New Year’s Goals for Improving the Van and Driver


Technically, this post was a little premature.  It was uploaded before the new year celebration but that doesn’t matter.  Every day of the year is a perfect time to take care of ourselves and celebrate life.  It doesn’t have to correspond to a solar event.

I think most resolutions fail because we only really think about them once a year.  How strange!  Such important blueprints are often made based on when this planet completes another orbit around its yellow star.  That seems like a silly reason to do anything, let alone make important decisions about one’s life! 

While relaxing/meditating today, I realized that a celebration and follow-up on resolutions would be in order every week rather than trying to renew them after most of a year’s neglect.  During the weekly reviews there won’t be any balls dropping or champagne glasses tipping, but a little personal time will be set aside each Friday to consider how the whole program is going and relish successes!

Today seemed like a good day to set realistic goals to work on this next year, similar to how the van conversion was planned out in 2011.  This time it isn’t just the van that needs conversion – it’s necessary to do slow but steady repair work on the driver. 

Here are a couple sets of resolutions for 2012.  It would be a great year if all of them could be completed.  It’s certainly doable!

Personal goals: 

  • Get the blood sugar down to normal levels and maintain it.  
  • Shed a reasonable amount of weight – fifty to seventy-five pounds in 2012.
  • Exercise regularly, at least four times a week.
  • Get a job and work a relaxed 20-25 hours per week to start.
  • This is the toughest… Cut back on the amount of Diet Coke consumed.

Van Project Goals:

  • Add a solar array to the Trekker Van.  This goal is underway. 
  • Install a trailer hitch receiver and hitch-mounted rack on the back of the van.
  • Purchase a Yamaha or Honda ultra quiet generator (2000 watts)
  • Remove the passenger seat in the van and build a  vertical L-shaped wardrobe/storage chest. 
  • Come up with an air conditioner for the summer.

Rewards for weight reduction: 

  • 15 pounds shed – A new DVD movie for the album in the van
  • 25 pounds shed – Two magnetic signs for the van (for stealth mode)
  • 50 pounds shed – A three day camping/fishing trip to Clear Lake, Iowa.
  • 75 pounds shed – A new pillow top twin mattress for the van

These rewards were kind of difficult to think of!  In the past, incentives were usually about food or more possessions.  I’m trying to reduce both.  .

The plan is to add a simple integer somewhere on the blog to document how the weight reduction is going.  That should make it fun and add a little incentive to keep some momentum.

Have a Happy New Year in 2012!  Set some goals!  Thanks for reading!


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    About VanTrekker

    I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

    8 Responses to New Year’s Goals for Improving the Van and Driver

    1. Pleinguy says:

      It’s always good to have goals, and to plan on how to reach them. Regular reviews should help you accomplish them. Mine are to finish preparations to retire and hit the road by this time next year.

      I’m not sure about the plan for a closet where the passenger seat sits. I believe you are not allowed to block your view; so be careful on the design.

      Have a great new year.

    2. Floyd says:

      Excellent goals…best wishes to you in achieving them.

      Happy New Year, Brad! 🙂

    3. Bradford says:

      Thanks for the comments. Pleinguy, you are correct. I cannot block the window. My understanding is that it would likely be illegal in most or all states. The plan is to build a two piece structure in the same shape as the bucket seat. What I plan to do is to pull the seat out. Then I am going to add a little mini-closet from the bulkhead wall to the door opening. It wont obstruct the window or the door because it won’t reach that far. Shirts can be hung in that narrow space – perhaps shoes stored at the bottom. In front of that would be a storage box for folded pants, socks, underwear, etc. Passengers would have to ride in the back of the van…

    4. Anonymous says:


      Looks like a doable set of personal goals for the coming year and I wish you success with them all.

      Shedding lbs. is its own reward.

      15 lbs— A bit easier to tie the shoes without having to come up for air.
      25 lbs— A bit easier to get out of the chair/ bed.
      50 lbs— A lot easier to move around in the van.
      75 lbs— Adds pleasure and comfort to the Van-treking life style.

      Have a Happy,Healthy and successful New Year


    5. Bradford says:

      LOL! All of those comments ring true! This was the most amusing comment of 2012 so far. *still chuckling* Thanks for the post! I hope your 2012 is equally or more enjoyable! Brad

    6. Great set of goals. Let me know if you need an occasional nudge. Best wishes in reaching your goals.

    7. Signs for stealth mode – clever! We’re not even close to stealthable, but I’m fascinated by the idea. We try to peg stealthers in parking lots; I think we do well, but “regular people” would never guess.

    8. Bradford says:

      I like to do the identication thing, too. It’s kind of fun to see who is stealthy and who isn’t. When camping in campgrounds, rest areas, Wal-Mart, etc. I don’t try to be very incognito. This area is FULL of safe places to camp overnight so stealth hasn’t been too much of an issue… YET

      I haven’t settled on what to put on the magnetic signs. The roof rack makes it look like the van would be that of a tradesman: a handyman, roofing contractor, gutter installer, etc. The stealth signs will be nice to use when camping out of town in motels / industrial areas. For extra flare, I could even strap some junk on the roof such as pipes or an old board. LOL

      Thanks for posting!