Thursday, January 6, 2011

Setting Goals for 2011

In 2011, I would like to surf and fish more, and worry less.
I found warm, clean, tiny waves in Venice Beach, FL when I visited, but could not find time to surf.
Well, I mean, that caption pretty well sums it up but perhaps we can flesh out a few more details.  I've never officially put one of these together.  Wikipedia says that my goals should be "specific, measurable, and time-targeted objectives." Wow, doesn't that sound exciting?  OK then, let's go. 
Professional Life
I work in the environmental non-profit sector and the professional climate is still one of dodging bullets and biting fingernails.  My job is stable but we are constantly under threat of pay decreases, furloughs, and other unpleasantries.  In 2011, I want to keep my eye on my long term goals, particularly by building relationships for the long-term.  Which will mean going to extra meetings, attending alumni dinners, and showing up for networking happy hours that I'm too tired to attend.  Ugh.  It must be done.  I tried and failed at this exact effort in 2010.

After the birth of my son, I tried a new approach to dividing family time and non-family personal time (outdoor time).  I made a commitment to try to make my outdoor experiences memorable - and not just "go for the sake of going," which means canceling trips when conditions don't look favorable. On the flip side, when I'm not working, or outdoors, I committed to being "fully present" with my family (i.e. not checking marine forecasts every 6 hours).  I have struggled on both ends, especially with hunting (going when conditions predict failure) and surfing (not going at all).  In 2011, I'll work to improve this.   More importantly than this, I pledge to make a sound and educated decision about whether Hank will enroll in preschool in September (at 23 months old), or remain in day care until he is almost 3.

Honestly, in 2011, I will try to repeat what I did in 2010.  To take advantage of geography, time off, and local conditions to have "quick strike" success on the water.  I hope to do more saltwater fishing, but I can't commit to that right now!

When I lost my local goose hunting spot in early 2010, I didn't realize the impact that it would have on my ability to do "quick strike" local hunts or to maximize my odds. In 2011, I will work harder to maintain relationships so I can have a diversity of hunting experiences and hunting partners when the hunting season starts.  I have only recently started using my hunt club membership (and its guest policy) as leverage, and I plan to do that more often. 

In 2009, I only surfed in South Carolina.  In 2010, I didn't surf at all.  What a bummer.  I miss seeing the ocean and good waves, and getting to ride them.  It's true that "only a surfer knows the feeling."  In 2011, I will surf more.  In fact, I pledge to surf once a month from May to August.  That's the bottom line.  I don't care if anybody thinks it's wussy.

This is the hardest one.  In 2011, I pledge to get a checkup.  I pledge to keep off the 15lbs I lost in 2010, and to lose and keep off an additional 10-12lbs (I really need to lose another 25, not 10, but let's keep this semi-realistic).  I pledge to start exercising the day after duck season ends. I pledge to run at least 2 5K races in 2011. I pledge to eat less conventionally raised meat, and either buy more local, sustainable meat or depend more heavily on wild game.


Unknown said...

Sounds like some very good goals to reach for. If I can give some advice, get the kid in a pre-school asap if you have a good one available to you. It will do wonders for his social development! Both of my kids were in pre-school at two years old and loved every minute of it!

Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Read this post, and understood exactly everything you wrote. I'm pretty sure all dads go through this phase (as I'll call it). What I've done is exactly what you described; plan ahead, network, use connections, and balance your world that changed very quickly.

I'm with Trey, the academic and social opportunities from a good early education are huge.

You wait until your little man catches that first fish, then the outdoors gets a whole lot more awesome.

Good Post,

Kirk Mantay said...

Thanks for the encouragement, fellas.

It's not that things are "so bad," because they aren't. It's just that it took until my boy was 14 months old (2 months ago) before I even REALIZED "Oh my God, I am not doing a great job of managing my life and my future." It's so hard to get a good head of steam with the little dude running around (but unable to really do much). I literally can't wait for him to start being my outdoor pal.

The three big areas of impact, or should I say, neglect, in my life are general friendships, professional networking, and outdoor fellowship.

Is it any wonder that new parents feel isolated and cut off? I really want to work on those things this year.

Thanks dads!

Leigh, Andrea Leigh Gil said...

Excellent set of goals! Think I need to work on a few of my own.
All the best,

Map Monkey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Map Monkey said...

Good for you, Swamp Thing! Good goals, especially the surfing one! Tha Map Monkey

No Video Content For You

Over 12 years ago, I started this blog. There were very few conservation or outdoor blogs at the time, few websites with fast-breaking con...