2021 treated me well, but was only a taste of what is to come.
At the beginning of every year, I like to sit down and articulate my thoughts and goals. By putting the pen to the paper, my goals feel much more tangible; I can break them down into steps from there in order to constantly make progress. Simply put, they are clearly defined; there is no ambiguity in them.
2021 was the first year I decided to try this strategy out, and I will never turn back. Instead of mindlessly wandering and bogging myself down with busy work, I had quantifiable goals. The difference it makes is astounding. I accomplished a sizeable amount last year, and would therefore recommend everybody take part in this simple exercise. The benefits for such low effort are incredible.
That said, I elaborated more this year than last. I have a much longer list than I did last year for a multitude of reasons. Last year, I simply had a list of goals (maybe 8 or so). This year, I broke my goals down into sectors and wrote a few for each sector of my life. In addition to writing goals, I made a semi-bucket list for this year. I call it my 12x12 - it is 12 things I'd like to do within the next 12 months. It is my belief that while we should place importance on getting things done and work towards our goals, we should also enjoy ourselves and try new things. Between my goals and my 12x12, I have the groundwork to balance the two.
My Goals for 2022
In terms of my finances, I have 3 goals, all of which are straightforward. Firstly, I am going to save 50%, or half of all my income. Of that saved income, I will be investing a minimum amount per month (I have an exact number but prefer to keep it to myself at this time). Finally, starting a side hustle is a big goal of mine. I've been interested in starting a side hustle for some time now; I'm putting my foot down and doing it this year. Not only will it provide me with extra income, it will give me valuable experience.
Education and Learning
I enjoy learning new things, just not necessarily what is in line with traditional education in the American school system. Reading is currently my favorite way to learn, so I set a goal for myself to read everyday - I'm focusing on building a habit/system which will bring results rather than simply shooting for a number like last year. I have also noticed a similarity between many successful people in that they have learned from mentors in order to get to where they are. So, I made it one of my goals this year to find a mentor (although I'm not sure exactly I want to be mentored on). Lastly, take 3 classes. When I say classes, I am referring to classes outside school, mostly online classes through websites like Skillshare, Masterclass, Udemy, etc.
My fitness goals this year are simply continuations of last years goals. Last year, I aimed to run 500 miles and complete a half-marathon under 2 hours. I bumped it up to 750 miles this year while my half-marathon goal carried over (I finished a half-marathon, but I was 6 minutes over my 2 hours). Additionally, following a specified weightlifting plan is goal of mine.
Clarity and Presence
Meditate 3 times a week; not in a "hippie, woke" way but as a form of self-release and decompression. Journaling 3 times a week is also a goal of mine. I journaled sporadically last year, whereas I would love to be more consistent this year. After all, journaling has helped me articulate and elaborate on my thoughts. Starting this blog was also a goal of mine in order to document and share what I learn, experience, think, etc. Finally, spending less time on my phone is a must for me.
My 12x12 is what really excites me for this year. Achieving goals and taking steps out of my comfort zone is great, but it's equally as important to have fun and discover what you enjoy. Some actions are easy, some are much more complex; this is the point of the list. The easy ones get the ball rolling while I plan for the more complicated things I want to do. Out of my list of 12 things, I will include 11 - 1 of the things I'd like to do is a little personal and better kept to myself.
- Get a tattoo.
- Travel outside of the United States, preferably to Europe.
- Go skydiving.
- Write a novella.
- Road trip with friends
- Design my own piece of clothing.
- Attend a music festival.
- Go clubbing.
- Spend a day hiking.
- Achieve basic fluency in a language other than English.
- Watch an entire movie series.
While these only pertain to me, everybody can create their own list. As a matter of fact, I would recommend everybody creates their own list. Your list doesn't have to be as organized as mine; simply choose a few goals and write them down. Quantify and define each goal clearly. Choose a few things you'd like to do, something new to try. Write that down as well. Once you have your completed list, break each goal or thing you'd like to do into smaller steps which work towards the end goal. You may not complete them all, but you'll do much more than if you hadn't written anything down in the first place.