Setting my 2022 Goals
I’m not really one for New Years Resolutions, as the tendency is to drop them after a short period of time. Rather, I prefer to set goals based on actionable things I’d like to accomplish and habits I’d like to create.
My 2022 goals, then, are items I want to strive for regardless of the timeframe of one calendar year. They embody the identity I want to create for myself. They are goals I want to build systems around that will live well beyond December 31 of this year.
In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear writes:
“Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are. Your behaviors are usually a reflection of your identity.”
So, in this episode, I’m going to list a handful of goals I set for myself for 2022, but I’m going to start by tying them to the identities I want to create.
Watch the episode below:
Here are the identities and the goals I discussed in the episode:
Identity 1 : Someone Committed to Building Wealth and Financial Freedom
I grew up with a strong sense of frugality. As I became of age, I attended college and got a degree, exiting into the workplace around the time of WorldCom. Getting laid off shortly after purchasing my first condo was incredibly stressful. But it didn’t end there. A few years later, we hit the Great Recession.
Before I turned 30, I had been laid off 3 times.
The ability to live within my means and and afford disruptions, then, became a big part of who I was. As I’m now in my 40s, I’m looking to transition that identity from Someone Who Has a Safety Net to Someone Committed to Building Wealth and Financial Freedom.
Here are the goals I wrote down to support that identity.
Goal 1: Purchase an Investment Property
As I work for someone who has built their career (and substantial passive income) around real estate investing, I’m learning quite a bit about it. Currently, I’m reading her book, Hold: How to Find, Buy, and Rent Houses for Wealth.
This year, I’d like to get some property.
Currently, my wife and I are looking at some vacant land, so it may not be something we turn around and rent immediately, but something we hold onto and build our next house on when the time comes.
Goal 2: Grow Net Worth by 12%
A 12% return on net worth seems more than reasonable. I did the math, and I’ll probably tuck away 4% of the total (or one-third of the net worth growth I’m looking to generate this year) just by saving what I earn. Add an additional 2% earned passively through dividends. That means my investments (stocks, mutual funds, and real estate ) only needs to increase about 6% for me to achieve my goal.
I’m not sure we’ll see the returns we’ve witnessed in the past several years as the Fed begins to taper and other disruptions, like inflation, impact the economy, though I could be wrong.
I’m comfortable looking for a 12% return, and will be pleased if it exceeds that.
Goal 3: Create a Business
This has been on my mind for a few years, and I finally want to pull the trigger.
I have a few ideas of what this could include, one of them being the podcast. There are many advantages to owning a business, from taking on a more entrepreneurial mindset to advantages of tax write-offs. Overall, though, my motivation is more centered around the former: possessing the mindset, pushing myself in yet unknown and exciting ways, and CREATING something memorable and meaningful.
Identity 2: Someone Committed to A Healthy & Active Lifestyle
This is already part of my identity, and as such, I want to keep it that way. Being committed to a healthy and active lifestyle means being conscious and mindful of what I put in my body, and ensuring that body maintains a comfortable level of movement and exercise.
Goal 4: Ride My Bike 2,500 Miles
Last year, I set my sights on 2,000 miles (well, my true goal was to ride 2,021 miles in 2021), and despite a heavy snow in February that kept me off my road bike for three weeks, and a bike crash in September that kept me off for another 4, I blew past my goal and ended the year just shy of 2,250 miles.
At the time I’m recording this episode, about mid-January, I’ve logged close to 100 miles. I’m not too far behind pace, so I’m confident in what’s to come. And, to be honest, it hasn’t been too hot here and my warm weather gear is a bit tattered.
Goal 5: Get to 140 Pounds
I’ve slipped since my bike crash, developing some eating habits that aren’t the greatest.
Back in 2018, my wife and I began a health journey that included a healthier diet and regular exercise. The pandemic threw exercise out the window at first with gyms closing down, but I quickly realized how plentiful the paved trail systems are here in Dallas-Fort Worth, and that became my new norm.
But the bike crash eliminated riding for me with a tear to the ACL joint in my left shoulder, and I’ve struggled with my healthy eating as we entered fall.
For the first time since 2018, I topped 150, and it’s been agonizing to try to get that into a downward trajectory. Thankfully, it plateaued at that level!
Identity 3: Someone Who Seeks Out New Experiences
The third identity I want to embody is that of someone who seeks out new experiences. I have spent a great deal of my life “playing it safe” and as I dig into why that is and do the shadow work to overcome my fears, I want to move beyond them and experience life like I haven’t previously.
I don’t view it as “making up for lost time” but as “coming into my own” and “being complete.”
Goal 6: Plan & Complete 4 Trips
As I’m now working remotely, I’d love to travel more. This is kind of a surprise to me, given I haven’t been much of a traveler in the past.
First, I want to go visit family in Washington (state). I haven’t seen my parents in person since January 2020, and I’m aching to get back to the PNW, if for just a week or two.
Next, for many people, the pandemic created a network of close friends they have never met in person. I’m not sure if you’ve experienced that, but I sure have! I’d love to meet some of these people and explore where they live.
Finally, I’d like to take an actual vacation or two with Andi. This isn’t something we’ve really done much of, especially in the past 5 years (outside of simple day trips). She mentioned wanting to go to Shreveport, and I’d like to book a weekend at a little Tiny House Resort that I stumbled on about an hour north of Plano.
Identity 4: Someone Committed to Lifelong Learning & Personal Growth
This should be no surprise, given that I just launched a podcast on the topic.
Goal 7: Create A Podcast
So I’ve been thinking about this for a few months, and I’ve been struggling with a theme, name, and niche. But I figured it out, made the decision, and got to work. And today’s episode is a testament to that work and my commitment to my goals.
There’s more that needs to be done, but I’m proud of what I’ve created so far.
Goal 8: Finish 12 Books
I don’t think I’ll have any problem with this, despite starting many but sometimes struggling with finishing books. I’m including audiobooks in this goal, and my stretch goal is 24.
Currently there are 3 on my nightstand: Hold, which I mentioned before, Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart, and the first book from the Wheel of Time series
There are also 2 that I’m listening to in Audible, Atomic Habits being one of them.
Goal 9: Write 2 Blog Posts Per Month
So, this one actually didn’t make it into the podcast. It appears I accidentally skipped this one, but I’m putting it here nonetheless.
This is actually a goal I set during the 4th Quarter last year. I enjoy creating and sharing content. I wanted to get back into writing consistently and creating content that I enjoy.
The problem I encountered with my music blog way back in the day, was that I was too rigid on producing a post per weekday that it just became a hindrance and a burden. I stopped enjoying it. Giving myself more flexibility in the process should help. This time, I’m not going to be quite as hard on myself if I don’t live up to my own expectations.
Identity 5: Someone Who Achieves Success at Work
This is something I strive for regardless of where I am and what I’m doing. Achievement has always been a motivating factor for me, so it’s an identity I own and have owned for some time.
Goal 10: Double the Revenue of My Business Segment at Work
This is the lone work goal I’ll relay here, and it’s based on revenue pulled in from the online course the company launched back at the beginning of 2021. Now, with me on board, I’m thinking this goal shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. In fact, my stretch is to take this goal and double it!
Conclusion: What’s Next?
Now that I have shared my 2022 goals, I need to put systems in place that will help me accomplish them! To once again quote James Clear in Atomic Habits,
“We don’t rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the levels of our systems.”
You’ll likely hear that quote again and again, as I think it’s incredibly important and impactful.
One system I am putting into place is that of accountability and vulnerability. Every so often, I’m going to record and post an Accountability Check In on the You’re A Tool social platforms (in fact, I recorded one already). By sharing, I hope to find encouragement and accountability, I hope to share my successes and my missteps and show how even when we strive for excellence we sometimes falter.
We aren’t perfect. We never will be.
So check out the website, subscribe to the email list, follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the YouTube Channel. You’re A Tool is recorded and produced by Andy Fenstermaker. The theme song is “Gone Surfing” by the Sixteen Wheelers. Discover more on episodes page of the You’re A Tool website including an edited transcript, downloadable tools, and links to other resources.
To conclude, as always, here’s a quote. This week it comes from bestselling author and motivational speaker Rob Liano:
“Each day you are leading by example. Whether you realize it or not or whether it’s positive or negative, you are influencing those around you.”
So, in true conclusion, I ask you: what are YOU doing to influence and inspire the people in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
See you next time, where I’ll share a goal-setting worksheet that can help you create a path toward success.
The resources section is a collection of everything referenced in this episode, including websites, books, and more. As always, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualified purchased.