What a crazy year! I haven't posted anything on what happened with most of my year yet, and I've been in the process of writing a big ol' update that's already upwards of 5000 words. I need to finish that up and post it, probably in parts. So watch for that, but some of the topics will be in the goal reflections below. If you follow me on the socials, you probably already know some of them. Either way, some big life events really turned my goals this year into a bit of a crapshoot. So I expect some not great results compared to years prior. Let's take a look.

Last Year's Goals

1. Stop using YouTube as much Fail

This was not a success. If anything, I watch YouTube more. It's frustrating because I feel like it's taken away from my enjoyment of other things, like TV series, movies, and life in general. I get home from work, and this is the first thing I turn on. I need better methods for solving this problem, whether it's an official annual goal or not.

2. Gain Flexibility - Fail

This goal went nowhere. Even when I was deep in the fitness this year, I didn't stretch enough. I should be doing it every day, but I never do. Just like with the prior goal, I need new approaches and strategies for making this happen. I have a few ideas, but I'll address that at some point in the future.

3. No-Hands CartwheelFail

I still daydream about doing this, but I fear that it'll never happen. I know I'd need more flexibility to make it happen. Plus, my life dramatically changed this year. So any sort of fluffy goals, like this one, really fell by the wayside.

4. Amazons - Fail

This is still top of mind for me. A lot happened with this group, relatively speaking. I created a logo and wrote up some documentation, but I didn't get farther than that due to outside forces. I had intended on starting things up in the Spring, and then I had to sideline everything due to studying and practice for an interview. That soaked up every bit of free time and energy. I'll be re-approaching this one this year, but maybe not as an official goal.

5. R2 Dome - Fail

For the same reason as the Amazon group, this one didn't move. After about March or April, my entire focus and free time went to studying and practice for an interview. After the interview happened, the energy went to planning for a big move. It's really only now during the last week of the year that I've really had time to relax and do other things. So hobbies can finally get picked up again.

6. Balance my life committments - Success

This happened as a side effect of my other life changes. I'm no longer a GDG Organizer. I'm not hosting things every week. I don't really have any social committments anymore. This is because I no longer live in Boston. If anything, I'm now way under committed and need more things to do. So did I balance my committments or over compensate? I'll say it's a success because I'm less stressed in that regard, but there's more work to do.

7. Less stuff and things & More Experiences - Success

I've definitely acquired less stuff and things. In fact, I've purged a bunch of useless stuff. I think that part of this goal was a big success. I think the more experiences part was less successful, but I still managed to do pretty well. This year I traveled to two foreign countries. I hiked in the mountain foothills in Los Gatos, CA. I visited California, Colorado, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montreal, and Munich. I went to a pancakes and art show. I went to Disneyland. I'd say I did pretty well, but still room for improvement. See the 2020 goals for more details.

8. Carry Over: Make My Apartment Feel like a Home - Curtains and more... - Success

This is a whirlwind of a goal. I don't think I was on track at all until I moved, and then I overachieved. I've replaced about 80% of the furniture I owned out of convenience and necessity. I moved across the country again, and it gave me the excuse to throw away or donate stuff. There's very little in this new apartment that has stayed with me. To add to that, this is the first apartment in which I've hung stuff up on the walls within the first month of living here. Last apartment took me a full year to do it. So it definitely feels homey. I still need more wall art though. My bedroom walls are bare.

9. Carry Over: Replace My Wardrobe - Continuing Mission Success

I regularly purchased new clothing last year, and especially during the summer, I felt like I had a fun selection of cute clothes to wear. My fall / winter selection still needs work, but now I live in an area where it doesn't stay "cold" very long. So I might hold off on that need. I've also purged a bit when I moved, and I feel like there's still room to purge more. So I'll keep at it.

10. Love Myself / Body Positivity - Fail

This was a rollercoaster of a goal. For half of the year, I felt really good about myself. I loved me for me. I was running regularly until my knee became a problem. I was doing crunches, dips, push ups, and overall just felt really good. I started losing weight, not that I needed to, but intermittent fasting combined with the activity just made it happen. Honestly, I was in the best shape of my life. Then I got obsessed with it. Every weight fluctuation up, even the tiniest bit, freaked me out. I fell into anorexia. I'll leave the details at that for now, but the post I've been drafting has a ton of info on what happened. I realized what was happening and have since given up the fitness / diet for the time being, but body positivity was certainly a problem later this year.

I've also struggled with mental health since this move due to loneliness and just all the tumult associated with moving. Re-establishing a life and friends after relocating is very difficult, and only gets moreso with age. So I have a lot of work in front of me. I also want to restart my fitness routine, but this time with a healthy approach to weight. I'll talk about that later.

Final Verdict on 2019 Goals

As I suspected, this year was less successful than past years. I have a 4 out of 10 rating, which isn't great. It's hard to beat last year's 7 out of 10. I'll be approaching this coming year with maybe a bit smaller goals that might be more attainable. Also, I suspect I wont have nearly as much change going on in my life. So that might help make things a bit easier. We'll see.

2020 Goals

1. Get rid of half of my stuff

Half might be a bit too much, but for the purposes of measurement I'll be very specific. By "half of my stuff", I mean half of the stuff I have currently in my storage closet. This move really made me realize how much of my stuff I've just moved from one place to another without ever looking in the box. Rarely do I ever go into my giant box of cables. There's a few boxes with old pictures or newspaper articles that I once thought I'd want to have, but turns out I don't actually want them. I have 3 storage shelves, some loose items, and a dresser filled with stuff in my closet. My goal is to have at least one completely empty shelf, nothing on the floor, and several empty drawers in the dresser. My goal is to only keep stuff that I actually use. My plan is to go through a box or so each month and toss or donate what I don't foresee ever needing again. I'd love to be able to eventually only have one storage shelf of stuff. 

2. Do a big planned thing once a month

After leaving Boston, I realized I had things I had wanted to do the entire time I was there, but I never did because I would just do them some day. Turns out that just means I'll probably never do them. Now that I'm in California, I'm not going to let the same thing happen. So this year I'm going to make a list of 10 to 12 things I'm going to do and spread them out over the course of each month. The reason I say 10 to 12 things is because, well...things come up and I need room for that. Things I do will be stuff like going on a Napa valley wine tour, see the redwoods, go to Yosemite, jump out of a plane, etc. I'll try to post the list up somewhere to track it. I'm excited to make the list!

3. Improve my relationship to food

This will be a tough goal to measure. Over the past year I've realized I have sugar addiction issues. I binge some forms of junk food when I'm on diets. I sometimes under eat. I want to fix this. I'm not entirely sure what my approach will be, but I think making this measurable will involve talking to doctors and hopefully a nutritionist. My next goal will tie into this one.

4. Break my sugar addiction

I've had a sweet tooth my entire life. I learned to bake when I was very little, and once I knew how to make chocolate chip cookies, that wasn't going to stop any time soon. I've always got sugar a home in some form or another. I put it in my coffee. I order sweet coctails. It's pervasive in my life. I know it's a chemical and psychological addiction. I know evolutionarily humans are drawn to sweet. So it'll be tough. I'm going to attempt the 30 day no sugar added diet to break the chemical addiction. The hard part will be the psychological addiction. I don't know if that'll ever be gone.

5. Maintain a healthy weight

The next food related goal is weight oriented. I originally intended this as maintaining the unmaintainable weight I had reached this year (see upcoming post), but in realizing how hard that was, I need to figure out what is a good homeostatic weight for me and how to balance that with hunger levels and fitness. Combining this with my body dysmorphia issues makes this shit pretty hard. So I'll need third party help, I think.

6. Find a fitness buddy

Wrapping up the body image and fitness related goals, this fits in to the third party help part. I can be very self motivated with all of this stuff. I genuinely like how I feel when I'm being active. I love the after workout muscle soreness. It helps my mental health. I don't get sick as often when I'm active. It also has the added benefit of looking super toned. I loved my abs this year. The problem is when I do fall of the bandwagon, which happened in November of this year, I fall pretty hard. I also would like to just have someone to keep things diverse, help me push myself, and enjoy the whole process more. So I'll start looking as soon as I'm over this dumb cold.

7. Reduce my spending

I feel like this past year was a lot of unplanned stuff that resulted in too much spending. I have less committments now. I don't have to spend nearly as much money on food anymore. I feel like I should be able to keep my bills down to a minimum. I want to save for a house, and in the Bay Area, that requires a ridiculous amount for a down payment. So I have a long way to go. I will need to be frugal. So that's the goal.

8. Learn a language

The travel to two places where English is not the main language combined with having two coworkers that speak primarily Mandarin has made me want to learn a new language. In grade school and early college, I took a lot of Spanish. I also took a couple of semesters of Japanese in college. I feel like if I brushed up on Spanish, I could do ok pretty quickly. From there I could learn other stuff, since there's a lot of overlap. My boss has talked about trying to learn Mandarin, but that's probably going to be exceptionally hard. Mandarin is so different from anything I know and is a tonal language, too. So we'll see. If you have app suggestions for language learning, let me know.

9. Solve my loneliness

I was going to say "figure out my dating shit" as my goal, but that's not really the need. I'm lonely here in California right now. I live in South Bay, and my friends mostly live in San Francisco, which on a map is really close, but by car is actually pretty far thanks to traffic. So I don't see them as often as I'd like. I need social groups, friends, and possibly a significant other. I'm on a dating app presently, but I'm not focusing on it. I have no expecations, and that's made things much easier for me. I'm going to join some groups, like Davenriche sword school, and try to find others, including my own Amazon group, to grow my friends here. I'm also going to find a therapist to ensure I'm staying emotionally healthy. So I should have my bases covered. 

10. Take a real vacation

I've never done this. I travel for work, conferences, or to see family. I've never gone somewhere to just go. The challenge in doing this during 2020 will be that now that I'm in California, a lot of people now want to come visit me. Who wouldn't want to visit California and especially the San Francisco Bay area? It's a cool place with nice weather. The problem being that if everyone wants to come visit me, I may end up with no PTO to take a vacation. So we'll see how it plays out, but I'd really like to do something involving travel for fun.

Closing Thoughts

2019 went nowhere near remotely as expected. I'm hoping for a more average 2020 as far as excitement and change goes. Here's hoping these goals are measureable enough that I can accomplish a good portion of them. I think the riskiest ones are fitness and food related. I look forward to next year when I reflect again on how things have progressed. In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful 2020!