How I’m Setting Goals for 2021

Johnny T. Nguyen
3 min readDec 28, 2020

Today’s the day! Today we set goals for 2021!

My friends make fun of me for getting excited about setting goals, but I really do. For me, when I hear someone set goals, that tells me that they’re on their way to achieving something they want. They’ve done the hardest part — being self aware enough to know this is something they want, that they’re willing to devote energy towards it, and can now articulate what it is they will do.


In preparing for today and setting up my tool to write down and track my goals, I realized I’ve been doing this technique since 2017! This trip down memory road reminded me that back in 2017, Venture Out hadn’t even started and my main goal then was to draw comic strips. (Here’s one of them!) I’m appreciative that I have this to look back upon and celebrate the accomplishments along the way.


The technique I’ve been using is called the Epic Life Planner, which is described in all its glory here! Please give it a read, download the free tool, and you can make your own plan for 2021 too.

I, of course being the overachiever, did the bonus step by writing down the 100 things I want to accomplish in my life. (I’ve only been able to come up with 51 out of the 100 so far, but adding more every year!) So I refer to that list to now determine what I’m going to focus on in 2021.

My four goals are:

  • Venture Out more — This passion project is going to make big moves next year. Now that I have a core team, an informal board of advisors, and seed funding, I’m sensing great possibilities ahead. Again, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you, the reader, enough. We wouldn’t be here without you. #producing
  • Adventure Trip(s) — Montana, Yellowstone, and back to Europe but this time to feast my eyeballs on the Northern Lights and stay in one of those trendy cabins. Dependent on the pandemic getting better, the goal is to venture out and create lasting memories with my wife. #adventure
  • Mountaineering Course — It’s been two years since I took an introductory course on mountaineering skills that resulted in summiting Mt Baker, and it’s time to build upon that. #skillbuilding
  • Astronomy & Photography — Finally, I’m going to do some learning around astronomy and photography. Not going too intense here since I know life will be packed busy, the goal here is to simply snap more pictures, read more magazines on the topic, and expand my knowledge. #skillbuilding

If you notice, the key here is to have a diverse portfolio of goals. They should be a combo of producing (“look, I made that!”), experiencing an adventure (“wow, I can’t believe I’m here!”), and skill-building (“I just leveled up!”).

Diverse goals are important because it’s both short term and long term. The adventure allows us to immediately enjoy life and check off one item on our life bucket list. The skill-building is a building block that’ll allow us one day to reach higher, such as learning basic astronomy this year in order to navigate a sailboat by the stars one day. The producing because it contributes back to society and could open doors to unknown, bigger opportunities.


Here it is, my Epic Life Planner, where you can download the free tool.

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Johnny T. Nguyen

All about the adventure of positivity & productivity. I’ve turned into my parents and now wake up before 6 AM… & crush it. 🔅