In true cliched fashion, every year seems to go by quicker than the last. But quick or not, 2009 has been an amazing year for me. I've tried new and exciting things, met loads of wonderful people and helped my fellow man - thanks in no small part to my New Year's Resolutions.
But all the self-improvement stuff aside, its results we care about. So here's a quick outline of how I did, in a marginally different order to how I wrote and achieved them.
Organise the kitchen cupboards [blog entry]
This was a fairly straightforward one, but typically for the procrastinator in me, I didn't seem to get round to it very quickly. But in July I discovered an ingenious way of forcing my hand on this one. I moved flat.
Take the PADI Advanced Open Water course [blog entry]
One of the first resolutions I ticked off this year. Wasting no time I booked onto a course in March...when the water was about as cold as it was going to get. Still, somehow I managed to pass, despite getting totally lost in a mud puddle hear Heathrow.
Sadly, the lead instructor on the course, Kevin Beurle, passed away over the summer. I'd met him a year previously during another course, and during the short time I knew him, I was proud to call him a friend.
Run a 10k for charity [blog entry]
A particularly fun resolution to complete, and even better because I managed to convince a friend to give it a go as well! Tanya and I ran the British 10k London Run, supporting our favourite charities. I was supporting Epilepsy Research, and Tanya was supporting Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
Thanks to everyone that sponsored me, and helped me raise a total of over £200 to help fight epilepsy.
Get booed off stage at an open mic comedy night [blog entry]
The first resolution I completed, and probably the one that's affected me most over the year. Since giving stand up a go in March, I've done a total of 38 gigs, and have been helping run an open mic night every Wednesday. I've met a whole host of comedians, and am constantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming the community is.
So I'm definitely going to keep going with this one. Maybe one of these days I'll get some laughs too!
Finally release the iPhone game I've been working on [blog entry]
March was a busy month, as it also saw me release Togolon to the iTunes Store. Since then, I've put out a free "Lite" version and a number of updates. Sales haven't been entirely stellar (or even on the scale of a small moon), but I've learned a lot and I've got a few new releases up my sleeve for 2010.
Learn to play an instrument, even if only the Ocarina [blog entry]
I was a bit surprised that I managed this one, having never been able to get to grips with any instrument before. Its amazing what having a goal can do, I didn't even complain about my short fingers...
Visit at least two countries, and write a review of the local traditional breakfast foods [blog entry]
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one, seeing as it ended up requiring me to go abroad on my own. But surprisingly, I had an amazing time! Possibly because I took my camcorder with me to keep me from going mental or talking to random strangers whose English was just about good enough to discuss the weather. I even put together a few YouTube videos following the trip.
I'm quite keen to plan my next holiday now.
Give blood [blog entry]
Another one I wasn't entirely sure I'd be able to complete. Not least because of my fear of needles (thanks to Charlie for dragging me there), but also that the equipment broke the first time and I had to go back for a second go.
But go back I did and it was much easier the second time. So that in mind I plan to keep going whenever I can, and sooner or later they might even give me a badge!
Write something on this blog at least once a week
This might be a bit controversial, but I'm counting this one as completed. Even though there were a couple of occasions when I went more than a month without an update. However, I've written a total of 96 entries in 2009, which averages out to 1.82 a week. So I think that should make up for the odd delay.
Convince someone to create a Wikipedia entry about me
Ok, hands up, I failed at this one. Despite a poorly promoted web campaign and the odd offer from friends, my Wikipedia entry failed to materialise.
Still, this was a pretty lofty goal, and I wouldn't have included it had I known what I know this time last year. I'm definitely not well known enough to warrant a page, and trying to game the system is a bit of a childish thing to do. Next year I'll set a more achievable goal: A Nobel Prize (I hear their standards are less rigorous).
One day though, I shall be a person of note!
90% ain't bad
So that's it for 2009! 9/10 goals achieved. If I were in school, I'd get an A*. That's modern education for you.
A huge thanks to everyone who helped me with my resolutions (and the aftermath), in particular: Charlie Richardson, Tanya Chong, Ali Ball, Phil Lunn, Elise Harris, Dale Lately, Nelson de Gouveia, the folks at Big Squid, and everyone who has supported me through sponsorship, coming to see a gig or just words of encouragement.
Thank you, and a slightly early Happy New Year!