My Goals and Guidelines for 2021

By Nat Eliason in Life

Published or Updated on Jan 15, 2021

Picking up where my 2020 Reflection article left off, here are my goals and guidelines for 2021.

I'm doing both goals and guidelines because while some things are explicit goals (drink fewer than 30 days), there are many guidelines I want to remember on a daily, weekly, monthly basis that can't be checked off as cleanly (spend 2+ hours outside each day).

And I'll be adding monthly check-ins at the bottom of this post as I do my monthly reviews.

Let's dive in.

Physical Health Goals

Drink fewer than 30 days this year

Also: Mental Health, Family, Relationships, Work, Fun, Creativity, Finances

This is a pretty big goal for me, but I think it also has the potential to have the highest impact, so I'm putting it first.

I want to significantly cut back on my drinking while still having the opportunity to indulge in special occasions, so tracking the exact days when I drink is a great way to do that.

So far I've already used two days.

Reach 12% Body Fat

I've definitely been carrying around some excess body fat in the last year, so at least at some point this year I'd like to get down to 12% as judged by the N-Body scanner at Central Athlete. Currently I'm at 17%.

Go on 4 hunting trips

Also: Mental Health, Relationships, Fun, Creativity, Travel

Hunting is becoming a more and more important part of my life, and every time I do it I want to do it more. Not only is it the most ethical, healthiest way to get meat, it's also deeply useful for my mind.

Physical Health Guidelines

Make default lunches

Also: Mental Health, Finances

I end up eating Chipotle for lunch a lot because I'm not sure what to cook or don't have stuff prepped. Chipotle is okay, but not great, and I could more easily cook lunch more if I come up with some easy default lunches.

Spend 2+ Hours Outside Daily

Also: Mental Health, Relationships, Fun, Creativity

This is one of the simplest hacks I've discovered for having a better day. Simply spending more time outside just makes everything better, and prioritizing it is an easy way to be healthier and happier.

Workout or Walk Daily

Also: Mental Health, Relationships, Fun

Related to spending more time outside, either working out or going on a long walk every day is something I want to be sure to incorporate.

Abandoned

Complete Hard 75

I had wanted to do this starting in January, and after three weeks decided to abandon it. I like most of it, just setting aside 2 hours a day for exercise feels kinda excessive considering everything I'd like to be able to use that time for.

Mental Health Goals

Spend 15 days without my phone

Also: Family, Relationships, Work, Fun, Creativity

I want to spend less time behind my phone. Taking breaks during the day is great, but taking whole days off would be even better. I might buy a "light phone" too so I can do no-phone-days while still being able to coordinate with people.

Spend 30 days without my laptop

Also: Family, Relationships, Work, Fun, Creativity

Similar to the phone, I think the laptop is a net-harm outside of anything income producing. Spending more time without it would definitely be good for my mental health, creativity, fun, and life.

Do 30 days of meditation in a row

Also: Family, Relationships, Work, Creativity

I don't know when I last did real sitting meditation, so I may as well try it again. I know it requires seriously trying for at least a few weeks to see some benefits, so I'd like to try a month at some point this year to see if I see benefits of adding sitting meditation on top of the other meditative activities in my life.

Have 4 plant medicine sessions

Also: Family, Relationships, Work, Fun, Creativity

Working with psychedelics is the most productive, healthiest, insightful, and introspective thing you can do for your mental health. Each time I go deep into it I emerge with a better understanding of myself and where I'm in and out of alignment in my life, so creating space to reflect deeply upon myself and the world is essential for staying on a meaningful path throughout the year.

Mental Health Guidelines

Don't get in Twitter fights

Also: Family, Relationships, Work, Fun

Simple enough, these do nothing besides irritate me for the rest of the day. They're so tempting though.

Avoid the news

Also: Work, Fun, Creativity

Harped on this enough in the reflection, but following the news is no bueno.

Set dedicated meeting days

Also: Relationships, Work, Fun, Creativity

Making it so I only have meetings on a couple days of the week is going to do a lot for my happiness, and ensure I have a clear calendar most days.

Spend more time in nature

Also: Family, Relationships, Work, Fun, Creativity, Finances

Along with getting more sunlight, this is one of the biggest levers you can pull for your mental health that is getting woefully underutilized. The more time I spend out in nature, the happier I am.

Prep the Medley on Fridays

Also: Work, Fun

This will just help cut down on any stress and rushing on Mondays.

Family Goals

Get Cosette pregnant

Definitely the primary and most important goal for our family this year is having our first child. Very excited about this one and it's more important than any work goals.

Family Guidelines

Text my parents more

Also: Relationships, Fun, Creativity

I'm not great about this, kinda like I'm not great about texting anyone. I should do a better job of it.

Don't drink at family gatherings

Also: Work, Fun, Creativity

I don't like who I am when I drink around my family, I kinda suck and it creates conflict. Just not drinking in that setting would be good for me and everyone else.

Relationships Goals

Host 8 gatherings of 25+ people

Also: Fun, Creativity

One of my favorite things I started doing last year was organizing "grill & chills" in our backyard downtown. Getting a big group together on a Sunday afternoon is so fun, and creates a great sense of community.

Have 1,000+ people visit the first creator town

Also: Work, Creativity

This is a big goal and I don't even know how I'll track all of it, but if I can get 1,000 people to visit the first creator town that'll actually be a meaningful bit of extra tourism for them.

Have 5 people buy houses / condos in the first Creator Town

Also: Work

Similar to the investing and visiting goals, if I can influence 5 people to buy homes that they can Airbnb or live in there that'll be a really meaningful impact on the town and there'll be a higher likelihood of friends being out there at any time!

Relationships Guidelines

Text people more, be more responsive

Also: Fun, Creativity

This is part of the whole "deprogramming my productivity brain" ideal. I need to consciously remind myself to be more responsive and less of a bad friend.

Try to do something fun with friends outside each week

Also: Fun, Creativity

The best fun with friends is outside. Trying to do at least one fun outdoor group activity is a great way to stay social, get in some sun, get in nature, and just have fun.

Work Goals

Invest 6m+ in the first Creator Town

Also: Creativity, Finances

I'll be raising money in the early part of the year so I can start investing in the buildings and businesses that will be part of the first Creator Town.

Publish 26 articles

Also: Fun, Creativity, Finances

I didn't publish nearly as much as I would have liked to last year. Setting a goal of one article every 2 weeks is very doable, and will help keep me on track.

Publish agency guide

Also: Creativity, Finances

This will be my last info product for the foreseeable future. I'm going to put together a guide, manual, whatever you want to call it for how you can take a skill you have and turn it into a 7-figure business that can operate without you. Basically everything I wish I knew for building and growing Growth Machine, besides the SEO.

Publish an "SEO for Bloggers" course

Also: Creativity, Finances

I'm pretty much done with SEO stuff, but it'd be good to make a course on this topic for everyone who asks me about it.

Create a "Starting a Life Changing Blog" course

Also: Creativity, Finances

Similar to the SEO for Bloggers course and Agency course, this would be a great thing to offer for people who are curious about it.

Get my real estate license

Also: Finances

And I want to get my real estate license this year so I can support Cosette when she needs it.

Work Guidelines

Commit to areas very carefully

Also: Creativity, Finances

Understanding the difference between Projects and Areas, and being careful about how many areas you commit to, is a powerful mindset for preventing overwhelm. Now that I've shed most of my Areas, I'm ready to be very intentional about which I focus on next.

Fun Goals

Find a hobby

Also: Creativity

So this is where I've arrived at, needing to make a goal to find a hobby. Hah! Well, this is a good thing to prioritize, so here it is.

Creativity Goals

Build a fire pit

This is the first creative project I want to do on Walden. I'm actually gonna work on it this weekend which I'm pretty excited about!

Renovate the shed

I also want to turn one of our sheds into an ADU. The nice thing about Smithville is that there are basically no zoning restrictions so you can do whatever you want with your land. Texas!

Build the gym space

Last, I wanna build an outdoor gym space somewhere on the property so I, friends, and guests can work out surrounded by nature. Some sorta carport style building with weather guards that can roll down? Not totally sure.

Financial Goals

Do a monthly financial review

Just staying on top of my finances will be really helpful for making sure things are moving in the right direction and I'm not being stupid with my money, as I'm sometime inclined to do. What gets measured gets managed and all that.

Financial Guidelines

Reduce burn

Now that I'm not employed by Growth Machine, I don't have that salary anymore so I need to pull back my lifestyle inflation a little bit. I technically don't because I make money from the Roam course and other places, but this is just a smart thing to do in general.

Travel Goals

Take two trips with friends besides hunting

I did one trip with some friends last year and it was a ton of fun. I want to do at least two of those this year.

Monthly Reviews

Since my 2020 Annual Review was so helpful, I’m going to public short monthly reviews here throughout the year to help keep myself accountable to my 2021 Goals and Guidelines.

January 2021

Major Milestones

The biggest milestone of January was announcing the Creator Towns project on Twitter. I did not expect this to get anywhere near the response that it did. 2,000+ people liked the tweet, and over 600,000 people saw it. I’ve gotten hundreds of DMs, 1,600 people joined the email list, and it seems like there’s a lot more financial interest than I originally anticipated. 

Related to that, I also made some big progress on the actual first Creator Town which I’ll hopefully be able to share publicly in the near future. For a number of reasons, I’m going to be limited in what I can share publicly as I’m working on it (vs. after the fact). 

Cosette and I also had people out to Walden for the first time. We’ve been taking our time getting it open and renovated, so finally having a group out there to share it with was really special.

Related to my guidelines around general cleanliness, we finally hired a life assistant who has already been an incredible help with real-world projects and chores. 

Cosette and I also made great progress on the fire pit project, so I’m hoping to get that done in the next week or so. 

And I checked off a hunting trip plus psychedelic work with a sacred hunt for Nilgai. 

What Energized Me?

This list was pretty much the same as the 2020 list: 

  • No alcohol
  • Spending time at Walden
  • Building physical things
  • Hunting
  • Walks with friends
  • Workouts, especially outdoor ones
  • Cooking
  • Time outdoors
  • Better cleanliness

What Drained Me?

This list was very short, I didn’t often feel drained this month:

  • Spending time indoors
  • Bad food / ordering in

How Did I Grow?

This month I developed an appreciation for announcing things more carefully. 

My audience grew quite a bit in the last year, and I haven't totally recalibrated what that means yet. 

I got so much more response to my Creator Towns announcement than I hadn't anticipated, and I’m really glad I kept the announcement small. I definitely need to keep in mind what it means when I “announce” something now, and make sure I have it well ironed out beforehand. 

How Could I Have Been Better?

Keeping up the exercise. I started the year doing Hard 75 but after about 3 weeks, decided not to follow through on it. Two hours a day of exercise is just too much and not a focus right now. But I should still keep up the daily exercise to some degree. 

Lessons Life Taught Me

Don't take haters too personally, and keep the hate in perspective. The Creator Town work is going to draw some criticism, and the best thing I can do is try to make it clear in our articles what the goals are and how we're thinking about things. If people read those and still want to assume malice, fine, I've done my best. I also definitely lost perspective at one point, getting too emotional about the ~20 people being critical vs the hundreds or thousands showing support. 

Another lesson life continues to teach me is that blocking myself from social media when I feel anxious is extremely helpful. The more I remind myself of that, the more it can hopefully become a cue. 

Finally, I need to make sure I have very clear things to work on each day and week. Bonus points if I can plan them out the day before. This became more of a pain point from being out of the day to day at Growth Machine, I just hadn’t realized it till I “started working” again. 

Goals & Guidelines Updates

I'm nixing the "Hard 75" goal. Just too much of a time commitment, though I'm keeping parts of it.

I'm adding Work goals to:

  • Create some sort of "SEO for Bloggers" course
  • Create a "Starting a Life Changing Blog" course
  • Get my real estate license

I'm also announcing the Creator Town goals:

  • $6m invested in the first town this year
  • Have 1,000 people visit the first Creator Town
  • Have 5 people buy houses / condos in the first Creator Town

The top three G&Gs to prioritize in February:

  • Getting more default meals in place so I order lunch less.
  • Exercising in some form daily, keeping that on track
  • Setting very clear work priorities each day / week.

Others to Prioritize:

  • Set meeting days
  • Reduce news / social media
  • Days without phone
  • SEO guide

Footnotes

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