A week ago I turned thirty. I feel OK about that, it’s just the same as 29 really, probably not much different to 31 either. Despite that, it’s still a big birthday and a life marker. I thought that to celebrate, I’d write a few thoughts on where I am right now and where I want to be, whether in the next year or the next 10 years.
As I’ve been writing, the one theme I keep returning to today is the idea of becoming a role model. Vani is nearly two and a half now and can copy things I say and do, so it’s becoming increasingly important to say and do things worth saying and doing.
Of course, as ever, it’s easier said than done. I write a lot about how I work on habits and develop values to live by, but I feel like I need to start laying down some concrete achievements in the years ahead. That isn’t to say I haven’t done things I’m proud of, there’s just a new slant on them now. I want to do things worth telling stories about. That doesn’t mean skiing down Mount Everest, but setting out a plan and following it – from small habits like drinking more water to big projects like writing another novel. The future shouldn’t all be planned out, but I should at least guess my direction.
Which Way This Year?
Years are long, especially leap years like this one, so I think it’s safe to break them down into four even quarters. Three months is enough to work on something to at least know whether it’s worth pursuing, sometimes it will even be enough time to finish something.
Here’s what I’d like to work on over 2016:
- January – March: We’re having a new baby in February so that’s all I need to care about
- April – June : I’ll be getting used to life with two kids
- July – September: Focus on writing regular book reviews
- October – December: Write a long-delayed next novel
Throughout the year, I’d also like to focus on developing better habits in a few areas, such as:
- Drinking enough water
- Getting enough sleep
- Daily meditation
- Eating enough calories
- Exercising regularly
- Reading every day
- Writing every day
The Next Decade
It seems both a bit daft and a touch presumptuous to try to plan 10 years of life, even in general terms. Ten years ago, I was at university trying to become a lawyer, so you never know what’s going to happen.
My main aim is to be the best father I can be, to stay calm when things get hard and bring up my kids with any opportunity they want open to them. If I can do that, I’ll be alright.
There are a few projects I’d like to see some progress on too:
- Building a reputation for really good and personal book reviews
- Building an online short story magazine on the back of that
- Building some basic app myself from scratch
- Marking off at least 10 of my 100 things each year
- Keep writing about my beliefs and how they change
- Do the same for my values
Finally, I want to make sure that I keep writing these articles over the next ten years as a way of mapping out the changes in my life so that I can look back with my family one day and laugh at how wide of the mark I always was. As I write today, it’s for just a few friends who read but I hope that over time more people will find the things I have to say about life, reading and writing either interesting or entertaining.
For the time being, I’ll entertain myself. What else can we do?