Goal setting is a funny thing. Some people say you should announce your goals to the world, others say you should keep them to yourself. My thoughts? You do you. Find whatever gives you the best chance to accomplish what you want.

I’ve yet to find a goal setting method that works for me (that I enjoy) so it’s time to try something new. I’m putting these out there somewhere everyone can see. I’ve shared some with friends previously but not in any formal setting.

The following are my goals for the coming year. I have a couple more thoughts about why I have chosen these goals and repercussions if I don’t accomplish them at the bottom.

1. Travel To 10 New Countries

running in kuwait

Last year was great, I managed to travel to lots of places to catch up with friends. That did mean the only new country I visited was Kuwait. I did see a lot of new towns, cities, and parks in Malaysia, USA, India, and New Zealand so that was awesome.

This year, it looks like I’ll spend a good amount of time in North and South America. And given I’ve only been to the Bahamas, USA, Costa Rica, and Canada I should be able to get to 10 quite comfortably.

If I was a better man, I’m guessing they’ll be Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

2. Pick Up One Of My Old Hobbies

World cup of poker for new zealand

Since arriving back in New Zealand in September, the topic of poker has come up a lot. I was playing lots during University, so when catching up with old friends from Uni they inevitably ask if I still play. I have played a tiny bit in the last few years but would like to play more. It’s not easy here in New Zealand to play live, but in America, live poker is still popular. I used to play online 99% of the time but prefer live poker more now as I spend so much time on the laptop as it is!

I think I could be a pretty great candidate for the next Chris Moneymaker? I still remember watching this WSOP on TV over 12 years ago and thinking his last name was made-up!

3. Start Making Progress To Becoming A Member Of The 123 Club

oakland as

You probably haven’t heard of this club before. To become a member of the 123 Club you need to watch a game at the home stadiums of every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL club. That is a total of 123 stadiums as of right now, but changes as teams come and go, as well as relocating and/or changing stadiums.

Thus far I’m only at 5:

  • Dodger Stadium
  • AT&T Park, AT&T Stadium
  • American Airlines Center
  • Oakland Alameda Coliseum

I’d like to get at least another five this year which should be easy. If possible, that could end up being 10-20. There are even some Facebook groups focused on chasing the goal of seeing all 123 venues, that’s pretty cool and inspirational!

4. Learn Spanish To A Conversational Level

I really like what Noah Kagan does when he wants to learn something new, he hires a coach right away. I’m not quite at that stage in being able to throw money at everything but I have a plan for learning Spanish which involves coaching down the road.

Part 1: complete Duolingo for Spanish while in New Zealand
Part 2: start taking three 1-hour lessons online each week
Part 3: enroll in a school for one month somewhere in Central or South America.

I’ll also make an effort to watch the Instastories of some of my Spanish friends. I won’t know what is going on half the time, but as I’m not a big movie watcher, this will be a good way to absorb some Spanish.

5. Run A Four-Hour Marathon

celebrating first marathon finished

My first marathon took 4 hours 27 mins. I was happy with this. My second marathon last month? 4 hours 35 minutes. I wasn’t happy with this effort, I and awesome for the first 2/3’s of the race, but then basically gave up. I still enjoy getting out for a run so it’d be great to keep improving. I don’t see why a sub four hour race isn’t possible with a little bit of dedication.

Where that race will be? Who knows! But knowing it’s in the background will be a nice little goal.

6. Join A 3-Day Vipassana Retreat

man wearing pants and tshirt

Loved my 10-day silent meditation retreat this year. Would like to follow that up with a 3-day retreat at some point during the year.

7. Read 40 Books

I completed my 52nd book this year while at a New Years Eve party. It was about 8 pm when a trip to the toilet enabled me to finish the last 5 minutes of the Inner Game of Tennis. Reading 52 books this year wasn’t easy, but I really enjoyed it.

This year I’ll be happy if I’m I read 40 books. It could well end up being 52, or even more, but I feel like some of these other projects will take up reading time.

8. Continue To Volunteer

st anthonys

Last year I volunteered in a few places, I:

  • sorted food at a soup kitchen in San Francisco
  • helped run a small hostel in Malaysia
  • helped set up a charity event in Wellington
  • delivered meals to the homeless in Turkey

These are all low hanging fruit. I’d like to get involved more this year, I’m not sure in what capacity but will keep an eye out depending on where the travels take us. I’ll go with volunteering in four countries again.

9. Play More Sport

nelson united football

Over the last 18 months, I’ve made an effort to watch more live sport and have succeeded in doing so (not so much since arriving back in New Zealand. In terms of playing sport, I’ve been running and played three games of indoor football in the last year.

What I’d like to do is get involved in some park runs as I usually run solo. And I’d like to play more sports in general, though I’m not sure how this will happen with the current lifestyle. Meetup.com has plenty of opportunities and given I’ll be spending some time in the USA there really isn’t an excuse. Does poker count as a sport?

10. Continue To Travel Overland Where Possible

megabus hustle

While it’s relatively easy to offset your carbon footprint on a plane, the demand for flights is only ever increasing which can’t be great overall. Taking overland transport can be a pain sometimes, but I’ve continued to embrace it wherever possible (budget travel wins). It’s a good chance to get some reading in too, especially given I have a Kindle now!

That’s ten goals for the year. If I can complete five of those, I’d be pretty happy with myself. Realistically, they should all be attainable in a reasonable time frame.

Why so many goals? One theory that makes sense to me is to have more goals than necessary. While setting lots of goals you will fail at more goals but you’ll also accomplish more goals (in theory). I can’t recall where I read this, but it makes sense to me. It’s natural you won’t accomplish all the goals as some won’t be a priority depending on how the year pans our.

Another thing I’ve worked out in the past few months is that I really respond to potential punishment. Therefore, I’ve decided on a form of ‘punishment’ for myself if I don’t accomplish five of these goals.

What happens if I don’t accomplish five? I’ll donate $300 to the meat industry in some fashion, most likely through a charity. As a vegan, this would kill me (pun intended), so it’s more than enough motivation to keep these in check.

In terms of judging these, some of them are judgment related (playing more sports), but that’ll be up to me. I’m not gonna be generous on myself!