My challenges for 2016 – putting my money where my mouth is

Yesterday I talked about making challenges instead of resolutions for a new year as a way to help make sure I grow as a person with each year. Yesterday’s post may have come off as a little preachy to some, so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and publicly declare my challenges for the following year. Then at the end of 2016 I can do a post about where I succeeded and where I fell short.

In no particular order they are as follows:

Send my niece Olivia a letter every month

Cassidy and I moved up to Seattle over three years ago now one thing I really miss is my niece Olivia. When we first got here I planned on sending her a postcard regularly as a way to stay in contact even though I can’t be around physically as often. I seriously failed at doing that as often as I wanted. This year I am challenging myself to write her a letter every month for the entire year. Yesterday I addressed twelve envelopes to her and stamped them as well. Now I have no excuse to not sit down and write her something each month. My brother recently had another child, his name is Archer and he rules, so I will have to figure something out for him too. But, for now I have this plan for Olivia.

Perform a standup comedy set

I have always been told I’m a funny person, both in terms of looks and my sense of humor. As a kid I dreamed of being an entertainer. Thinking back on it, being a standup comedian is the first thing I ever thought about as a kid that I wanted to be when I grew up. As I grew up I performed a few times in talent shows through school and stuff. I did pretty well for myself. In the city talent show I even got a shout out in the local newspaper with my picture on the front of a section. It was pretty cool. Then I had a performance where I bombed really hard. It didn’t go well. The jokes didn’t land with the crowd and I struggled through it. That was the last time I ever performed standup comedy. I still did drama in high school and performed in lots of other ways where I made people laugh, but that was the last time I did true standup. So, this year I am resolving to work on and write a new routine with some jokes and perform once at an open mic night or something like that.

Run a total of 400 miles

I am incredibly out of shape and need to do something about it. I can finally admit that I enjoy running and want to use it as a method to get healthier and be in better shape. This year I am going to run a total of 400 miles over the whole year.

Make writing code my full time work

I have learning to code since not long after we moved to Seattle and I have been finding ways to make it part of the work I do professionally. This year I am challenging myself to make it so that writing code is my full time job.

Learn to swim

I am a 34 year old man who does not know how to swim. Most of the time this isn’t a big deal, but living in a place where water is so prevalent it really isn’t a good thing that I don’t know how to do it. If I were to be on a boat and fell in the water I could endanger someone else as they attempt to rescue me. Also, Cassidy and I just booked a trip to Hawaii in May and I would really like to be able to have fun in the ocean with my wife without having the thought of possibly drowning in the back of my mind the whole time.

Write 100 blog posts

Finally, a challenge that directly relates to this blog. I am going to try and write 100 blog posts this year. That works out to about a couple a week. With all of these challenges to work on and my other ideas for posts I think I will have enough material to do it. Plus, I’ve always wanted to seriously post to a blog as a form of expressing my thoughts. The best part is that this post takes care of one already. 99 to go!

I am of course tracking my progress on these challenges in Smartsheet. I have a 2016 challenges sheet as well as a 2016 running log to track the miles I run. I will try to check in on my progress to these over the year and will definitely revisit this post at the end of 2016 to see where I landed on them.

Do you have any challenges for yourself in the new year? Let me know in the comments!

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