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Christopher C. Johnson
Christopher C. Johnson

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My Goals and Systems for 2021

Image by Lisa Fotios

Oh, look, another blog post about me. I know, I know, most of the posts lately have been about me and not much else. Don't worry that's changing this month.

Like I mentioned in my last blog post I'm committing to two blog posts a week. Sadly, this counts as the second post this week while I iron some things out for work.

"You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." - James Clear

That's a powerful statement. So powerful in fact that I had it printed and framed so I could be reminded of that every day.

What are my Goals?

Unlike previous years I'm going to keep things simple

Focus on my health

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Mental Health
  • Daily Routines

Focus on my career change

I'm moving from being just a developer to also being a developer advocate, and an educator

  • Writing
  • Public Speaking
  • Recording content

That's only two areas of my life and look at how many things are involved. No wonder I only averaged a 70% success rate in previous years with my gigantic lists.

What are my Systems?


Luckily I already have some systems in place for these. Unlike previous years I didn’t wait until New Years' to get started. Back in October of 2020, I enlisted the help of a nutrition specialist and mental health professional to get my life in order. That’s also when I started minimizing my home which has been fantastic for my mental and physical wellbeing.

Just a quick side-note, I track almost everything in MyFitnessPal.


Without getting into specifics of the diet, I currently plan my meals two weeks in advance. That way I can figure out the ingredients needed and set up an Instacart delivery for the weekend. I usually spend Sunday prepping as much as I can and cooking for at least half the week.

I try to stick to the same 20 or 30 recipes so I have variety but don't have to think too much about what I'm going to make that week.


Exercise is built into my day now, whether I like it or not. I wake up at 5:30 A.M., do my planned exercises for at least 20-minutes, then head out on a morning walk. I walk three times a day; morning, afternoon, and evening. My walks are more of a time to think about the day or whatever’s on my mind.

Eventually, in the late Spring, I’ll start hiking again.

Mental Health

Get a therapist. Why? Because we all have crap we're dealing with and it helps to talk to someone who understands how to frame things and help us understand them. I see my therapist virtually every two weeks and it's one of the best investments I've ever made. If you're in I.T. you're probably stressed, don't bottle it up.

Daily Routines

I made this a section onto itself because I have daily routines that tie into everything I do, so it’s easier to think of it as a standalone category.
After I get back from my walks I usually sit down with something to drink, that changes depending on the time of day, and write in my journal.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear you now. “Oh, they keep a diary, how precious.” Well, maybe not you, but that's paraphrased from a few people.

I find that physically writing in a journal, away from computers or smart devices, helps me think more fluidly. When I’m free of distractions ideas and thoughts seem to spring from nowhere and I capture them effortlessly. I’ve tried to do the same with note-taking apps but it’s just not the same.

I’m still figuring out these daily routines so we’ll see what I come up with in the next quarterly review.


Honestly, I don’t know what systems I’ll put in place around these new career changes. At the moment all I can do is use time blocking to study what others have done and practice my style.

I tried to keep things short this time. I plan on focusing more intently on fewer things this year to have a higher chance of both success and excellence in what I choose to do. I hope you do the same.

How are your goals coming along? Tell me all about it in the comments or send me a tweet. I want to hear from you.

Stay safe and hydrate.

Top comments (1)

javpg17 profile image
Javier Peña

Great post, we share a personal goal and that is Health, i hope you succeed in all your goals soon as you can and have a new ones. for the Career path i made small term objectives less than 6 month, for example i want to learn about Machine Learning and i will spent the time like this:
Month 1 Introduction: in this month i only read, watch, search and assimilate the basic of the theme in this case ML.
Month 2 Preparation: I search for all the tools, courses, knowledge or resources i need for learn the theme.
Month 3 and 4 Learn the basics: Here i start the execution, some demos, try and error projects, talk with the community, all for at least do one project where i put all my new knowledge in practice.
Month 5 and 6: Show, try to explain the project to anyone, get feedback, improve and if i like go to more advance topics.

This is the first time i do something like this but i want to apply this of all my new knowledge, because i only dedicate 2 hours of the day to this, with all my chores, job and daily basics is all i can do for now.

Maybe you find this useful or maybe not.