I started tracking the books I’m reading on GoodReads this year and it made a nice summary of the 18 books I read (i.e. surpassing my goal of 15 books), so I just stole screenshots from that report. #Efficiency
The above list includes:
- 4 books that I read for one of the courses that I taught
- 5 books that I read for my book club
- 1 book that I read for work
- 8 non-fiction books that I read out of interest
Wow, I just realized there isn’t a single fiction book on that list that I just chose to read myself. Good thing for my book club or I wouldn’t have read any fiction at all!
Here’s a summary, by month, of the items that I completed from my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, during 2015:
||58. Ski at Whistler
66. Take the Peak to Peak gondola in Whistler
||27. Update my address on every account I have by the time my mail forwarding ends
||28. Update my budget to reflect my new financial situation
||64. Go on a Paddle Wheeler cruise down the Fraser River
||89. Increase the amount of money I loan out via Kiva by 100%
93. Get a book chapter published
46. Go to Nova Scotia
||56. Go to Bowen Island
69. Create a balcony herb garden
86 Decorate a cake in a creative and awesome way
||91. Paint something worth hanging on my wall
||4. Create a computer simulation model.
92. Get a journal article published
38. Write a will
One of my goals for 2015 was to “make 15 new food or drink items that I’ve never made before”. And I managed to blow this one out of the water, with 19 new food items!
As you can see from the above list, I started the year off strong by making a new item on New Year’s Day, and then 6 new items on Jan 12 (for my birthday party). I also owe several of these items to the fact that my friend Amy and I started home brewing beer and our first batch was rather undercarbonated so I found some recipes that used beer as an ingredient to use up the under carbonated beer. And just as I typed that I realized that I forgot to include all the beer I made on this list, as they are totally drink items that I’ve never made before!! They are:
- winter ale
- blonde ale
So that’s 23 new items I made this year! Go me!
And speaking of my 2015 goals, another one was to run 800 km. Mission accomplished!
I actually hit the 800 km mark back in Oct shortly before running the Rock’n’Roll 10 km race. And then after it got cold and rainy and dark and I had no other races to train for, and it became very easy to not go out running. In fact, after the 10 km race, I only went on three more short runs for the entire rest of the year! I decided that rather than make myself go running in the cold and the dark and the wet while I had no race for motivation and take the fun out of running, I’d take a bit of a break from running until the new year. And now that the days are getting longer and I’m starting to think about the races to do in the new year, I think I’ll really be ready to get back into running when I return from my holiday.
One of my 2015 goals was to add 5 new race medals to my collection. Mission accomplished!
My first medal of the year didn’t come until May, when I ran the BMO Vancouver half marathon:
Then came the Florida virtual half marathon:
The PNE Donut Dash 5 km wins the prize for the cutest medal in my collection:
Then there was my first ever demi-marathon at the Montreal Rock’n’Roll marathon:
And finally, there was the Rock’n’Roll 10 km race:
I originally thought I’d get a bonus medal called the “Double Beat” medal for having done two Rock’n’Roll events, but I learned too late that you had to do at least a half marathon distance at each event to qualify for that, so no bonus medal for me! Good thing I’d done the Donut Dash so I already had five!
A friend of mine and I have taken up home brewing, because science. It’s a long story that I’ll blog about later, but suffice it to say that we recently finished our first batch and it was, shall we say, suboptimally carbonated. Tasted quite good for a first batch, if I do say so myself, but one can only drink so much undercarbonated beer, so I came up with the idea that I should look up some recipes for things you can make with beer, because beer. And I came up with the following, all of which tasted pretty darned good, if I do say so myself!
Swiss Cheese Beer Bread:
This was really quick to make and really tasty, if you are in the mood for a dense bread. I had read the comments on the recipe before I made this and noted that someone had commented that it didn’t take nearly as long as to bake as the 50-60 minutes stated in the recipe, so I made sure to check on it early and it ended up only taking about 35 minutes to bake!
Savory Beer Pork Chops:
These pork chops were also pretty delicious. As well, when I put the brown sugar into the beer to make the marinade, the beer foamed up and looked like real beer!
Potato Beer Cheese Soup:
This was a pretty good soup – and I generally don’t even like soup!
And so I was 3 for 3 on delicious tasting recipes. Can’t say that this was the healthiest meal I’ve ever eaten – pro tip: when you meal is all beige, something is drastically wrong in the nutrition department.
In addition to finding a way to not waste beer and making a delcious dinner, I also managed to bring the number of new food items I’ve made this year to 10 and so I’ve officially completed 67% of my goal to make 15 new food items in 2015 and it’s only February!
Is it wrong that I’ve been excited about making my 2015 goals list since about mid-November? I’m not sure why I’m such a goal fanatic but the idea of setting goals and working towards them makes me unnaturally happy. Anyway, I now present to you my 2015 goals, some of which are old familiars by this point (either from my previous years’ goals lists and/or taken from my 101 list), but also a few new ideas to keep things interesting.
- Run two half marathons. I’ve already registered for the BMO Vancouver half and then I’ll pick one in the fall – Montreal Rock’n’Roll in September is a possibility, depending on my work schedule.
- Run a sub-2 hour half marathon. I’ve had this as a goal since I started running half marathons, but if I’m honest with myself, I’ve never really dedicated myself to the amount and type of training needed to achieve it. So this year, I’m really going to dedicate myself to the training for the BMO – and no amount of cold, rain, or hills will be allowed to be an excuse this time. I’ve even signed up for a Sunday morning running clinic so I’ll always have someone to do the long runs with. 2015 will be the year that I will get this one done.
- Run 800 km. I’m betting I can do better than the 82% of this goal that I managed in 2014, especially given that I’m planning to be more dedicated to my half marathon training.
- Add 5 new medals to my collection. The two half marathons will give me two medals, so I’ll just need to find 3 other races with medals. There’s the Hot Chocolate 5 km in March where you get a medal AND a hot chocolate, which is pretty much a no brainer. So I guess I just need to find 2 more.
- Complete the 100 pushup challenge. I haven’t tried this one in a while, but I figure it’s good for me to do something related to upper body strength, given that I have none.
- Bring lunch to work more often than I buy lunch at work. I have been absolutely abysmal at bringing my lunch to work, pretty much since I started my MBA, when I got too busy to do such things as buy groceries. I used to be really good about it before that, bringing my lunch almost every single day, but somehow I have not been able to get back into that routine, despite being done school for a year. I really just need to be a tiny bit more organized at getting groceries and doing some meal planning (because I love having leftovers for lunch!)
- Lose those last 5 lbs that I gained during my MBA. If I do the above 4 things, I think I’ll have a good shot at this one.
- Set up a new investment plan. As I mentioned, I did this last year, but now I need to do it again!
- Write a will. This is on my 101 list, but I’m putting it here as a prompt to do it sooner rather than later. Have to make sure that my kitties inherit my vast estate! 😉
- Pay off 7.5% of my mortgage principal. According to my trusty spreadsheet, just making my regular accelerated biweekly payments, I will pay off 3.4% of my remaining principal. But since I have the option to put lump sums on my mortgage, I figure I find some extra coin to pay off a bit extra.
- Complete 15 items from my 101 list. This is a bit more than 1 per month – that should be do-able.
- Apply for at least one research grant. I don’t have any specific ones that I’m planning on, but I really should get on doing this!
- Make 15 new food or drink items that I’ve never made before. I have a few ideas for this, including trying my hand at making puff pastry from scratch.
- Organize all my closets. They are a disaster, but I have a good idea of how they should be organized.
- Write 115 blog postings. That’s only 2.2 blog posting per week.
So there are my 15 goals for 2015!