Well on Sunday it was my birthday and I turned 25, a quarter of a century old! A bit scary and certainly got me thinking about what I'm doing with my life. I found myself doing a little mental check list of what I've achieved in my life so far, although to be honest not a lot has been checked off the list. But that got me thinking about what I've achieved so far in my poker career. Not 6 months ago I set myself some goals for the year and I wondered if I'd be living up to them and getting somewhere. So I figured it's perhaps time to do a little check list of my poker goals and see where I am so here goes, my goals for the year:

 - My general goals for the year are to improve as a player of all kinds of poker, my main focus however being on NLHE, Razz and PLO. This will be done by playing more, watching videos and going to live trainings and review my and others hands.

Check! It's quite hard to judge this one other than how I feel myself but thinking on everything I have learned this year I have to say I'm a better player. Perhaps looking at my results doesn't show the same result but I know I'm playing better and making fewer mistakes. My biggest improvement I think being in Omaha variants, O8 and Courcheval mainly, which at the start of the year I really didn't have much of a clue but now I would feel comfortable playing these at the micro stakes. By no means a master but slowly getting there.

- Try different SnG's to find which best suits me and which give the best ROI.

Check! I've played a wide variety of games and eventually found ones I'm pretty comfortable grinding while making profit in the long run. The 9-man turbo knockouts are my game of choice now, although I do dabble with other games too, and I think I'm at least starting to get down decent strategy for them. But like many things in poker It's a work in progress.

- Starting with my bankroll of about $100, I hope to increase it to over 4 figures by the end of the year.

Not check. Not even close to being on track I'm afraid. Had a lot of down swings that have been quite damaging to my bankroll but who knows, maybe I'll bink a big MTT or something.

- Using sensible bankroll management I intend to increase the level at which I'm playing to a higher buy-in.

Not check. Although I am using very strict bankroll management. Twice I have came close to my target for moving up a level but just before I got there I went on a huge downswing that turned reasonable profits into big losses.

- By doing the above I intend to increase my monthly VPP's every month (which I will record) and get my VIP status up to at least a regular Silver level.

Half a check. When I get to some serious grinding I can put myself on target to increase my VPPs to a reasonable level and if I do eventually move up a buy-in level Silver Star status seems easily achievable.

- Record and review my progress on a more regular basis in order to learn and adjust.

Check! This blog and my 'Time Vault' forum thread are a fairly good record of how I'm doing and I think it helps me realise and learn from my mistakes. It's something I never really thought of as important before this year but now I know better and I hope it's helping my pker career.

- Win a large field (over 1000 entrants) MTT.

Not check. This one was always going to be the hardest thing to achieve, especially considering I don't play too many MTTs. My closest yet was around 32nd or so in a $2.20 turbo with a couple thousand entrants. No big bucks I'm afraid but at least it shows some promise.

As for my weekly goals:

- Play (when possible) at least 5 days a week.
- Have one day a week dedicated to nothing but grinding.
- Have one day dedicated mainly to poker education (watching videos/ live training/ hand analysis).
- Have one day a week with NO POKER at all. (rest is important)

A resounding check! There may have been the occasional straying from these guidlines but for the most part I've been sticking to this. I think a good routine is one of the biggest factors in my progression this year and I plan to continue it from now on and I hope by the end of the year it'll pay dividends.

So in short it's half way through the year and I'm about half way through my checklist. Got to be fairly happy with that and now I know exactly what I still need to do. Time to hit the tables I think.