I spent the better part of yesterday wandering around London – because that’s what one does when they are on vacation with no set plans. Given that my normal day-to-day revolves around a very scheduled calendar and the bing of emails as they cascade relentlessly into my inbox, I’m thinking that my return to the real world next week is going to come as a rather significant shock to my system. Ah well, that’s next-week-Dan’s problem.
Of course, just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I haven’t been spending time thinking. In particular, I’ve been contemplating where I want to go, what I want to learn, what I want to accomplish, and who I want to be in 2018. Don’t worry – it’s not nearly as heavy as it sounds.
Oh So Lofty Goals
- I am still struggling to get back to some healthier version of me that I lost during my quest for tenure. I feel positive that 2018 is going to be that year because I have less teaching to worry about, and I’m going to be going on sabbatical later this year. This should mean that I can prioritize exercise and other things that are good for me – such as eating properly, meditating, stretching, and other forms of stress management. So here’s to me getting off my ass and making this a reality in 2018.
- As I mentioned, I’m going on sabbatical this year (beginning in September). While I’m not going to detail all of the things I’d like to accomplish while on sabbatical, I do want to get several publications completed and submitted for peer review. Given that sabbatical means no teaching and no service responsibilities, I’m going to set a goal of publishing five papers this year. With any luck, this will be the year I can finally cross this off of my Not So Bucket List. Beyond the papers, I’m also aiming to write a book or two with one of my colleagues, because that’s what nerds do.
- In the past four years I’ve managed to travel more than the circumference of the earth in shiny metal lawn darts – this year I aim to make it five. In fact, I think based on the travel I’m expecting, I’ll likely surpass my record for distance travelled in one year (which was set in 2016 at more than 108 thousand kilometres). Further, given my sabbatical plans, I’m expecting to be away from Guelph more than I was in 2017. I’m sure my family and friends are going to shoot me for this – because 2017 saw me taken from Guelph in shiny metal lawn darts for a total of 128 days. A rough estimate (which includes nine weeks in China) has me away for more than 150 days.
- I really like the idea of trying to raise at least $1000 for charity every month. This includes my own personal contributions but also funding that I help raise for various causes. The creation of the Gryphons Care campaign last year helped me reach my goal last year, and I think based on its success, we’ll definitely be running it throughout 2018 (and hopefully expanding it).
- From a personal finance point of view, I’m going to again try to increase my net worth by 30%. Given that simply continuing my debt repayments should see my net worth increase by 22%, this shouldn’t be as lofty as perhaps some of the other goals. I’m also going to try to rejig my current mortgage, assuming said rejigging is in my best interest. My goal is to reduce my interest rate but maintain my current payments.
Not So Lofty Goals
- Moar writing! I find writing helps me stay focused and grounded, and it keeps me in a space of gratitude. Given the crazy schedule by which I set my life, I also find that it helps me remember what I’ve accomplished (or haven’t accomplished). This year, I want to continue writing as much as I can for the various blogs and websites I have. My goal will be to have a post on this blog and my academic blog once a week, every week. I also need to write more for the Farm To Fork blog, while also continuing to write on the ICON, SoCS, and PSEER websites. And I’m in the process of setting up yet another site for GuelphHacks. If I can manage to write at least 12 posts (one per month) for each of those sites, I’ll be a happy camper.
- Once again, I’m going to attempt to read more for fun. In particular, I’m going to once again set a goal of reading six novels this year. It pains me to think that this number is so low, but given my success rate in the past, I figured I’d be reasonable with this goal.
- I feel the need to add more than one new country to the list of countries I’ve visited this year. I also feel the need to add at least one of the Canadian territories, because holy hell, how have I not yet visited them? Do I have specific countries I’d like to add to my list? Sure (for example, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Chile, Ireland, Uganda…), but I’ll honestly be happy with any new countries. I’m hoping that my planned trip to China will help me capture several of the countries I’ve listed here. With that in mind, I’m going to set a goal of 5 new countries, and at least 1 Canadian territory to my list.
The Likely So Easy To Accomplish I Won’t
- I need to add some recipes to my cache of go-to recipes (for when I’m actually home and feeling that I should cook something). Normally this is in the list of Not So Lofty Goals, but given how simple this task is, and how often I don’t accomplish it, I’ve moved it to this section.
- Last year I also managed to purge three of the six closets in my condo. This year I want to hit the last three.
- If I’m super ambitious, I also want to (finally) put trim in the living room and kitchen, paint the upstairs hall and guest bedroom, and possibly replace the carpet with hardwood. Or remodel the bathroom. Also, when I write I want to do these things, I actually want someone else to do them. This is not my area of expertise or interest. So this goal is really about saving the money to hire someone to do these things.
- Go on some freaking dates! I was doing better with this during 2017 (I think), but my success was short lived. The fact that I think I was doing better should tell you more than enough about how many dates I actually went on, and how successful they really were. I know that my travel schedule often gets in the way of dating, but there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to find at least one eligible and sexy brain to grab a beer with.
- See my friends more! Again, my travel schedule often means that I don’t see people nearly as often as I’d like. I need to work on that this year.
Of course, I also have a long list of things on my Not So Bucket List that I’ve still to accomplish. Between the list above, my Not So Bucket List, and the various things that will be added, modified, or removed from these lists throughout the year, I think I’ve got a lot of goals to aim for.
As always, I hope your year is filled with all the things that are important to you. Happy 2018 everyone.