Monday, April 20, 2009

Progress Report: A Solid C Average

This morning I passed the 5,000th hour of my retirement.

That seems like ample time to have accomplished or at least started work on most of the goals I set in the lead-up to leaving work. However, as some of you may have tweaked, I am very good at setting goals and a lot less effective in actually doing anything about them. It's the thought that counts, is how I look at it.

Way back in the early days of this blog I posted lists of the things I intended to do, and this seems as good a time as any to assess how well I am doing on the path from working to - well, we all know where this path ends up, don't we?

So this week's blogs will grade the progress I've made on my goals. I will do my best to be impartial and honest, but since it is me judging how well I have done on my projects we all know how impartial it really is.

On August 11, I set the first five goals for my retirement. Here's what I wrote then and the grade I am giving myself today:

1. I will walk 60 minutes a day.

The Positive -- This will help me lose weight, make my muscles and joints work better, and improve my heart.
The Negative -- I've never done it in my life, and nothing has been stopping me. What makes me think I will really do it now?
Plan B --- If it is all too hard, I will at least walk 60 steps a day and mumble when I tell people about it.

GRADE: A. I don't necessarily walk every day, but back in August I had not anticipated the WiiFit. I do exercise at least 60 minutes a day. My Wii even congratulated me for not missing a day of training for 8 straight weeks. In addition, I have conclusively proved that it is the wine and food that is keeping me fat, not my sedentary life.

2. I will earn at least $60 a day.

The Positive -- Isn't it obvious?
The Negative -- It's hard to do it every day playing online poker.
Plan B --- Would you like fries with that?

GRADE: C- I am slightly ahead in my poker winnings right now, but I still get twitchy whenever we drive by a MacDonalds. I am probably averaging $20 a week instead of 60, and the evil specter of a run of bad luck looms all the time.

3. I will diet until I lose 60 pounds.

The Positive -- The clothes at the bottom of the storage bin will fit me again.
The Negative -- I may not like the way my feet look.
Plan B -- Belly bands and liposuction.

GRADE: F It's not fair with all the exercise I am now doing that I still pack on the pounds. It must be genetic. I'm just big-boned. I have a hyperactive thyroid. I retain fluids. There was a thin man inside me crying to get out, but I killed him.

4. I will write to 60 people who have written to me and never received a reply.

The Positive -- Some of them may forgive my rudeness in not answering.
The Negative -- Most will wonder who I am.
Plan B -- I will only write to the four people I actually know, and not bother with the 56 trying to sell Viagra, insurance and Russian brides.

GRADE: D I have written to three people. Then they wrote back and so now I still owe them a letter. As for 60 people, I blew my chance by not doing a family Christmas letter and spamming anyone whom I had ever known.

5. I will post 60 pictures of my granddaughter Lily to Shutterfly.

The Positive -- She is beautiful, and family and friends will love looking at them.
The Negative -- It is so difficult to know what to do with the remaining 1,200 pictures.
Plan B -- Does Shutterfly have limits on how many pictures you can post?

GRADE B+ The last big Lily upload to Shutterfly was her graduation in December, and the pictures are here. I've run a couple of pics of her on this blog, and it's early days. Should pass the 60 mark easily in the next few months.

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