Lake michigan in winter

Goals for 2021

Changing my Goals

I’m excited to start a new year, and am ready to set some new goals. Last year, I tried to simplify and only set one goal and that didn’t work so well. This year, I’ve spent some time thinking about why I set goals and how to make them better.

No more hobby related goals.

I think part of the reason I got burnt out on goals the past few years is that I started to include hobbies. I was setting goals for things that I do just for fun, like woodworking. I intended for this to make sure I made time for them. The result though, is that they became something stressful, exactly the opposite of the reason I do them. This year, the goals all have to relate to me bettering myself in some way. They are mostly things I enjoy still, but things that have a purpose too.

Goals for different periods of time

Instead of setting some number of goals for the year, I am setting one goal each for every day, week, month, and one for the year. My hope is that this will help me to set priorities better and not feel like I can do something later in the year to make up for not doing it now.

Well, enough about why I set them, here are my goals for this year:

Daily – Go for a walk outside

Like a lot of people lately, I work all day in an office in my basement. I actually love working remote full time, but one thing that is sure to make a day better is to get up and get outside. It doesn’t have to be long, and I won’t be tracking how long I go over the course of the year or anything. I just have to get up and get outdoors for a walk each day.

Weekly – Complete 10 lessons in Duolingo

I enjoy language learning, but I’m not great at it. I never seem to stick with it long enough to get past the passingly familiar stage. This year I want to commit to continuing learning German. To help with that I’m committing to at a minimum doing 10 lessons a week on Duolingo. It’s not the best way I’ve found to learn to speak a language, but it does help with vocabulary and is easy to access.

Monthly – Contribute to an open-source project

I’ve contributed to open-source projects (usually WordPress) on and off for the past few years. It’s fun, provides a break from the usual things I am working on, and helps me learn new things. With COVID, all the normal ways I connect with other developers outside work have been curtailed. I’ve found open-source to be a great way to connect and also to stave off burn-out. To make this more measurable as a goal I’ll define “contribute” as either submitting or reviewing a pull request to an open-source project on GitHub.

Yearly – Three fitness benchmarks

Last year, part of the problem I had with losing weight is I have never been overly motivated by what the scale says. I’ve been heavier and in better shape and lighter but in worse shape several times in my life. More importantly, it also is just…boring. I like big goals, so this year I am picking 3 fitness goals that I have always wanted to check off my bucket list. To meet them, I absolutely will need to lose some weight, but I like that it’s not the end goal. They are…ambitious, but I once decided to do an Olympic-length triathlon when I had never done any kind of race before and that was fun, so maybe it’s not so crazy?

  • 10 consecutive pull-ups
  • 100 consecutive pushups
  • 2 mile run under 12 minutes

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