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I do love a good podcast and one of my absolute favourites is Gretchen Rubin’s Happier. She does it with her sister – Liz Craft – who also has a great podcast called Happier in Hollywood with her writing partner Sarah Fain.

One of their key ideas over the last couple of years is to do a number for a year e.g. 19 for 2019, 20 for 2020 and of course 21 for 2021.

Last year I did 20 for 2020 and it was interesting to observe what did get done and what didn’t . There was some of them that I could have completed e.g. cross stitch piece and watching a play (I could have done that online – as I did with the musical) . I surprised myself by doing the 52 newsletters and I found that I enjoyed doing jigsaws more than I thought I would (have done quite a few since that first one) . I really enjoyed the audio books – I found it a very different experience to reading the book but if anything it made it easier.

So in that spirit, here is my 21 for 2021. Some of them are aspirational – they may or may not happen depending on Covid and other things but I like the idea of just naming what I would like to happen. They are , as they say on the best talent shows, in no particular order…

Updated November 2021

  1. Go for a cycle somewhere (I say that every year after watching the Tour de France – this year I’m going to make it happen). I did that – not quite a stage of the Tour – but I had forgotten about how much I enjoyed being on a bike. I also realise that I find the idea of cycling on narrow rural roads with the amount of traffic truly terrifying… However I have now decided to book next July off to watch both the men’s and women’s race..not sure if that really counts though
  2. Learn about the basics of Bitcoin – nothing fancy – just to know the basics of it. Half started it but not really done enough. Again, bit all over the place. Downloaded an app but haven’t really progressed it. 
  3. Read the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough. Still on track – finished Fortune’s Favourites and now onto Caesar’s Women – plan to finish that by mid-July. Great guns on this. Am on the last book – on track to finish it well ahead of the year end
  4. Listen to Hamilton (done that already on Spotify – fabulous stuff!). 
  5. Do a 10 k race (setting the bar low for this one – run it all, finish it and don’t die – even if they are putting out the lights when I come in). Still can’t decide about this. I‘ve parked this for this year. I’ve been struggling with any sort of motivation around exercise (even walking for the last 3-4 months)
  6. Do a hill walk again with my son – it was one of my highlights from last year. A beautiful day in Connemara – what’s not to love?. We’ve talked about it, agreed to do it, but is weather dependent. We didn’t do it – and I do regret that. We just couldn’t get the weather and schedule to combine. My lack of motivation around fitness in the second half of this year hasn’t helped either. 
  7. Visit Worm’s Head – Wales (Scene of the Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch). Probably not this year with Covid. Not happening this year – but we have rescheduled that trip so maybe for 2022…
  8. Create a playlist of all Prefab Sprout’s albums from start to finish and listen to it. (Found the playlist – now just to listen to it). Something I am going to do while on holidays. Did it – it was truly delightful and doing a playlist of all the albums of a favourite artist is something I am going to do next year as well
  9. Read 21 books (ones I already have on my Kindle – have my two done already for January – well on track with this one)
  10. Listen a Jane Austen audio book – probably Emma. I am dropping this. I’m finding it too boring for words – of which there are too many in this book…
  11. Do a long walk – probably 15 to 20 Km, Still can’t decide. I‘ve parked this for this year. I’ve been struggling with any sort of motivation around exercise (even walking for the last 3-4 months)
  12. Listen to a Shakespeare play on audio – Now have to decide which one.. Listened to Othello on Spotify – that was really enjoyable – more than I expected. I listened to it while waiting for my COVID vaccine – two of them are linked now
  13. Join a book club (already done). I have attended all these and it means that I’ve read books that perhaps I wouldn’t do otherwise e.g. on Marketing
  14. Learn three basic dance moves – had forgotten this one. I wanted to do this one with a view to doing some exercise other than walking…Still nothing happening with this one. 
  15. Visit a friend of mine in Cork (got the date set up – so looking forward to this). That happened and it was wonderful. 
  16. Get around the house finished….probably not. No but we did decide that we would work towards doing something small every week – clearing some briars, getting stuff to the recycling centre – it’s progress. 
  17. Explore the idea of doing a podcast (third episode of six recorded and thoroughly enjoying it). Here is the link 
  18. Visit Scéirde (a rocky place off the coast) – again, COVID permitting. This did not happen. This is one of these “I want to do this before I die” visits…
  19. Learn more about Artificial Intelligence – maybe do a course on it (Still investigating this – think I just want an overview first). This is another one that is stuck – have to give some thought on lowering the bar on that one. I’ve registered for a short course – but done nothing on it. 
  20. Learn more about ways to learn faster e.g accelerated learning, Ultralearning and see if there are ways for me to implement it in my training. I’ve decided that I am going to use the Ultralearning book to help design one for the summer. I‘ve enrolled in the Rapid Learner course to help me improve my learning techniques – I am constantly in a state of learning with IT and I want to learn some good techniques. 
  21. Create a new habit to help me listen more regularly to podcasts e.g. lunch and a podcast. Combine walking with a podcast. I have done this a couple of times. It worked really well one time and then didn’t work at all the second time. So the jury is out.  I’ve now started combining doing a jigsaw with a podcast and that has been working quite well. 

Updated June 2021

  1. Go for a cycle somewhere (I say that every year after watching the Tour de France – this year I’m going to make it happen). I did that – not quite a stage of the Tour – but I had forgotten about how much I enjoyed being on a bike. I also realise that I find the idea of cycling on narrow rural roads with the amount of traffic truly terrifying…
  2. Learn about the basics of Bitcoin – nothing fancy – just to know the basics of it. Half started it but not really done enough.
  3. Read the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough. Still on track – finished Fortune’s Favourites and now onto Caesar’s Women – plan to finish that by mid-July
  4. Listen to Hamilton (done that already on Spotify – fabulous stuff!)
  5. Do a 10 k race (setting the bar low for this one – run it all, finish it and don’t die – even if they are putting out the lights when I come in). Still can’t decide about this
  6. Do a hill walk again with my son – it was one of my highlights from last year. A beautiful day in Connemara – what’s not to love?. We’ve talked about it, agreed to do it, but is weather dependent. 
  7. Visit Worm’s Head – Wales (Scene of the Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch). Probably not this year with Covid
  8. Create a playlist of all Prefab Sprout’s albums from start to finish and listen to it. (Found the playlist – now just to listen to it). Something I am going to do while on holidays. 
  9. Read 21 books (ones I already have on my Kindle – have my two done already for January – well on track with this one)
  10. Listen a Jane Austen audio book – probably Emma. I am dropping this. I’m finding it too boring for words – of which there are too many in this book…
  11. Do a long walk – probably 15 to 20 Km, Still can’t decide
  12. Listen to a Shakespeare play on audio – Now have to decide which one..
  13. Join a book club (already done)
  14. Learn three basic dance moves – had forgotten this one. I wanted to do this one with a view to doing some exercise other than walking…
  15. Visit a friend of mine in Cork (got the date set up – so looking forward to this)
  16. Get around the house finished….probably not
  17. Explore the idea of doing a podcast (third episode of six recorded and thoroughly enjoying it)
  18. Visit Scéirde (a rocky place off the coast) – again, COVID permitting
  19. Learn more about Artificial Intelligence – maybe do a course on it (Still investigating this – think I just want an overview first)
  20. Learn more about ways to learn faster e.g accelerated learning, Ultralearning and see if there are ways for me to implement it in my training. I’ve decided that I am going to use the Ultralearning book to help design one for the summer
  21. Create a new habit to help me listen more regularly to podcasts e.g. lunch and a podcast. Combine walking with a podcast. I have done this a couple of times. It worked really well one time and then didn’t work at all the second time. So the jury is out.