Thought Leadership

Half-year progress report on “12 Things”

By Colin Walls

At the start of the year, I made a list of “12 things for 2019” – things that I would like to do in the course of this year. 12 was a somewhat arbitrary number – big enough to be interesting, but small enough to be attainable. I figured that, as we have nearly reached the half-way point in the year [that was fast!], it would be a good time to take stock …

I did report my progress after 2 months, which was encouraging, but I hope that I can show further progress now. Some people have interpreted the number 12 as signifying one thing per month, but that is not correct. Some things will not be complete, by definition, until the very end of the year. So, 6 months in, I cannot realistically expect to check 6 boxes. Let’s see:

  1. Have a meat-free monthDONE in March.
  2. Make up to date photo books – No progress yet.
  3. Make some cookies – Not done yet.
  4. 3 new fish dishes (recipes or types of fish)DONE. In fact, I have blown this one away.
  5. Have a dairy-free month – Not done yet. Must schedule. I am thinking about November.
  6. Scan/scrap old 35mm slides – Not done yet. I have just researched methods.
  7. Do regular yoga – We have been doing weekly classes. It is just a matter of keeping them up to the end of the year.
  8. Home office makeover – Not finished. More work to do.
  9. Make cheese – Not done yet. Must schedule.
  10. Buy no clothes in 2019 – So far, so good. I have to be wary of making a purchase in a moment of forgetfulness.
  11. Participate in the Hay FestivalDONE. The goal was to attend at least 3 sessions and I went to 4. A really enjoyable day.
  12. Research swifts’ habitat (nest boxes)DONE. We did not succeed in attracting swifts this year, but that was always unlikely. I did all the right things to attract them to return here next year. This has proved to be an interesting project.

I think that this is satisfactory progress. Four boxes checked and all the whole-year ones on target.

There is a #13: make a list of 12 things for 2020 …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at