WOOOOOOOO-WE! Well it’s been a rough end to 2021 with some serious medical scares, and months of follow up tests just to make sure I’m out of the woods (or getting new meds and procedures and treatments to get me there) but after that rough tumble end, it’s nice to come back to the blog with a post I’m super excited to write about!
And why not?
While New Year’s Resolutions are often synonyms for “Things I wish would happen to me and I’ll stop thinking about in mere weeks at most.”
But one of the best parts of 2020-2021 for me, and admittedly there was plenty about these years that was a dumpster fire for me like so many others, was the growth. The growth was there. The movement was there.
Forward movement in my career, finances, hitting a ton of goals I’ve had for years but finally started making progress on – all kinds of good stuff started happening.
The “Shane Caveat”
This is part goals, part wish list, and part plan. Even some dreams thrown in. And it’s chaotic and may or may not be ordered in any way that particularly makes sense.
And there is certainly “leak over.” Some goals and thoughts could fit in multiple categories and some of the goals in one of these categories are the necessary steps to doing anything in others (see health/financial leading right into travel) so if there’s bleedover, hey there’s bleed over.
Also this will be a “bare bones” form of the Christmas 2022 letter. Why? Because different style, format, and if I made them copies…it would be too tempting to look back at this post and treat that letter as a list.
There’s just something about the closed envelope that is powerful whenever I glance up at that – and considering how well that closed letter method has worked, I don’t want to rob it of even an ounce of its power.
So expect the rambling, don’t expect the complete list of all things, and here we go…
Overall 2022 Picture
I have no reason why this feels so much harder to put together than previous posts, but that does seem to be the case so I’ll just brain vomit this out and hopefully catch all the big points. I’m sure the health issues haven’t helped, but there’s only so much I can control at this point.
So let’s dive in to get this done and get it out there…because I’m already diving head first into this year.
Most Important Targets
- Get these health problems figured out and fixed – everything else hinges on this
- Lose a lot of weight to feel better, and feel better about myself/how I look/feel
- Continue to invest steadily in my business
- Continue to invest steadily in my IRA
- Build up both Assorted Meeples and my own sites
- Finished first drafts of my two novels City of Crypts and Alvaria
- Begin traveling/adventuring again
- Visit two groups of dear friends I haven’t seen in person in 10+ years
- Re-claim my lost habits from 2021 because of the sickness and build even further off of that
- Be happy (return to my general state of being happy/thankful/enjoying life)
With those out as the crown jewels, let’s dive into the rest of what I want to get done over the next
12 11 (hey I admitted I was having a hard time with this) months.
Truth be told, while 2020 and 2021 were trash fire years in so many ways but they were pretty dang good financially for me. Lots of debts paid off, emergency fund created, a lot more income coming in, five figures in medical work done – the wallet was doing good. Obviously I would love to see that sharp upward trend continue!
Some of this I can control and some I can’t. That’s where the challenge comes in because I can put in the work but I can’t control local or national factors, or the Google SEO gods. All I can do is put in the work and aim for specific numbers, but whether or not I hit exact numbers will be partially up to chance adn fate.
So like the last couple years some of these are realistic, most are extreme stretch goals, but I’ll try to have a few up front that are completely in my control and if I make serious progress then whether or not I hit exact numbers, this will be a win.
- Overcome health issues to re-establish daily work habits
- Put in freelancing sprints at least 6 days a week
- Make the most freelancing in one year I ever have
- Pay my smallest student loan off completely
- Fully pay off the IRS
and be current(current part already done – nice!)
- My personal niche site making me a full-time or near full-time yearly income
- My DIP websites cut making me a solid monthly payout
- My work on Assorted Meeples resulting in a monthly payout
- Get my emergency fund up to three months’ of expenses (up from one right now)
- Max out IRA contributions
- Double amount currently in savings account
- Match my Net Worth progress from 2020 & 2021
There will be a separate section lower for goals for this site. This is about the Assorted Meeples Gaming Site, about the niche websites my brother and I started after selling our old outdoor site (so aka, the new seeds for future niche site riches – these are marked DIP for Dayton Internet Publishing), as well as other site projects that have come up or have been in the pipeline a while and probably really need to get started.
I know these goals in totality are wildly unrealistic for one year…but in a worst case scenario hitting all of these should have me at a comfortable full-time passive income and that’s with a TON of things going wrong on a level I haven’t seen before. And I’ve been online writing since 2004 and making money online since 2007.
I’ve seen a lot of things go wrong.
But I’ve also seen how badly life can turn out when a few things go bad and you decide to be realistic. Since “being realistic” seems to be advice coming from unhappy people who want to see you unhappier…fuck realistic. Let’s try insane and see what happens!
So keeping in mind these are wildly ridiculous goals:
- Publish 350 blog posts this year for Assorted Meeples
- Get DIP Niche Website 1 to 200 total posts
- Get DIP Niche Website 2 to 146 total posts
- Add 83 posts to DIP Niche Website 3
- Get DIP Niche Website 4 to 20 total posts
- Get DIP Niche Website 5 to 20 total posts
- Get DIP Niche Website 6 to 20 total posts
- Get DIP Niche Website 7 to 12 large posts
- Personal Niche Website 1 to 100 total posts
- Medium.com Publication started & up to 100 posts & outreach for followers
- Publish 12 YouTube videos by year’s end for Assorted Meeples
- Create training for scripting out a video (Assorted Meeples)
- Create training for writing a board game article (Assorted Meeples)
- Start “Over 40” YouTube channel
- Start sketching out beginning info products for AM
- Start sketching out world for large-scale AM project
Physical & Health Goals
This is one of those that’s out of my hands because I’ve had a lot of health issues crop up recently and while the heart is in passably good shape for my size/age/general health, and then there are still the potential issues that I’ve waited months for testing on. If something there is a serious issue, there’s only so much I can do.
So these are all the dependent on what future testing finds, and hopefully (fingers crossed, knock on wood) it’s nothing hugely serious and can be easily fixed so I can get back on track for last year’s ER visit and follow-up finished any progress being made.
But assuming there’s nothing life-altering, life-changing, or heavens forbid, life-ending, then here are the health and physical goals I’m aiming for during 2022.
- Figure out all the serious health issues and get necessary treatments
- Get sleep apnea taken care of via sleep doctor appointment
- Finish dental work delayed by pandemic shutdowns/reschedules
- Get brand new prescription glasses (this one is years overdue)
- Continue shifting towards healthier food choices/options on more consistent basis
- Lose over 100 lbs
- Get back to consistently lifting weights
- Walk over 10,000 steps a day
- Run my first 5K
- Down to one serving of caffeine a day
- Practice intermittent fasting at least one week a month
- Walk hills weekly to train for longer hikes
- Win HealthyWage wager
- Start new physical-based hobby
- Have a 50,000 step day
- Have a 75 flights of stairs day
- Be in my best physical shape & health since my days in Austin, TX
In the same way a healthy body is crucial to building off everything else, a stronger mind is critical to pushing forward and getting to places that you’ve never been to before. This is also harder to build up, and can take a degree of effort and time that just might be in really short supply this year, but it’s an area that most of us need to keep working on.
I’m certainly no exception here. So many things to learn, so many habits to work on. Mental is a pretty wide field, too. Re-learning memorization skills, reading, meditating, creating habits, and embracing positive philosophy seem little a disparate group of practices but they would fall under this one category.
So a lot of this for me is establishing practices. Those I enjoy, habits I’ve struggled to establish, reaching goals that while stretching me mentally can also have benefits on other areas.
- Be consistent with 2 sprints of Daily Affirmation
- Meditate 5-10 minutes daily
- Practice re-learning memorization skills
- Practice basic yoga daily
- Memorize multiple inspirational poems
- Read 24 books
- Get in habit of creating skill journals where I write what I learn from books/YT videos/lessons and review
- Keep improving positive Stoic mindset (especially not caring what others think – not letting it affect me)
- Continue to focus on acting immediately on “I should…” thoughts and work HARD to make this reaction an automatic habit
While 2021 was far better for progressing my creative goals than the previous several years and I am quite proud of that. I have a lot of pages of fiction to show for my efforts. Not compared to my heyday of creative writing, but certainly a lot compared to recent years.
And it felt really good to get back on the horse again.
In fact, my writing was heating up again so much I had a legitimate outside shot of finishing one of the novel manuscripts by 2021 year’s end before the major health scare put me down for the rest of the year. Obviously other priorities took over at that point.
But I have many awesome creative projects that have started, not only novel manuscripts and other fiction, but YouTube videos, ideas on game systems to develop, creative collaborations and more. So here’s the list of the main goals I care about.
We’ll see how many actually get done, but I’m especially eager on the novels, the game system, and the major projects for Assorted Meeples, which I’ll come all the way back here and link it if it does indeed get done by the end of the year like I would like.
So here’s to hoping that in addition to an insane amount of work in all other areas that the creative muse continues its hard-fought comeback, as well!
- Finish the first draft of my new novel City of Crypts
- Finish the first draft of my new novel Alvaria
- Add 20 pages to my novel Inked
- Write 3 short stories
- Add 20 pages to dark comedy screenplay
- Add 10 pages to An American Arthur screenplay
- Script out animated short based on “For My Love”
- Major Assorted Meeples Project
- Sketch out game system for post-apoc world
- 5 YouTube videos
- Start researching improv classes
- Start researching art classes
- Get back into writing poetry
- Brainstorm Zombies on Strike Podcast
- Start creating TTRPG system mechanics
I mean, some of this is dependent on the pandemic going through 2022 but I have my vaccine, I’m boosted, I’ve worked to put my health in order and I’ve been stuck here for way too long. Some of this also depends on how my tests and other health issues pan out but again I can only do my best to control what I can control.
I miss traveling, and if the next few months go well there’s no reason I can’t have good savings, a travel budget, and be all set to go once again. I’m a wanderer through and through and I haven’t been traveling enough, I haven’t been adventuring enough, and the calling of the road has more or less become a cacophony of screams at this point.
The roads, the skies, the water is calling once again. And while I could make a “short” travel list of a couple dozen options…gotta take it slow. Slowish. Though once I get going again, who knows how it will go?
Hopefully to many places I’ve had on my bucket list for a while and then to many more that I couldn’t even begin to imagine.
- Straighten out passport issues to get my passport back
- Long overdue visit to Harrisburg PA friends
- Long overdue visit to Memphis TN friends
- Long overdue visit back to Alaska
- Summer Dead South concert in Montana
- Overdue self-travel birthday present (thanks, pandemic)
- Thru Hike Cowboy Trail
There are multiple hobbies I’d like to pick up further, and truth be told this can be one of those gray areas that has a lot of bleed over with others. Is video editing hobby, skill, creative or all three? What about art sketching – especially if you have a project in mind for it?
I mean it all kind of blends and to be honest most things here could be found elsewhere and vice-versa.
- Hobby Skill 1 spend 100 total hours improving my skills
- Look up YouTube videos/online courses to practice said hobby skill
- Look up various types of dance/dance classes that interest me
- Prep for my first thru hike, hopefully this year
- Put out feelers for a few new hobbies/practices
- Read some fiction every single week
- Hit summer garage sales to flip stuff online
- Participate in at least one TTRPG throughout the year
As the world stops burning, or at least comes around to a place where a better understanding of lower danger levels and more “live with it” options actually exist, there’s no more excuse
- Hobby Skill1 work up to decent proficiency
- Sketching/Drawing – Force myself to fill an entire sketchbook by year’s end
- Look at dance class options
- Look at fighting/fitness class options locally
- Spend 3-4 hours weekly practicing video editing to skill up
- Improving basic carpentry/crafting skills
Some of these goals will be intentionally vague because if my life and its many incredible times, and many truly down times, has taught me anything it’s that:
- You must be 100% honest with goals/wants/desires if you want a genuine shot at doing something amazing
- Most people (myself included) have personal goals/dreams/wants that we just don’t want to share
- But science shows if you share too much your brain gets a dopamine hit discouraging you from doing anything
So I have notebooks that go into detail on the things I want that I would be too embarrassed to share and that doesn’t get shared publicly. In other cases I’ll list a step in the process to something better as the goal. And I have such complete life goals and bucket lists in actual notebooks that there’s no lack of goals to line up.
So that’s a long way of saying: be true to thyself. Limit the sharing, but be honest off spotlight so you really do have the ability to push forward towards the life you actually want versus what other people are telling you is socially acceptable to go for.
With all that 3 a.m. rambling done, let’s get to it:
- Do something every month that forces me stretch myself slightly
- Commit to an adventure every few months to recapture that old fire
- Review my habit anchoring and continue to build off that foundation
- Journal twice a week
- Find a way to anchor dream journaling into my schedule
- Keep stretching/testing myself to make me mentally TAF (tough as fuck)
- Study charisma skills (BL, people-reading, etc)
- Start preparing to move out of state – start eBaying extra stuff
- Keep pushing for that passport
Goals for This Site
While I enjoy the posts I add to this blog, and obviously there’s a bit of ego as you want anything you put your name on to be, well, awesome, this site is very much on the low list of the many, many things I need to do. That doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon it.
Again, check the “ego name” comment 🙂 But it does mean that the goals for this website are going to be humble for this year because there are individual bullet points under the physical/health, website/business, and financial sections that could be a very busy and productive year in and of themselves. So any work that gets done here is just bonus (and probably taking away from a more pressing task, lol).
So the goals for this site:
ShaneDayton.com Goals for 2022
- Finish setting up all the website pages
- Finish setting up all the menus
- Finish at least 12 blog posts by year’s end
- Get the Goals for 2023 article done sooner than I managed to get the goals for 2022 done 🙂
The All-Important Miscellaneous Category
On this site Miscellaneous is an important catch-all category as opposed to just the leftovers, although I feel like for the full year to come I tend to sub-divide a bit more (see Life Architecture) but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of things to list here.
I’m sure I’ll forget some important ones. But that’s also the nice thing about the online public version as opposed to the sealed envelope: I can always come back in March or June and add one 🙂
I won’t do this if new projects come up, but if it’s clear I’m forgetting something important that was there since the beginning, THAT I would come back to add since it was on one of the lists of goals around here somewhere.
Catch-All of Other Goals for the Year
- Fill out DnD character sheets used for info products and/or blog posts
- Clean up my freaking giant “catch all” Text files from the last three years
- Clean up my Desktop so it’s not so cluttered (see above, among other things)
- Outreach for AM
- Pushing for community project with Boys & Girls Club locally
- Outreach to local gaming groups & events
- Fully clean and organize office space by end of year
- Find out how to get license without car as a adult – start process rolling
- Have 3 international trips planned out for 2023
- Have Portland scouting planned out for 2023
- Re-visit Las Vegas (love Vegas and it’s been WAY too long)
So 2022…What’s It Going to Be?
This would be that “In Conclusion” section. Truth be told, I don’t know what 2022 is going to hold. But I did the work when the pandemic started in 2020 and I busted my ass in 2021 and absolutely crushed it. Probably had one of the most productive, best (as far as self-improvement goes), and certainly most focused years ever for myself.
Progress was made on all fronts that weren’t curb-stomped by a worldwide pandemic (like adventuring and travel). A lot of things went really well until the ER visit when my heart decided it might try that vacation thing all on its own. Not a great time.
But I am cautiously optimistic, and after making so much progress the past two years I want those trends to continue, and am committed to working my a** off to making it happen.
That’s what I can control, the rest of the chaos, well we’ll just have to see. But I’m game for putting up the fight of a lifetime to earn the life I want from hear on out. So with that roar into the oncoming storm, thanks for reading and let’s hit that publish button.