In writing my goals for this year, I realized there was a theme to the goals. They all revolve around mindfulness—doing things in my life with intentionality and thought. As the years go by, I’m noticing that it’s easy to revert to negative behaviors. Doing things well is hard. To combat this, my goals for this year require me to be intentional and proactive.

Communicate mindfully with others

This year I will focus on mindful communication—thinking before I speak, speaking precisely, and speaking with kindness. In the past, I’ve mostly often fallen into this trap of not being intentional when communicating with my wife. I think it’s a sort of auto-pilot that engages when I’ve been with someone for so long. So this goal is to break away from the defaults and be mindful of how I communicate.

While I’m less bad about doing this with strangers and friends, I should cultivate it in those relationships as well.

Eat with intentionality

I will focus on what I put in my body, aiming to mostly fill my hunger with foods that are good for my body. Sometimes due to boredom, I graze at calories I don’t need. Sometimes due to hunger, I eat things that aren’t healthy for my body. I will think more about each bite I take and not be afraid to stop eating.

Eat mostly vegetarian

When possible, eat vegetarian. When socially or culturally necessary (mostly traveling), don’t. Being mostly vegetarian allows me to moderate my ecological and ethical footprint, an ideal that is important to me. This goal—or a variation of it—has been on my list for many years. I think it is worth continuing to note it so that I keep it front and center, reminding myself what I care about.

Read for one hour each day

(And one hour and thirty minutes on days off.) I’ve been pretty good about reading this last year, but I want to make the goal more consistent. I also want to fill wasted time with this habit. Because of this, I’m making the goal a daily one and setting the bar relatively high. If I just browse the internet one hour less, it should be easy to find the time. The energy could be the challenge! I’ll allow makeups and prepaying.

Don’t browse the internet first thing in the morning or last thing at night

I have a bad habit of mindlessly grabbing by phone or tablet first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The goal here is to start small and build throughout the year. Starting with five minutes in the morning at first, and longer in the evening, I will put down my device and spend that time doing something else. In the evenings this will likely be reading; in the mornings it will likely be sitting on my back porch drinking a morning drink and enjoying the fresh air. As the year goes on, I’m hoping to increase the span on both sides to as much as one hour in the morning and two in the evening. We will see!

Run a 13+ mile run at least once a month

I’ve done pretty well running in 2022. One thing I did less well was finding the time and energy for long runs. My goal is to revitalize my long runs, doing at least one 13+ mile run each month. Supporting this will be shorter runs of course, but they’re not my main focus this year.

End the year owning fewer things than when I started

Ideally, don’t purchase or take home unnecessary things. I have enough things in my life for the most part. I will focus on the utility of things and not be wasteful. I don’t have a huge problem with getting excess things, but I’m fairly bad about getting rid of older things. Focus on the second half of this equation without letting up on the first half.

This year has a mixture of some new goals and some old ones. Overall, the direction I’d like to head in remains mostly the same this year. I feel good about my ability to face these head on and become incrementally better throughout the course of the year.

Happy 2023!