2022: Year in Review & A Look Ahead
This post is going to be a "state of my life" post. With 2022 ending and my focus being on what's coming up in the new year I'm taking a lot of time to reflect on what I haven't done, what I've done, and what I want to do in the new year. First we'll take a look at the current state of affairs from 2022 in vague detail with a brief tangent about this blog. Then we'll look ahead to 2023 with goals, an explanation of my technique and finally what a few of them are.
This past year was a good year for my family. Both my wife and I made progress in our careers, marriage, in our finances, and finally as parents. As I write this, my wife could go into labor at any moment with our second child. In August, I began a journey to get my health back in order and to get into shape. So far, I've lost about 30lbs and lowered my resting heartrate by a significant amount (which the internet assures me is completely normal and healthy.) My son turned 2 years old and is now acting like he's 2 years old, but it's not too bad. I have a rant about the poor expectations other parents love to put on a childs stages of development, but that's a blog for another day.
This blog has served as an attempt to just record technical findings or ideas, but truthfully it has never really amounted to much. I've tried several times to write 100 blog posts in a year but never seem to commit to writing more than one or two. There's also a myriad of topics I'm interested in and have learned about over the past couple of years but never had an outlet for them. There's also plenty of topics I want to learn about and what a strict workflow is to learn and record my findings.
I've also redesigned this blog numerous times thinking that would motivate me to continue to write, but alas, that has never come to fruition. So I will not be redesigning this blog for a long time. I don't think I wrote a single post in 2022 but attempted several times to redesign the website. How cringe.
Looking ahead into 2023 there are several goals I have for my family, work, and for my self.
Goal Setting Process
I've been reading quite a bit about how to effectively set goals. This article in Stronger by Science provides an incredible overview of the most effective goal setting techniques. A few key highlights:
- Set superordinate, intermediate, and subordinate goals
A well-constructed goal hierarchy with superordinate, intermediate, and subordinate goals will equip you with the overarching values that give your goals purpose, the granular details of how you’ll pursue your goals on a day-to-day basis, and the interconnecting elements required to tie the web together in a cohesive manner.
- Set approach-oriented goals instead of avoidance-oriented goals
“...there’s also empirical evidence from 2020 indicating that people with (mostly fitness-oriented) New Year’s resolutions were significantly more successful if they set approach-oriented goals rather than avoidance-oriented goals.”
- Use flexible restraint instead of rigid restraint
Flexible restraint abandons perfectionism in exchange for a more adaptable, malleable, and accommodating approach.
- Focus on process instead of outcome ex. "Work out 3 times a week" instead of "Lose 20 lbs".
All these tips focus on building long term sustainable goals that bubble up in a value heirarchy. This way, behaviors are designed to be as approachable, flexible, and attainable and line up with long term goals and values. So I've chosen to follow this evidence in my goal setting practice for 2023.
These are goals that are tightly linked to our identity and sense of self; they represent the “why” behind our intermediate and subordinate goals, and give us direction for which intermediate and subordinate goals to pursue.
- Be generous
- Be phyiscally/mentally/emotionally/spiritually/relationally healthy (shortened to: Be Healthy)
- Be financially free
- Be educated
These are very broad but are intended to be. These are characteristics of my ideal self and repesent core values. Everything must bubble up into one of these 4 categories.
[Intermediate goals] provide a general course of action that is bound to a certain behavioral context; for example, “run a marathon” or “eat a healthy diet”. - How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Board, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective
Superordinate Goal [SG]
- Give at least 10% of overall income to a worthy cause - SG: Be Generous
- Physically serve and volunteer somewhere - SG: Be Generous
- Run a 10K - SG: Be Healthy
- Get strong: Be Healthy
- Eat a healthy diet: Be Healthy
- Get enough sleep: Be Healthy
- Maintain a tight budget below our means - SG: Be Financially Free & Be Healthy
- Read or write at least 100 items (book or blog post) - SG: Be Educated
- Level up my relationship with my wife - SG: Be Healthy
They are precise goals that specify exactly what you’re going to do (and how you’re going to do it) in order to achieve your intermediate goals. - An Evidence-Based Approach to Goal Setting and Behavior Change
Subordinate Goal - Intermediate Goal [IG] #
- Weight train 3 days a week - IG: 4, 6
- Run at least 1 day a week - IG: 3, 6
- Set standing weekly budget "meeting" with my wife - IG: 1, 7
- Keep consistent bedtime 5 days a week - IG: 3, 5, 6
- Write at least once a week - IG: 8
- Read at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week - IG: 8
- Give a portion of every dollar recieved - IG: 1
- Volunteer somewhere at least 2 times in 2023 - IG: 2
- Once a month date nights with my wife - IG: 9
Hopefully I've followed the goal framework well enough here. One important piece to keep in mind is that I'm going to be flexible with these. If something comes up worthy of being added or a better version of one of these subordinate goals comes up