Yesterday was my birthday; I turned 33. Do I feel old? No, I do not. I feel reborn. I feel like a new person. I feel like this is a new beginning for me. I feel empowered.
This year is going to be different. I've spent most of my life with my eyes closed, going where ever the current takes me, but from this year it's going to be different. I have goals for this year, real achievable goals, and I'm going to meet them!
It didn't take long for me to decide what I wanted to achieve this year. My priorities have been very clear for a few months but I still see value in publishing what they are and putting some timescales on them.
Priority number one is my health. If you've read my previous posts you'll know that I've recently made some big advances in this area, but I still have a long way to go. First of all there's my weight.
About four months ago I weighed over 21 stone (294 pounds, 133 kilos), and I now weigh 16 stone 10 pounds (234 pounds, 106 kilos). This is incredible to me. I've always considered the task of losing weight as a massive hurdle that I would certainly fail at, so I always did. I've tried diets, exercise and the occasional fad but I'd never looked at the root cause... my lifestyle. I've changed my lifestyle and the weight has changed accordingly.
Along with the weight I've lost a few inches. When I started I was wearing 44" jeans, and I'm now wearing 40" and they're getting a bit baggy. I have a belt that starts at 38" and I can just about do it up. It's really tight but I'm getting there ;).
So my target for the first quarter of 2010 is as follows...
I weigh 16 stone and have a 38" waist
At the end of March I will evaluate my progress and set a new target for Q2.
Other than weight and size my health is generally good. My diabetes is under control, to the point where I'm not sure I'd even be classified as diabetic. I no longer appear to suffer from the effects of an under-active thyroid. I haven't had the blood test that will tell me for certain yet but it's booked in for April.
The only outstanding "problem" is my blood pressure. While it no longer indicates hypertension it is still at the upper end of pre-hypertension so it's far from where it should be. My nosebleeds have almost completely stopped but I occasionally see related symptoms. I'm still confident that this will get better as I lose the weight so I'll continue to monitor it periodically.
My diet is a lot better now than it has ever been but I still find myself slipping. I have a very strained relationship with food and this is something I need to resolve within myself before I can maintain healthy habits without self-control. I need them to become automatic and I haven't really done anything to achieve that, so that's another goal for 2010.
My default is healthy eating
Ultimately I want to be healthier because I've learnt that what I eat has a profound effect on my ability to function, both physically and mentally. When I eat bad things now I feel physically ill and I have difficult concentrating. Certain foods give me a headache and even considering eating some things makes me want to throw up. I have a fucked up relationship with food and it's not helping!
My second priority is work, and when I say work I mean my sources of income rather than the typical definition which usually involves doing something between certain hours day after day after day. So my main goal here is pretty simple...
My sources of income go beyond selling my time for money
What does this mean? Essentially it means putting effort into building products and systems that will continue to earn money without excessive continuous attention.
In practical terms I still have little idea what I want to be doing. I'm certain photography will play a significant role in my future, as will some form of teaching or training people, but I need to experiment a bit to find out what I actually want to do. For the first time in my life not knowing where I'm going or what I'm doing is exciting me. I have a sense of adventure I've never really felt before.
My plan as previously posted remains the same. I will reduce the hours I do at my day job down to three days a week, and I will use the time that makes available to try new things.
- I want to develop my photography skills, especially in the areas of portraiture and stock images.
- I want to travel a lot more, which is something I can easily combine with photography.
- I want to get involved with companies doing exciting things at the forefront of technology to share my knowledge and experience and help them grow.
Ultimately I want to do more of what I love and less of what I hate. I have a bunch of ideas for products and services that I want to develop, and I want to do a lot more that's creative.
I know where my talents lie but I don't know where my passion burns. It's in here somewhere burning away, and this year I will find it and set it free.
I have other goals for this year and I may blog about them as I go but these are the main areas I will be working on.
There are many acorns on my path and I will taste each and every one, and I will savour the experience every time.
I wish you all a happy and fulfilling 2010.