illustration of my 2024 vision board with blogging, running, reading, good food, and youtube

While sticking to goals throughout the year is hard, making them helps. Even if we follow them only for a week, it's better than nothing.

I couldn't make goals for 2023 because I was in the middle of a stressful project at work and didn't have the time or energy for it. I decided to wing the year with no set goals except a few flexible ones for my hobbies. In 2022, I kept goals for the first 3 months and didn't make new ones after that.

My track record with annual goals is not good. Life moves so quickly and priorities change almost every month. I usually forget or discard my goals after a few months. Looking back, I think I was making the wrong kind of goals. So, I want to try again this year.

It’s all well and good trying to “be more productive”, but if that productivity is taking us in a direction that we haven’t put much thought into, it might be a lot of wasted effort. Our choice of goals is arguably the single biggest determinant in shaping the course of our lives.

Ali Abdaal

I'm sharing my goals here to keep myself accountable for them. I'll also share my strategy for the goals at the end.

goals for 2024

1. read 100 books

I haven't had a numeric reading goal for the last... 3 years, I think? I had other vague goals like "read longer books" which couldn't be measured and I wasn't serious about them.

I didn't bother to keep a numeric goal until now because I would hit 100 books pretty easily and I don't care about a number beyond that. The number of books I read was never an issue, the quality and type of books were. I had a habit of picking easy and quick books.

My goal in 2023 was to be intentional with my picks and make an effort to read "harder" and out-of-my-comfort-zone books. As 2023 is coming to an end, I've achieved my goal. My picks have clearly changed. I've also noticed that—partly due to my goal and partly due to changes in work and lifestyle—I've been reading fewer books.

I want to read 100 books and pick diverse and longer books. I'm keeping a numeric goal because a clear goal to strive for is preferable. I'm sure my reading picks will be good enough considering how my tastes are changing.

The reason for the number 100 is that it allows for diverse reading. A lower number might work but 100 feels like a good number to me.

illustration art of a person holding up a book and reading in bed

2. learn to cook my favourite dishes

While cooking is an essential skill, I've not mastered it. I'll admit it, I'm a spoilt kid. Both of my parents cook and haven't pushed me to cook. I'm fortunate that no one in my family pushed me to the kitchen due to gender roles.

Because of all that, I barely know how to cook. I can make basic things like upma, poha, chapathi, dosa, tea, coffee, etc. but not anything that takes long to make. All of what I know to cook are quick things. I usually only eat them but I want my food to be diverse at home. I've become so used to eating only a few things at home that I often go out to eat.

Nowadays, going out doesn't help much because a lot of the foods contain maida which I'm avoiding now. I end up eating salad most of the time. If I'm cooking at home, I can make varied dishes according to what I can eat.

Many of my peers cook well and I know a few people who love to cook. I want to be good at it as well. So, in 2024, I'm going to work harder at cooking, starting with my favourite dishes. I first want to learn the dishes that my parents make and then learn the rest from the internet:

  • More kozhumbu (roughly translates to curd gravy) from my mom
  • Vetta kozhumbu (sour, tangy gravy made of dried vegetables) from my mom
  • Omum rasam (thin rasam made with ajwain) from my mom
  • 2 versions of fried potato from my dad
  • Aloo paratha (bread stuffed with potato) from my dad/the internet
  • Javarisi paisam (dessert made with tapioca pearls) from my mom
  • Aloo matar from the internet

7 dishes should be a good start. I also need to learn to cook dishes that work well as packed lunches for office days but I'll focus on that later. Currently, I take rice mixed with different vegetables every day. It's getting boring but it's the easiest to make.

I have a lot to learn!

3. run 5k in 38 minutes

I've started to like running this year and have been doing it semi-regularly. Workouts make my day better and running is easy. I like that I can do it alone and my progress is clearly visible. Considering that I started running in June, I've come a long way. I've been focusing on improving my endurance and speed. I've gotten used to doing 5ks with a combination of running and walking.

For the last few months, my goal has been to do a 5k in 38 minutes. It's attainable but not that easy and hence, makes for a good goal. I was making really good progress but I fell off the wagon in October and stopped being regular so my progress has slowed. Currently, my fastest 5k was 39:50 minutes. I'm pretty close but at this point, shaving off even 20 seconds requires pushing myself hard.

4. run a 10k

Since I'm close enough to achieving the previous goal, I need something else to reach for next. I was debating between setting a new time goal for 5k and running a longer distance. When I saw Arunita post about her recent 10k run in 66 minutes, I decided to strive for 10k.

I want to eventually do 10k in 66 minutes (yes, I randomly latched onto that. I just need something to work towards). I don't think it will happen next year because Arunita achieved that after years of running and doing 10ks. But I want to get there someday. I'll break it down and work on the smaller steps one by one. I will do my first 10k and then I can look at improving my time.

illustration of a typewriter with paper loaded in it.

5. publish 25 blog posts

A few years back, this would have been a very easy goal for me but it is a challenge now. My posts are becoming longer and better. I currently take 3-5 days for each post (excluding outliers like the one that took two weeks).

While I have a ton of ideas and can decide on 25 topics to write on (I already have 9 ideas ready!), it will take effort to finish and publish them. Especially now that I spend a significant amount of time on exercise and social life which I barely had when I started blogging. This is my 29th blog post this year and my pace is slowing even more due to changes in my life.

I am proud of each of my posts, though, and I don't want to rush and not be satisfied with my work. That's why I'm keeping 25 as my goal. It is achievable with around 2 blog posts a month. Half of them will most likely be monthly wrap-ups but that's fine. The point is to continue blogging.

6. post 20 vlogs

I started vlogging on YouTube this year and have been enjoying it! Silent vlogging is my thing. I like that I don't have to worry about how I present myself, don't have to come up with new ideas, and don't need to do too much editing. Silent vlogging is easy and it captures my life like a visual diary.

Surprisingly, my content is well received too! One of my videos got 2k views which is wild considering I don't do anything special. My friends who don't read this blog, watch my YouTube videos and talk to me about them. I've gotten multiple compliments on my vlogs.

So yes, I want to continue doing them. However, I don't want to pursue YouTube as a career or a side hustle. I'm aware that it's hard to get monetized on YouTube. I don't have the time or energy to spend on it, especially since this blog is already monetized and my extra time would be better spent here.

I've made 12 vlogs in the past 4 months so posting 20 vlogs should be easy. I can aim higher but I want to take it easy with this new hobby.

7. learn about financial investing

I barely know about investing. I earn well enough to save a good amount and am good with budgeting but I don't know anything about compounding my savings. I don't know about stocks, mutual funds, etc.

Until now, I've been following advice from my parents but it's high time that I start researching and making decisions myself. I need to start thinking about future crises, projected expenses, etc. and make good decisions accordingly. I have many peers who know a lot so it's not like I only have the internet to learn from.

I'm sure that my parents have good insights but there is a generational gap due to which they have different views on many things. The things that my colleagues talk about and what my parents talk about are at times quite different.

Finances are a slippery slope. At times, it feels like everything is confusing and there is no good option. But I'm sure that I can do better. I really need to be independent with my money. Every person's views and priorities are different and I can't depend on others' opinions. I want to know enough to discuss, sort through everything that I hear, and make informed decisions.

Unfortunately, this is not a clear goal and I can't make one because it's about learning. At the end of 2024, I want to at least know about the different options available even if I don't do anything with the knowledge yet.

illustration of a person blogging in a cafe with an open book next to them and a cup of coffee

8. aim for a promotion

I'm currently a mid-level software engineer. I know that 5-6 years of experience is usually required for senior software engineer positions but I don't want to wait until then to reach for it.

I am aware that I've got a good chance for a promotion next year but it's not guaranteed. I've got to work for it and I'm ready to do that. At this level, a lot of the skills are about impact and collaboration instead of individual work, so it's not easy. But at least I'm aware of what I have to work on now that I've decided to climb the architect ladder.

The main problem is that there is so much work every day and several things to parallelly think about. There is no shortage of problems to solve. I've got a bunch of daily responsibilities other than the tickets assigned to me. So, remembering the extra skills that I have to exhibit is a challenge.

I need to keep it in mind and consciously work to become better. I should make it a part of my daily work and the way I work. On the side, I have to improve my technical skills as well and master multiple things. I've got a lot to do!

hopes for 2024

All of the above are goals that I have to work on and want to achieve by the end of the year. Other than them, I've got a few hopes—things that I won't specifically work on but hope to achieve. And it's okay if I don't achieve them. Some of them are mostly not going to happen but there's no harm in trying to manifest the outcomes.

1. get back to 1k daily blog views

This is a far-fetched hope but I want to put it out in the universe anyway. This blog's reach and engagement have considerably reduced this year—mostly because I post less. It's still disappointing to see my stats continuing to reduce.

December has been the best month in blog stats every year since I started blogging but it's the worst month this year. It is a signal that I need to post more and put more effort into my blog posts.

When I posted about my blogging journey three years back, the post got 50 comments easily. When I fully rewrote and posted it recently, it got 5 comments. That decrease is seen across all of my stats. 2022 was the best year for views but once I stopped focusing on SEO, it went down.

Posting 25 times in 2024 is not going to bring the views up by a high margin, but a few good posts with good SEO will make a difference. I want to do it but will it happen? We'll see.

2. reach 500 subscribers on youtube

Considering that my channel got 89 new subscribers in the last 90 days and currently has an overall of 220 subscribers, 500 is a reachable number. But it's not guaranteed.

One of my vlogs did 10 times better than the rest and brought in 50 subscribers. But the two vlogs after it aren't doing well. So, who knows? I don't trust the algorithm to help me and I still need to improve my craft. There's a lot to learn and do better.

In 2024, I want to do slightly better with every vlog and hopefully reach 500 subscribers. It is also one of the requirements for monetizing on YouTube but I'm not sure if I'll fulfill the watch hours count.

One of my vlogs could blow up next year and get a lot of traction or all my vlogs could fail. I don't know. It's partly luck, partly skill, and completely about entertainment. I'd like to reach 500 subscribers but it's alright if I don't.

illustration of a hand holding an iphone horizontally to record

3. travel out of the country

I have made no plans for it currently but I really want to visit a different country. I almost went last year but it got cancelled at the last minute. I'm hoping it will happen in 2024.

There are a bunch of destinations that I'd love to visit but only a few of them are affordable. I need people to go with me as well. It requires a good amount of planning to be done in advance.

Fingers crossed that I'll go on an overseas trip.

4. maintain & strengthen my relationships

Lately, I've been conscious of my parents' ages and the time I have left with them. I wouldn't say that I have a bad relationship with them but it's certainly not great. I'm not great at prioritizing them and appreciating them because it's easy to take them for granted since they dote on me so much. In 2024, I want to make an effort to spend time with my parents individually and showcase my appreciation and love.

I'm fortunate to have several good friends across ages and from different times in my life. I've always got people to talk to and hang out with. I don't have one person to go to for everything but I have a person no matter what I need or want to talk about.

It's good to have different kinds of friendships. Hence, it's easy to prioritize some friendships over others and unintentionally grow apart from people. I don't want that to happen.

Next year, I want to continue spending time with the people who bring me joy, check in on them often, and support them when they need it.


That's a lot of goals and hopes for 2024. It looks like I'm expecting a lot from myself next year. However, this is just a trial. I haven't kept annual goals like this and haven't been clear with my direction before.

I went with the flow in 2023 and it turned out great. There have been good changes in my life. If I don't manage to achieve all of the goals in 2024, it'll be alright. Even keeping our heads above the water nowadays is an achievement. Anything above that is a bonus.

Also, I've noticed that I turn into a different person during the second half of the year. Somehow, my priorities change. Around June 2024, the above list might be irrelevant. Which is okay! Change is the only constant in life.

I'll work on the above goals until they make sense. I'm not sticking to them rigidly. I'll shift my focus to different things if they're more important.

Over the past few years, I've noticed that I'm better at sticking to goals if I start them on a random day instead of on a specific calendar day. A couple of years back, I intentionally started my goals in December instead of January and it worked great. There's less pressure in December so it's better. It's also easy to start working on goals when you're pumped up about them instead of waiting for a day.

I'm doing the same this time. Whatever goals I can start working on, I have or will before the new year:

  • The 5k and 10k run goals are in progress as I'm already running and working on my speed and endurance.
  • I already have blog post ideas for January and February so it's a step closer to that goal.
  • I'm going to start learning to cook my favourite dishes in the next week as I'm on holiday from work and have time to learn.

The list of goals was decided on literally a few days so starting all of them might be hard. But any step ahead is a boon. I'll get back to you with updates on everything during the next year.

illustration of a workspace at home showing a desk with a monitor, keyboard, mouse on a mousepad, and a glass and spectacles. the wall behind the monitor has two paintings.

chat with me!

Do you have any goals for 2024? What are you most excited about? Do you have any big plans for next year? Talk to me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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  • Epsita says:

    This was such an inspiring post! Love how detailed it was. Wish you all the best and I hope you're able to achieve all your goals!

    Reply ➔
  • cookie (^∀^●)ノシ says:

    Stumbled upon a very cute blog. I love it. I also enjoyed reading about your goals and hopes for this year. It's refreshing to read about someone like you—one with a lot of ambition and passion for different things—I admire that a lot, especially the part about how you start working on your goals as soon as you make them. You made me feel smoll 🥺

    Anyhow, lovely blog. Please keep writing; it'd be my pleasure to read all your 25 blog posts throughout this year.

    Reply ➔