New year, new me: my targets for 2020

It’s the ongoing cultural phenomenon to make broad and general resolutions for the year ahead, I have often half-heartedly partaken in the classic goal setting of getting fitter, spending better, drinking less and so on.

Last year I tried something a little different. I set two very specific goals, run 5km (from a very low level of fitness!) and read 52 books in the year. Goodreads made the latter much easier while the former was completed through a regular and hard slog through the year that got me to a level of fitness that lets me now regularly do runs that I actually find enjoyable.

This year I decided to do something a little different, I will still set goals but will try and set some more specific goals across a range of areas that I have control over. My theory is that in the same way I think targets and goal setting is important for work and business (bring back the Better Public Service targets), I think that setting goals in life allows you to work towards something. Most of the goals I have set are easily achieved, but even if not I am happy that attempting and failing is better than not attempting. At least I will know why I failed and have a better understanding of my capacities.

I also plan on keeping this list as a rolling maul of goals, I will add to it as I feel necessary or may event amend goals, hopefully to become more specific and targeted. I’m also keen to hear suggestions, tips or ideas for other things I should set down.

New Years 2020 Goals:


  • Continue 5km running (this should be easy)
  • Start running 10km tracks (allowing walking or running here, just keen to start hitting 10km)
  • Achieve regular 100kg bench press sets (the next two are incorporating in a desire to do more work on lifting weights at the gym in conjunction with the cardio coals above)
  • Achieve regular 100kg standing squat sets
  • Attend at least one new gym or fitness class (broadening horizons, I currently use the work gym and Wellington surroundings, but I don’t know what I am missing or how good my system is)


  • Add five new recipes to my regular repertoire of food making (always learning)
  • Complete a Keto week (I have attempted to limit carbs in the later part of this year and am tempted by trying out the much more rigid Keto diet and sticking to it for seven days)
  • Do four weeks vegetarian (this is an easy goal but wanted to add it in)
  • Limit alcohol to deliberate occasions (I’m targeting casual drinking here, I have tried recently to limit drinking to deliberate events like New Years, scheduled visits to a bar to see friends and so on).
  • Regularly track my food in the Fitbit app (I started doing this and it honestly puts a brake on what I buy and how much I eat, tracking food is a great way to understand more about what and when you eat)


  • Write an annual financial plan with wife (first year married, first year doing a joint plan seems like a good idea)
  • Build a weekly budget and track spending (I have an app, I just need to use it!)
  • Increase savings in funds and shares by 50% (I have some money in funds and shares now and want to add to it).


  • Read 52 books
  • Read at least five books recommended to me as opposite to my political views
  • Read at least three books written over 100 years ago (I’m looking at you Herodotus and Homer)
  • Read at least five books on new subject matter (I read heavily on areas I already enjoy like politics and classical history, I want to broaden this out)
  • Read at least three books exclusively on recommendations form friends


  • Find a charity to either donate to or volunteer with
  • Write 52 posts (this is to keep me writing and may or may not be published anywhere, this one doesn’t count).
  • Identify an new club or hobby to begin
  • Play at least one game of a new sport that I do not regularly play currently (so not indoor netball)

So I have 22 goals to work towards. As I write above, this is something I am expecting to be fairly manageable and I will reserve the right to edit the list but, again, hopefully to add to rather than concede defeat before 31 December 2020!




When I write things it’s to clear my head. Politics, history, reading, free thoughts.

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When I write things it’s to clear my head. Politics, history, reading, free thoughts.

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