2015 is a few days old, and I’ve been reflecting over the last little while about what I want to achieve this year. I find it hard to set goals. I tend to be too critical of myself, and I sell myself short when I try to anticipate what I can achieve. I tend to work hard in the things that come more easily to me, but that means the fear of failure runs very deep. The thought of trying and failing at something keeps me awake at night. I’m trying to change that, and so I’m trying to add a little ambition into my goals. I can finally recognise that hard work and failure are all ingredients to achieving what I want in life.
I’ve been practising photography as a hobby for a few years now, and it’s something I really enjoy. I feel like I’m getting to the stage where I can visualise the photos I want to take, and understand the techniques to capture those images. I’ve had the chance to see some beautiful places, and I’m going to be seeing many more as we travel around, so I’m sure I’m going to have a collection of images that I can be proud of. I like to think that my images are good enough for other people to enjoy too, so my first goal is to sell a print. Working out how I’ll make that happen is another matter, but trying to create something saleable will be a great way to see how I can improve.
The second goal I have is to improve my health. I haven’t participated in sport since May, when I suffered an avulsion fracture playing football. Going through rehabilitation has been one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. It’s pushed my patience to its limits, because I’ve had to be incredibly disciplined with slowly adding mobility, strength and flexibility. As a result, I’ve been limited in the amount of exercise I’ve been able to do. And to be honest, I haven’t had the desire to exercise. Not being able to play football has really affected me, and I can’t wait to get back to a stage where I can kick a ball again.
Without much physical activity, I’ve become fat(ter). I’ve certainly never been lean and trim, but I’m now the heaviest I’ve been and the worst I’ve felt, and it’s got to a stage where I’m very unhappy about it. I’ve just got engaged, and I want to stand next to Melissa at the altar, proud that I’ve worked hard to be the man of her dreams. I want to look in the mirror with confidence instead of regret. So, with that in my mind, I want to get to a healthier weight. I’d like to get to 80kgs, which means losing 16kgs or so. I don’t know if that’s ambitious or weak, but I’m guessing it all comes down to how hard I work for it. While our holiday in the UK has seen us eat a lot of pub food, burgers, beer and chips, I’m determined to fully turn our diets around when we’re home in Nuremberg. A lot more veggies and fruit, a lot less fries and much more awareness around what goes into our bodies. I say “we” and “our” because Melissa will have to be on board, I think we’re going to need to support and encourage each other through this! I’ll also be adding more exercise and strength into my daily routine, and hopefully before too long football will again be more than just something I watch on TV.
There are definitely other things I want to achieve this year. I want to find a rewarding job that I can throw myself into, I want to make the most of living in Europe by seeing as much of it as I can, and I want to get out of my comfort zone and have experiences that scare me. The two goals above are the ones I feel most connected to, and the ones I really want to see through. If I can focus my efforts on these two I feel like I’ll be able to achieve something I can be proud of when it comes to this time next year.
So after spewing all that out, to the photo. It’s a panorama of the ancient roman amphitheatre in the city of Chester. The amphitheatre was used to stage fights and hunts, and I feel like declaring these goals is setting up a battle that I want to see through to the end. With the judgement of the crowd at stake, I’ll have a bit of extra motivation to work towards being victorious!