2016 goals smashed – just. Kind of.

In 2016 I again tried to make continual progress over 12 months in a couple of personal areas I find important:

  • Running 1200kms, and
  • Reading 12 books.

Both of these numbers neatly ensure each and every month I keep running and reading. Or, so I hoped.

In reality, it’s never that simple for me.

My 2015 goals became a real challenge when the priority shifted from running to looking for new job opportunities.
And this past year, after beginning a new role opening an ambitious new attraction I struggled to find the time & head-space to read for pleasure.

Unable to find time is such a cop out. The obvious truth is, if you find something important enough, you make time. But we’ll get to that shortly ..


Run 1200 kilometres in a calendar year (supposedly 100km per month)

As it turned out, my running goal was quite straight-forward to complete this year.

In fact, I ran 1374km in all (exceeding even the cliched 110% effort).  This was mostly on account of running a second marathon in the year during my Australian holiday. It really wasn’t planned like this.
My parents coincidentally booked my boys and I into a wonderful resort on the Gold Coast on the same weekend in July as Australia’s premier road race, the Gold Coast Marathon. The marathon course passed two streets away from where we were staying on Surfer’s Paradise. And it happened to be where I ran my first marathon back in 2007. So I saw no alternative but crank up the training in the month before we left Dubai, and run the popular event.

It really boosted my kilometres. Usually my running tally flattens right out in July during Dubai’s summer.


Read 12 books in a calendar year (supposedly 1 book per month)

My reading goal on the other hand, it really came down to the wire.

I made almost no progress in the first half of the year. A couple of times I wasn’t sure I’d make it. November became such a stressful ascent, and December’s four books seemed almost insurmountable.

But I kept reading when I could, especially on my commute to and from work.

Right until the final afternoon of 31st of December, I was literally reading while running .. well, listening to an audio book on my final long runs.

Then after my exhausted return from 32.5kms I had to finish reading a final 40-50 pages.   But I managed.  I completed the final 12th book and my reading challenge.


It’s a good feeling to again complete these two resolutions, particularly after it seemed that one goal became near impossible.

Maybe it’s a strength to adapt to life and fit in such a variety of things, not focusing on a singular goal.

Perhaps my subconscious enjoys the drama of bringing things back from the seemingly impossible.

If so, perhaps I’d like to retire this part of my subconscious in 2017.

Making some regular progress each and every week would be wonderful to avoid getting into stressful situations with little time remaining.

Let’s see what 2017 brings.

But there was actually something I didn’t complete this year as planned ..


Publish 12 blogs in a calendar year (supposedly 1 blog per month)

When I renewed my 1200kms and 12 books challenges, I also thought to myself that I’d like to blog 12 times.  Again, at the start of the year this is a number which seems so easy.

In January an obvious blog for me is to write about the Dubai Marathon that I tend to run. And it seemed like a particularly good story this year as I had trained hard, and even employed a new training regime with an expert online coach. What an uplifting blog to write, in my 9th year of running to return to my best form. Though for a couple of reasons, I didn’t finish close to my goal time and I felt quite disappointed for many weeks.

I thought I’d get over it, and still share my thoughts from the day.  But this disappointing blot kept me from writing for a month. And it kept me from writing in the month after that when we had a nice trip to Ras Al Khaimer, a repeat of the trip we take each year – which I wrote about in 2015 (“Another RAK half weekend – 13-14 February 2015”).

Even in July when I holidayed in Australia I didn’t document my usual notes from our adventures. The fact that I had a resolution to write 12, demotivated me to recover the blog situation. I wasn’t getting back onto the horse.

Finally in December, I enjoyed the Striders half marathon too much and had to pen a few notes from the event, (“Yet another Striders half – 09 Dec 2016”).  And perhaps it was decidedly restarting the practice for the fresh running season and the coming year.

So the final score card has just one blog out of 12, for the 12 months.

Interestingly, when I was reflecting on my 2016 goals and I remembered the blog idea, it almost didn’t seem like a resolution. I gave up on it so early and so easily, I suppose wasn’t really serious about this one this past year.


I’ll take off the pressure for 2017, and blog as much as I feel – with no reference to any arbitrary numbers.

But I’ll definitely read 12 books & run 1200kms.
I’ve got two years experience that no matter how challenging it seems they are to achieve, I always have them COMPLETELY under control.