I can’t believe it is December 16th. A lot of people review the previous year at the beginning of the new one but I like to take a look at things a little earlier. This allows me to evaluate how I did with my old goals and begin to lay the ground work for new ones.
- Improved Health and Physical Fitness
- Improved Fencing
- Finish 3 projects: Embroidered Shirt, Embroidered Jacket, Silver and Swetnam HMA project
How did I do?
Well, it’s really kind of a mixed bag to be honest. One of the things I failed to do when setting goals for the New Year was to make them measureable goals. I did improve my health and physical fitness. It’s not where I want it to be or where I thought it would be by now but it is “improved”. It’s the same with my fencing. My game has “improved” but with out a benchmark for what “improved” means to me it is hard to measure whether or not I really accomplished anything. As for my 3 projects: I started my embroidered jacket (although it is FAR from finished), I did not start the embroidered shirt project, and the Silver and Swetnam project morphed about 6 months into the year. I started out with one idea of what I wanted to do but as I progressed down that path I realized that I really wanted to do something else. The original project has since become the training manuals I’m publishing in installments on this blog so in a way did start it but it too is far from finished.
So what does this mean for 2010?
First it means that I need to set actual measureable goals. I’m sure you’ve all heard the smart acronym before. My goals need to be specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely (or tangible, your choice). This will help me set achievable goals that I can actually measure and track my progress towards. A big improvement over last year! I think I did do the right thing by keeping my goal list short last year. I often feel that if I set too many goals that they get lost in mess and I never really accomplish much towards them. So I am going to continue the trend of keeping my list to 6 goals.
1) Continue to work on my physical fitness and fighting. I want to have completed a 5K by this summer (even if it means I have to hold my own), and be able to do 20 pullups and 100 pushups by the end of the year. I will also attend at least one practice weekly and set a schedule for drills.
2) Only have one embroidery project at a time. Until it’s finished this means my jacket. I am setting a goal of 10 hours of embroidery per week for this project. If I meet those 10 hours I can spend the rest of my free project time working on other sewing projects or getting more embroidery finished.
3) Do more sewing. I spent most of my project time this year working on embroidery projects which means I spent very little time actually sewing clothing. I made some rapier armor but that was about it. I really would like some new clothes and I already have several projects lined up: new shirts, a Flanders gown, new rapier armor, a pourpoint, and a jupon (as well as some ideas for household livery). So I am setting a goal of finishing at least one sewing project a month. More complicated projects, such as the fur lined Flanders gown, may take longer and may be broken up into smaller projects. Similarly simple projects, like shirts, may be combined.
4) Learn to play 2 pieces of music appropriate to Elizabethan England by Pennsic. I will be starting classical guitar lessons in January which I am very excited about. I used to play guitar several years ago (although not classical) so I think being able to play 2 simple Elizabethan pieces by Pennsic is very doable. We’ll see though. I may have to reevaluate this one in March depending on how I progress.
5) Spend more time with my students. I don’t know that I can actually set this goal by myself. I think we all should sit down together this winter and set some activities (practices, workshops, events, etc) that we want to do together.
6) Continue to post Silver and Swetnam installments weekly.
Evaluating and Tracking my Progress
Ideally I would like to evaluate my progress monthly or at least quarterly. I didn’t do that this last year and I wish I had. So starting in January I will be posting here once a month about my progress on each of these goals.
What needs to be accomplished by the end of January?
1) I need to be in the gym at least 3 days per week.
2) I need to accomplish at least 40 hours of embroidery between Jan 1 and Jan 31.
3) I need to order fabric for at least one project.
4) I need to actually start lessons.
5) I need to get together with the guys to talk about things we would like to do together between now and April.
6) Post at least 4 Silver or Swetnam installments.