From Regrets, Goals

Being an organised chap I set goals, each with its own, detailed to-do list.  The trickiest part is choosing the goals in the first place.  How often have you sat down and thought, what do I want to do with my life?

I went for a very long walk on an abandoned winter beach to review my goals.  I found it helpful to notice regrets from each period of my life, and to turn each into a goal for the future.

Looking back on my early adulthood, I regret not buffing up and doing interval training.  These are now on my list of goals.  Being an old bastard, simply maintaining a routine is enough.  No point aiming for PBs now I’m near 40.

Also when young, I regret not making long-term investments.  This is now a goal well near completion.

Throughout much of my life, I regret not relaxing more.  The hard times would have been easier had I not added to my suffering all my angst about my suffering.  I should not have beat myself up so much about my failings or worried so deeply about the future.  Hence, regular meditation and study of Stoic and Epicurean philosophy are on my list of goals.  These help me to deal rationally with adversity.

In the last country I lived in, I regret not having learned the language to a higher level of proficiency.  It would have come in handy.  I now aim to regularly study the local vernacular in any future host country, no matter how tedious or ugly the language is.

Finally, whether making large or small life choices, I find it helps to reflect on my goals and determine what decision would best help to achieve them.  I.e., where should I go on my next holiday, and what should I do there?  To do this I need to remember all eight of my present goals in simple summary form.  I made up a nice little mnemonic acronym for this purpose:

Five Coloured Whites Read The Latest S & M.

Fitness, Chillax, Write, Read, Travel and adventure, Language, Sex, Money.

I am aware that this is odd.  I’m cool with that – see number 2.


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  1. bucky · October 16, 2017

    Good post. IIRC you’re in deepest Africa or something without Internet access so you won’t read this, but for anyone following along, don’t consign yourself to no PBs on fitness simply because you’re in your late 30s. That’s still ridiculously young. I’m in my late 40s and I find that the vastly improved knowledge out there about fitness and diet nowadays more or less balances out my age. For example, while I was doing 3 sets of 10 on every lift and subsisting on pancakes and Burger King when I was in my 20s, now I’ve got the various Beachbody workouts that incorporate things like muscle confusion and tempo lifting, and intermittent fasting with a high-protein, high-healthy-fat diet. I can actually do several more pull-ups now that I could do when I was young for example. Sure, I’ve got to be more careful with the joints and about injuries in general now, but what I’m saying it that there’s no reason to consign yourself to no gains because you’re approaching middle age or even well into it.

    Gonna go lift now.


    • Nikolai Vladivostok · October 16, 2017

      Actually you just caught me on my R&R back in civilization. Cheers for the pep talk. How old are you, Bucky?

      Another thing, re-reading this post months after I wrote it has made me realize that sometimes one goal gets in the way of another. For example, building fitness is hard where I live because I get sick a lot. Also, available women scarce. OTOH I’m learning a lot and having adventures. Gotta lie in the bed I’ve made but I need to consider my priorities for the future


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