Goals for 2023

2022 has been another mixed year – I had some things go spectacularly well and other things fall apart. I’ve concentrated on clearing out dead wood, both physical objects – such as a books I’ll never read – and digital items such as old websites. I’ve got far too much stuff in my life and I want to reduce things to a manageable level.

This year’s goals were:

  • Read 50 books: I’ve read (or more accurately, finished) 60 books this year (same as 2021) – success! I hit my target towards the end of October and may finish another couple of books between Christmas and the new year.
  • Launch report writing software for schools: I picked the wrong side project in this respect, and made no progress here. However, I did complete another side project – Pick a Date – which I’ve already used, so I’m going to be charitable and give myself a pass here.
  • Reach end of A2 in French: With hindsight this was far too ambitious. I don’t know what my level is now, but I estimate early A2 for speaking and listening and perhaps mid A2 for reading and writing.

New things I’ve started this year:

  • Latin lessons: I’ve been trying to re-learn Latin as I would like to be able to translate some inscriptions and passages from literature for my talks on Ancient History (primarily Roman). I was getting nowhere with self-tuition so I found a tutor in the form of Emma Williams towards the end of the year and we’re working through Clarke’s Latin together. This is a much better fit for my learning style than Reading Latin (the core textbook when I was studying for my MA), and I’m making good progress.
  • French lessons: Although Duolingo had given me a decent vocabulary, and I’ve picked up some grammar from books, I was really struggling with speaking and listening – as well as not having anyone to catch and explain my mistakes. As with Latin, I decided that one-to-one tuition was the way forward, and I’ve spent the last couple of months making progress with Learn French Online.
  • Film club: I’m attending the film club at Manchester’s Post Apocalyptic Book Club. As a result, I’ve finally filled some of the gaps in my film knowledge by watching (and discussing) classics such as Terminator (1+2), Alien/Aliens, Blade Runner (original and 2049) and Die Hard.

Next year’s goals are:

  • Read 50 books: This has been a goal since 2018 and I enjoy tracking my progress over the course of the year. You can follow me or add me as a friend on Goodreads if you want to see how I get on, and to set your own reading challenge.
  • Restart Currybeer and Geek Walks: Both of these events were put on hold due to the pandemic, and the strikes on the railway have also made journey planning impossible more than 2 weeks in advance (the notice period for industrial action in most cases). Although I’m still being very cautious, and continue to test and wear a mask, I think the risk has probably gone as low as it ever will.
  • Launch client and project management side project: This is something I will use in my business for keeping track of incoming work, so I have an incentive to get it done.

There are lots of other things I’d like to achieve, but previous years have taught me that setting a small number of goals is sensible.

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