2020 Resolutions, Goals and Plans
I try to keep myself accountable for my failures and success. It’s far too easy for me to make a ‘plan’, look good saying it, then when the chaos of life takes over, the work pressure ramps up, you forget all about it. Like my mum says, ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’, meaning that a plan without dedication means nothing, it’s up to us to ensure we stick by it.
So I just finished my 2019 round-up blog post. $250K+USD made, $100k donated, 64 flights, 19 countries. 2/7 summits, 6 marathons, and an engagement. Hectic year. I then quickly re-read my GOALS FOR 2019 post written 13 months ago, you can check that here. And it matched up pretty well. Job done. So before I lay out my plans in detail at the bottom of my blog post, here are my goals for 2020:
GOALS FOR 2020
1) 75 TOKENS. Only drink alcohol on 75 days of the year
As I mentioned in my re-cap of 2019 post, I definitely drunk too much and too frequently in 2019. All those group trips, a life of reunions and departures, it’s all very easy to find an excuse to party. I’m not getting any younger, so 2020 is the year I start to quantify, and cut-back, on the booze. I’ve allocated myself 75 tokens. The way I plan this to work is that each day I touch alcohol consumes 1 token. So if I fly for a couple of hours and have 2 glasses of red wine on the plane, that’s 1 token used. If I meet the boys for an all day session in the pub, that’s also 1 token. That means that I can only drink once a week, then 2 times the next week, then once the following week, and 2 times the week after that. And so on. It should be easy. But it’s not, which is exactly why I need to track it and cut back on it. I don’t plan to quit booze altogether, I love meeting friends and having a few drinks, but I need to reduce it. So I am. Thankfully, Anthony from ManVsClock.com is doing it with me, so we can complain how hard it is to each other every day.
2) Climb Mount Denali, (or only allow the weather or physical collapse to stop me)
To be the first person to visit every country, North Pole, South pole and the Seven Summits. Don’t stop now. I’ve now climbed 4 of the 7 summits (if you’re wondering what the seven summits are, it’s the highest mountain on each continent, I wrote about them here):
- Europe’s highest mountain, Elbrus, in Russia. As well as Europe’s second-highest, Mont Blanc in France.
- Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania
- Australasia’s highest mountain, Puncak Jaya, in Indonesia. As well as the second highest, Mount Kosciuscko, in Australia.
- South America’s highest mountain, Aconcagua, in Argentina.
So that leaves me with North America’s highest mountain, Denali, in Alaska. Mount Vinson in Antarctica, and of course, the big daddy, Mount Everest, in Nepal. I’m booked for an expedition in May this year to Alaska, to take on Denali. And I’m pretty scared. It has a 50% success rate, so that’s a worry. As is the $10k+ (more like $15k with flights, and gear, etc) that you have to spend, without any knowledge if you’ll make it or not. But I have to try, so that’s my biggest physical challenge of the year. I promise to give it my best shot.
3) Increase my network by $100k
This is one of my Top 5 goals each year. And it’s tough. The easiest way is through property increases. Please read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, and if you have, I’m the Poor Dad! I made good money online for years, and rather than live the lavish lifestyle you see Instagrammers and Youtubers living, I saved and invested. I now own 2 properties mortgage-free, 2 of which are in London. I invest in the stock market, with a fund manager. And now I’m in full saving mode for my house in Thailand (see below!). Those investments should increase my net-worth by $30k to $60k depending on how they do, so that helps me hugely.
Other than that, I’ll try to continue to make money from my blog, from public speaking, from a few crazy trips, and the odd bit from social media. I always aim to save 50% minimum of my income. After growing up poor, the thought of having to worry about money again terrifies me daily.
4) Buy land in Northern Thailand to begin the process of building my new home
The dream. I’m obsessed. 2020 is the year I start to realise the obsession. The first step is the land. Then the planning. Then the construction. Then the furnishing. I’ll be happy with the land and planning this year. I’m going to build within 10/15 minutes of Chiang Mai, my favourite place in the world.
5) Run a normal marathon
Last on my list. After Denali in May, I’m thinking about confirming Everest for April 2021. I want to be in the best shape of my life for that. Also, getting married in November, so no beer belly or love handles for that either. That means a marathon will keep me in good shape, and training hard, even when I travel. I’ve actually never run a ‘normal’ Marathon. I ran the North Pole Marathon, that was a blast, and then 6 marathons in 6 days through the Sahara desert, pretty tough too, but never a ‘real’ marathon. So I’ll aim for 3 hours 30, or thereabouts. One day I dream of running sub-3. But maybe when I have kids and my travels aren’t so hectic. I’m thinking about the Bangkok or Chiang Mai marathon, but anything in Asia around October, November, December would be cool.
TRAVEL PLANS FOR 2020
I spent the first 2 weeks successfully climbing Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, then I flew to see my family in London, then now I’m writing this in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of the week I’ll be going to Chiang Mai to look at land, and wedding venues.
On February 16th I fly to Cairo, Egypt to spend a few days there, before taking 17 people to Socotra, Yemen our crazy OneStep4Ward adventure trips (join us!). After Iraq, then Syria, now it’s Yemen. After that trip, I’m flying my Mrs to Cairo to meet me.
My next 15 people (including my mum!) fly into Cairo, and we head back to Socotra for the expedition of a lifetime. I can’t wait. It’s a real privilege to visit places that most tourists don’t have access too, so we’ll be making the most of it.
Finally a month off! No travel, no public engagements, just gym, friends, work and Thailand. Oh, and lots and lots of training. Next month I have a big physical challenge coming up.
I’m scared, but I’m off to Alaska, USA to climb the beast, Mount Denali. It’s going to be tough, cold and temperamental. But we’ll give it our best shot, doing it with a couple of mates, so at least we can moan together!
I will hopefully be summitting Denali in June, then back to Thailand for 10 days or so before I head to Istanbul, Turkey for my first charity trip of the year with Mudita Adventures. There are 6 spots left, so come and help us build a kitchen for an impoverished community, then travel around Turkey.
After the charity segment is up, we’re off around Turkey. Pamukkale, Ephesus, and… Cappadocia. Hot-air balloons galore! Then, after we finish with Turkey, the more crazy amongst the group will join me as we head to Iraqi Kurdistan. Now that’s an adventure!
Back ‘home’ to Thailand. Wedding planning, time with the Mrs, training, focusing on work.
The coolest Mudita Adventures trip we have EVER done. Charity trip in Pakistan, then travel to Kashmir, then overland through the Himalayas to China. Trip of a lifetime, no joke. This will sell out as soon as we publicise it, so let me know if you want to join before I start to push it!
Wedding planning mode. Back to Thailand. Hopefully I’ll be moving forward with training, managing the house build, and work. It’ll be nice to be stationary again in any case. I might do the marathon in October, or maybe November. I’m also working on a ‘social media for good’ secret project my Mudita foundation. Watch this space!
Getting married! Lots of friends and family coming to Thailand will be really special. Then I’m going to head to Niue and Cook Islands to finish my list of 215 countries in the world as our honeymoon. Should be super beautiful, and very relaxing I hope.
No plans yet. Let’s see. I LOVE Christmas, so I hope it’s with family. i might organise a cool trip to the Pygmy villages of Central African republic in the first week of December, then to Thailand, then maybe UK or Ireland for Christmas.
That means my country list for this year should be as follows.
- COOK ISLANDS
- NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA
If I can keep it under 15 I’d be delighted! So that’s 2020 in my mind. Let’s see how it plays out in reality. If I get any cool clients offering amazing trips, or public speaking, then I’ll add those in too, but this is how I see my calendar at the mo. Business-wise and health-wise, I’ll try to keep more disciplined in 2020. 75 days of drinking, and staying on top of work while I travel is key. Other than that, roll on 2020. I’m ready for ya!
How about you guys, do you layout plans/goals/dreams like this for the year ahead? If yes, why. If not, why not?!