Personal Goals Review 2023 #4 (the denouement)

Andy Callow
5 min readDec 31, 2023

In common with the past few years, at the end of 2022 I set out some personal goals for 2023, which get reviewed every quarter… #1, #2, #3. Here goes for the end of year review.

TL;DR: Cycling done well, reading continues to dwindle. Some progress on other goals. Reasonably satisfied.

Details on progress….

>> Read 50 books. Missed. I read 40 books this year, which is still a decent number.

I had a few sub-targets:

Read two Victorian classics. Achieved. This target was three last year, but this feels more achievable given how long the books generally are. I read Middlemarch by George Elliot (for the first time) and Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens (for the second time). I also read The Mysterious Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which probably counts as a classic, but isn’t on my hit list. In totting up, I’ve also added Wilkie Collins and Thackeray as people who deserve to be on the list.

Read three books to educate myself more about race. Achieved. I read three: I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou, My Name is Why by Lemm Sissay and Assembly by Natasha Brown. I also re-read parts of White Fragility for some book discussions at work.

Finish the Biography of Ceasar. Missed — again! Didn’t even read a single page.

How did the 40 books break down?

  • I read 19 authors for the first time. I also read multiple books by the same author this year; 4 x Lee Child, 2 x Colin Cotterill.

There were:

  • 32 novels — top picks: Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.
  • 1 book related to my Christian faith. Since 2021 it has been my aim to read one a month, so missed that target by a mile again this year.
  • 3 books widening my knowledge about the experiences of racism and what I can do to support.
  • 3 random non-fiction — top picks: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, The Year by Dave Barter.
  • 1 leadershippy/healthcare/technology book Broadband by Claire L Evans.

>> Summarise 100% of non-fiction books read. Achieved. As per my habit for the past few years, the summary is simply a three-sentence summary on the index card I use for a bookmark . Some of the summaries are pretty thin this year.

>> Cycle 4000 miles. Achieved. Cycled 4,111 miles, ran 61 miles and the hiked 70 miles. I had another event to train for in September, where my friend Giles and I cycled to Cumbria and back in a weekend, clocking up 303 miles over 36 hours. I also completed the Rapha Festive 500 (500km between 24–31 Dec) in the past few days. This year I completed it in less days of riding (5) than ever before. I do draw the line at riding on Christmas Day.

The graph below shows Strava’s calculation of fitness level based on heart rate and recovery times. What is obvious is a pattern of a big push for an event then I slack off for a bit until training starts for the next thing. So clearly I need the big event to motivate me.

>> Cycle a Gran Fondo each month. Achieved (sort of). I did 14, but missed out on 4 months.

>> Cycle to Work 3 times a month. Missed. I did it 26 times this year, but only managed three times in the last quarter. Some of the times I missed are due to logistics of needing to travel elsewhere during the day, stuff in the evening or something else. But I’m still enjoying that cycling to work is a possibility.

>> Get 3,000 Twitter Followers. Missed. I have 2,727 followers as at 31/12/23.

>> Get to my target weight. Missed Target. Training hard for the long ride in September had an impact without too much effort, but I know this is a stretch target so I finish the year reasonably content.

>> Write weeknotes. No target (intentionally). 43 done this year. Managed to do one for every working week.

>> Write two “Thought” Pieces. Achieved. I wrote 2 things that could be a potential candidates for this category: First-Time Board CDIOs Programme — Cohort 1 Summary and Reflections: 6 months into NUH CDIO role.

>> Do Some Substantial Research. I wrote a draft FOI for this research in January, but took me to November to have any head space to kick it off. The data is trickling in, so I’ll have some material to write up in 2024.

Other metrics:

  • Gigs attended: 7— two stand out, Trampolene and CMAT. Both brilliant in their wonderful ways.
  • Football Matches attended in person: 5. 4 x Boston United. 1 x Chesterfield
  • Trips to cinema: 2

Conclusion

Finishing the year pretty content. Wish I’d kicked off the research earlier, but starting a new job is always going to leave little spare head space for other stuff.

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Andy Callow

Husband. Dad to 3 smashing lads. Cub Leader. MAMIL. CDIO for Nottingham University Hospitals. Ex UHN and NHS Digital. Views own. Always learning.