December 28 – Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

Some of what I could have said in response to this prompt has already been said in this post, and other posts in this series have already mentioned a range of things I hope or plan to do. I will also add that the things I most want to achieve are of an intensely private nature and I can’t – at present at least – imagine writing about them here.

Multiple copouts aside, though, there are some goals I’d like to set myself for the next twelve months. I wouldn’t exactly say they were new year’s resolutions, more practical goals to keep in focus.

1. Surpassing last year’s peak level of cycling fitness / stamina in the first third of this year. The Christmas period and the inclement weather (“inclement”, a word I had forgotten about until my recent visit to Britain, where “inclement weather” proved to be the reason behind pretty much anything malfunctioning) have taken their toll on my fitness levels, both physical and mental, and I will feel much better about myself in general if I can reverse this “damage” fairly soonish.

2. Clearing up the cellar. This is mundane, but important. The cellar is so chock-full of stuff that it is impossible to use it for anything other than a dumping ground. Things like bike repairs and other mechanical mending jobs end up being done in the flat, so that the flat ends up looking like a dumping ground as well. What’s needed is simply a shelving unit and a wall-mounted bike rack in the cellar. Both are relatively easy to install; it’s just a case of getting around to it. There’s also some junk to get rid of, but a phone call to the local authorities should sort that out. Getting this job done would give me a greater feeling of domestic control ;-).

3. Ceasing to believe that any good list must have at least three items. This would save a lot of unnecessary soul-searching and, obviously, time, leaving me feeling brisk and efficient!

I am writing this post at some ungodly hour of the morning, having been unable to sleep due to a mental to-do list rattling around in my head. Getting this post written was perhaps not the number one priority on the list in terms of importance, but it gives me an opportunity to reflect on what else needs to be done and how I can avoid having another disrupted night tomorrow.

So here goes for brainstorming ten things I can realistically aim to do or think today, in order to feel a sense of achievement:

[Warning: even more mainly mundane, domestic content follows]

1. Return empty beer bottles to the shop. There is an crate of empties that has been sitting in the cellar ever since my birthday party (!), plus a few loose bottles littering the hall. Not only would this create space and remove mess, but there is a deposit to be recovered, too. Done 18:00

2. Take old clothes to the charity container. I bagged them up months ago, but they have been sitting around ever since, simply taking up space. Then I can go out and buy new ones (just kidding). Done 13:00 – one huge sack and three carrier bags full!

3. Change the bed. I don’t know why, but I always feel like a domestic goddess when I have just put fresh sheets etc. on the bed. And sometimes it’s good to be that easily satisfied. Done 14:00, and laundry in the machine…

4. Sort out some photos. We took quite a lot of pictures in the British Museum last week, some of which are worthy of printing and framing as a set. Getting this done will partly satisfy those creative urges that have lain untended recently.

5. Reattach upstairs towel rail to the wall. Yes, I know, this is getting really mundane. But it’s about what can be achieved in a day, and that is a matter of no more than five minutes, I’m sure. Done 14:30

6. Find out collection date for Christmas trees. One thing I like about life in Germany: the municipal authorities have a special refuse collection for this purpose, at some point shortly after Twelfth Night. It’s a once-only date per neighbourhood, though, so I’d better not miss it, otherwise it’ll be a chore to have to transport the tree to the waste disposal site myself. Done 10:30

7. Clean tap nozzles / filters. The one in the kitchen has been driving me mad recently by spurting out water at an odd angle, which makes a surprising amount of mess. Some grit may have got into the filter as a result of the inclement weather (I needed an excuse to use that term again!). I might as well do them all while I’m at it. Done 12:00

8. Get started on that pile of marking. Ugh! But I do want to feel on top of things when teaching restarts next week.

9. Make a pot of tea. There is something ceremonial about preparing a pot of tea, even (or especially) if it is just for yourself. It is worlds away from the hurried bag-in-mug approach I tend to follow in the office, where I am lucky if I get to finish a mug of tea while it is still fresh and hot. I was given some rather lovely green tea for Christmas, so I am going to try that out today. Another simple feel-good achievement, but why not? Done 10:30

10. Move closer towards finishing this #reverb10 project. Yes, this post contributes towards that goal, but I should be able to get a bit further too. It would be great to be finished before Twelfth Night… FINISHED all posts at 09:00!

Bah, two points I didn’t address today, but had (slightly unplanned) visitors from  16:00-23:00…

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2 Comments

Filed under Memes & blogging challenges, Up close and personal

2 responses to “December 28 – Achieve

  1. Matthew from Freiburg and Flickr

    I know what it’s like to have a “mental to-do list rattling around in my head” and having that mess up my peace of mind. Two years ago or so I ran across “GTD” (“Getting Things Done”). It’s an approach to personal organization described in a book of that title by David Allen. One important feature of the approach is to get everything out of your head so that your head is available for actually doing things. It’s not possible for me to give a meaningful description of GTD in this small space so all I can do is suggest that you read the book.

    Unfortunately, that involves adding another thing to your to-do list. I can only attest that it’s a good investment if you follow through on it.

    The approach might not be for you but it certainly has made it possible for me to juggle all the things in my hectic life without losing my sanity.

  2. squonky

    Yes, I could do with following some of this example. Your item for “Reattach upstairs towel rail to the wall.” really made me laugh as I had put a similar job off for maybe a couple of months last year. Our stair banister fell off the wall. I made a botch-up of putting it back on rather than doing the thing properly and of course a few weeks later it fell off again… And then I left it a few weeks, and left it, and left it… I mean, it’s not like I need to hang on to anything to get up the stairs. It became something that bugged me and the more it bugged me the less I wanted to fix it and thus the more it bugged me.

    We need a massive clear out and tidy up here. I’m terrible for keeping old rubbish rather than getting rid of it, and it only got worse after Michelle arrived in our lives. Lego, crayons, and things made out of cardboard tubes seem to be everywhere in this house and there’s nowhere proper to store things like Michelle’s bike and scooter – well, they should be out in the garden shed, where there is room, but then they’ll never get used so they’re in the hallway and I bash into them and trip over them all the time. Time for some order to be imposed on the chaos!

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