2017 has been a pretty good year for me. I've done a fair amount of travelling, seeing many new places. I've obtained a new qualification; a PGCert in Occupational Psychology. I've also lost a fair amount of weight over the year and have continued to improve my physical fitness. My personal highlights for the year are my trip to the US and my successful Movember challenge.
The trip to the US was something I had been looking forward to for months. I had been to the US twice before; a high school exchange in South Carolina, and a trip to New York around twelve years ago. This was going to be something different though as the plan was to travel to a number of cities. In total, we saw New York city, Stamford, Hartford, Syracuse, Boston, Niagara Falls and Washington D.C. among others. It was a great trip.
My Movember challenge was particularly satisfying. A set a fairly difficult target of cycling the distance from John O'Groats to Land's End. A distance of just over fourteen hundred kilometres. In the beginning I was told to not push myself too hard and that my fundraising target of £250 would be unlikely to be met. In the end, I finished the distance with time to spare and raised £266 for the Movember Foundation.
2017 did have a few disappointments though. I was disappointed with how my studies went with the University of Leicester for my MSc. My disappointment was based on the quality of the marking and the professionalism of the staff. Despite presenting them with definitive proof that they had made mistakes in the marking of work, they were unwilling to discuss the matter further. Also, there were clear differences in how they treated deadline extension applications. I'm not going to waste a lot of time discussing it here, but my opinion of that institution is as low as it can possibly get. My studies were not wasted though. When I decided to exit that course, I had accumulated enough credits for the PGCert and in late January I am starting my studies again with a different institution.
Moving in to 2018 I have two main goals. The first goal is to reduce my body fat percentage. I want to drop it to below 15% by year end. I'm at around 28% currently, a figure I am embarrassed by. Before my health issues a few years ago I was closer to around 12%. It may take a while but I will get there. The second goal is to read more. In 2017 I read more than 2016 but I still want to read more. I love reading. It is a very rewarding activity. The problem for me is picking up the book and finding time to read. 2017 did see me read the best trilogy of books I have read since The Warlord Chronicles. I am referring to The Century Trilogy by Ken Follet. This was a fantastic series of books that follows the lives of several families in the U.K., Germany, US and Russia from the early 1900's through to modern day. I cannot recommend this series enough.
I am aiming for twenty six books in 2018; a book every two weeks. No doubt I will read some books in less than two weeks but some may take longer. First on my list is Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, and then the sequel Homo Deus. Other books on the list include;
The Battle for the Falklands by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins
To Win a War by John Terraine
The Spartacus War by Barry Strauss
Britain Against Napoleon by Roger Knight
A Higher Call by Adam Makos
The Moral Animal by Robert Wright
Swimming with Sharks by Joris Luyendijk
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
Old World, New World by Kathleen Burk
And a fair few others...
To all my readers, I hope you have a great 2018 with health, happiness and success.
Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.