Ambitions for 2016

Around this time each year I usually write a self indulgent review of the year but I already shared a few numbers so I thought I’d skip ahead straight to my ambitions for 2016.

I don’t do resolutions as such I prefer to just set out some broad goals for the year to come — I did not do well this year at all I am sad to say. Work was pretty all consuming in the end and I let pretty much everything else slide.

This year I’ll start with some things I am not going to do in 2016:

  • Product manage anything high pressure/profile for an entire year. I’m proud of what we have done this year and I have learned loads but I am pretty destroyed physically and mentally — my anxiety and stress levels just aren’t healthy. I need to see through the website project but then who knows — not saying I’m leaving ONS but a change of focus is needed.
  • Public speaking. I really enjoy writing the talks and giving them but every minute up to the point I start talking makes me physically ill. Which of course doesn’t help with the above.

As for what I want to do this year:

  • Write more. I did a lot of blogging this year — over 100 posts for the first time I think. I don’t really get many readers and next to no comments or feedback but nonetheless I really do love it. All I really ever wanted to be growing up and all through university was a writer and that hasn’t changed I guess. I’ll never be good enough to do it professionally and my interests will always be either too niche (digital gov/civic tech) or too broad (comics & genre TV) to ever get much of an audience but I get too much out of it personally to stop. My ambition is really to write a book but I fear I lack the discipline to achieve that but we will see — I’ll keep that on the back burner and just see what emerges if I try to write 300 or so words every day.
  • Travel more. I’m off to New Zealand in late February for the best part of a month and planning that has really reignited my travel bug. I didn’t do much this year — a trip to SXSW that was a bit of a bust and an enjoyable couple of days in Paris but thats all. In 2016 I want to go on at least one other ambitious trip later in the year and at least one trip in Europe during the summer (Berlin probably).
  • Walk more. I need to get back to walking at least 10,000 steps a day and as part of that make time to at least get out of the office for 20 minutes a day to clear my head and to break out of my weekend hermit mode I have slipped in to. I’m never going to be one of those guys who suddenly takes up running or cycling but I am self-aware enough that I need to do something! I’m pretty sure I own an old Fitbit somewhere — might dust it off.
  • Socialise more. Related to the above comment about becoming a weekend hermit I really have become quite anti-social over the last 12 months. I’ve become very adept at finding reasons not to attend social occasions. Given I live alone and have always been happy with my own company it has become pretty easy to slip into a comfortable introverted lifestyle while remaining quite extroverted and open online. Need to balance that more.

Lets see how I do with these then.