New Year, New Mike: A Year of New Beginnings

So this is the year. The gears have been turning for a while now and everything has lined up. It is time to hit the reset button. My crazy fever dream is just beginning. As of writing this, my working holiday visa application to New Zealand has been accepted. I have been working a new job for over a month now and I plan to fully commit to running a half marathon.

So this year, my resolution post is going to be formatted a little differently. I have been heavily goal focused for the last 3 or 4 years now. This year, I wanted to take some time to go over life and some of the reasons behind the big changes.

When Life Loses its flavor

So for a while now I’ve been trying to avert certain disaster and I’ve just been barely able to keep my head above water so I don’t drown. Along the way the world has brought me to my knees. A lot. And each time I have gotten back up. As a consequence, life has lost a lot of its flavor. I try to feel with my whole heart and there is barely a pulse left. On the outside I’m posed with purpose but on the inside I can feel myself imploding like a dying star. The hope is that when I finally go super nova, the energy released breaths life into a New Mike.

The Long Journey

This year, I want to be more honest when it comes to love and that comes with acknowledging where I’m at. When I was young I thought I’d be married by 29 or at least in a relationship. Not drifting aimlessly and not lost to the darkness. My personal growth has seen me invest heavily in friendships and self-love, all of which I have in abundance. It even saw me coming back home and reconciling with my family. Now, my life lives in paradox. I am both surrounded by people and love but am also alone.

The Goal

This year, I want to reset and I want to just let love happen (well, not entirely, I do have a plan). To do this I cannot walk the path alone. So instead of hopping back on dating apps, I’m going to explore why I’ve been single for so long. And as such, it’s time for a dating coach. I have also relayed to my friends if they have any single friends they know to send them my way. I remember what love felt like when I was younger and want to learn how to recapture that energy. It’ll also be a year of dating books and podcasts as I seek to understand what love is and where it fits in my life. The hope is to make the process more fun and less work and while my “Year of Desire” went a long way for getting back on the saddle, there is still much to be done.

A Focus on Imperfection

This year I’ll be exploring imperfection and learning to find the beauty in it. My whole life has been spent obsessed with perfection. I thought if I didn’t follow a certain path, I’d end up like my father. In truth, I was partly right. I became obsessed with mental health in college and set down a journey of constant improvement that has made me a better man. And yet, here I find myself drifting. I feel shame and find myself in a state where I’m never truly vulnerable. The walls I thought I had torn down are in fact, still there. Why can’t I talk about my craniosynostosis? Why can’t I talk about my romantic failures? Why am I still so conflicted over my childhood? I thought being the best I could be would propel me forward in life but it didn’t, so maybe it’s time I look at the imperfections that make up so many parts of life.


The Concrete Goals

This year, the goals are practical. They are boxes to be marked that will prepare me for my journey in life and in the near future, New Zealand.

Running

My long neglected bastion. The one thing that has always given me peace in this world. It has always been there and is a measure of who I am. So it’s time to propel it into my adult life with a half marathon. The plan is to run the bridge of the Gods in the Cascades come August 6th and this time I have the tools I need. Nike Run Club has a fitness coach and has a 14 week half marathon running plan, guidance I have been sorely missing since high school. I’m going to try to get a friend to do it with me and it should be a nice send off before I live in New Zealand.

Coding

Ah, the journey I started on during the pandemic and what has been an on again, off again relationship. Coding skills I need, there is no way around this fact. My problem is I’ll do a little and then lose motivation, even though I find the concepts interesting. If I learned to code, this would open up a world of possibilities for me professionally and now I have the perfect catalyst; yup, you guessed it, my journey to New Zealand. I have a Codecademy subscription and the program is being vastly expanded, so it’s time I jump back in. My goal is 8 to 10 hours a week as I believe this amount of time is what I need to have some professionally ready skills by the time I live overseas. While communication is my forte, I want a true technical skill to fall back on.

All Other Goals

With great effort, my goals from years past have formed into stable habits. The journey may not be perfect, but I no longer feel the need to put cooking, biking, language learning, and piano on here. I practice them enough and am slowly building a strong lifestyle of having them integrated into my everyday. This year is for the big goals and I have no more time to dally.


The Human Capital Question

This year will also have a renewed focused on revenue streams, which means trying new things as well as looking back at the old.

Freelancing

In New Zealand, I’ll be a casual or part-time worker. As such, I want to have as much at my disposal as I can. That means not relying on one stream of revenue. Imagine making money part-time and then freelance writing on top of that. This in fact may lead to my return to social media, in a professional capacity. I’m still looking at the logistics but I really want to make freelancing work; not as a sole source of income but as an additional revenue path.

Sponsorships

I am officially considering sponsored content. Currently I am in the early stages of looking at how it would work but the idea popped in my head when I got a random email asking for brand ambassadors. I figured if there’s a product I’m using a lot, it could be fun to have the occasional sponsored article. After ten years of writing, I think it’s time I start at least exploring content like this.

Contests

Contests I have also been very curious about for a while now. Enter a fiction contest, win a cash prize. Easy, straightforward and what I hope to be fun. It’ll be a good incentive to invest more time into my writing and since I’ve been writing short stories for a bit now, it seems like a good time to jump in now that I have a general sense of where I want my life to go.


And that is my current roadmap for the upcoming year. It’s time to usher in the next chapter and fully enter adulthood. It’ll require a look at relationships, myself, and my professional capital. Last years goals helped establish a good lifestyle so now I’m making one last push to live as the best version of myself. I’m excited to see what this year brings. And as always, thanks for reading!

New Year, New Mike: The wheel of reinvention never stops.

Yes, it is January. And what does that mean? Reflection but of course. My blog is one big ode to my self improvement. Years ago, I had the brilliant idea of using my blog as a way to keep track of my New Year’s resolutions. A look at what I want to be and a way to hold myself accountable. Since then, I’ve been able to look back at years past and see if I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. I’ve had surprising success writing out my resolutions this way and I’m excited to share what I have planned for this year.

What I’ve Learned

Since I’ve started posting my habits on my blog, I’ve kept my goals as continuous goals. It’s not a one and done list! Instead, I modify and adapt. As such, my goals aren’t shear chaos as they were in years past. They are a constant and I’m glad. With each passing year, they become more focused and refined.

I have started using January as a planning month. Instead of running to the gym come January first, I take my time to carefully consider what I want to do. Since I’ve only started doing this quite recently, I have no idea what the end result will be.

Not a French Kisser

One of my goals for last year was to learn French. My German has become much improved since my youth and I found it time for a new language. I have a French friend and one of my dreams is to make my triumphant return to Europe, not as a boy but as a man. So I’ve been practicing French. The great news is that I’ve started. The bad news is I haven’t been practicing as much as I like. So this year, I’m doubling down. Lessons every day, more French shows, and listening to podcasts. As an added goal, I want to do more to measure my success with languages. My reasons, pardon my French, are rather dorky. I am learning Japanese simply for the sake that I’ve played Nintendo games my entire life. French is to impress my friend. And German was so that I wouldn’t starve to death in the airport when I did study abroad.

My goal right now is to learn French, German, Spanish, and Japanese to fluency. Outside of those languages, I may or may not pick up sign language but only time will tell. My Spanish is rusty and needs work. German I can understand but like Spanish my goal is to learn it so I can hold conversation. This is going to be a year of polish and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

Coding

Coding went surprisingly well. My main focus this year is web development. I’ve been lazy the last couple of months but I found coding material that is not only practical but enjoyable. But tough. Very, very tough. If I build a game, great, but web development comes above all else. I’m putting no pressure on myself for this, I am simply treating it as another skill to learn. It could take years or weeks, but my pace is my own.

Piano Man play me a tune

One of my goals has been to hone my musical craft. In my effort to be the smartest man in the room, music is one obstacle I haven’t quite been able to tackle. Motivation is key. So I reviewed instruments and landed on piano. It’s a social instrument and meant to be shared. I can walk into a building and should I find a piano, nine times out of ten I can sit down and play. The other aspect is lessons are easily available. Piano song guides are plastered around the internet and if I want to learn a song, I can. Try doing the same for violin and you’ll find much more of a headache. I still have my Skillshare account, so I’ll be doing lessons over there. It’ll be off and on but I’m hopeful something will stick eventually. The goal is to make it fun and slowly but surely I am getting there.

Cooking

An elusive habit since I’ve moved back home. In college, I learned how to cook. I made many dishes during my studies and found that cooking was not only cost effective but also a tastier option to eating out. So this year, I’d like to ease back into cooking my own meals. The plan currently is to sign up for a New York Times Cooking subscription and to start looking through a cooking blog I only recently found out about, Food52. I am going to slowly integrate cooking as a lifestyle choice rather than simply force myself to cook for the sake of cooking. There is no set plan for my meals but I’m starting the year by simply looking at interesting recipes. Life is a little chaotic right now so I don’t know when I’ll go shopping but I have faith this year I can really get back into making delicious meals.

Big Picture Goal

Individual, SMART goals are great, but they’re not enough to move someone forward. As has become tradition, I’ve been theming my years. A year of Assertive here, a year of New there… These frameworks help set up the plan for the year and help bring together my “Why”.

So this year I want to be my year of Desire. Desire in the sense of asking myself what I want and setting out to get what I want. When I became an Eagle Scout, I picked out a silver coin of one of our laws. In that moment, I picked courteous as I thought it best represented who I was. Always thinking of others, trying to please everyone to the best of my abilities. Later in life I learned that if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. And now I’m ready for the next evolution of that concept; being courteous to myself. So this year is about my goals and getting ahead in life. It’ll be paying off my student loans, helping with as many events as I can and eventually transitioning to project management roles. It’s time I stop sidelining myself and focus on my success, whatever it takes to get there.

Other Goals for the Year

While new skills are a blessing to learn and typically what I choose to focus on, I also want to instill other habits beyond simply building my human capital. For that, I have two goals for 2022. And those two goals are more walks and riding my bike again.

Walking

In Corvallis, I opted to walk every day to class. It gave me time to think and enjoy simply being in the moment. I could walk everywhere and it was great. Now, when I try to walk, I find I have no destination. So I’ve been looking to change that. I’ve recently gotten into Pok√©mon Go this past year and downloaded Pikmin Bloom as a way to encourage walking. Now going out has a destination and I couldn’t be happier. This year, I want to ramp up my walks and make them more rewarding. Between the two apps, I think I’m on the right track.

Biking

I bought an electric bike. Right before the Pandemic… The good news, last year I finally put it together. How many times have I ridden it? Once… I went from biking every day in college to nothing. So this year, we are going to course correct. I want to ride and I’m going to use my brother to help me get back in the habit. He’s started riding a lot this last year and he clearly has found a motivation I am lacking. So the easiest way forward is to join him. Sibling outings until I’m comfortably riding on my own again. I’ve felt rather homebound for the last couple years with my anxiety, so I’m hoping bike rides will help restore some of the freedom I lost. It’ll be nice to bike to work instead of taking the bus and should I need to get somewhere, it’ll hopefully be less of an ordeal than it has been for the last two years.


Happy New Year! That’s it for the article! Overall, I’m hopeful 2022 is going to be a great year. I’ve taken a lot of time for myself during the Pandemic and have come away better for it. Cheers to 2022!

%d bloggers like this: