but its already April?! Eh, that’s okay, I had a list of goals in the beginning of the year but many are no longer relevant or lacked a real plan behind implementing them. There is no better time then the present to really hash out what I want to accomplish this year and why. Full nondisclosure: I stole this format from Nat Eliason, he has some great productivity hacks, if you haven’t seen his stuff before, its worth a read.
Physical Health Goals
I could define this more, but given some of the things I do on a weekly basis, this is tough to quantify a specific goal. I have bought into the Apple Eco-system and like to stay competitive with friends, so my way that I track this currently is by “closing the rings” on my Apple watch. I have this set currently for 500 calories from movement, 30 minutes of exercise, and 10 hours of standing. This would have been no problem before corona and WFH, but last year I definitely was less active as a result. So to combat this, I have been competing with friends to close our rings. If I see someone is kicking my butt and I’ve been lazy that day, it helps me find some motivation to get up and get active.
Reach <20% Body Fat
When I graduated High School I was in great shape. I was eating relatively health foods, getting plenty of exercise and had an active metabolism. I was extremely active at the fire department, and spent time doing other active things. College life set in and just like every freshman; I put on a few extra pounds. Then I started working full time, getting home from work and being exhausted killed any motivation to work out. I started adding more obligations to my life and my working day quickly expanded to fill the entire day and evening. My traditional day job is generally followed by either ambulance shifts, fire department drills, hazmat, special ops, or meetings for any of those agencies. Some of those events are active and hands on, some are meetings. Long story short, I’m not getting any younger, I want to cut my body fat down so I can stay healthy.
Go on 4 Camping Trips
Nature and the outdoors are something that help me relax and escape from the world for a bit. As you read above, I stay busy. Some times its jumping from job to job, meeting to meeting, fire to fire, etc. My phone rings constantly with work related items. Getting into nature gives me to opportunity to be phone/electronic free. I spend a lot of time on the ambulance or at the fire department where you put your own life aside for a bit, I can spend some time with my own thoughts and just process my life for a bit. This year I’m hoping to get out in nature more and appreciate the world around me.
Physical Health Guidelines
Earlier this year I was going out to lunch or dinner a majority of the week. I’ve cut this back now to special occasions and to go to the bar with some (vaccinated) friends, but even that is a bit more than I should. The food is usually less healthy and the cost is also higher than a meal from home. One of the steps I’ve taken was signing up for a local meal delivery service. They deliver relatively healthy meals twice a week this has been saving me money and time while ensuring at least a meal or two a day has some veggies in it.
Spend 1+ Hours Outside Daily
Simple and straightforward, if can spend an hour outdoors each day, I’ll be getting fresh air, exercise, and hopefully some Vitamin D. I realize it won’t be possible each and every day, but hey it can still be a goal I strive for.
Workout or Walk Daily
Blends well with spending time outdoors, but for those days where I can’t go out side, if I can at least get a work out in, the day won’t be a loss.
Mental Health Goals
Spend 15 days without my phone
I am constantly connected to my phone. Having some time away would be a great break from the constant stream of distractions, notifications and stress.
Mental Health Guidelines
Stay off social media
I have gone a fairly long time without any social media, with the pandemic and being more isolated from people, I have found myself checking in on various apps more than I would like. Numerous studies highlight just how bad some of them can be for your mental health. Reducing my time on these apps will help improve my mental health and productivity.
Avoid the news
I’ll qualify this by avoiding sensationalist articles and instead trying to find quality news sources. I want to stay informed on the happenings of the world without getting drawn in feeling overwhelmed by them.
Take time off
I never use my PTO and when I do its usually just to spend time working or training somewhere else. This year I want to take time for me away from all my obligations to unwind and relax.
Spend more time in nature
Away from notifications, work emails and doom-scrolling apps, having some down time outdoors appreciating nature and the world.
Host 4 gatherings of 8+ people
As we start to get the pandemic under control, all (or almost all) of the people I see are vaccinated. I miss some of the in person interactions and hope to (while following whatever guidelines are outlined by the CDC) be able to hang out with friends again in non-work settings.
Foster healthy friendships
Most of the people that I interact with I know from one of my “jobs”, due to the overlap between people at some of these places, there are often some “power struggles” as some of them try to flex their authorities over each other. I’d like to think I’ve hit a level of maturity where I don’t exhibit these traits, but my plan to is take some active steps in ensuring that I am fostering healthy friendships in my live with the people around me. All my friends that I don’t work with have been in the shadows for a bit. I could blame COVID here, but I have some responsibility as well for just not keeping in touch or maintaining those relationships as much as I could/should have. As the world begins to open back up, no excuses, I’m going to work on building these back up and creating new friendships as well.
Text people more, be more responsive
I’m really bad about this, outside of a few close friends, most conversations revolved around work or are specifically related to getting or exchanging information. Rarely are they to catch up or just chat. Given the amount of time its been between contacting some old friend (pre-pandemic) this may start off a bit awkwardly, but overtime it will be more fluid. I also need to remember to text people back, often I receive messages when I don’t have the time to respond. I view the message and tell myself I’ll respond later, often later never happens. Designating some time at the end of the day specifically for replying to friends may help with this.
Try to do something fun with friends outside each week
This ties back to both my Physical and Mental health goals, but spending time with friends outdoors will be a great way to stay active, stay connected, and get some fresh air.
Promotion to Senior
I’ve been in my current position for ~4 years now. I’ve worked hard to grow my technical knowledge as well as my interpersonal skills during this time and I am ready for that next chapter.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Its easy to get stressed out by interactions with certain coworkers or certain tasks that I don’t enjoy. Some days I just need to put my head down and crunch through everything to get to the work that is more rewarding.
Find a hobby
I have a lot of “work” hobbies, I want to find something that isn’t work and that I can pick up when I want and not feel obligated to do it when I don’t. This will be a refreshing change of pace compared to what I do currently which is just slapping on more work if I find II have down time.
Refinish my deck
There is currently a few rotted boards, it needs a fresh coat of paint, and if I was really doing it right, I’d also re-level it since its starting to sink on one side.
Redo the office
I build a home office during the summer last year with matching his/hers desks. Half the room is unused now and I’ve moved my exercise bike in. Its time to go through and make the office work for my current needs. This may mean removing the one desk or just changing how that space is used. I’ll need to brainstorm on this a bit to figure out what is best.
Do a monthly financial review
I picked up a few monthly subscription services during the pandemic. Keeping tabs on what I’m still using and what I can cut along with identifying tends in my day to day spending will hopefully lead me to reducing my expenses.
Cut costs on things that don’t bring me health, wealth or happiness.
Take two trips with friends
After a year of lock down, its time to get out there and see the world. I don’t have any specific plans at this point other than getting out of town and doing something fun.