For only second time in my life and first since 2005, I spent the Christmas Holidays away from my parents in Ottawa. I stayed in Calgary because I was been back East in September for my Grandmother’s 90th birthday and I will be traveling again in March to celebrate my Mother’s 60th birthday. I was fortunate to spend a few days with Big E, which was amazing, but I also had a lot of time to myself. And so, my brain had a chance to unwind from teaching and dealing with students and really do some introspective thinking. Through his exercise, I fortuitously came across a website called Eventual Millionaire. I scanned through some of the blog articles and eventually started to listen to some of the podcasts, including one where the host, Jaime Tardy, interviewed author/coach Michael Hyatt. With the New Year upon us, they were chatting about goal setting, the importance of them to move your life forward, and most importantly how to make them stick. From there, I was simply hooked and wanted to learn as much as I could.
To give some back story, I’ve never been one to set “New Years Resolutions” because I always thought you shouldn’t need a specific dates to make change. That being said, it wasn’t until this holiday break listening to these podcasts, that it really sunk in that, while 2014 definitely had its highlights, I felt I have a whole more to learn, grow, and give. Listening to this Jaime Tardy/Michael Hyatt podcast was a “Ah ha!” moment for me and it lit the necessary fire under me to get moving. I was determined to set some goals and to really follow through on them. So I read and listened, and tried to soak up as much as I could. I even signed up for Michael Hyatt’s aptly titled “Best Year Ever” series to help me further develop my goals and really get me started on the right foot.
This is what I came up with:
1. Go on a date by end of March
It surprises many people when I mention this, but it has been nearly 4 years since I was on a date. This is purely by choice because ever since I met her, I consciously decided to focus my energy on Big E, both emotionally when I saw her, and financially with additional income streams. This year, I think I’m ready to find another partner and give dating another shot.
2. Learn 2 new pieces on piano each month
Music has always been a big part of my life. I started playing piano at the age of 5 and I was fortunate to study music at University. It has been a creative outlet, as well as help me deal with many stressful periods of my life. The problem I acknowledged was that since moving to Calgary in 2009, each year I was playing less and less. This year, I want to make it a priority to practice and play more.
3. Get Big E skiing by end of year
Not only do I love to ski, but my whole family loves to as well. It has always been a big part of our family gatherings. The last couple of years, I noticed Big E’s balance was slowly developing nicely and I had introduced her to tobogganing last year, and saw that she really enjoyed the speed and the cold didn’t faze her. This year, I think it’s possible.
Update: DONE! Big E went skiing at Nakiska on February 15!
4. Make $xxx in web development/maintenance
I always want to improve on my previous targets, so my goal is to increase my website revenue by 20%.
5. Put away $xxx in savings
This year, I really want to push myself in this area and increase my savings by 50% from last year.
6. Donate $xxx to charity
This year, I want to donate about 3 times as much as I did last year.
7. Run 2 Half-Marathons between 1:45-1:50
One of the unfortunate parts of 2014 was that I injured myself pretty badly near the end of 2013 and I didn’t run any half-marathons in 2014 after my recovery wiped out about half the year. Now that I’m healthy, I plan to run not 1, but 2 half-marathons (likely May/June and September/October) AND I want to improve on my previous personal best of 1 hour 56 minutes. (The 1:45 mark is 5 minutes a kilometer, which is a pace that I believe is feasible for me.)
8. Hike 12 mountains and Backcountry 4 times and Blog/Photograph about it
Last year, I hiked 10 mountains and went backcountry skiing once. I want to improve on those areas. I also bring my trusty Canon camera along to all my adventures, which isn’t new. The new part is I want to write it about it and work on my writing skills.
9. Write 2 Blog Posts each month about non-mountain things
Following the theme of working on my writing skills, I also want to practice writing about things not related to mountain adventures. We’ll see how this works out.
10. Read 1 book every 2 months
I already read blogs/articles every day on various topics (sports, politics, WordPress, design, etc), but I wanted to focus on published, well thought out pieces of information. I also already have a growing lists of books I want to read, so I want to make it a priority. However, with everything else going on, I wanted to set a realistic goal for reading, and be able to really absorb and apply the lessons that I learn, so I set the goal at 6 for the year.
So that’s the list. I’ve been told that writing it down makes it that much more real, and one crazy stat I read says that simply writing down increases your chances of success by 40%(!), so we’ll see how to it goes. I hope to write up some updates every month or two. We’ll see…
In case you are wondering, feel free to watch/listen the interview: A Roadmap To Your Best Year Ever with Michael Hyatt.