Reflecting on my 2021 Goals
Setting yearly goals is always something that I took for granted. In past years, I typically set some goals as a “New Years Resolution”. Those goals would have some motiviation behind them for a few weeks and then the progress would start coming to a halt. After a few weeks, those goals were forgotten about.
I set out to change that in 2021. I wanted to set goals that I could keep track of and achieve over the year. Part of this was making sure there was a way to measure progress on the goal regularly. I kept the list to only 3 goals to make sure I had the capacity to focus on all of them. Having a motivating reason as to why I wanted to achieve those goals helped me to stay on-target.
I created 3 types of goals:
Goal: Read 10 books
Starting Point: 0 books
I used to read a lot when I was younger. I realized that after Junior High, that interest just faded. I wanted to bring that back up by reading books regularly and get back into a groove of learning that way. I kept a lot of these books to non-fiction to align with the purpose of learning.
Result (EOY 2021): 15 books ✅
I knew that in order to read at least 10 books, I had to develop a habit of reading regularly. Having waves of reading wasn’t going to work in the long-run. So, I started with simply reading for about 10 minutes in the morning or afternoon to make progress. I found that I was far more focused in the morning and decided to try to build the habit during that time period. As the year went on, the amount of time spent grew to about 30 minutes. Having explicit time set out to read every single day allowed me to read through the books I had wanted. I achieved this goal, although the real win was the habit established by doing so.
Goal: Get to Diamond 1 rank in League of Legends
Starting Point: Diamond 3
I really enjoy playing League of Legends. I played it quite often and was improving over the last few years. In 2021, I pushed myself to improve more than I ever have before.
Result (EOY 2021): Diamond 1 ✅
I was so happy that I achieved this goal by October. This required really taking a hard look at my losses to determine what I did wrong. Specifically focusing on my myself and not what my teammates did allowed me to find areas of focus as I continued playing. This led to improvements in my gameplay that allowed me to get to the next level.
Another important aspect was to keep my cool. Not every game worked out in my favor, so I had to make sure that in those cases, I did not get angry and reduce my mental state. Keeping a calm outlook on the games and moving onto the next helped me bounce back from losses.
Many of these lessons were easy to translate into my day-to-day life as well. There are good and bad days. It’s just as important to reflect on the bad days as celebrating the good ones.
Goal: Get to 185 lbs
Starting Point: 220 lbs
I was the heaviest I have ever been and wasn’t feeling like myself. This started to affect me mentally and I was getting sick more often. Not only that, there’s a history of diabetes and heart issues that run in my family, so I wanted to make sure I can put myself in a position to best avoid those. I love to eat, but I really needed to build a balance for myself.
Result (EOY 2021): 189 📉
Although I did not hit my goal, I was able to make a significant dent into this. I got close and the real win were the habits I was able to establish that led to losing the weight. The first half of the year was really focused on my diet. I had to figure out what I was eating, when I was eating, and how those foods were affecting my body. This is not a simple process. It took me awhile to start gaining discipline around which foods I really needed to avoid (mostly junk).
Then, I started working out regularly in the morning which allowed me to lose even more weight. I wasn’t good initially about keeping an exercise habit going, although once I found workouts that I enjoyed doing (body workouts + ab roller), I found it easy to keep up the habit. I now spend about 20-30 minutes in the morning working out for about 6 days in a week while keeping Sunday as a rest day.
NOTE: As of writing this article (Feb 2022), I actually ended up hitting my 2021 goal weight of 185 lbs by continuing the healthier habits I established.
I did it!
I am very happy that I actually accomplished 2 of the 3 goals I set out at the beginning of 2021. It wasn’t easy and was well worth the struggle. I’m a healthier and happier person for it. Time to achieve the goals I set out for 2022!