2010 has come to a close, and I’ve begun reflecting on the past year. What I have accomplished, what I’ve put off for another year, what I have failed at, and anything else where it feels I have fallen short.
These are not resolutions, per se, but rather a list of short to medium term attainable goals. Somehow enumerating them here creates a sense of accountability.
-Independence
-Self-Improvement
-Settle into my Home
-Stay Connected

—INDEPENDENCE—
1)  Limit amount of energy focused on work.
Sure, I have an important and demanding job that I enjoy more than any in the past. This does not justify putting work responsibilities above all else.  A salaried worker shouldn’t feel obligated to put in more time than required unless there are urgent needs. Goals:  Leave the office every day before 6, barring emergencies.  Avoid checking email incessantly when not on call.

2)  Limit amount of energy focused on relationships. Companionship is comforting, and having a partner in crime is great for motivation and avoiding boredom. Settling in to a relationship also leads to sacrifice, withdrawal from social circles and neglecting activities that are truly satisfying. Lacking enough common interests can lead to the lack of motivation and bordom I was trying to avoid. Sharing love with another person is an awesome thing, but should never come in the way of my personal freedom. I should not allow a boyfriend (or me knowing I have a boyfriend) to prevent me from doing what I want and spending time with who I want, provided there is no breach of fidelity.

—SELF-IMPROVEMENT—
3)  Develop new work skills.
This job may not last forever, and while I’ve learned a lot over the last 20 months, my overall skills have stagnated. Continue enhancing my skills to increase my value to both my current and future employers. Certifications in Microsoft and Cisco technologies should be a good starting point.

4)  Stabilize finances and reduce debt.
My credit rating jumped to 722 following months of responsible spending habits and paying down debt at an aggressive pace. I need to keep this up to pay down my remaining debt while limiting spending on credit. In the coming year I should be prepared to start saving money and carrying little to no debt. The eventual goal here: mortgage.

5) Get back in shape.
I have not been riding my bike as often as I should. Given ALC10 is only 6 months away, I need to get back in the habit of riding around. In addition to ALC10, this year I will participate in the following events:
4/2 Warrior Dash
5/28 Tough Mudder
6/5-6/11 AIDS LifeCycle10
9/25 Kaiser Los Angeles Triathlon (Sprint)
Goals: Spin Class or long-distance ride (>30 miles) one per week, bike to work (no bus) at least 3 days a week, join Cross Fit (and maybe ditch Gold’s Gym). Looking back at photos from my days in Chicago/San Francisco, I know I was in far better shape than I am now. 2011 will be the year I finally reach 160!

6) Focus on better eating.
No more junk food. More trips to the Farmers’ Market. More fresh ingredients, strive for as close to the “Cave Man” diet as possible.

—SETTLE INTO MY HOME—
7) Complete and organize the existing loft.
I’ve lived in this apartment for 18 months now, but much still needs to be done. Furniture still lacking: kitchen table, TV stand, coffee table or side table for living room. Organize all of the stereo equipment, with proper cabling to provide full 5.1 sound. Organize all networking technology efficiently. Hang some more art/photos on the walls.

8) Make efforts towards finding a permanent home.
Every time I pass the El Dorado, I kick myself for not being financially prepared to make a purchase. Once the goal of stabilizing finances and reducing debt (above) has been met, I should begin taking steps towards purchasing a home. I need to determine if this (semi)permanent home will be in Downtown LA or in Silver Lake. Do I want to do this solo, or collaborate with another person to increase my buying power?

—STAY CONNECTED—
9) Travel More often.
I need to take advantage of the flight benefits I have while I have them. I am incredibly lucky and should take every opportunity that arises to visit family, friends, and other places I’ve wanted to visit. Make weekend trips to NYC or SF more frequently. Go back to El Paso to finally see White Sands. Long weekend trip to London. Goal: at least one weekend trip per month.

10) Reconnect with friends.
I’ve lost touch with friends both local and non-local. How is it that I never see a friend that lives a block away? Friends that were close and important to me have become distant acquaintances. This year I will spend more time with friends and vow to break the trend of silence and no more making excuses to get out of social activities.

11) Enjoy LA!
I live in Los Angeles, a thriving city full of energy. I spend far too much time sitting around home, when I could be experiencing all that my city has to offer. I will try new restaurants, explore new neighborhoods, expand my radius beyond the block I live on. There are so many things to experiencing and I have been missing out.

12)  Pursue new/old hobbies.
Photography. Camping. Hiking. Deserting. Geocaching. All of these activities I enjoy have been neglected. I live in Southern California, surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery…and yet I haven’t been hiking in over a year. I haven’t camped (other than at OOS) since the Sequoias in 2009. This year I will update my camera gear and take more photos. I will plan more camping trips, and find ways to get out to the desert or mountains to go hiking…even if it means going alone.

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