In 2015, I set some great goals that helped me to focus my life a bit more, and I did a pretty good job of accomplishing them. For 2016 I decided to just wing it instead of focusing on goals that I set. It went okay, but it wasn’t great. This year I’ve decided to make a return to a goal-oriented lifestyle.

Now that I have a year-round full-time job, my life should be more predictable. It will be more important for me to focus on creating habits now to be who I want to become.

This year, I’m going to build a webpage so you can see exactly how I’m doing with my goals all year. I’ll post that link here when it’s ready.

The Goals


Old books in a stack

This category will be one of the most important ones for me now. For the past four years, I’ve been in school and so learning has been a major part of my life. I want to make sure that I continue to focus on learning new things and expanding my worldview. Some things I want to do in this area are hard to quantify, like learning new programming frameworks. Here are the ones I can quantify:

Read 18 books

In 2015, I got 11. In 2016, I read 6. I would love to read 24 this year, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. If I get ahead on this one I’ll raise it.


Man snowboarding

I loved skiing and snowboarding at the beginning of the year. The problems with my spine made it hard for me to hit my goals in the gym afterwards. This year I’m looking to turn that trend around and get my life back to where it was.

Lose 12 lbs

I’m still not 100% committed to this one. In 2015 I lost 26 lbs, and in 2016 I lost another 17 lbs. For a long time I’ve had the goal of getting to 200 lbs, which would be a further 12 lbs lost. I’m happy with where my weight is now, and I wish I could measure my body fat percentage instead. I’m working with what I have though, so I’ll try to get my weight down to 200 this year instead.

Burn 175k active calories

I’ve been debating how to quantify physical activity this year. In 2015 I had a goal for where I wanted to be with bench press. To be honest I don’t care too much about that now. Last year I spent less time in the gym and more time hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. The past couple months I’ve paid more attention to the Activity numbers on my Apple Watch. This year I want to burn 175000 active calories during the year. That’s just about 480 per day. My daily goal has been 460 for most of this year, so this will force me to up the goal a bit. With only a 4% increase that shouldn’t be hard to reach.


Christus statue in Salt Lake City

This is one of the areas where I feel like goals can best keep me in line. I tend to get caught up in the administrative side of church and neglect the personal spiritual side. This year I’d like to get a little bit more in touch with that side.

Study the scriptures 260 times

I wanted to say every day, but I’ll say 5 times a week, which works out to 260 times. This lets me study the things I want to each day instead of reading something all the way through. It should be easy enough that I can reach it, but hard enough to push me a little bit.

Attend the temple 18 times

I’d like to make this one of the things I most focus on improving this year. I enjoy going to the temple, so I’m not sure why I neglected it so much this past year. Either way I’ll be doing better in 2017.


Friends around a campfire

One of my biggest fears about graduation is not making new friends after college. I think that being open about life on social media can make it easier to make friends in the real world as well. Because of that some of these goals have to do with social media as well.

Go on 50 dates

I feel like I’m pretty good about actually going on dates. Now that I won’t be in school I’d like to make it a bigger priority though. Ideally most of these will be with the same girl, but either way it’s something I’d like to get done.

Write 18 blog posts

In 2015 I wrote 2 posts, and in 2016 I wrote 11. 18 shouldn’t be too hard, especially considering that I’m planning to count this one as number 1. And I’ll be writing a year end review post. So I just need 16 more between them.

50 Instagram posts

I got 32 in 2015 and 27 in 2016. This year I’ll just be working 5 days a week and won’t have to worry about homework on weekends. I should be able to get my camera out a little bit more and make some photos that I’m more proud of.

500 likes on a post

This one might be pretty dang hard, but I’d like to get 500 likes on one of my Instagram posts this year. In 2015 I hit 125 likes on a photo, then this year I got 300 on one of my photos. I’m looking to continue that same growth this year. I feel like this might be the hardest goal in the batch, but we’ll see.

Write in my journal every day

I decided to move this one up to social instead of keeping it in other. I missed out on 6 months of this last year in my journal. It made it a lot harder for me to go back and remember stuff afterwards. This year I want to make it happen every day. If I’m reminded to do it every night I’m hoping I’ll actually get it done.

Work & Financial

Close up of a 5 Euro note

This might be the category I’m most excited about. For the first time, I should have a stable full-time job for the entire year. I have a set salary, and I should be able to start paying for things I’ve been wanting to get for a while. I also (kind of) have set free time now, so I should be able to create a bit more of a schedule for working on side projects.

Save $11k

My job has no 401k matching like some of the places I interviewed had. I’m going to follow a different plan for retirement and hope that they put something in place for it soon. Until April 17, I can max out contribution in a Roth IRA for 2016. I will attempt to put $5500 in for my 2016 contribution and $5500 for 2017. I might save even more, but $11000 will be my goal.

Release 6 apps

This past year, I released my first app on the App Store. I also built six others between two classes that I didn’t release. In this next year, I would like to release 6 different apps. Some might be native iPhone or Android apps, but I’d be fine with websites as well. I want to start building up my portfolio and get my name out there a little bit more.


Man hiking on a path

This last year I finally got over to Europe for the first time. That was pretty exciting for me. The year before, my focus was on visiting National Parks. This year I want to have travel goals in place, but with a less specific destinations.

Leave the country at least once

I have a passport, so I might as well use it right? I’ve planned on going to Canada a couple times in the last few years, but it’s never happened. This year I would love to finally make my way up to Banff. I’m also fine popping down to Mexico, even if it’s a cruise or something. I want to get out of the US at least once. And hey, with Trump as our president, I need to do it before we have walls all around us :P

Edit (Jan 2, 2016): I just found out that Canada is offering free access to all of its national parks in 2017. Looks like that’s probably where I’m going.

Camp 6 times

Even though I visited 6 National Parks this last year, I only camped three times. This year I want to double that number. Some of those will happen in National Parks. Some will be state parks, recreational areas, or even on the side of the road somewhere. As long as I’m getting outside.


2017 has the potential to be a great year. I’m pretty happy with the goals I’ve settled on, but I’m going to do be doing something a bit different from 2015. All the goals will be flexible. In 2015 I figured they had to remain the same. As some got out of sight, I pushed them aside and failed even worse. I won’t make that mistake again.

This year I will revisit my goals each month. If any of them seem too far out of reach, I’ll lower them to be more reachable. If they’re too easy and I’m killing it, I’ll make them stretch me a little bit more.

I see these goals as a way to help shape me into a better person than I am now. Allowing them to change will make them much more effective. Feel free to ask me how any of them are going and I’ll be happy to give you an update. It will help me to know people are watching.