It’s that time of year. Time to reflect upon 2020, and more importantly, set goals for 2021.
So. What can I say? 2020 was a crazy year. It certainly didn’t go down the way I expected. On the downside, I lost my job. Still haven’t found a new one, either, after almost three months of searching. It’s really hard to find work when you’re my age and you’re competing with people nationwide. People say I have an impressive resume and background, yet most of the time, I don’t even get an interview.
On the bright side, though, I stayed healthy all year long. Even lost a lot of weight. And being out of work gave me time to work on some of my goals and side projects. Plus, the stock market has been very kind to my portfolio. This is truly amazing since it looked like the end of the world back in March.
Bitcoin rallied last year, setting new all-time highs. It started the year around $7,200 and rose to $29,000 by the end of the year. Yes, that’s 300% – a 4x increase. Ethereum was up even more. The altcoins were garbage in comparison. It seems the smart money (institutional investors) have discovered bitcoin finally, and now it’s on its big march up. I think bitcoin could go over $500k in the long term.
I spent most of the year at home, thanks to Covid-19. This didn’t really bother me much. Working remotely was quite comfortable, and I loved not having a commute. I did miss going on vacation, though, or being able to travel in general.
Last year I set 10 personal goals. Here’s how I did on each of them.
✅ Write 4 short stories. After taking a Udemy course in finding time to write, I finally adopted a system that works for me. Also, being unemployed, I had time to try new things. By the end of the year, I had my four shorts done. Actually, I wrote five.
✅ Write 24 blog posts. There was some demand from former employees to see “Today’s Card.” This was something I would talk about each day, presenting the topic of the day and talking about it during standup. So, during the year, I made blog posts for each and every card I had, over 200 of them. Also, I migrated off of Medium and on to WordPress. Medium was not adding any value to me. WordPress is better, but I find the service to be a bit limiting at times, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I decide to migrate again at some point. So yes, well over 24 posts.
❌ Make new friends. Once again, I found this hard to do. But I did add one, at least.
✅ Complete 4 online courses in new technology. I completed two courses on AWS and achieved my AWS Solutions Architect certification. I also did a course on Alexa and another on blockchain technology.
❌ Catch up on periodicals. Once again, I failed at this. However, by December, I had started a plan to achieve this in 2021. Hopefully, I will wrap it up this year.
✅ Develop some kind of exercise habit and lose more weight. The weight came off automatically this year as I was making lunch at home instead of eating out due to the pandemic. By the end of the year, I had started a new exercise routine. It was also part of my new writing routine.
✅ Gain 15% on my portfolio. Early in the year, I thought this might be an impossible goal. Then the market crashed in March, and I made a few investments. I really wish I had put a lot more money to work in March, but it was a scary time, and I felt like we were entering a new great depression. By the end of the year, however, the market was full into bubble mode.
✅ Read 25 books. Throughout the year, I regularly read books every night. I finished 27 books last year. I really enjoy reading and try to mix it up with a combination of business books and fiction novels.
❌ Sell or donate more old stuff. This didn’t happen. Donations are problematic due to the pandemic, and I didn’t make much headway on clearing the clutter.
❌ Take two vacation trips. The pandemic pretty much killed all travel.
So, I succeeded in six out of ten. Not bad, but not great, either.
For 2021, I’m will have a similar set of goals but maybe adjust them somewhat.
Write 4 longer short stories. This will require sticking with the writing habit throughout the year but should be achievable now that I have a system. Longer-term, I’d like to get going on the first novel.
Complete six short online courses and two longer online courses. I need to continue with my educating myself and improving my skills. Courses may be about development, writing, blockchain… the important thing is to keep learning.
Make new friends. I still don’t have a plan for this. I need to expand my social circle somehow, though.
Catch up on periodicals. This will be the year that I catch up on these things.
Read 25 books. I already know what half of them will be.
Maintain my exercise habit, a healthy diet, and lose more weight. Really, if I just keep doing what I’m doing, this should happen automatically.
Gain 15% on my portfolio. Each year I shoot for 15%. Anything past that is gravy. After succeeding a few years in a row, it may be hard to do it again. Still, I’m going to try.
Sell, donate, or dispose of three shelves’ worth of old stuff. Maybe with a quantity goal, I’ll have a better shot at it? I need to reduce clutter and do away with old stuff I’ll likely never use again.
Take two vacation trips. Maybe I won’t get to go on a cruise or visit my favorite resort. Perhaps it’ll have to be a road trip to see mountains or something completely different.
Achieve gainful employment. Meaning a job where I’m making money, not just volunteering my services.
So those are my 10 personal goals for 2021. It should be an interesting year.