I have to start somewhere, so here's a braindump of everything I think I want to tackle in 2022. I fully expect this list to evolve over the course of the year as I learn more, tune priorities, etc. Let's see where this ends up...
Fit into my jeans again
The pandemic has not been good to my wardrobe. While I've definitely come to enjoy athleisure, I want to get back into a better state of fitness. Rather than attaching this to a number or regimen, I want to attach it to something much more tangible and to something that feels more attainable: I want to comfortably fit into my pre-pandemic jeans. Implied here is eating better and being more active.
Starting point: lol yea ok. Just go buy new ones.
Prepare actual meals
I started doing HelloFresh kits about a month ago and they've been a revelation to both my physical and mental health. While I don't know if they're the permanent solution yet, I want to maintain some sort of system for procuring, preparing, and consuming actual meals/food that isn't chips and salsa or pretzels or whatever else I was subsisting on for the first 18 mos of the pandemic when I no longer had work handling breakfast and lunch for me.
Starting point: Not terrible. HelloFresh is going well.
I've had this notion for years now that I someday want to have a farm. At the moment, that's at the scale of my backyard garden. I've played with ideas of running a community garden or a small market garden all the way up to actual acreage with chickens and alpacas and event spaces and shops. I want to spend time a) honing in my backyard garden and b) figuring out if the idea of "the farm" is something I actually might enjoy in practice. Are there ways to test it? I'm sure there are, but how?
Starting point: I have the garden in the yard that I wasn't as successful with as I would have liked in 2021. I've explored the idea of purchasing farmland nearby.
A Creative Hobby
I don't actually know what this is yet, but I like the idea of having some sort of creative outlet. That used to be photography, but it hasn't had the spark for me that it used to. The idea of learning to play piano has always been around. Or maybe picking the violin back up? Or maybe some new craft skill. Crochet? Woodworking? This is probably an area where I'll be cycling through a bunch of things until I find a few that fit.
Starting point: Probably need to list a bunch of things I want to try.
Despite being half Colombian and being able to understand a fair bit, my Spanish is pretty terrible. I've tried the Duolingo type things with little success. I think what I want to do here is find a tutor or someone to speak with regularly on Zoom or whatever. Basically I think I need someone to force me to speak Spanish. I also wouldn't mind learning some basics in a couple of languages. Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic, and maybe Korean?
Starting point: I can get by listening to conversations in Spanish, but I don't speak it very well. Find a tutor type person.
I hear it's all the rage. There's a ton of courts around here and it sounds fun enough. I want to try it out and maybe make it something I do regularly. Active and social - double win.
Starting point: I know where the courts are. I don't have the equipment or know anyone who plays, so I'll have to get out of my comfort zone and talk to strangers.
I used to do a fair bit of teaching - mostly about Product Management, but also various other things as a TA in my college days. I remember always enjoying that process and I've always wanted to do more of it. I don't know what form that should take, or what I should even teach, but it's something I'd like to explore.
Starting point: I could probably get back into teaching Product Management if I wanted to. Do I want to? Or teach something else?
Building things - Investment property?
I really enjoy building things. Both digital and physical. But lately physical has been much more satisfying since there's a very tactical, tangible output. I've had this idea of buying a place to fix up as an investment property. I would be able to build things and then have a diversified income source, which feels like a pretty good outcome. This one is more of a timing and financial decision more than anything else, but putting it on here because I'd like to put more focused effort into finding the right place to make that investment.
Starting point: I've done a decent bit of research on this front. I have some alerts set up for the local market, but I should put more time into honing those in and making a financial plan.
Investing - FIRE @ 35?
I've invested a fair bit of time into learning about personal finance since around 2015 when I learned about Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE). For some unknown reason, I've had a goal of retiring at 35 since my teen years. I'm currently 35 and thanks to the confluence of all that time spent learning about personal finance and implementing strategies to grow what I have, plus having good jobs and solid paychecks, retiring at 35 is actually a possibility. I want to continue to invest to have the option to retire early, should I choose to go down that route.
Starting point: On track. Keep on keeping on, and also figure out if the RE part of FIRE is something I actually want to do.
Oh how I miss travel. I'd love to get out of the country in 2022, should circumstances allow. I'd go almost anywhere, but I wouldn't mind getting back to Europe or Singapore or Thailand or Japan. Ok, yea. Almost anywhere. At a minimum, I'd like to travel around the US - maybe in a campervan or RV? Basically I need to get out of NJ. It's great here, but I need a change of scenery.
Starting point: This is all kind of dependent on pandemic things. I have plenty of airline miles and can work from anywhere if I need to.
Spend more time catching up with friends & family
This would be great to do IRL, but I'd take a phone call or zoom or even a solid text convo. I don't know what this looks like yet, but probably carving out some time every week. Maybe go old school like when people used to do their phonecall rounds every Sunday.
Starting point: I'm OK at texting, but many many months can go by without my noticing. I'm shit at Zoom (I don't want more time on Zoom after full workdays of it) and I really don't like phonecalls. So this one will be interesting.
I love dinner parties and BBQs or other reasons to gather people. At a minimum I want to have my annual summer BBQ and host cousins weekend again. If I could expand that to random dinner parties or movie nights or game nights, that'd be great. This is another pandemic-determined item, but keeping it here optimistically.
Starting point: I've done my BBQ and cousins weekend and had friends over for a beach weekend, so I have most of the logistics figured out. Dinner parties are tougher in the not-warm months since I don't have a dining area inside, but figuring that out will be a fun challenge.
I hate crowds, clubs, or even sometimes socializing. While I don't really have any interest in getting better at going to clubs, I do want to say "yes" more to social things. Pandemic aside, things like concerts or other events seem interesting enough to at least try? Also just saying yes to friends who are passing through the area and want to meet up for coffee/drinks/whatever. Or taking friends up on offers to visit them.
Starting point: Not really interested in doing much because Omicron, but hopefully that won't be the case for all of 2022.
Reflect & Share Progress
In order to give myself some accountability and force some leve of reflection, I want to share an update at least once a week on how I'm spending my energy - the goals I'm working on, the experiments I'm in the middle of, the things I'm reading or listening to or obsessing over.
Starting point: Well, I'm here aren't I?