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    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2010
    ... and I raise you... er, oh crap. There's no way in hell I'm reading 96 books this year, unless you count the stuff I read to my nieces (and even then, that's probably still way out of my league). I've decided to set some goals this year, PS3 trophy style. So there will be Bronze, Silver, and Gold trophies, and a Platinum trophy if I get all the trophies. I haven't fleshed out this idea at all, so what's below is quite rough. For instance, I haven't come up with many clever names for the trophies (like for a reading trophy, I could call one of them something like "Librarian"). Still, this could be fun. Anyway, let's try this.

    Bronze - Read 12 books this year
    Silver - Read 24 books this year
    Gold - Read 48 books this year

    Bronze - 1 exercise session per week average (i.e. 52 exercise sessions all year)
    Silver - 2 exercise sessions per week average
    Gold - 3 exercise sessions per week average

    And so on. Some of these could get depressing. When thinking about goals around drinking coke, for instance (something I should probably cut back on), I realized that I might have a hard time drinking less than 300 cans a year. Thats a fucking lot. Less than 1 a day, but that's still a lot.

    Anyway, the point is to make the bronze easy and to thus build confidence and keep things going. I haven't thought too hard about where the rest of this is going, but other ideas for trophies (not all will be neatly tied up into the Bronze, Silver, Gold levels - some will just exist as themselves):

    -- Learn how to drink Scotch. I won a bottle of single malt scotch last year, but I didn't open it because it's quite expensive and something like really good scotch would be wasted on me. So I've resolved to learn how to drink scotch and become a manly man, etc...

    -- Make my way through 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die - Remember when I asked about new music? I did good that week, but otherwise kinda petered out. But my brother actually bought me the book for Christmas, so I should at least get through a good portion of the book, right? Even if I only listen to the album/song once. The book actually has quite a variety too. From Jazz to Hip Hop to Classical to Rock to Blues, etc... including lots of stuff outside of my normal wheelhouse. This will probably have multiple levels.

    -- Record a podcast - Maybe making a goal will get me off my ass and do the whole directors cut thing I talked about before. Multiple trophies for # of episodes (1, 5, 15?).

    -- Write a novel - Perhaps a nanowrimo thing? Problem is that that is usually during 4th quarter, a busy time for me. But nothing stops me from doing it earlier in the year, I guess.

    I'm torn on whether or not to make goals for movies. I already watch tons of movies. It's not really necessary to set a goal, right? But perhaps I should track what I watch better.

    God I'm such a nerd. Compiling a list of goals in the style of PS3 trophies. Sheesh. You guys should do the same so I don't feel like such a dork about this. Huh? Huh? Yeah, I didn't think so. Forget I said anything.

    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2010
    No, if you were truly a nerd you would have programmed an app to award you the trophies for reaching the goals.

    To switch into health educator mode for a moment, setting rewards for goals is something we were taught can encourage sticking with a new behavior. As long as the reward doesn't derail the goal, like rewarding exercise with food. But, maybe you let yourself eat at a fancier restaurant or buy something you've been wanting but don't actually need once you reach a certain goal?

    I should probably try to keep up with you on the exercise. I'd like to join a kickboxing class at my boyfriend's martial arts studio, but I need to have the stamina to keep up a high level of exercise for an hour first. I can walk forever, but more than 30 minutes of high intensity is still very, very rough.

    And there is no way I could watch as many movies as you do. Maybe if I bought a portable DVD player and watched them on the bus or something. Maybe if you watch 96 movies and I read 96 books, we're even? Although I don't usually take a week off work to read books the way you have mentioned you do for the film festival. I will have some more furlough time next year, perhaps I could take time off just to read.

    What is it about guys in their early 30s and Scotch and Whiskey? Every guy I know around or after 30 is on a kick all of the sudden, including my boyfriend.
    • CommentTimeJan 7th 2010
    Yeah. Not a nerd. Yeah. Yeah, it's not like I already found the sound effect I need to use. *ahem*

    Annnnyway, I hadn't really thought about the rewards bit beyond the ding sound effect (which, uh, isn't an award at all). I was more thinking just to do it for the sake of doing it. I do better with structure (for example - blogging schedule means I post regularly, without schedule, I posted like once a month).

    Here's the thing about exercise. How do I define a workout? Every year, I tend to start working out in the summer. Those workouts tend to be about 20-30 minutes on an elliptical, along with some free weights and/or pushups/situps or something. Last year, I tried using Wii Fit to augment the elliptical. It worked for a bit, but it just takes longer and longer and I end up spending 1.5-2 hours on exercise (if you include about 15-30 minutes of cooldown and shower). But that's too much time. So this winter I tried doing some Wii fit plus, by itself. The problem there is that the workout isn't anywhere near the impact level I'm used to. Does that count as a workout?

    Yeah, I certainly do watch a lot of movies. And if I had a long commute by train or something, I would definitely read more. I did an informal tally of movies I watched this year that I never saw before and came up with around 150-200. So I think I'll hit the 96 goal of movies pretty easily, whilst you got your work cut out for you:p Of course, watching a movie takes a hell of a lot less time and effort than reading a book (er, some books:p)

    I have no idea about the scotch thing. I've always liked whiskey in a way, but I've never been a connoisseur or anything, and I prefer beer to liquor. Also, I never really drank it straight. It was always mixed with something. But I'm told that to enjoy a good single malt scotch takes some getting used to, and I don't want to waste my bottle:p So I picked up a bottle of Johnny Walker Black (finally, a use for those liquor store gift cards people got me this year) and started getting into it. It's slow going. But I'm reading up on the subject on the internets. Some interesting ideas. We'll see. It would be nice to be at a bar and order "scotch, neat" or something similarly manly.

    • CommentTimeJan 8th 2010
    Argh, I would play your game, you rogue, but I think the reason goals like that haven't worked for me before has been setting hard objectives. If I end up not meeting them, I tend to throw the whole idea out. A few years ago, I tried to do a photo-a-day type thing, and eventually scrapped it because it turned into a quantity-over-quality thing. Right now I'm going with the idea of just keeping my mind in the right place for that type of thing. So maybe I don't shoot every day, but I know the more often I shoot, the better I'll shoot, and just having that in mind gets me out with a camera in front of my face more often. I'm taking the same approach with reading and writing, both things I used to do a lot more (and better, in the case of writing) that I'd like to get back to.

    Actually, you know what, I think the set goals would actually work to get me running again. I was keeping up with it pretty regularly for this run a bunch of co-workers were going to do, but the schedule of it changed and no one bothered and I kinda stopped after that, even though it was making me feel great. So...

    Bronze - running twice a week
    Silver - running every other day
    Gold - Silver + taking up a sport (golf* is a sport but doesn't count for this purpose)

    Scotch! Man up, my good man!
    Actually, in the past year or so I've come into whisky (including scotch there) in a big way. The thing for me, and I think this goes with anything I want to get into, is that to appreciate something, I look at the details and the differences between them in versions of something, and in doing so, learn how to appreciate and enjoy those, and the object as a whole. I'm fairly sure my office moving down the street from a whisky bar actually helped push this very far to the forefront. There's different tastes to different malts or blends, different levels of spiciness (by the way, if any of you like bourbon with a spicy kick to it, Elijah Craig is one of the spiciest I've tasted). I'm somewhat ignorant on what all goes into the production process in order to get specific tastes, but I've learnt to appreciate a lot of variety.

    All that said, one of the main things I keep in mind though is I'm not trying to be a snob about it. Aside from being obnoxious to other people, I think the return on investment of only wanting the more expensive drinks (or anything, likely) doesn't work out, and I'd rather have a drink I either enjoy less or have to enjoy differently than pay $20 every time I want a single drink. Actually, "enjoy differently" is, I think, the key thing. You learn what you like, but you also learn to enjoy what you don't like as much, so if you don't have your favourite, you're still good. Once you're there, you can order it neat, or whatever you like. Actually, I think one good thing to keep in mind is that ordering it with a water back isn't something that should feel at all wrong. Diluting the whisky to your preference is a personal preference and not a wrong way to drink it.

    *Who knew I would love golf?!