Goals for 2018

Ok, I’m changing up the format this time. This year I’ve identified four personal characteristics I most want to focus on – everything I do this year should align with one or more (or even all) of these. The four personal characteristics are: 

  • Independent
  • Curious
  • Healthy
  • Delighted

Separately, I’ve come up with a list of specific things I’d like to do, get involved in or work on this year. I’ve prioritised these into three groups – ‘Must Happen’, ‘Will Probably Happen’ and ‘Might Happen’.

Below I’ve written a few lines about each of my targeted personal characteristics and included the prioritised list of specific goals.



A focus on greater independence is both a cause and an effect of separating from my partner of 10 years. It’s mostly about learning to deal with a bunch of everyday life stuff that I’ve ignored thus far in my life, being able to balance all the plates I want to spin as a functional adult, and having the freedom to go at my own pace. 


I want to learn, try and appreciate new things in my life. Genuine learning takes focus and dedication but is also a source of great joy and satisfaction and is always worth it. Needless to say, I believe learning has as much to do with study as education has to do with school – i.e. nothing.


I want to feel alive and like I live in and through my body as well as my mind and my heart. I want to find delight and satisfaction in physical activity, and show my body the same love I show other aspects of my life. 


I feel like I’ve been striving for the 10 years since my business collapsed to get back to a certain idea of myself as someone who is bold, imaginative and ambitious – with a big life but also big-hearted with a generosity of spirit and a sense of responsibility to the world. Some things have suffered along the way – sometimes my sense of humour, sometimes my sense of gratitude, often my ability just to enjoy things. I feel like I’m back now, bigger and stronger than ever and with added resilience and humility. This year I want to find fun and delight in things, and I hope others will find me delightful in turn.



There are some things that simply must happen in 2018 (by which I mean I will be disappointed in myself if they don’t). 

  • Learn to cook some stuff - enough to take care of myself and maybe also a signature something to make for others
  • Domino the debt - the separation means this is part of a two-year goal to being in a financially strong position, but the bulk of the difficult work has to happen this year
  • Get some muscle - this hasn’t happened, ever. This year it will, and before and after pics will tell the story. 
  • Play tennis - I’ve had this one on the list for a few years but a series of unforced errors have meant I never got my game up and going. Let’s ace this one this year. 
  • Be a good manager - I’ll do a bunch of stuff to make sure I’m someone who can effectively lead and take care of my staff while getting results. 
  • Explore New Zealand - I’ll pick away at this in every way I can throughout the year.  It’s as much a cultural exploration as a physical one.
  • Keep a good home - where I live should reflect who I am, and who I am should be awesome, welcoming and nice to spend time with. 



There is a bunch of stuff I plan to do this year, but not all of it may happen, either because there are other things (above) that are more important or simply because things can change.

  • Learn language - whether it’s Te Reo, my old stalwart German or something that allows me to connect to other worlds that are important to me, I want to put in some genuine effort this year
  • Zumba - this is fun and effective and I want more
  • Learn jazz piano - I’ve gone as far as I can go without a good teacher, so I hope to find one this year and unlock the next level
  • Whanau Choir - joining my work choir and singing songs in te reo is fun, social and feeds the soul. More of this as scheduling permits
  • Be social - as a good friend of mine put it recently, I want to say yes to things more often
  • Keep reading - I dropped off a bit last year. Just putting this one in to remind myself that it remains a priority
  • Game design - progress my interest in games as technologies of empathy for public good in some way this year, who knows what. 
  • Side income - I have lots of skills. It would be helpful to monetise at least one of them, both for the practice and for the extra income. 



There’s also a bunch of stuff I want to do, but whether or not it happens depends on how far and how fast I go with other things, whatever unexpected stuff happens during the year and what actually happens when I go to make a move on these things. Often the things in this category either end up being bumped up the list next time or bumped off.

  • Yoga/Pilates - I need to be more flexible and stretchy. This could be a good way, but will I like it and will I fit it in?
  • Walking (tramping) - I’m not sure how hardcore I will become at this, as I’m ultimately a city guy who likes soft comforts, but as part of getting fit and exploring NZ I’d like to find out how far my interest goes
  • Do more things on water - I like water (it’s  ‘stuff white people like #51’, after all!) and Auckland has lots of it. I don’t really know what I mean by this goal - I just know I feel like a different person when I’m on the water, and I want to know that person better.
  • Get to Singapore - I miss it and it makes me happy. It moves fast and things have changed since I was there last
  • Do a cruise - a long-running sort-of joke with my friends. Could this be the year? 
  • Writing - still not sure where I’m going with this, but it’s often on my mind. Something might happen?
  • Buy more shares - not out of the question this year, but unlikely given the focus on paying down debt and dealing with the separation
  • Public things - do something with my political theory, public responsibility stuff. Definitely not forgotten, just not necessarily likely this year given how everything looks at the moment. But who knows


2018, I’m ready for you.