My Personal Goals for 2021

I’ve been doing this annual goal setting for a few years now. I’ve found it good way to keep track and more effective than New Years Resolutions.

TL;DR: All targets from 2020 rolled forward and three new ones added.

Photo of two people hanging upside down from a goal. Seen in Kettering, April 2020.

>> Read 50 books. [No change in target]. Last year I read 70 books, which was driven to some extent by covid-19, with spending more time at home and sneaking in a hour of reading during the day at a weekend all added up. However, I’m keeping the target the same. Reading a book a week on average still feels like the right balance between an achievable target vs making it another burden. Sub-targets within this are to:

Read three Victorian classics. Hardy and Gaskell need some attention according to my tracker.

My Victorian classics tracker

Read three books to educate myself more about race. On the shelf is White Fragility, but I don’t have any other selected,but the list from Strand Book Store has been a good source so far.

Finish the Biography of Ceasar that has been neglected for about three year, so much so that it doesn’t even appear on my “currently reading” log each week.

>> Summarise 100% of non-fiction books read. [No change in target]. I’m still finding the three-sentence summary useful when I’m trying to remember which book said what thing.

>> Cycle 4000 miles. [No change in target]. This still feels like a stretch target for a normal year (I’ve only managed to hit this target in 3 out of the last 8 years).

>> Cycle a Gran Fondo each month [No change in target]. I managed 8 in 2020, but they weren’t spread over each month. Being able to do a Gran Fondo and not feel like death at the end of it is a good indicator of my fitness levels, so I’m keeping this one in.

>> Write 10 Blog Articles. [No change in target]. I’m going to aim to write about more diverse things this year, but 10 still feels like a stretch on top of week notes.

>> Get 2,000 Twitter Followers. [Revised target]. This is a completely pointless and arbitrary target, but having gone over 1,000 in 2020, 2000 is the next big landmark. The real target of course is for me to have more followers than Simon Weldon.

>> Get to my target weight. [No change in target]. My weight is totally linked to how much exercise I’m doing. I don’t like to stop eating, so this year was bit up and down. I spent Jan to Mar still in the post-LEJOG laziness and it wasn’t until spring and the first lockdown that I ramped up my cycling, such that I’d got back to a pretty good level of fitness in September, only to have an out of the blue shoulder/neck injury that stopped me doing much until December. But as I’m turning 50 in 2022, I’d like to enter that year in reasonable shape.

>> Spend more time with my family and friends. [No change]. This was a new target for 2020, and covid-19 certainly had an impact on time spent with my family. I’m looking forward to being more deliberate with spending time with friends when we’re able to.

>> Write weeknotes. No target (intentionally). This is now part of my weekly pattern and I can’t see it stopping in 2021. As my role has changed to be operating at the Group level, it will be even more important to use this as one method of communication. Someone (who I can’t find now I look) recently said about weeknotes — that they can be used mainly for personal refelection OR to communicate to your team on what you’re thinking, but both. I’d not thought about that decision point before, I’ve just done them as I see fit and it has seemed to work. So taking that on board, there’s probably a bit more this year about being sharing more stuff, even if I assume people already know it.

>> Write two “Thought” Pieces. [New Target]. In 2020 I wrote a blog which I then adapted for an article in HTN, and I intend to do more. There are too many CIOs in the NHS who are not using their voices to talk about what they are doing or to agitate for us building a better NHS.

>> Achieve a Coaching Qualification. [New Target]. I’ve benefited so much from coaching over the past few years and having read some more about it in 2020, would like to learn more about applying it to help others.

>> Achieve Certified Healthcare CIO Status. [New Target]. A few of my peers have done this in the past couple of years. I think it is important that we continue to drive up the professionalism of the CIO role in the NHS. This will be one small part of it for me in 2021.

Next update — April 2021…

Husband. Dad to 3 smashing lads. Cub Leader. MAMIL. Group CDIO for Northampton and Kettering Hospitals. Ex NHS Digital. Views own. Always learning.