For those of you new to “The Coaster”, it’s my approach to New Year’s Resolutions. Usually I try to gather a group of people and get them to set goals outside their comfort zone, but social distancing and Zoom fatigue meant that Leigh and I set them together. For more on the tradition, see my blog post from 2015.

As a child, some of my favourite commercials were for Rainier Beer. Strangely, I don’t think I’ve ever had one.

As usual, I set 9 goals this year. The 2021 goals are not nearly as ambitious as in years past. They will not be affected by whenever borders open up or how locked down we are. And 2020 (see review at the end of this post) was the worst year of performance since I started doing this, so...

Four of my 2021 coaster goals focus on very basic physical and mental health, trying to step up my fitness to a fraction of what it was three years ago. Oh, how the mighty have slowed down.

My first goal, called The Bikers Dozen sets a target of 12 rides over 90K in the year ahead. Yes, some of my friends achieved this goal during a month of quarantine. The second goal, Life is not a half-sprint, it’s a half-marathon should be self-explanatory.

Half-alive or half-dead sets out three performance goals that I can continue forever. Let x be your current age in years. Let y be the number of groans from algebra being included in blog posts. The set of goals S is then:

  1. Run a 10k in x minutes
  2. Do 100 - x burpees in 3 minutes
  3. Swim in the ocean, in one go, 100m times (100 - x)
My new competition.

I’m turning 50 this year, so for those of you too lazy to do the math, I’m targeting a 10k in under 50 minutes, 50 burpees in under 3 minutes, and doing a 5k swim. And when I’m 99 years old, I’ll be running (walking? wheeling? walkering?) a 10K in 99 minutes, doing 1 burpee in 3 minutes, and swimming 100m.

The final goal, Retreat! involves spending a weekend away from home either fasting, doing yoga, silence, meditation, blogging, sleeping, or cage fighting.

For my goals around family, I’m making sure I call Mom twice a week (Allo? Mama? Allo? Mama?), and making sure that every week, Leigh and I sit down to really plan our week (A fam. A plan. A couch. Hcuocanalpamafa!), so we are picking up what the other person is laying down.

Since it will likely be a while before I get to see Mom again, I’ll call her frequently to explain how these phone calls are primarily relieving my guilt of living half way around the planet.

In trying to eliminate my allergy to property ownership, I am going to spend six weekends property hunting in Australia (The Squarest Meter).

¿Ay, caramba. A la escuela otra vez, BJR?

En Cada mes con la profesora, voy a practicar el español doce veces durante el año, con una hora cuando escribiré sombre una tema y después hablaré con una profesora.

Finally, in BJR Confidential #2, I will work on eliminating a personal bias, a failed repeat from 2020. Many of you who live in Louisiana might suggest I should work on my bias against people who live in Louisiana, but I will not.

2020 was such a disastrous year with my personal goals that I had to create a rating in between success and failure called “Well, In Spirit…” which is a close cousin to the participation medal for the kid who stood in the outfield and didn’t drool as much as last season. The final scoring:

Success! Only two goals, Mamamia (trying something regularly for Mum that would improve her quality of life) and Green Green (figuring out my approach for impact investment in Oz) could be deemed to have met the criteria for a win.

Well, In Spirit… First in this weak-as category was The Spice Must Flow (buy a spice rack and learn to cook with it). I did become a better cook this year but it didn’t revolve around spices (thank you, Leigh). And while I did create a clear picture of what I wanted in terms of work for my Paint by Number goal, I did not do any retros of whether or not I’d make any progress. The new gig at Grok definitely fit the picture, thus a victory ‘inspiritu proximus’. If it wasn’t clear to you before that I’ve never taken Latin, it should be now.

Wah-wah. Send in the clowns, and send in the rest of my goals so they can plummet into the bucket of failure:

  1. Cazzo! I never took formal Italian lessons and will not count Duolingo as enough.
  2. I wish I was a little bit taller. I stopped seeing the scoliosis therapist once she shut down her business.
  3. I live my life 20 kilometers at a time. Never did a bush/trail run of that length, or any length for that matter.
  4. BJR Confidential #1. I did not meet my goal about improving my approach to relationships.
  5. BJR Confidential #2. I did not spend the time to work on my largest personal bias. I am going to keep this one for 2021. It’s worth working on.

Want to read past blogs about BJR’s goals? First, reconsider how you spend your time. Then, read on: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015

Happy New Year — to you and yours and theirs and ours and any other possessive pronouns.

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