Recalibration: Setting my 10-year Goals

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SMART Goals Infographic from https://cdn-fkmoj.nitrocdn.com/xvpOGZRTxJUhXKufpOYIruQcRqtvAAQX/assets/static/optimized/rev-01fec55/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/06111540/what-are-smart-goals.png
Infographic from Brian Tracy

The beginning of the year often signals a reset for many people so a number of us are prone to creating resolutions we aim to abide by (at least in the first three months of the year) or goals that we want to achieve. This behavior subjects us to the marketing strategies of journal and planner makers but somehow, it’s become a symbiotic relationship we’ve learned to accept.

I don’t think it’s highly effective for me though. Six old planners collecting dust on my bookshelf can attest to my consistency in planning and journaling for the first half of the year until for some reason, my entries tended to dwindle around August or September, only to be fired up by the new planner releases in November or December. These planners also reflect how some of my objectives were quite short-sighted and task-specific.

For example, I can set a goal to write one article a month and each time I finish one article, whether it be read by someone or not, that task is done. How it contributes to my being a writer in the next ten years is a perspective that is difficult to get unless I can choose to interpret it as “Oh, I wrote 10 articles in 2021 and 12 in 2022 so I must be improving” (by the way, I wrote 18, most of them are book reviews but good ones if I may say so myself). However, if my only basis for improvement is what my dashboard tells me, I might be going on a decline.

Setting a one-year goal is also a trap for me who always finds a new distraction. Just weeks ago I wanted to start playing the kalimba. It came to a point when I wanted to purchase an electrical one. Some might say that I should just go for it and “do what makes you happy.” Then again, anybody can always start a new hobby but not everybody can be consistent at it. What I don’t want to happen is to collect these short-term interests, only to discard them later and realize that I haven’t worked on what really matters to me. I don’t have that luxury of time.

Planning my year still has its charms (I chose a digital planner this year again) but, I have decided to balance it out by keeping my long-term goals in focus. As in My 2022, a Retrospective post, I’m not going to be sharing the plans I consider more personal e.g. finances or acquisition of assets. However, let me share the goals that are relevant to this blog:

SKILL202320282033
WritingStart working on a 50,000-word- manuscript.Finish the manuscript.Get published.
Language learning Review N5 lessons. (
Finish A2-B1 Lessons in Minato.
Reach B1 or near-B2 level in CEFR
Travel to Japan with little help from translators.
Write a short story in a different language to be evaluated by a Japanese.
ReadingRead and review >10 novels (from book tours, Netgalley) Earn the Top Reviewer and 100 Reviews badges in Netgalley.Earn the 80% Ratio and 200 Reviews badges in Netgalley

Having my ten-year goals mapped out this way puts my mind at ease. This may look like I’m cutting myself some slack but where I’m coming from is I would have reached them by now if I had started seriously working on them ten years ago (e.g. I got my JLPT N5 certification in 2017 but my Nihonggo hasn’t improved since then). I may not be the same person back then nor am I in the same environment but now, I want every action I take to contribute to achieving these goals.

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