What I'm (Really!) Excited About in 2024
Be as ambitious as you want to be (or not!)
Happy New Year 2024!
I’m more excited than ever this year to work on my goals. 2023 ended up being about clarifying direction and intentions — although I didn’t know that back in January 2023! As I welcome 2024, I can feel the difference: a better understanding of where I want to move toward and a clearer path forward.
I’m sharing my goals ‘publicly’ for the first time, in keeping with my intention to be more transparent about my midlife experience.
I’d love for you to share your goals as well in the comments section so we can keep each other accountable this year.
My goals are divided into the following four buckets:
Health and Well-Being
Work, Impact, and Relevance
Growth and Learning
If you’d prefer to listen, here’s the audio version, with minor editorial differences.
Health and Well-Being
I plan to move my body more this year. I already walk most mornings, and I’ve also started lifting weights. But I’d like to do these more regularly than I currently do. This year, I plan to deliberately create space on my calendar for these activities. These are important appointments I have with myself.
I also intend to continue with intermittent fasting, which I’ve been following for a couple of years. But last year, things went sideways, and I didn’t stick to it regularly. And I could feel the difference. This year, I’d like to get back to following this practice more consistently.
In 2023, my top priority was taking care of my mental well-being. I’m very happy with how I managed this, and I plan to continue with the routines I’ve put in place, especially: prioritizing sleep, the daily meditation practice, and regularly journaling.
Work, Impact, and Relevance
One major thing I’m taking away from 2023 is the commitment to building a writing career. With this being a major focus for me, I anticipate it driving the majority of the projects that I will take on this year.
This focus on my writing career also dovetails neatly into the two other areas that are super important for me at this stage of my life: impact and relevance.
It is through my written body of work that I would like to make an impact and leave an imprint. It is through writing that I would like to remain relevant to the small corners of the world that are of interest and are important to me.
This commitment to my writing career means increased focus on:
Midlife Cues, the weekly publication that I write for midlifers. More on this below.
My various book writing projects. I’m currently working on two different projects, which admittedly isn’t ideal. But I think I’ve found a way forward that also ties back to Midlife Cues. More on this below.
Second Breaks podcast. Although this is audio and predominantly interview-based, I’d like to produce more solo episodes that will be more writing-intensive at the front end. Beyond writing, this podcast is also part of my body of work. So, yes, I am committing to another year of Second Breaks.
Getting back to Midlife Cues:
For context, this newsletter started in 2021 when I started splitting my time between the US and Asia. It didn’t have a name then; it was broadly about the midlife experience, but it wasn’t well-defined. Writing the weekly-ish newsletter helped me define the topics that I really wanted to explore, the cadence, who I was really writing for, and how I could make it helpful for them. Eventually, I found the name Midlife Cues.
Last year, I moved Midlife Cues to Substack. While this move had nothing to do with my writing goals per se, it ended up opening my mind about how I’d like to grow as a writer and had a direct influence on my decision to commit to a writing career.
I see Midlife Cues as the hub and center of my writing work, and in 2024, I plan to continue improving this publication. My goal is to write and produce a newsletter that readers look forward to getting in their inboxes because it helps them navigate and grow in their midlife. So, focusing on delivering this value for every single Sunday edition is my priority.
I also want Midlife Cues to be a helpful resource as midlifers plan for retirement, in whatever shape and form that may take for them. This is where it loops back to my book writing project as I’m planning to release one of them (the one related to modern retirement) as a limited series on Midlife Cues in 2024.
Part of committing to a writing career also means thinking about the evolution from amateur to professional. One key difference between the two is that a professional gets paid. This is a huge goal for me because it butts up against a lot of insecurities and money mindset and limiting beliefs and all that stuff. Clearly, a huge personal growth opportunity is awaiting me in 2024!
Tactically, this means I will open the door to paid subscriptions and sponsorships. Even as I read these words, I feel the palpitation, so I know this is a growth area. Let your fear guide you; isn’t that what they say?
Growth and Learning
Most of the growth and learning this year will be related to or stem from my writing projects.
I’ve taken a creative writing class in 2023, and I’d like to do more of these workshops in 2024. Those will be on improving craft. I’d also like to improve my game in short-form essays, so that will be a focus area.
Outside of writing, I’d like to continue to read books, of course, on a variety of subject areas. Last year, I finished 30 books, although I started way more than that. I’ve gotten comfortable quitting a book halfway — something I used to be so against. But not anymore. There are way too many books and so little time. It’s not worth it to suffer through something just so I can finish it!
I have a couple of other ideas about learning to play a musical instrument or another language, but I’m not 100% committed to those yet. I’ll have to see as the year progresses. But I’m thinking of doing those primarily for my brain to help create new synapses. You know, this is important to keep our brains healthy as we get older.
Set goals that mean something to you. Be as ambitious as you want to be. Be ambitious in the areas — and only in the areas — you want to be ambitious in. Shoot for the stars or not. But do what’s right for you.
Ah, such an important dimension but for this card-carrying private introvert, is something I have to be deliberate about, or nothing will happen.
I now live partly in the US and partly in Asia, so maintaining relationships has become both challenging and interesting. I plan to get back to regularly having virtual coffee dates. This was something that fell through the cracks in 2023. I’d also like to schedule at least twice a month in-person get-togethers, wherever in the world I may be. (This number is probably low for someone who’s extroverted, but not for me!)
Onwards into 2024!
What are your personal, work, or creative goals for 2024?
Please leave a comment if you’d like to share, or if you have a question, and let’s keep each other accountable for another year.
Here’s wishing you the very best in 2024. Let’s make this our best year yet.
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