Goals Before Moving to Thailand – How I did

Goals Before Moving to Thailand – How I did

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When I decided I was moving to Thailand I wrote down a few things I wanted to accomplish before I got on the plane. It’s been 45 days since then and I’m now in Thailand so I figured it would be a good time to see how I did.

Summed up in a word: eh.

Some of the goals were a bit too audacious considering everything else that was going on (like learning Thai). Some of them were a bit  too simple (like visiting my parents). On the whole though I’m satisfied with this first go and the next one will be much more polished!

Here are the goals, in no particular order:

  • Learn basic Thai

    Way to start off the list with a big, giant failure. I started trying to learn Thai, honest I did. Unfortunately, things just kept getting in the way as I tried to complete the other things on this list. FAIL

  • Earn $200/week via trading

    This turned out a lot better than expected and I’ve been able to support myself on trading income. PASS

  • Sell everything

    Everything was probably a bad choice of words, but I did sell almost everything I own. My parents talked me out of selling my car, which was probably very smart advice. This took up way more time than I expected it to. Also, people on Craigslist are, as a rule, unreliable. PASS

  • Stop all non-essential accounts

    I currently have absolutely zero recurring expenses and it feels fantastic. There are definitely things in life that are worth recurring expense, like housing and Netflix, but right now I don’t need them. And although I’m joking about Netflix being on par with housing, it was the last account I cancelled… and only because it’s not available here. PASS

  • Visit my parents, my best friend, and my dog

    Before I left for my extended travels I wanted to see those I care about one last time. PASS

  • Complete my obligations to RewardMe

    This one is still in progress as I continue to help RewardMe (as much as I can) find a new CTO. IN PROGRESS

  • Stop drinking coffee

    This one is on the list because independence precludes being dependent. A headache in the afternoon on the day I quit confirmed I had made the right choice. PASS

  • Lose excess weight and get back in shape

    Months and months of 12 hour days at RewardMe had taken a toll on my body as I prioritized work over my health. The last few months gave me time to adjust my priorities. PASS

  • Start a blog with 10 posts and 30 visitors/month

    While I didn’t quite make the 10 posts mark, I was a bit conservative with the number of visitors. As with learning Thai, other things just kept getting in the way. Being that I only scored a 50%, I’m going to have to mark this as a failure. FAIL

  • Write and post 1 simple iOS app

    I didn’t even write 1 line of code so this one is probably the biggest failure of them all. I do plan on completing this one in the next few month. I think I’m starting to see an overly ambitious trend here. FAIL

  • Write 10 chapters on technical interviews

    Another failure. I ended up writing just 2 chapters before I realized that I should focus my time elsewhere first. FAIL

Tallying everything up scores me a 55% – also known as an F. So why don’t I feel like a failure, then? I think it’s because I feel like I accomplished all the big things on the list and understand why I failed at the others. With only two of the failures do I really feel like I dropped the ball (learning Thai and writing an iOS app).

Going forward I plan to continue writing lists like this track my progress towards the things I want in life. I think people (myself included) tend to say the things they want are the things they have – protecting themselves from admitting that they may have failed. If I diverge from my planned path, I want to be able to look back and recognize what choices took me off course. Especially if I like the new, unplanned route better!


What do you think? Are short-term goal lists like this a positive force or too restricting?

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6 Responses to “Goals Before Moving to Thailand – How I did”

  1. nancy eckhoff says:

    Stephen I think that you are doing a great job and you have more guts then I have ever had or will have. Enjoy your blog and if there is anything that you need that I can send let me know love being part of your journey

  2. SteveJohnson says:

    Thanks, Nancy! I definitely will let you know – so far I’m just trying to get acclimated 🙂

  3. JunLoayza says:

    Cool post Stephen! Writing 10 chapters sounds tough. Let me know when you write them and I’ll promote them on my channels.

    What iOS app are you looking to create?

    • SteveJohnson says:

      Thanks, Jun 🙂

      I don’t have anything planned for the app… though I’m leaning towards a game. I want to make one just to have the experience under my belt besides just our RewardMe apps. If you think of anything interesting, please do let me know!

  4. Kevin Ung says:

    Hey Steve!

    Dunno if you remember me, but you were my RA in Dykstra way back when I was a freshman. I believe I cut my foot on a rock when you took me to surf, haha. Good work with your blog, it’s fun reading!

    I happen to have also sold my stuff and moved to another country (Hong Kong), so it’s interesting reading how your experiences differ. BTW, what/how are you trading/exporting? Sounds interesting, maybe you can do a post on it! Hope all is well!

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