A new year is here. And it’s time for new adventures and new experiences.
But, first, I need to lay out my plans. As always, my goals are never entirely set in stone. Circumstances and events—basically, just life itself—will always change how the year unfolds. Because I cannot see into the future, I have no clue what 2024 truly holds in store for me.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m not nailing down any guideposts along the path ahead. So let’s just start stepping forward.
Health and Fitness
In the latter half of 2023, I got a bit of a health wakeup call. I’ve been putting in the work toward getting myself in good health. But there is so much more to be done. That’s why this goal is front and center this year.
Some of my specific goals are:
- Get to and maintain a bodyweight below 210 lbs. (I’m tall with a large frame, so this is a “skinny” weight for me).
- Keep my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol in normal ranges.
- Move down to an extra-large t-shirt size (or large-tall).
- Boost my fitness regimen (currently walking at least 30+ minutes/day).
- Get to the point where I can reduce/eliminate some of my meds.
The biggest thing for me is finding balance. I’m not going to immediately jump into full powerlifting mode or begin running 5K races. I need to gradually build up to a fitness routine that is actually maintainable for me and for the long haul.
I will also continue to work on finding new and exciting recipes. I love all kinds of food, but I still need to find more variety with my current diet. Again, this is all about building a health framework that I can maintain. I’m certain there’ll be some challenges along the way, but I’m motivated to meet and overcome them. Don’t be surprised if I publish a health cookbook in a few years. 🥗 🍌 🥩
I’ve already set my 2024 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 50 books.
In the past, when I’ve set huge reading challenges, I’ve always failed. Well, can reading in any form be considered a failure? At the very least, I didn’t always hit my numbers.
It could be a tough year to wrap up 50 books, considering that I’m planning to re-read all four of the existing Stormlight Archive books before Wind and Truth’s release in late 2024.
Regardless, this is a challenge that’s more about the journey. It never hurts to have a destination in mind, though.
I will refocus on my art this year. Over the past week, I’ve already begun my latest painting. I don’t know when it’ll be finished, but it’s coming along. And I am looking forward to unveiling the finished project to the world.
I have a fluid/pour painting idea that I want to experiment with. Outside of that, I don’t have any specific plans—not so great for a “plans/goals” post, Justin.
In 2023, I wasn’t in the right headspace for most of the year. I truly believe that I’m getting back on track now. And I don’t want to look back on 2024 and regret those missed opportunities to create something meaningful.
Well, learning whatever they teach me via the Duolingo app.
I took two years of Spanish in high school, but I’m afraid most of that hasn’t stuck with me. Honestly, I think it’d be cool just to have a conversation with my team lead in his native language by the end of the year.
I’m currently on a 23-day streak of doing my lessons, so this has already started forming into a habit. My goal is to extend this streak for an entire year.
Should I go big and shoot for $300K in net worth this year? Of course, I cannot control every aspect of this because I do not control the stock market. I’m fairly certain I’ll hit $200K in the next month or so, at least.
My biggest goals are things that I can control:
- Max out my 401K, HSA, and IRA.
- Pay off the remaining ~$10K of my student loans.
- Continue to pay down my other debts monthly: mortgage and lawn mower.
- Save 1% of my property’s value for future repairs (I do this yearly).
- Build up a few remaining savings goals.
- Don’t fall prey to lifestyle creep.
All of those things combined—along with a good year in the market—could get me close to that $300K mark. Even if I don’t hit it, I have some clear milestones that are very much achievable.
Garden and Food Forest
I haven’t really started planning much for the garden and food forest this year. Mostly, I have some vague, general plans. But it will be a priority that fits alongside my health and fitness journey.
For the garden, I will grow tomatoes. That’s a given. My big focus this year is going to be on peas since they would be an integral part of my diet. But I’d also like to get various greens in the ground early this year to help cut the costs of my daily salad.
I honestly haven’t figured out which trees, bushes, and other plants to add to the food forest this year. I’ll have $400 saved for this project by February (a good time to plant new trees in Alabama). The funding is there. I just need to figure out what I’ll try to find.
I have a running list of things that I either want to get or need to research for my climate, broken down by category:
- Mayhaw tree
- Kousa dogwood
- Pineapple guava (Feijoa)
- Sugarberry (Southern hackberry)
- Black Walnut
- American beautyberry
- Black currants
- Maypop (American passion fruit)