Goals and values

A system and task list for my 2022 focus – passion projects and fun

My focus for this year is making time for some fun activities, and spending time on passion projects.

I’ve done some thinking about what I want to achieve (see my post on project planning) and which areas I’m going to start with (see my post on my list of fun activities and passion projects). In this post I’ll be planning out how I’m going to implement this focus.

It might seem a bit contradictory to plan for fun, but I know that unless I proactively prepare I will always prioritize other tasks and chores first. I also want to make these activities intentional – it’s not about going around spending money and living it up, it’s about finding the things that bring me the most value and enjoyment.

Setting up my system

As my 2022 focus is all about experiences, I’ve made my planning system calendar based. I have a spreadsheet with the full year laid out, plus a summary column so I can see which type of activities I have planned for each month and see where there are gaps. I’m also using this to template to plan out which months I’m going to focus on various passion projects.

I’ve learnt with projects that I work best when I take on one thing at a time, to prevent getting overwhelmed or my health and wellbeing habits suffering. I’ve also tried to think about the seasons of the year and when I will feel more motivated for different activities (see my post on optimizing timing). For example, I’ll be planning more trips and outdoor things for the warmer months, and writing projects for winter.

I’m also using the planner to schedule non-fun things that need to be done (like house projects). I’ll stay flexible with weather etc. and move things around if I need to. Finally, I’ve created a separate tab to act as dump for ideas for things that I’m not quite ready to commit to.

You can download a copy of my fun activities planner here:

‘Boulder’ task list

I think of projects as a series of rocks along a path. Some of the rocks are big boulders – the larger one-off tasks, and some are the pebbles – the small, consistent habits.

Here’s my list of boulders that I’ll need to pass for my 2022 project:

  • Set up a separate ‘Travel and fun’ savings account (I’ve already budgeted for these fun activities this year)
  • Find a yoga class that suits me
  • Book flights and hotel for a wedding in July
  • Research a local hike
  • Research a weekend hike
  • Research and book a dive trip
  • Research and buy some gear for a weekend hike (need a stove and a new sleeping mat)
  • Book tickets for a theatre and orchestra event
  • Book tickets for local rugby and AFL sports events
  • Sign up to a freelance writing agency
  • Put some content on Vocal
  • Write short stories
  • Put some of my pictures up on Etsy
  • Put some of my digital art onto Redbubble

This list is for the whole year, and will get added to as I go on.

‘Pebble’ task list

I’ve decided to add my ‘pebble’ tasks to my monthly checklist. I have a recurring Trello card in my to-do system (see my post on this) that appears on my task list on the first of every month.

My monthly tasks will be:

  • Book a massage (if it’s the month for it)
  • Check for any upcoming events that I might be interested in
  • Plan a hike, or trip (if the next month or so is looking sparse)
  • Put passion project activities into my to-do list

My other regular task will be to go to a yoga class once a week.

I’ll also be continuing my monthly updates on the blog to keep me accountable, and to check in with myself regularly and see if this system is working for me and if any tweaks need to be made. My updates will include my health and wellbeing habits continued from last year, and also an update on how I’m tracking with my personal finances.

How are you breaking down your 2022 goals and projects? I’m curious to see if anyone else needs systems like these to help think things through and figure out where they are going?

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