I've drifted through life. I've had nebulous goals, mostly based on the expectations of my family, my friends, and society in general. I got good grades. I graduated college with high honors. I got a good job. But I've never had a plan. I've never had big goals, something to strive for, something to pour my passion into. This has resulted in a comfortable but generally unsatisfying life. About six months ago, something snapped. It started as a splinter in my mind, a simple thought that I may be able to improve myself. I toyed with the idea, taking it out of the box and playing with it a little bit. The concept yielded results: I lost a little weight and started feeling better. In January, I reached a very low point in my life. The emptiness, the drifting, was getting to me. It was time to get serious. I had to do something real with my life. Now I have goals. Some are small, short-term goals. Others are much bigger and involve serious life changes. I'm taking steps towards realizing these goals. And in an effort to keep myself honest, I've decided to share some of them in this very public forum. The Goal: Live in Japan, even if only for a year or two. The Plan: Lose weight, so that I can take the long flight without buying two seats (one for me, one for my gut) and so that I can walk down the streets of Tokyo without eliciting screams of "Godzilla!" Learn Japanese, so that I can function in the rural cities. Continue teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), so that I can gain experience that will enable me to enter the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program. The Goal: Buy a new car. The Plan: Everything is more difficult when you're huge. So again, my plan involves losing fat so that I can shop for a car that fits my personality instead of one that fits my body. You think John's main concern when picking out his SLK 350 was how much room there was in the front seat for his stomach? The Goal: Ride a bike to work. The Plan: It's less then 10 miles so it's very possible to do. But I'd like to make it there without being a sweaty, out-of-breath mess. I will continue exercising on a stationary bike every morning. I will continue strength training, including leg work. Even if I don't actually ride a bike to work every day, I'd like to be able to do it. The Goal: Date beautiful, intelligent, ambitious women. The Plan: Improve self-confidence. Look good naked. Find the secret hide-out of local beautiful, intelligent, ambitious women. My health and fitness are key to all of my goals. I have no better tools for success than a strong body and a sharp mind. It's time to hone them and put them to work.