Three months to go – Another 2020 update

Just three months of 2020 to go and I wanted to another opportunity to update on my progress towards my 2020 goals, because it helps me think about where I am and where I want to be and keep me motivated to keep working towards them. I also took a moment to ponder the bigger picture of the year so far.

For me, this year has mostly been all about my personal goals and New Year’s resolutions. This is something that’s pretty evident throughout my previous posts. My resolutions and goals have kept me quite busy and may have even helped me stay sane during what’s been a pretty dismal year.

My resolutions focus on a few areas, and I won’t bother to get into too much detail in this post but, in short, I’ve been investing a lot of energy into them these past nine months. I’ve been working towards each of them incrementally, having set a side time to work on each of them regularly throughout the weeks.

Though I’ve hit stumbling blocks here and there – such as my recent plateau in my weight loss, my writer’s block, and the issues I faced in my guitar playing – I haven’t let those hold me back too much and I’ve continued to put in the work to try and make as much progress as possible. And, in pretty much all cases I have progressed. But unfortunately, despite the work I’ve put in, it seems I’m not going to have progressed as far as I’d hoped with several of my goals this year.

I might not achieve my goal weight, most of my writing projects aren’t going to be where I hoped they would be the end of the year, I certainly won’t progress through the entirety of my beginner’s guitar book, and so on.

These were disappointing realisations, but I’ve had some time to come to terms with them. Given it’s been nine months of the year already, I’ve gradually come to see that I may have been slightly overambitious with my targets. That realisations came as somewhat of a blow at first but I’ve had time enough now to consider how I’m going to handle things moving forward instead of getting bogged down by the coming “failure”, which has softened that blow.

How will I do things moving forward?  

Well, ultimately, I’ve decided to just keep putting the work in and hope that I succeed eventually. In the end, my goals are for me and there’s not really a time constraint. When I achieve any of them is largely arbitrary. It’s the getting there that matters, not the when. (Although hopefully nothing takes an unreasonable amount of time because that would probably drive me crazy.)

Otherwise, I am happy with what I’ve achieved. I know I’ve put in a lot of work this year – probably more than I could have if the lockdown didn’t happen because working from home gave me a bit of extra time to work with – so why get caught up in what I didn’t achieve. I did what I could, and that’s what matters.

So come year end, however far I will have progressed in my goals, I’ll be proud enough if I just continue what I’ve been doing so far, if I keep putting the work in.

The year so far

Considering the big picture, 2020 has obviously been much less positive. In fact, from a global perspective it seems more appropriate to say that there’s “still” three months of 2020 left rather than “just” (as I did above) because it feels like so much has happened and yet the year still isn’t over.

Coronavirus, lockdowns, civil unrest because of coronavirus and lockdowns, unrest over social injustice, and other bad and depressing news – including the unexpected and tragic loss of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. (As a Marvel fan, that last one really hit me.) With all this on top of other things occupying the global hive mind, like climate change and what the current most-powerful-man-in-the-world (ie US President Donald Trump) is getting up to, it’s almost a wonder that the world hasn’t descended into complete chaos.

(And yes, I know I’m being dramatic, but I’m sure you can understand.)

What doesn’t help things is that we seem to be stuck in this pattern of things improving for a bit, only to get worse again; taking steps forward, only to then take steps back. For example, in the UK we saw the lockdown restrictions loosen and people feeling safe enough to return to work and reopen schools and universities, only to see cases of COVID-19 increase again. It’s a disheartening loop to be in.

Fortunately, however, things won’t necessarily continue to look bleak this year because as arbitrary as the year on the calendar is to my personal goals, it is also arbitrary to the state of the affairs in the world. That is to say, just because 2020 hasn’t been great so far, doesn’t mean things won’t start looking up before the year is out. (It also means that 2020 problems won’t necessarily stay in 2020, but I’m trying to look on the bright side here.)

I have much less power to control the world than I do when it comes to myself and my personal goals so, for the most part, I can only hope that the powers that be see fit to take action to improve things. Otherwise, I will play my small part and try to make it through the rest of the year as smartly and as best as I can while others hopefully doing the same. (And yes, this has somewhat been a roundabout way for me to tell people to wear their masks and stay safe.)

2020 has been a wild card of a year so far, so who’s to say it won’t continue to surprise us and this time take a dramatic turn for the better? I can’t speak to how likely that it, but what is optimism for if not to help us get through years like this. There’s still a whole three months of 2020 to go and, as we’ve seen already this year, plenty can happen in just a few months. So let’s just wait and see because you never really know what could happen.

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