So, my goal was to post these by the end of January, and I’m just slipping under the wire with this one.
I feel as though I post the same goals/resolutions every year. Save money, work out more, shop less, read some books. These are probably things I’d be trying to do anyway, although it could be that writing them down and getting some internet accountability is the only reason I a.) remember them, and b.) attempt to accomplish them. There’s something to be said for goals that you care about enough to actually do them (things I do: max out my 401k; things I don’t do: blog regularly), but I think there’s also something to setting a stretch goal, even if you end up not making it.
Lots of repeats this year, but also a couple of new goals related to things I think I should be doing.
1.Max out retirement accounts (as close as possible).
This includes my 401K, Roth IRAs for both D and me, as well as possibly a 401K for D.
2. Save or earmark an additional $15,000.
We have a number of big money trips/events coming up this year that will suck up most of our excess income, including the following:
a.) Ireland trip after D and my sister graduate from their respective schooling – $3000
b.) Trip to San Diego to watch my sister graduate – $2000 (for flights, hotels, and any additional sightseeing)
c.) My sister’s wedding, for which both D and I are in the bridal party – $2000
d.) Additional misc. travel – $2000
And of course, the $15K amount is if D doesn’t work (I put nothing but confirmed income into my budget). Since he will be getting a job by the end of the summer (most likely), I’m hoping we can save a little more than this!
3. Stay under personal budget ($200/month + birthday bonus).
Given the low amount we’re adding to savings (instead of earmarking for spending later in the year), this is more important than ever.
4. Donate $100/month to a non-profit.
I’m mostly interesting in averaging this (vs. actually making sure to donate this amount per month). It conflicts with my goal of saving as much money as possible, but if we can get in the habit now, while I’m still worried about money, that should make things easier when we’re DINKs again.
1. Get at least a 4 (out of 5) on my year-end evaluation.
Part of this is outside my control, of course, but there’s no reason to think that hard work will go unrecognized. This will also be helpful when I push for goal #2, which is…
2. Ask for a promotion from whoever my new boss is.
There’s a million reasons that this won’t work out (our new boss will have just come on board, I will barely meet the years-of-experience requirement by the end of the year, my company is not giving out many promotions this year anyway), but there’s no reason to not ask. I spoke to my former manager, and he gave me a lot of good information on how to prepare before I ask.
And if you notice, the goal is to ask for one – pushing for one comes next year!
3. Train on a new task/discipline at work – possibly become an official backup.
So I don’t get bored.
1. Work out 4 days per week.
This isn’t a strict goal – if I’m short a week because of work, or due to sickness, I don’t fail. Just maintaining a mostly consistent workout schedule is good for me!
2. Take an extra yoga class.
I freak out about how much it costs to do yoga around here (sometimes it’s $20 per class! What?!), but there are less expensive classes offered by the parks department. I’d like to sign up for at least one 8-week session. I’ve come to notice that with our free yoga class at work… well, we sort of get what we’re paying for.
3. Set one food-related goal per month.
January’s goal was to eat vegetarian for one week, future goals might be to make everything from scratch for one week, have vegetables at every meal (I’m actually getting better at this one), etc.
The real goal is to be conscious of our eating habits, and to try out some new food/habits that we might not otherwise.
1. Donate 15 hours to a non-profit.
This is pretty low time commitment, but I think the most important thing – at least for this first year – is just finding something to give back. I’ve written before about how blessed I’ve been. It’s time to show that I believe it!
2. Read 100 books, and jot down a quick summary/review.
I know this is going to be a hard one! I’ll still continue to read the guilty pleasure YA fantasy novels (for some reason, I’ve been really into those dystopian future type books, e.g. Hunger Games), interspersed with “good” books. I’m sure I’ll get close on this goal, but I’m not so sure I’ll actually make it.
Writing down a review is just so I can keep a record of the books I’ve read. When I set a reading goal, the temptation is to rush from one book to another. This works fine when I’m reading crappier books, but I think I need to give myself more time to digest what I’m reading, especially for the better books. Also, writing down the books I’ve read will help me remember them. Sometimes I get 150 pages into a book and realize that it sounds very familiar… because I’ve already read it!
3. Institute a one-in-one-out shopping rule.
My hope is that this will be the year that I start replacing my crappy Old Navy clothes with stuff that’s a little more classic, a little more likely to stand the test of time. Like replacing my purses with ones made of real leather, or finally getting a decent suit. I’m aware this might conflict with my goal of staying under my personal spending budget (especially since my spending on books and iPhone apps/music has increased), but I’m not saying that I can never buy quick fashion, just that the focus should be on buying better quality.
The only exception to the one-in-one-out rule are things related to my sister’s wedding, including a bridesmaid dress, possibly dyed-to-match shoes (hopefully we don’t have to do this!), jewelry/hair, and ONE other dress for the various wedding related parties. (I.e. If I want something new for the shower, the rehearsal dinner, AND the bachelorette party, well, only one of them is allowed in my closet without me having to give up something else!)