It's not very often that we get the chance to reinvent ourselves, to shapeshift into some new form previously unbeknownst to us.
A new year represents that opportunity for many. While I truly despise the traditional idea of New Year's Resolutions, I find that the beginning of a new year still offers a clean slate.
I simply prefer to go about it in a different, more sustainable manner. I see the new year as a time to reflect and redirect course, rather than set unreasonable standards for myself.
For example, when life gets busy and my schedule is packed, something has to go by the wayside. This was the project to neglect.
A new year means back to writing for myself.
How do I set my goals?
Previously, I've written a good sum of blog posts on how to set goals and how to be productive and all that good, responsible stuff. I'll keep it simple today.
I like to split my goals for the coming year into two categories: achievements and fun (or fun and not-so-fun, depending on your perspective). It's the perfect balance between work and play, in my humble opinion.
For my real-deal goals, I break my life down into categories. This year was finance, education, fitness, habits, relationship, and family.
The whole process is meant to be fluid and conformed to your needs; your categories may be vastly different from mine, and that's perfectly alright.
For fun, I brainstorm a small bucket list with 12 items. The idea is that I'll do at least one fun thing a month over the year. Honestly, it doesn't often pan out that way, but you get the gist.
Why is goal setting so great?
I think a lot of people have a love-hate relationship with setting goals. It can feel constricting, almost suffocating to have so many commitments hanging over our heads.
However, goals are great because they provide direction.
I prefer to write my goals the old way: pen and paper. This way, my goals are a written contract with myself. What I write, I'll stay committed to.
My Outlook on 2023
Okay, done with all the boring, philosophical talk. Now to the fun stuff!
Capping off 2022 and going into 2023, I desired time to reflect on the past year and how I could make the coming year even more enjoyable.
When I sat down with myself, it became abundantly clear what I need to do.
No wasting time, no getting lost down the rabbit hole, none of that jazz. This year is a year for being intentional and setting out to get whatever the hell you want.
I'm young and somewhat free-spirited: why not go explore the world a bit?
You see, what I sought to do when I sat down to make my goals and my annual bucket list was to inspect my life, identify what gets me going, and implement more of what I'm passionate about.
I highly recommend doing the same. Find what gets you going, what you love to do, and then relentlessly seek it out.
For example, I found that being in nature and exploring is something that grounds me. So I'm trying to hit as many state parks as possible, and I'm saving money like a madman to travel over the summer.
The big takeaway? Take things into your own hands.
My Goals for 2023
Alright, here goes nothing. This is my heart and soul on the page here, so enjoy and hopefully take away an idea or two!
You'll find that my goals often align with my bucket list items. This is done on purpose; contradictory visions yield no results.
Financial information is a bit of a tough topic to talk about. While I believe in transparency, I would rather not post my financial information on the internet for everybody to see.
That said, I'll give you a rundown without the numbers.
1) Reach $X net worth
2) Grow my side hustle to $x per month
3) Save $x for traveling
Education is something I feel strongly about, but not necessarily in the traditional sense.
Yes, I want to do well in school and that's a goal of mine but it doesn't need to be that way for everyone. I think self-educating is immensely powerful, even better than traditional education in some scenarios.
1) Maintain a 4.0 GPA at Texas A&M University
2) Read 26 books
3) Take 3 online courses
Fitness is where I love to push myself. As far back as I can recall, I've been a nut about fitness and health.
When I stopped playing baseball, I started running and lifting weights to keep myself occupied.
1) Run a marathon
2) Log 750 miles of running
3) Maintain my strength (bench press, overhead press, squat, and deadlift)
Habits open the door to new levels of success. However, it's challenging to set habits in college and stick to them when bouncing back and forth between the dorm and my home.
I'm striving to create a real routine this year, one that will be consistent wherever I go.
1) Journal daily
2) Meditate 3 times a week for 10 minutes
3) Cook more often
4) Develop a good sleep hygiene routine
This is a new category for me, considering I was not with my girlfriend at the start of last year.
Being a bit of a romantic, I think keeping the fire alive is incredibly important, as well as communicating well with each other.
I'm choosing to keep these goals between myself and my girlfriend, but they center around making time for each other and continuing to communicate effectively.
This category is also new for me this year. Living at home, there was never any extra effort necessary to talk with my family and stay close.
Now that I'm living in College Station, things have changed.
1) Call home once a week
2) Do something with my siblings once a month
Twelve by Twelve
Best for last! This is my annual bucket list, with twelve things I want to do in the next twelve months.
Even if you don't set goals, at least do this! Having something to constantly look forward to is what keeps me going.
1) Backpack Europe
2) Go skydiving
3) Attend a music festival
4) Achieve conversational fluency in Russian
5) Go kayak camping
6) Master 3 recipes
7) Build a stand for my new record player
8) Write a novella
9) Play a round of golf
10) Read Game of Thrones
11) Find the best coffee shop in Houston
12) Go ice skating (I already did this one, and let's just say it didn't end very well)