Goals for 2023
After a couple of years of being minimalist on my goals, I think it’s high time that I return to my tradition of making a giant list of goals that I may or may not actually do. But that’s OK, because as Dr. Dan says, it’s “less about the outcomes and more about the journey“. So here are my goals for 2023:
The Usual Suspects
These are the goals that set pretty much every year
- Make 23 new foods/beverages
- Read 23 books – I’m going to make a concerted effort to spend more time reading books and less time doomscrolling. I think that will be a win-win.
- Read 7,500 pages – this includes all the books from goal #2, plus any other long form things I read (e.g., journal articles, reports, student papers, grant applications)
- Publish 52 blog postings – just once a week on average. Back in the day I used to blog every day (How did I ever find the time to do that?), so this should be do-able, right?
- Write 52 journal entries – again, just once a week on average. And they don’t even have to be long (though usually once I get writing, they end up being long).
- Do 100 mindfulness meditation sessions – since I don’t have a good system for tracking minutes of meditation (which is how I kept setting my goals and then failing to know how close/far from my goal I ended up), I’m going to try setting it as a number of sessions, which I can much more easily track. This is just shy of twice per week – decided to go with a nice round number.
Some Other Stuff
These are either things that are totally new, that have been on my goals list in the past but not recently, or things that were on my last 101 things to do in 1001 days list that I never got around to doing.
- Learn 12 things and blog about them – doesn’t matter what they are!
- Do 10 unassisted chin ups in a row – I believe my current personal best is 4 in a row. I’ve asked my trainer at the gym to built my program to work on this goal
- Do stretches 260 times (i.e., 5 days a week) – I’m notoriously bad at doing stretches, and also constantly stiff and achy. But back in November a massage therapy student1 told me that stretching after a workout isn’t just good because it helps with range of motion and flexibility (which I’ve been told a million times and never seemed to motivate me), but that it can also help with maintaining the strength gains from the weightlifting . This seemed to motivate me to actually do some stretching and then after doing it for a bit, I started to notice that I do feel less stiff and achy2! So I’ve now built a habit of including some cool down stretches after each weightlifting session, so I’m already doing this 3x a week. But I want to include some stretches on non-workout days too!
- Practice French every day this year – I’ve been using Duolingo to learn French and I’m currently on a 124 day streak (including yesterday and today, the first two days of this year) and I want to keep it going for the whole year!
- Eat fish or a plant-based protein for dinner at least once per week – Given my high cholesterol, seems like a good idea to swap in more fish/plant-based protein and swap out some red meat from my diet.
- Make a charitable donation every month – Instead of waiting until December like I usually do, I’m going to start donating earlier in the year!
- Make a habit of setting up the coffee maker every night so it’s ready for the morning – I make coffee every morning and I always find it a hassle to clean out yesterday’s coffee grounds and fill up the water3. But if I do that task the night before, it doesn’t feel like nearly as much of a hassle and it makes my morning just that much smoother. And yet, Night Time Beth is lazy and thinks “I’ll just do it in the morning.” And then Morning Beth curses her the next morning. So I’m going to try to make a habit of getting the coffee maker ready each night to make the next morning go smoother4.
These are just things I’ve been meaning to do for ages and hopefully having them on my goal list will prompt me to do them!
- Update my list of all my accounts and other relevant information for the executrix of my will – I made a list once upon a time, but it’s out of date and really needs to be brought up to speed
- Update my emergency kit – I have an emergency kit in case of some terrible natural disaster (which honestly seems more and more likely by the day), but it’s been awhile since I looked in it and I think that it’s very likely that at least some of the emergency food is expired by now, so I should probably throw up anything that’s expired and replace it with new stuff.
- Buy new lamps for the living room – I’m tired of the old Ikea lamps that I have and would like to get something nice to go with my couch.
- Buy wood for shelves – I’ve installed some shelf brackets in my living room and home office and need to get some wood to be the actual shelves. My attempt to get said wood was thwarted by the big storm in December5 So all I need to do is re-connect with the guy from the wood place and set up a time that I can go and get it once he’s had a chance to get the appropriate sized pieces from the yard.
- Clear all the draft blog postings out of my “Drafts” folder (either finishing writing them or give up on the idea and delete it) – I currently have 83 draft postings. Some are just hopelessly out of date, or are a title for a posting that I had an idea for at some point but no longer remember what the idea was, and some are postings that I actually do want to finish. Would be nice to just clear this clutter up!
- Tidy up all the papers in my office – my office has giant piles of papers on every possible surface, from the various different projects I’m working on and various courses that I’m teaching6. I have a big filing cabinet in my office, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get that stuff more organized.
- Do a quarterly check in on my goals and blog about it – My system in the past few years of setting goals and then kind of forgetting about them until late December when I think “I should blog about how I did on my goals” has been, unsurprisingly, not very effective. So I’m going to set a goal to check in on my goals every quarter (and put that in my schedule so I actually do it!)
- I live about a block away from a massage therapy college where you can get cheap massages at their clinic. So I go there a lot – in part due to my constant stiffness and achiness. [↩]
- I later did a quick literature search and can’t actually find any research to back this up, but by that point I’d already developed the habit and found that I did like being less stiff and achy. [↩]
- It has a built in grinder, so I don’t even have to grind the beans – just make sure that the hopper is full [↩]
- Bonus points if I also pick out my outfit for the next day, which also makes my morning feel so much more smooth! Morning Beth is indecisive! [↩]
- I went to look at some salvaged Douglas fir in mid-December and the guy at the wood place was going to get it ready for me to pick up just before I was supposed to go to Ontario for the holidays, but then the storm hit and that didn’t happen. [↩]
- I know that I can read journal articles on a screen, but sometimes my eyes are sick of looking at screens, so I print them out. [↩]