Previously I mentioned how important it is to continually set goals for yourself, both long term goals to aim high for and more immediate goals that allow you to see tangible results much quicker.
Earlier this year I made the decision to travel abroad for (at least) one year, once my current job ends. Before that I set (and achieved) a goal to visit all of the lower 48 states before I turned 30. I’ve also recently become interested in setting another age specific goal. Just as I had a checklist to accomplish before I turned 30, today I decided to make another. Goals to accomplish before I turn 31.
Although I’m late to the game and it’s already late February I’ve thought about a few firm goals for myself for 2014. Some are definitely do-able and some are a stretch, but overall they provide a good mix of targets to set my sights on and achieve within the next 10 months or so. I’ve crafted a list comprised of goals mixed among what, from my determination, are the five major categories affecting one’s life, mental, physical, financial, spiritual and experiential.
1. Participate in the Crossfit Open & Assorted Crossfit Goals
I’m a full blown Crossfit fan. I’m just a huge fan of the idea, the program, the competition and especially my affiliate, Crossfit515 in Grimes, Iowa. Crossfit hosts, “The Crossfit Games” each year which culminate in a main competition in California around July. In order to qualify, first you need to make it to the regionals, and before that be a top scorer in, “The Open.” The Open is simple. You just take part in the designated workout from your gym, and if you have a good enough time, you make it. There’s more to it than that, it’s a number of workouts over a month, but the idea is that anyone can participate. It’s “open” to any Crossfitter, (who pays the $20 registration.)
Last Open, I was in Costa Rica, (not a bad trade) so I wasn’t able to participate. And while the guys who make it through the open to the regionals and then the finals are on a different planet than I am, I still want to participate. Just taking the next step to improve my times and lifts and scores in competition is something I’m looking forward to. So $20 in hand, I’m ready to at least take part. In addition I have a host of Crossfit goals and personal records to surpass across many different Crossfit exercises, so meeting and beating those goals is included in this overall goal.
2. Bench press 300 lbs
This one is a purely physical goal. With the bench press, I thought my best days were behind me. I still remember the most I ever benched (252 lbs) probably close to 6 or 7 years ago (at least.) I’m not even sure if I attempted to match this up until a couple of months ago. Imagine my surprise when a Crossfit workout was to reach your, “Max Bench” and I completed a full rep at 260 lbs. I had to count the weight on the bar a few times to make sure, considering I was probably 23 when I hit my previous max and had not attempted to beat it since. 40 pounds seems like a heck of a lot of weight to add to what’s already my max ever, so this is a year long goal that might be quite lofty to reach. However it’s one I’m setting in order to keep pushing myself. Plus even if you only do it once, you can always look back and honestly say that at one time you were able to bench 300 lbs. Maybe that’s just a stereotypical guy thing.
3. Receive my Scuba Diving Certification
Technically I’m going for a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I went on my first cruise in 2006. Every cruise offers different excursions and many include scuba diving. I’m a huge, huge fan of snorkeling, so scuba diving always seemed like one level even better. With scuba diving however you need to have a license or certificate to take part. And every cruise I’d look longingly at the book of excursions and say, “Next cruise… NEXT cruise I’ll have gotten my scuba certification for sure.” But it never happened. Work came up, I was traveling or focused on other projects, or I just didn’t have the cash at the time to take the classes. And when it came to a few weeks before the next cruise I’d remember and say, “ah man, okay okay, NEXT time…”
So enough is enough. I’m setting the goal and stopping with the excuses. The course involves classwork, dives that can be done in a pool, and then outdoor dives. This is something that will be fairly time specific with Iowa winter seeming to last about 9 months, but it’s something I’m fully prepared to achieve.
4. Read the Bible straight through
Whenever I’ve read through the Bible it’s always been back and forth, reading a book here, a book there, Old Testament, New Testament, concentrating on a study or focusing on specific passages. There are many, many plans or studies that people use for a “Bible in One Year” plan. A good number of them jump around between books of the law, the Gospels, the Psalms, etc. Understandable as reading through the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy one after the one can get pretty dry pretty fast. But it’s always been a goal of mine to read it cover to cover from Genesis to Revelation.
5. Run a half-marathon in under 2:50
I’ve run two half-marathons in my life, both occurring within the last four months. The first one came in October in Iowa and the second I ran at DisneyWorld in January. A year ago I wouldn’t have believed I’d be capable of finishing a quarter marathon, much less a half. In fact the goal of my first half marathon was literally just, “to finish.” And three hours later I finished. DisneyWorld was just an amazing time though much different. While Iowa was a race, Disney was more of an experience. Every mile you could stop and take pictures with characters, listen to music or pose in front of famous landmarks. Often times the lanes were simply too narrow to run around people and you’d have to walk. (I wasn’t necessarily complaining.)
So while my overall goal was to finish with a better time than half-marathon #1, it was actually quite difficult to do so due to the traffic. I did though, cutting five minutes off my time. My goal before I turn 31 is to run another half-marathon and come in under the 2:50 mark. I understand this is still a ridiculously long time so hold the snickering please. However I’ve never been a runner in any capacity and up until last year the longest race I ever completed was a 5k, (3 miles). So a 13 mile race was quite a jump and even at 2:55, something I’m quite proud of.
6. Write More
I’d like to put more of my thoughts down on, “paper,” if even just for myself, so I started writing on this blog. Easy enough. Goal reached. I think I’ll keep writing though. It’s enjoyable, allows me to share all the stories I’ve acquired, and surprisingly to me, I actually get comments from people who enjoy them. While initially I just wanted to write for myself I’m continually surprised at the number of friends and associates who relay to me that a point or anecdote or tip I mentioned regarding life or finance or travel was helpful to them.
7. Save, Cut or Make $10,000 to then Devote to a Year of Travel
I decided at the end of last year that whenever my current job finishes, I would be taking at least one year to travel. And while the definitive start date of this trip is unknown, it’s something that I’d like to start saving for. When it comes to saving, the most important tool you can give yourself is obvious, “Start Now.” So whether it be saving the money from a paycheck, picking up extra work, or cutting a bill or expense to save money, my goal is to have $28 a day to put into a savings account specifically for my year of travel, whenever that may happen. Why $28? Because over the course of a year that puts me at $10,220. $10,000 is a heck of a good start and quite an achievement if I can do it.
Having an account with a solid savings in it will be tremendously fulfilling and allow me to have a real tangible success that I know is there waiting for me whenever I decide to start my trip. I’m committed to it and excited at accomplishing it.
At the moment these are the 7 goals I’ve set for myself to achieve before the end of 2014. What are some of your one year goals to accomplish this year?