It's that time of year when everyone is setting ambitious goals for themselves.
I've written before about why systems are better than goals but basically it goes a little like this:
Imagine you want to learn to code this year. Instead of making a goal and forgetting about it in January, you need to make a plan or a system. This could look like coding for an hour each day. That's a lot better than simply making a goal without a plan like "I'll learn to code in 2024".
Here's some of my thoughts for the next year:
I'd like to make at least £100k ($120k) this year. I saw a 58% increase to my net worth last year by offering LinkedIn and Twitter ghost writing services. In July 2023 I hit $10k in revenue but then that decreased towards the end of the year. I was feeling close to burn out and I should have taken leave in the autumn.
So what I'd like to do this year is have a set number of ghostwriting clients and then spend the rest of the time on a product that means I'm not selling my time for money. This will probably be an enhanced version of my High Signal website, with more content behind a paywall and some courses based on what I've learned from over 4 years of producing content online. I've got a good idea in my head of how many clients and sales I would need to make $10k a month this way.
This way I can hopefully get the best of both worlds: ghostwriting is good money upfront and digital products can sell at no marginal extra cost for me once they are made. I've definitely been inspired by the ladders of wealth essay written by Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit:
I'm tempted to try a SaaS but after I spoke with some SaaS founder friends, I realise that's a longer term game. My priorities right now are having a lot of money in the bank for a house. I'm also planning to sell No CS Degree so reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with that.
Fitness and health goals
I'm already doing 3 visits to the gym and a run most weeks so my strength and fitness is good. I want to maintain that. I've started doing some swimming as well and I think that's a nice addition as it's so easy to get injured with running and swimming is low-impact.
My bench lift improved to 85kg last year so I'd like to get to 100kg this year. I benched 70kg yesterday and it felt light as a feather so I think I'm in a good place. I need to get more consistent with this by either using a safety rack or asking strangers to spot me (everyone is in their own zone, listening to music these days so it's harder)
I'd also like to try Judo this year. Having 2-3 strength sessions, 1 run or swim and 1 judo session a week would be excellent. Two rest days per week seems good.
I definitely want to clean up my diet so I've started doing intermittent fasting again. I'd like to get back to cooking more of my own food instead of grabbing stuff on the move. It seems we are all learning how bad processed food is for us.
I've started meditating again so hopefully I can keep that up. It's definitely been good for reducing stress in the past.
It was so great leaving Goodreads, Strava and Instagram last year. All were major time-sucks. I don't need to share everything I do online with people and I don't need to see what everyone is up to and I find Instagram incredibly fake.
Something I spend a lot of time on traditionally is reading the news. I've given myself a limit of 3 news stories to read in the morning and hopefully that will get me up and moving earlier. I really don't need to doom-scroll endlessly. I also cut out a couple of newspapers I used to read in 2023 - I've got it down to two UK ones so this might be the year I go to one and get all my news in one place.
I got into reading fiction again last year and I'm going to be doing more of that. There's so much richness in stories - you don't need to read 10 books on productivity! There's a lot more to life. My favourite novel last year was The Trial by Franz Kafka. You may have heard the term 'Kafka-esque' to mean an overly bureaucratic process and that's where this comes from. It's an excellent read, especially if you like dystopian novels like 1984 or Brave New World.
I'm going to visit New York this year - I've been putting it off for way too long! I will probably go away somewhere for August again although not the Canaries this time. I've been to Spain countless times so it's time for somewhere news. I've still not been to some of the nomad hotspots like Bali or Chiang Mai so I'd like to go there.