New Years Projects 2023

Every year, I set goals for myself. I used to do this on social media, but in recent years, the settings have changed, so I’ve switched to a blog format over the past couple of years. You can find my goals from 2020 going into 2021 here: 2020 Goals, and my goals from 2021, going into 2022 here: 2021 Goals.

Why do I set goals? Because I believe setting goals helps us to make a plan and follow it to get to where we want to be. Do I always stick with the plan 100%? No. Life gets in the way, and things happen, but I strive to make progress on my goals throughout the year as much as possible. Sometimes I’m more successful at it than other times. I often set my goals around projects. Projects are anything that takes time and energy, and in order to complete those projects in a timely manner, I need a plan. Setting goals around those projects help me to make a plan to get things done.

My goals for 2022 were as follows, along with how I did on each goal.

  1. By December 31, 2022, I will write a book, edit it, send it to beta readers, and seek out getting it published. In many ways, this goal was too much for one year with everything else going on. I did manage to write quite a bit, (over 100,000 words) and did some editing too. A couple of years ago, 100,000 wouldn’t have felt like much, but since the accident, it’s more than I could have done a year ago, so I’ll take it.
  2. By December 31, 2022, I will make time to enjoy a variety of my hobbies each week, including in music, reading, photography, birdwatching, arts and crafts, and writing.  I continue to work on this. Next year, one of my goals is going to be around building habits in addition to a hobbies goal. I enjoyed more hobbies than I have in a long time, setup my piano once again with my music books, read more fiction books than I’ve read in years, took a lot of photos, and managed to get a little bit of arts and crafts in. I did a little bit of birdwatching, but not a lot.
  3. By December 31, 2022, I will gain strength and become more physically fit. I did well on this goal until winter hit. For most of 2022, I was outside several days a week hiking, playing tennis, frisbee golf, or heading inside to the gym. Once winter hit, it has been harder to get out. I’m sort of keeping this goal for next year but working into habits instead of a separate goal.
  4. By December 31, 2022, I will complete tasks around the house following weekly, monthly, and yearly checklists. We got a lot of tasks done around this house this year! There is still more I want to do, but we moved my hobby room and converted it into an office, started a new space for the hobby room, then decided to change that up as well. So next year, that will be one of our goals.
  5. By December 31, 2022, I will create and carry out goals related to work, including teaching, blogging and photography. This was the toughest goal to write, but perhaps one of the easiest to carry out because it was so broad. I’ve blogged sporadically throughout the year but want to get more consistent at it. I started a new teaching job, teaching online and explored some new projects. I’m sure I’ll go into more detail as time goes on, but for now, I’m not talking a lot about those projects since they are just getting started.

Goals for next year (2023):

One thing I learned during 2022 by tracking my goals so closely is that I really can only do about 3-4 goals per month. As such, I will have five goals this coming year, but every month, one of those goals will not be focused on. I even made out a list for myself of what to focus on when! πŸ˜‰ I’ve added a sample below, for anyone interested in trying something similar. My personal one is colored coded, but the one below is much simpler. There is one goal, building routines, that I will work on all year because it is important to keep the momentum when you are trying to build new habits.

Project 1Project 2Project 3Project 4Project 5
Januaryx
Februaryx
Marchx
Aprilx
Mayx
Junex
Julyx
Augustx
Septemberx
Octoberx
Novemberx
Decemberx

My goals for 2023:

1.Writing.

  • Isn’t this a goal every year? πŸ˜„ By December 31, 2023, I will have organized my series more and finished up some of the books in it. I am finding that having a book ready to send out to publishing is difficult when you are writing a series that constantly changes the first book. This year, I tried to make myself just write the first book and get it out, but I quickly discovered it was a really fast way to dislike and dread my own writing. I backtracked, wrote about half of one of the later books in the series, and about 1/4 of another one. It’s a rather large series, and I’ve been looking at some ideas to help me write the first part of the series without trying to force it.

2. Birdwatch

  • By December 31,2023, I will have spotted and photographed at least 120 different birds (average of 10 new birds per month) and completed my own Michigan Big Year. I love birdwatching. One of my goals for this coming year is to spot and photograph as many different species of birds as I can.

3. Habits:

  • By December 31,2023, I will build routines around the areas of music (piano/guitar), hobbies, chores and fitness. I did this last year with reading and have read more fiction books than I have in a long time. I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear last year and found it to be very informative and helpful. I want to learn to play more piano and guitar, build in my hobbies as part of my regular routine, create a better routine for household chores, and build habits to help me maintain fitness goals year-round. Some of these will likely be goals that carry over into next year, but I want to start building the routines for them now. I will start with building one routine, and then slowly add more in.

4.Blog Regularly:

  • By December 31,2023, I will blog regularly, based on a schedule I create. I’ve always enjoyed blogging, but do not keep it up as much as I would like to. I am setting a goal for myself to create a schedule for blogging, and stick with the schedule as much as I possibly can.

5. Learning

By December 31, 2023, I learn new skills, such as HTML programming, natural dyes, herb growing, and other skills that come up throughout the year. As a life-long learner, I enjoy learning new things but struggle to set aside the time to focus on continuing to build my skills. By making learning a priority this year, I am setting aside time to build the skills I want to and to use those skills in my hobbies and every day life.

6. Other:

  • Career Goals. This is part of the reason I’m limiting myself to 3-4 projects a month. The 3-4 projects are from the personal goals listed above, but this still leaves time for Career Goals. Part of the reason I wasn’t reaching the 5 project a month goals is because I wasn’t really tracking much for career goals, at least not in the same way I track personal goals. So I was doing a lot in my career, which takes time and energy, but not counting it with the projects I completed. This made is seem like I was doing less than I was actually doing. This year, I’m cutting back on how many personal goals I expect to meet each month (3-4) but will continue to work on career goals outside of my personal goals. It is much more realistic than trying to meet both career and personal goals while only noting the time for personal goals in my schedule.

Two great reads for building habits, creating routine and finishing projects are:

  1. Start Finishing, by Charlie Gilkey
  2. Atomic Habits, by James Clear

As we wrap up 2022 and head into a New Year, I look forward to seeing where life takes us next. If nothing else, life is an adventure and sometimes it feels like the twists and turns will never stop. I’ve made a plan for next year, but I can guarantee nothing will go 100% as planned out. That’s just part of living. I’ll reevaluate throughout the year, adjust the plan as needed and keep moving forward. In the end, I think that’s what really matters, that we keep going and don’t give up. I may not reach 100% of my goals, but I will know I did the best I could to get there, and changed directions when needed.

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