Every year I tell myself I’m going to have a better year than I did the last year. I always do, but oftentimes I end up measuring the year on different metrics than those I foresaw.

Last year I set some goals. Too many goals. Spoiler: I didn’t meet most of them. By the end of January, I had all but forgotten most of the goals.

What I completed

Dennis Beatty in front of Lake Louise in Canada

Out of the 13 goals I set, I succeeded with three of them. And they were all pretty simple ones:

Burn 175k active calories

According to my Apple Watch, I burned 185,055 active calories over the course of the year. Without a proper benchmark, I set the bar pretty low on this one. I don’t remember ever doing anything special to hit this.

Save $11k

This one was pretty easy too. It helped that the stock market was so strong. As of right now I have close to $10k in index funds, $2k in an HSA, $1k in cryptocurrencies, and $1k in cash savings.

Leave the country

I finally made it up to Banff National Park with my cousin Carly and her friend Allison. I’ve been wanting to go for several years now, so it felt great to finally make it happen.

Unplanned happiness

Dennis Beatty lounging around at work

My goals last year seemed great when I set them, but they didn’t end up reflecting my true desires for the year. 2017 was a great year, but because of things I hadn’t planned. I wouldn’t have been able to envelope these into a goal anyways.

  • I finally came to terms with the idea of getting surgery on my spine. I’m not excited about it. Still terrified in fact. But I’ve come to realize it’s going to be the best option for my life.
  • I learned a lot about my true priorities. I’ve been thinking a lot about Herzberg’s theories on motivation vs hygiene factors. Some traits attract me to others, and others are mandatory for me to get along with someone. And this year I learned there’s a difference between the two.
  • I’ve learned to value time spent with myself. As an extrovert, I get most of my energy from being around others. This last year I felt the value of time spent alone. I went to my first movie alone, ate many meals alone (cooked several of them alone too), and went on drives alone. And the best part is I loved it.
  • I loved my job. I learned a ton about programming, about working with others, and about prioritizing tasks that have to get done. I’m really excited to keep working at it this year.

Though 2017 was a great year in spite of my goals, I still see value in planning for the future. I have to change the way I set goals though, so that I’m not setting myself up for failure.

Changes for this year

A road surrounded by brightly colored trees disappearing around a bend

This year I want to make goals that I can focus on. I’ve decided to forego setting goals for the whole year, and reset each month instead. If I fail one month, I won’t lose my motivation to continue the next. And with only four goals per month, I should be able to remember them much easier.

There are other things I’m hoping to get done. I likely will get much more done. These four goals will stretch me and start habits that I can continue in coming months. Once these habits are in place I can try to add on four more. With that said, here are my goals for January:

Read the Book of Mormon every day

I had a hard time with this last year. With the scriptures in general. I listened to a recording of the Book of Mormon on my way to work. To be honest, I wasn’t concentrating on it. As a result, I didn’t get much from it. This month, I want to read every day in a paper copy of the Book of Mormon. So far I’m seven for seven on this one, and I plan to keep it that way.

Write in my journal every day

I wrote every day for a couple months last year. Then I fell out of the habit and wrote every now and then for a couple months. In August, I wrote my last entry and then kept it closed for the rest of the year. So far I’m six for seven on this one, and that one I wrote the next morning. I prefer to write every day in the future though.

Go to the temple once

Last year I had the goal to attend the temple 18 times. I made it 6 times. I’m going to start small on this one. If I can make it once this month, that will give me a solid foundation to build off of afterwards.

Publish an app

I had the goal to release 6 apps last year. I made it to one. I have one almost done though. It needs a bit of tweaking, and then it will be ready for release. This goal is to make sure I concentrate on getting it done. I would love to start releasing side projects more often, and so getting this one out will be a great start.

Bring on the year

2017 was a great year. I have loved working at Podium. I have loved living outside of Provo and adjusting to that. I have loved having my little sister(and two brothers) 15 minutes away.

I know that 2018 can be even better. I’m excited to watch how it turns out, and use goal-setting to make it even better.