Tiscornia Beach Lighthouse on Lake Michigan with waves

My 2024 Goals

It’s been a bit since I tried setting personal goals or resolutions. Honestly, I got a bit burned out on them, and with life being so hectic now with kids it just kind of fell to the side. I recently finished reading Atomic Habits at the recommendation of a coworker, and the idea of focusing on having a system that keeps you on track to get where you want to be was really appealing to me. So with that in mind, here are three identity-based changes I am focusing on this year, as well as what habits I add or change to try to get there.

Goal One: I am a person who cares about their health

The hard reality here is that I am currently obese, which is pretty universally accepted to be bad for your health. I also have 3 young children, and more and more I find myself thinking about the inevitable outcome of the current situation, which is less time with my kids. Since the pandemic I have lost most of the ways I was keeping myself in shape and gained a bunch of small unhealthy habits that just added up. Last year I did manage to start this, got back to the gym, and in general started being a bit healthier, and I want to continue that progress.

Evidence of this being successful at the end of the year will be:

  • I regularly make and attend doctor’s appointments on time
  • I know my health vitals (Weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc) and they are in a healthy range.
  • I have daily habits that keep me on track and make it easier to stay healthy
  • I enjoy the things that keep me healthy (Gym, food, etc)

Small habits to focus on to get there:

  • Don’t eat late night snacks
  • Prepare healthy lunches ahead of time
  • Attend regular (at least annual) Doctor’s appointments and get a health baseline. (Track my weight, blood pressure, etc)
  • Don’t regularly watch TV at lunch or after work
  • Start playing a sport again regularly
  • Work up to exercising 5 times a week

Goal Two: I am a morning person

I’ve realized something about myself the last few years: my life is just better when I wake up before 6:00am. I’ve gone long stretches, several months even, of waking up early and love it when I get in that groove. Its easier to do all the things I want to do in a day, I have more energy, and enjoy my day more when I have some time in the morning to myself. Unfortunately, it’s always felt like a fight against my natural tendency to be a night owl too. This year I would like to shift that thought so that I can feel like I am a morning person, not that I’m fighting to be one.

Evidence of this being successful at the end of the year will be:

  • I get up early every day, not just when I have a reason
  • I enjoy my time in the morning and look forward to it
  • I go to bed looking forward to the morning instead of dreading it
  • I have a morning and evening routine I follow every day

Small habits to focus on for long term success:

  • Regularly go to bed no later than 11:00
  • Keep a daily streak count of mornings I am awake by a certain time
  • Establish a bedtime routing I follow every evening
  • Reading instead of watching TV at night when I need to wind down
  • Plan my day out the night before, have things ready, and something to do planned
  • Establish a morning routine I follow every morning

Goal Three: I am someone who pushes themselves beyond their comfort level.

In general, I enjoy like trying new things and generally do so at a regular base. However, I have noticed one side-effect of the homogeny of remote work is that it’s easy to fall into routines. That’s generally not a bad thing, but it can lead to getting too comfortable and falling into a rut without realizing it. This year I want to make sure that I have something to push me to not stay still for too long and get

Evidence of this being successful will be:

  • I push myself to experience new things I haven’t done on a regular basis.
  • I regularly schedule time for learning across a variety of subjects
  • I seek out different experiences, even when it is uncomfortable to do so

Small habits to focus on for long term success:

  • Read something new every month
  • Expand in interest in a hobby at least once a month
    • Contribute to a new open source project
    • Grow something new in my Garden
    • Brew a new style of beer
    • Try a new woodworking technique
    • Write more regularly on my blog
  • Working on learning a foreign language every day

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