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Goals for 2021: Commitment

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    Sam Clarke

As I began to think about the goals I wanted to achieve and the way I could go about realising them, I began to pull my ideas together in to something of a theme, shifting away from last year's structure slightly.

My individual goals for this year are both extensions of my self-imposed targets for 2020 and entirely new areas I'm wanting to focus on.

šŸ“š Commit to reading

Last year I went hard on my reading goal from the beginning of the year. In January alone I blazed through my first 4 books without taking a break. That unfortunately wasn't the best approach as it was October before I really starting pushing myself to pick up another book and found myself cramming the final 8 books in a very short space of time. I [did reach my goal]( GHOST_URL /bookshelf/) for 2020, but only just.

This year I want to aim for consistency with my reading, but also try and keep the pace growing - I really want for picking up my kindle or a book in my sparetime to become second nature. To push me I'm setting a target of 24 books this year, but specifically I want to keep that up with 1 book a fortnight.

šŸ§‘ā€šŸ³ Commit to the kitchen

Since about November last year I've been working on learning to bake bread. Recently I got to a point with sourdough that I felt comfortable enough baking a loaf that I didn't need to check a recipe or frantically search for images of what "til it feels right" actually meant.

Simple Sourdough

This is about the most basic sourdough recipe I think you can really get away with. It uses a mix of strong white bread and rye flours, though you can ditch the rye entirely by just replacing it with more white flour, and uses only minimal equipment available in most kitchens.

Carrying across that theme of committing from my first goal, I want to make a solid effort this year to improve my skills in the kitchen and develop my personal cookbook. I've always enjoyed cooking, I have a few recipes I've played with over the last decade (*ugh*) or so and consider to be excellent, but I would definitely like to put in more effort to expand on my repertoire.

This goal is absolutely less measurable than any other I have, but I think a good target to set myself would be 6 new recipes I'm comfortable working on from scratch. Hopefully that brings with it some new kitchen toys.

šŸ”’ Commit to my data privacy

I closed my Facebook account in 2013 because I didn't like what we were discovering their business had become and how they treated their user's data. Last year I started to move away from Gmail for the same reason, I was no longer comfortable in those "relationships".

I recently came to the realisation that while I've been happy to talk the talk when it comes to data privacy and ownership, I've been much more passive when it actually comes to handing over my information as an alternative currency to each app's subscription price. This is the year I put that talk in to action and take back control of my data.

At the start of this year I permanently deleted my Instagram account and this year am committing to bringing an end to my single-sided relationship with Facebook and Google. I fundamentally disagree with the busines practices employed by these companies and their products and will do everything in my control to keep my data away from them.

So far 2021 is feeling like a turning point. I'm excited to get working on my goals and committing to myself this year.