My Goals for 1996

The following is the text of a piece of e-mail which I sent out to a group of my friends in the first week of January 1996.

Now that my job situation and other aspects of my personal life are in a more stable condition -- and one that I am happy with -- for the first time in many years, I've been making a lot of plans for the future. Sometime around November or December, it occurred to me that if I wrote down these plans, and perhaps shared them with my friends, it'd serve as a reminder to me, and make it that much more likely that I'd actually put forth the effort to accomplish these goals. The beginning of the new year seemed like a good time to do this, since it would give me a clearly delineated stretch of time in which to set some reasonable goals for myself.

"Well, congratulations, you bozo," I can hear you saying, "you've just rediscovered the New Year's resolution!" Perhaps so. But I prefer to call them my goals for 1996, since most of them reflect specific accomplishments rather than a resolution to change some aspect of my behavior.

Anyways, however you choose to define it, I've set forth this list of my goals for the coming year. Some of them are modest, others will require a fair amount of effort and sacrifice. All of them are things I've been planning to do for some time now, and that I now feel I have the time, money, and/or will to accomplish in the next year.

Well, that was at the beginning of 1996. Now that it's 1997, I can look back on the whole year and see how I fared with each of those goals. I can't say that I fulfilled all of them: some I did, some I didn't, and with some, the nature of the goal itself changed as the year went on.

I haven't made a list of goals for 1997. '96 was, in many ways, a year in which I needed goals. I don't feel the same now. I think I have a clearer idea of who I am and what I want to do with my life than I did a year ago, and I can more sincerely "live" the objectives in my life rather than set them out as a list of conditions to be fulfilled.

Anyhow, for what it may be worth now, the original list of goals follows. You can click on each one to see a report on how the goal was fulfilled, or not fulfilled, or changed.

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