of those who would lead you from the path is prudent. Maintaining a healthy belief in your own abilities can help. Marcus Aurelius can provide many a motivational quote and they are still relevant today.
So I’m going to continue sharing my thoughts online in 2016. They seem to be relatively well received by a few readers and listeners. I also find the process invaluable to myself. Thinking out loud helps me marshal my thoughts. Plus I see creating content per se to be a vicarious form of self-improvement. I think a fundamental part of being human is try to better yourself in some way. As for those who still remain unconvinced or who are wavering with regard to their New Year Resolutions, that feeling you get when you finally reach your goal is unique. It makes it all worthwhile. So good luck to you all and may you be fruitful in your endeavours. I still have my eye on global domination and a volcano lair. I already have a swivel chair.