Write Team: Goal setting time

This is the cold month where I think up goals for next year. With 2023 coming up, it’s time to jot down ideas and organize my thoughts. What do I want to do next year?

If you don’t plan for it, it’s not likely to happen. Fish don’t jump in your pocket.

I’m hoping to climb Torey’s Peak in Colorado this summer. It’s a 14er, and there’s a cool route with a steep high section called the Knife’s Edge. Don’t fall. I’m going with my son. If we don’t fall, if we hold true to good time, we might just be able to take a traverse over to another 14er, Handies and hit two mountains in one day.

Considering biking from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, along the Hennepin and Illinois and Michigan canals. Possibly, time permitting, kayaking from Rockford to the Quad Cities ... and end it all with some fine, tasty, Happy Joe’s pizza.

I take a look at serious goals, too. Financial. Business. Spiritual. Men especially need physical activity, so I’m keen to hit more tennis balls — as much as I can. Even before 2023 begins, I need to run and lift. I also see if there’s a new skill I can pick up. Here’s a marital goal: my wife celebrates an entire Birthday Week ... maybe this year she gets a mega-party at the end of this.

I need to work on fixing up the garage. Given sky-high heating bills, look into adding more insulation in the attic ... probably a good time to do this is right now.

At the end of the year, the family goes off for a retreat. We’ve rented for a third time a little cabin in the woods on a bluff above the Mississippi River. Get a nice fire going in the fireplace. Play cribbage, Skipbo, and whatever. If there’s good snow, maybe cross-country skiing. We organize the year’s scrapbook/photobook and review the year, shaking out our Happiness Jar — what good and great things have happened? And yeah, plenty of snacks are involved. And we talk about what we’d like to do in the coming year. It’s a nice bit of focus. So much of life is dashing through each day.

Do we manage to hit all our goals? Not hardly. We all bite off more than we can chew ... and sometimes, especially the past two years, weird jogs and hard smacks have made it very difficult.

But without a course, how can a captain steer his boat? If you don’t chart a direction, how will you get there?

  • Todd Volker lives in Ottawa with his wife and son, and they enjoy reading, kayaking, hiking, tennis and camping. He’s a lifelong learner with books in his hands.