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2023 Goals Review

Early last year, I set three goals for 2023. It’s now 2024, and although I haven’t set new goals yet, I at least can reflect on how the old goals went.

Notably, we had another child last year, which changes almost everything about life, including how goals went. I’ll focus on progress before my life was turned upside-down.

Climb Twice a Week

Climbing is great.

I started with an intro class at a local climbing gym, which I probably didn’t need. The only thing I got was meeting a confusing classmate who started rope climbing, but also was afraid of heights, but also wasn’t climbing with the intent of overcoming that phobia.

I was able to establish a very consistent routine of climbing once on a weekday night and once on a weekend afternoon while my children were napping. The gym is quite busy late on weekday nights, so going very late was actually helpful.

I realized that the other big obstacle to climbing is having a belay partner. Although the gym does offer to announce on the PA system that someone is looking for a partner, it still made me anxious wondering if I would find someone on any given day. However, it overall ended up working out

For a few stretches of the year, I had a scheduled climbing partner. Over the summer, I climbed with one my interns who thankfully was entirely flexible based on my schedule. At other times, I met random people to climb, which was also great to meet new people and learn from them. In fact, one of those partners gave me a great tip on local birding. And if none of those panned out, I could go bouldering by myself, which was a good mix-up.

I am enjoying it enough now that I want to go, so I’ll keep climbing.

Eat Vegan Stews for Lunch

When I started writing this section, I mentally outlined my process for cooking once a week and freezing food and such. Then it hit me that this is just meal prep.

Plenty of bloggers swear by meal prep, but I had never done it before. I always made breakfast in the morning, made sandwiches for lunch, and usually made dinner in the evenings (or had maybe one meal’s worth of leftovers).

However, I now get meal prep.

So yes, I figured out how to change my lunches by doing meal prep. Weekends are usually when I do more involved cooking for dinner, so on Sunday evenings, I also make a batch of something for lunch, too. Most vegan stews involve chopping up a bunch of vegetables, throwing them in a pot, and cooking them down.

I know that just sounds like cooking, but it genuinely is often less work than other meals, which may involve multiple pans, using the oven, and the like.

Anyways, I then have enough for a week of lunches. If it’s too much, I’ll freeze servings and save them for my lazy weeks.

A few of my favorites are cabbage and farro soup, curry lentils with sweet potatoes, ribollita, and lentil chili, though I am not too particular about recipes and measurements. Perhaps my only tip is that immersion blenders are great for easily getting better texture by partially blending soups.

Setup Sustainable Banking

This is mostly done.

I subjected Julie to an afternoon at the bank and the following rigamarole of once again changing bank accounts and credit cards. We are now banking with a local credit union, which has mostly been fine. It’s basically the same on a day-to-day basis.

Regarding our portfolio, I admittedly am less certain on how to move forward on that. Frankly, I found it quite overwhelming as an individual to try to sort out what the impact of that might be. So I left most of the existing portfolio intact and am just incrementally making changes that seem straightforward.

Final Thoughts

I like the specificity and balance I had in my goals for 2023. In years prior, I had ideas like “See friends in real life regularly” or “Get in Touch with Nature” that left most of the work afterwards to figure out what I meant. “Climb twice a week” and “Eat Vegan Stews for Lunch” are goals that I just needed to execute on.

“Setup Sustainable Banking” was the least prescriptive of the bunch, but it also was more of a project rather than a lifestyle change. As such, it could just be done at some point, and I got there.

I hope to continue that strategy in my 2024 goals.

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