2015: Goal, Theme & Challenge – Review

At the beginning of 2015 I wrote about my goal, theme and challenge for the year. I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year but want to take some time now to do a final review.

2015 Goal: Read 26 Books

Self Grade: 5/10

My goal was to read 26 books – I finished at 12.

This was just a miserable failure. I was certainly busy but I know for a fact that with time I spent playing through a few video games and watching a number of movies, I could have accomplished this with only consumption time.

To be fair, I believe this is the most books I’ve ever read in a year. Last year I read 17 but 6 were audiobooks. I had also strived to read more fiction, which 8 of the 12 were.

The complete list includes:

    • The Omnivore’s Dilemma
    • Death on the Nile
    • No Country for Old Men
    • Fluke
    • A Scanner Darkly
    • Managing Brand Equity
    • The Kite Runner
    • 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
    • Life of Pi
    • The Great Divorce
    • Steppenwolf
    • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

2015-reading-end-of-year-summary

2015 Theme: Live Slower

Self Grade: 8/10

The key difference between my themes and goals is that the goal should be something relatively simple that I want to repeat in a measurable way to build a habit, while the theme is something I want to think about and practice, but I am not yet obliged to form it into habit.

That is all to say that I don’t think I actually went much slower this year, but I did think about it a good bit and was able to dip my toes in the water of it.

Resting is now a category of activity in my mind. It wasn’t before.

I leave 2015 having experimented with savoring moments – enjoying them deeply instead of just moving on to accomplish the next thing. I look forward to doing more of this.

2015 Challenge: Summit Mt. Whitney

Self Grade: 10/10

In August I summited the mountain along with a few friends.

This was a challenge I knew would be pretty easy. It was certainly a grueling hike and it took a lot of coordination to get permits and wrangle together three friends that now live thousands of miles apart. But of the three challenges I have done to date, this is the one where there was highest chance of success (and probably least chance of death – which are not necessarily correlated).

whole-group-whitney-summit

Read 26 Books: Update 3

Third quarter was not good for reading. Of the 6.5 books I should have read, I only completed 1.5.

I think I hit a stretch there where I didn’t read anything for a whole month.

Time to get back on the horse.

To date this year I’ve read:

    • The Omnivore’s Dilemma
    • Death on the Nile
    • No Country for Old Men
    • Fluke
    • A Scanner Darkly
    • Managing Brand Equity
    • The Kite Runner
    • 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

I am currently reading:

  • Life of Pi

Read 26 Books: Update 2

I read 6.5 books in the first half of this year. Half of what I needed to be on pace, meaning I’m 6.5 books behind schedule. 2015-reading-goal-july-update

To date this year I’ve read:

    • The Omnivore’s Dilemma
    • Death on the Nile
    • No Country for Old Men
    • Fluke
    • A Scanner Darkly
    • Managing Brand Equity

I am currently reading:

  • The Kite Runner

Looking at the positive side, I’m doing pretty well at my sub-goal of reading more fiction. I wanted to split things 50/50, since I usually tend towards non-fiction. Of the 6.5 books I’ve read so far, 4.5 of those were fiction. I’ve been enjoying my selections so far. Most of them have also been made into a movie – I’ve made a habit of watching them afterwards while the book is still fresh in my mind to compare the two.

Another positive, I am also doing better than last year when looking at books read as opposed to listened to. By this time last year I had consumed 10.5 books, but that number included audiobooks, which I’ve since stopped counting (and consuming). When it comes to reading books, I was only at 3.5 by this time last year, so 6.5 is an improvement.

My goal for 2015 was to read 26 books. In order to hit that goal, along with reading the 13 I had planned for the second half I would have to read 6.5 to make up for my first half deficit. That would require reading through 19.5 books in H2 – triple my H1 total. That seems a bit unfeasible, and so rather attempting it and burning out, I’m just going to try and get back on pace with my original goal and complete 13 books in H2. That would put me at 19.5 books for year which would be a record for me. Maybe I’ve even get ambitious and make it an even 20.