Looking back on 2013

As the end of the year draws near, it is time for a quick review of the goals I have set myself at the start of 2013. My plans for 2014 will be posted later on as I am still drafting them at the moment (between lack of sleep and diaper changes..).

Run six half marathons.
The counter got stuck at five. My training regime in the first half of 2013 (running once a week and cycling a couple of times per week) wasn’t enough to keep on running half marathons comfortably and with pleasure. I even took a break from running altogether throughout the summer. October saw me back on the road again, and I managed to get back to a decent fitness level quite swiftly. That’s the good news. However, I haven’t had the time and opportunity yet to compete in another half marathon, but I am certainly looking to do so in 2014.

Volunteer abroad for a month, or make the plans to do so.
One of the perks of my job is that I get to volunteer abroad for a month after having been with the company for four years. I achieved this landmark last month, so technically I’m eligible for a month off from office work. However, our little one has recently been born, which put a hold on these plans for a while. I am planning to leave in June of next year now, so the plans have been made. I have also seen a couple of very interesting projects which I’d love to aid with my time and effort, but nothing’s set in stone yet. Also, more to follow in the coming year.

Cycle to my parents’ house.
Failed. I planned to do so in the spring, but I got distracted. This one will be put off for a while as I don’t know whether I’ll be cycling enough next year to try and do this. Running will be my main priority for the next year.

Get my A1-level certification in Italian.
Done! I passed the test I took in May with flying colours. I’ve joined a fourth year class for this year and will try and take the A2-level exam in May of 2014.

Find and read the remaining Asterix comics.
Done, after a couple of reservations from the local library. I didn’t really enjoy the latest comics, the earlier ones were far better if you’d ask me. But still, another item completed.

Add another bottle to my cognac collection.
One of the main changes of mind I’ve had in the past year is to not focus on having ‘stuff’ anymore (which doesn’t mix very well with having a child and the resulting gifts, by the way..). As a result, I haven’t been paying attention to the cognac ads on Ebay and the like and haven’t added a new bottle to my collection. If something good comes along for the right price, I’ll still take it probably, but it’s no priority at the moment.

Add five new items to the list.
That one’s been completed as well, if I counted correctly I added nine new items in 2013. Which is a good thing, of course!

Apart from these, I’ve managed to complete another couple of items from my list in 2013:

  • By far the most important one, of course, is the extension of our household with our first son. He’s doing great so far, and we couldn’t be happier with him. As having and raising children is on my list, this deserves a mention in the 2013 review as well.
  • I ate something I grew myself (herbs). And I learned growing my own food is not for me.
  • I went to my first classical music concert (a performance of Mozart’s Requiem). And I loved it, so it won’t be the last time for sure.
  • I fully paid off my student loans. I planned on paying off around a third of the outstanding balance in 2013, but I got inspired by communities such as Mr. Money Mustache and proceeded to pay off like a madman, which resulted in the debt being killed totally this month. Success!
  • All in all, it’s been a great year, and I’m looking forward to an even better 2014. I’ve probably not thought through all of my 2013 goals well enough as I didn’t manage to complete them all. Partly, this is because life got in the way, but it’s partly due to poor planning from my part as well. I will definitely take these lessons into 2014.

    For now, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a great 2014 full of experiences!

    2013 in review

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