Another year of lazy goals
It looks like today is officially the end of the school term for me. It’s somewhat artificial since I was never taking any real classes anyway, but we need to mark time somehow and the school term works as well as anything I guess. But with the end of the semester, we have the start of academic summer, which means it’s time for me to plan out my goals. My lazy goals that is, or how I make sure I take some much needed rest.
Every summer I set out some goals for myself, which I call my “lazy goals” they aren’t “lazy” in the sense that I’m not doing anything. They are lazy in the sense that they are things that I really want to do, but don’t have a particular purpose. Most of my life is dominated by research and school, so most everything I do, I do with a purpose. Setting goals like this helps me relax, but also remain accountable. In other words having lazy goals means I actually remind myself to take some time off and I do it in a way that I can measure.
It sounds counter intuitive, but being able to track progress like that means that I can’t just keep putting off the things I want to do until summer ends and I have a reason not to be trying to relax a little extra. Normally summer means no classes, but since I’m already at that point that I don’t need to take a class and I’m working full time, this year will look a little different from prior years. Sad, but true. Speaking of which, here’s the first year, and the second year of my lazy goals.
Since this year I’m also working, the goals are going to be somewhat condensed, but even with my cramped schedule and trying to graduate in a year (fingers crossed, it’s already off to a rocky start), I still need to find time to do absolutely nothing productive. Most of the time I feel like we are pressured to power through whatever and keep working until we finish. We need to be at 120% productivity all day everyday, but I’ve found that even when I’m in a hurry, stepping away from a task can make you more productive when you get back to it than if you just mindlessly try to whittle away at it. With that in mind, time to set some goals!
1. Read more
Seriously, sometimes the simplest goals are the best and every year I commit to reading. It’s one of my favorite things and I really feel like being able to take my mind off things and just focus on a good book really helps. Even in the general sense, not having to focus on anything serious and just get the chance to escape for a bit is really something amazing. I know we get distracted a lot with work and life, but finding a good way to escape really helps!
I’ve really been reading a lot on webtoons lately. I’ve never been big on comics, but it is a fun way to read and having pictures doesn’t make it any less “adult.” Honestly there’s so many really awesome stories people are telling and the different art styles are incredible. I love art, I love books, this just made a lot of sense when I found it. Plus a lot of the stories get weekly updates, so I’ve got a good amount of stories that I’m reading along with and every day I get an update for at least a few of them. It’s a good way to pace myself, but I have to admit I sometimes I wish I could just get all the story at once!
I’m also doing a lot of “traditional” reading, namely kindle. Every year I set a goal to read XX number of books. Last year I was at 30, this year I’ve set it at 35 (even though last year I think I managed to hit 38 or 39). I don’t like to pressure myself to read, so I wanted to be sure that I didn’t set the bar too high where I felt like I was behind. I didn’t want something I enjoy to become a chore, so I aimed slightly lower than I probably needed to, but at least I don’t feel pressured into reading more. Currently I’ve hit 23 out of that 35 book goal, so I’m already more than halfway done. I may even hit over a book a week, but again not committing to anything because balance is important here. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
2. Mass Effect!
Every year I set this goal too, so maybe I should move on to some new goals, but we like what we like and this is no exception. I enjoy playing video games and Mass Effect is one of my favorites! Last year they released the “legendary edition,” which was remastered with an obvious amount of love and respect for the game. While the storyline was basically unchanged, it felt like a whole different experience and honestly it was a great way to tie the whole series together in a more cohesive way. If you’ve ever played or played the legendary editions, you may know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, point being since I don’t have a whole lot of time for games these days, I’m limited to what I can play and when I can find time to play it. Playing through the Mass Effect series this year will be the goal, but if I can find time to play other titles, I won’t complain. Overall, the series is just the right length for me to find a little time once or twice a week to play through and manage to beat it within the summer timeline. Maybe one year I’ll mix it up and try something new, but for now there’s nothing wrong with sticking with an old favorite.
So yeah, that’s basically the goals for the year. I wish I had time to set aside for others, but one of my not-so-lazy goals is to finish my PhD in the next year and with the looming mountain of work left for me, it won’t be an easy task as it stands. Next year I will have more time to set aside to do the things I love, but for now this is enough.
It also probably seems odd that I basically set the same goals every year. Why bother setting them in the first place if they don’t change? Well honestly it’s because I don’t normally get the time to do extra reading or play games, so when I can somewhat force myself to indulge a little, I like to do that. It’s not so much about increasing the level of complexity or doing something different or new. That’s not the point of lazy goals. The point is to find something you love and force yourself to make time to do those things.
I’m a simple man who is happy with a good book and a good video game, so that’s enough for me.