It’s my grandson’s fifth birthday. He’s quite excited by this. Not only is he older than he was yesterday, but he had lots of presents which were “cool!” and “Look what I got!” types. Presumably, the combination of being older and getting great presents is why his parents had to shoo him back to bed at 3.30am.
It’s my birthday at the end of the month and I am slightly less excited than the lad was. I’m quite a bit older – ten times his age to be exact, so when looking for “cool”, a remote control plane designed to smash into the wall is probably not going to do it for me – although I have dropped huge hints about the latest Lee Child book. :-)
But although I may not share his taste in presents, the lad and I do share one thing. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. What we did yesterday is gone. We can’t change it. What we do NOW is what really counts.
It may hit me harder than it hits the lad, this truth. I’m much more conscious of time passing than he is, and much more aware it isn’t available to me in limitless quantities. If I want to achieve my long term goals, I’d better start working for them, before I find I’ve lost the chance altogether.
Thus, I have decided to make this the official start of the rest of my life. June 9th 2010 is the day I stop messing about, procrastinating, accepting less than my best. No more, “I’ll just have a cup of tea while I plan how I’ll do it.” No more, “I’ll do that in a minute, but I’ll just read a chapter/magazine article/watch the news first.” Those things come when the day’s to-do list is completely ticked, not when some or all of it is still waiting.
So what is on my to do list? Well, there are two lists, a short term and a long term. The long term is easy:
1. Finish my latest work in progress and get it published/produced
2. Make a decent income from my writing so I can continue the lifestyle I enjoy and continue to buy the lad birthday presents in the years to come.
3. Lose (a significant amount of) weight.
4. Regain my health, which is slipping away.
5. Make a difference to the world in which I live.
The short term goals are not always so easy to define. There are what I want to do by today, this week, this month, by Christmas. You start mixing them up, meaning to plan today, then reaching a little further ahead, and suddenly you’re looking long term again. So I am simply going to list today’s goals, what they are, how I want to achieve them, and how yesterday’s attempts turn out.
Starting tomorrow, I will list my goals, and starting Friday, I’m going to be honest and open about how I managed. Hopefully, not wanting to embarrass myself will galvanise me into actually doing what I set out to do.
We shall see.