2024 Goals

Yay it’s one of my favourite blog posts of the year – that of my 2024 Goals.

I try to ensure that I can track every one of these goals, yes I do have too many spreadsheets and keep too much data. I should get out more, but also I now have an expensive flat so I shall go out less.

There’s only so much I can do in a year – this is to try to ensure that I get maximum enjoyment out of life, but also improve my conditions so that I can continue to enjoy life even more in future years.

I may write some longer-term goals at some point, for a 5-year plan – the intention is that these feed into it. As do my daily/weekly targets – don’t ask.

Here goes with my 2024 goals:

Being Healthy

Do 3 forms of exercise that are not walking. Sounds easy – but I set myself this target in 2023 and achieved a grand total of 0. All I need to do is get on a bike once, swim in a pool and play one game of badminton. How hard is that? But I hate exercise.

Get some data on my health. Basically go get some tests done for my health, cholesterol, liver function, etc, etc. After my detox, of course.

Reduce blood pressure. It’s high. Too high. I’m middle aged. This isn’t good. My goal is to get it into the lower “high” category.

11 week detox. Why 11 weeks? Well, I never manage the full 3 months and I have no intention this time. I shall also allow myself one weekend off – either for my birthday or for a wedding I’m going to.

Google’s image AI still needs some work.

6 other weekends without drinking. Dry July maybe? This is harder than a 3 month detox, but the intention is to have a few little breaks.

Only eat cake/chocolate on 44 days. I managed 48 days last year, so trying to up it this year.

Reduce Haribo consumption. Something I don’t control, but probably should – my Haribo consumption. For the first year I’m aiming at no more than…winces…two bags a week. Is 104 bags of Haribo a year normal? Am I normal? Is counting how many bags of Haribo you consume a year normal? Is any of this normal? Why am I writing this?

Looking Sexy

Lose 10kg. I actually lost weight in 2023. Lose 10kg by the end of the year and I’ll be fairly sexy, I reckon.

Have more teeth. Holiday to Budapest or Turkey coming up? The goal is to have more teeth by the end of the year than I do now.

Working Hard

Have 3 interviews. Even if I was absolutely delighted with the idea of “collaborating” in the office 3 days a week, then having some interviews every year I think is still wise to understand where the job market is, and what I need to learn.

New Product. I’d like to work on something new – either at M&S (assuming I can get away with ignoring this new edict), or elsewhere. I’ve been on the same team too long, and I need to extend my skills.

Writing Code

Finish Re-building World Of Winfield. I’ve been working on re-building this site on and off for around 6 months. It’s like 90% there.

Try new JS/CSS stuff in my projects. I set this last year but didn’t really do anything with it – this time I want to try 10 different things I’ve learnt, for example new CSS properties or new JavaScript functionally, but either in my projects or at work. So not just reading about them.

Build Something In Astro. Astro looks pretty cool for building static sites like WordPress sites, using React, which I do a lot at home, so I want to try it out.

Build Something In Svelte. Svelte is one of the new kids on the block that are probably going to challenge React for supremecy…so time to try it out, especially as it seems to be more performant and there seems to be quite a few people raving about it.

Learning Stuff

Read 4 more books than I buy. I have a pile of books at home, until last year I never read them.

Read a book on investing. I’m terrible at investing, though if you had asked me 3 weeks ago I would have said I was good at investing. Either way, I should read some books instead of Motley Fool articles.

Do 30 Duolingo levels. Apparently then I’ll be at A2 level, which is a thing.

Ticking Things Off

Have nothing on my to-do list one day. I managed it last year – I started this year with 76 things on there.

Have 0 e-mails in my Inbox. I still have e-mails from 2017 and yes I do intend on reading them thank you very much.

Eating Food

Oldest 10 roasts. This is to try to tick off those on my roast dinner to-do list that have been there a while – so all up to The Claddagh Ring in Hendon.

2 roast dinners in other countries. Lord Gravy becomes Emperor Gravy.

12 excellent (or think will be) restaurants. I have a long list of restaurants I want to eat at, and it keeps growing as I don’t eat out as much as I’d like. This goal is aimed at having more good restaurant experiences.

10 oldest restaurants on my to-do list. My restaurant to-do list isn’t public yet, but will be once I finish the re-build of this site. All 10 up to Heliot steakhouse…hmmm…steak.

6 restaurants in Croydon. Maybe I need a Croydon blog? Don’t encourage me…

Less than £90 food waste. See if I can beat last year’s score.

Have at least one £100 meal. Go posh.

Cook at least 150 different recipes. Easy…as long as I’m not forced to go back into the office.

Having Fun

Do London stuff once a week on average. Again this is to capture both eating out (not roasts) and cultural activities. Make the most of living near IN London.

Pay top price for a theatre show. I normally go for the cheap £20 seats high up…because I’m from Yorkshire. But I wonder what the experience is like when you spend £150 on seats for big shows?

Get involved in Croydon stuff. I didn’t really bother getting involved in Harrow as it was a temporary home (7 years in the end) – the goal here is to get involved with a few things. I’m leaving this ambiguous as to what counts, as I’m not really sure about this, but ideas could be joining a meet-up, helping with a community activity – that kind of thing.

Make friends in Croydon. I do have a few friends in Croydon already, but the goal here is to have a couple more – to qualify as success I must have arranged to meet them a couple of times at least.

Visit two friends that don’t live in Reading/London. Spin the wheel of friends and see what adventure I end up on.

Jolly On Holiday

4 different new countries. I’ve upped this from the usual 3, as I only did 1 last year.

Closest un-visited country. Which means Luxembourg.

Leave Europe once. Go on, James – you can do it!

Money, Money & Spending Money

Upgrade my tech. I say this every year and don’t do it – monitor, keyboard, PC (or just more RAM), keyboard speakers – they all need upgrading.

Complete bedroom. I’ve decided to decorate and furnish my bedroom first – so the goal here is to have a more or less completed bedroom, ie fully decorated, bed, bedside table, curtains. Finishing touches like plants, shelves can wait.

Buy a sofa, and stuff. I’m not going to decorate the main room until 2025, or at least I’m not planning to. But I do need a sofa, breakfast bar, stools, microwave, toaster, kettle – I think they are the 6 things I really could do with.

Save £10,000 into stocks and shares. Doable as well as buying furniture, going on holidays and enjoying London? Hmmm, it was when I was only paying £700 a month for rent and bills.

Why?

You may wonder why I go to all this effort to think of goals (granted many repeat each year), write about them and log my achievements.

Yet it seems to work for me. You could say that I’ve been kind of successful over the last 10 years or so, especially with what I’ve achieved in software engineering, my new flat, losing some weight and bloody well enjoying life.

I’m going to give myself a little extra encouragement – if I lose the weight as per my target, then assuming no other health detractors, in 2025 I’m going to ease on the “3 month” detox – as I’m a bit grumpy so far this month!

Plus I need something to look forward to during these darker months. So if I beat last year’s score of 56.4% then I’ll treat myself to a winter break next year.

Time to get cracking.

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