2018 has come and gone - and what a year it’s been! Now that it’s the beginning of 2019, it’s time to reflect on the previous year and set out to decide what we want to accomplish this year.
I don’t like confining goal-setting to one particular time of year. In the past, I wouldn’t set “New Year’s Resolutions” but would instead I’d set and accomplish various goals throughout the year. However, my wife enjoys setting yearly goals, and, since I have no reason not to set any at this time of year, I indulge her, and we set our resolutions together.
Each goal or resolution we set has a purpose and a method. The purpose is what I call an abstract goal - something I want to improve, but with no specific way of doing it. For instance, an abstract goal may be to “be healthier.”
The method is what I call a concrete goal. This is how you will accomplish the abstract goal. For the abstract goal of “be healthier,” the concrete goal might be “walk for 30 minutes three times a week.”
First, let’s recap my 2018 resolutions & goals and see how I did:
We had two concrete goals for this abstract goal: eat out at most three times a month, and to cut my own hair. We actually failed on both accounts.
We forgot about the eating out limit was three times a month and fell back on our old habit of eating out once a weekend.
And, while I did end up buying a pair of hair trimmers, I only cut my own hair once and ended up going to the barbershop for the remainder of the year. That one self-haircut did “pay for itself,” though.
The concrete goals for “earn more” consisted of: getting a raise at work, expanding my print-on-demand t-shirt selection, writing and publishing a book, publishing an Android app, and grow my blogs (which are this on and my dog blog).
I have expanded my selection of t-shirts on Amazon, as well as porting several designs over to my Redbubble account and my TeePublic account. I’ve stopped putting effort into my TeeSpring account mainly because I receive almost no sales via that site whereas I receive regular sales on the others. That said, I will leave what shirts I have on TeeSpring.
My wife didn’t publish or write a book, and I didn’t publish or make an Android app. I did publish a children’s ebook called The Adventures of Princess which is about my dog Princess and me meeting my wife, although I bit fictionalized.
Cover for The Adventures of Princess
As far as getting a raise at work, I actually got three raises and one promotion.
Professional & Personal Development
The concrete goals for this abstract goal were to continue with Toastmaster’s, graduate with my Master’s, help my wife open a LinkedIn account, read more, and continue to listen to podcasts.
Of these five concrete goals, only two could are specific enough to conclude if they were satisfied or not. I did indeed graduate with my Master’s (which also helped with getting those raises at work). However, we didn’t open a LinkedIn account for my wife.
In 2017 I read 5 books - enough to fill one blog post. In 2018, I read three times that number of books - 15 books total if you don’t want to do the math - and posted monthly “book reading list” posts.
I mostly listen to podcasts while I’m driving. I do occasionally listen to podcasts while I’m working around the house.
In order to be healthier, I intended to take the stairs rather than the elevator at work. A few months into the year I stopped taking the stairs - I’m not entirely sure why, I was just getting lazy.
We also wanted to walk more - and we have walked some, although I don’t think I would call it “more” - but it’s been difficult to accomplish with an infant at home.
Finally, she did give birth to our beautiful baby son (as evidenced by the previous paragraph!)
Our beautiful baby son, one day old.
2019 Goals & Resolutions
Now that I’ve recapped my 2018 goals and resolutions, it’s time to figure out and plan 2019.
I shared a few of these goals for Wealthy Nickel’s Money Goals roundup post. See if you can find my contribution!
I’m mostly going to keep the same abstract goals, except I’m going to combine “spend less” and “earn more” into one abstract goal of “improve our finances” and rename “professional & personal development” to “develop personally & professionally” to better fit the verb phrase structure of the other abstract goals.
Improve Our Finances
With the market being as volatile as it’s been, it’s hard to set a goal of having X dollars in our accounts by the end of the year. I tried that last year, and I would’ve made that goal had it not been for those shaky last few months. That said, we do intend on maxing out each of our Roth IRAs ($6,000 each this year) as well as at least getting the full match on our 401(k)s.
We want to decrease our debt principal balance by at least $20,000. That’s not just paying $20,000, but get the balance down by that amount. Interest payments do not count. To do this, we have to pay about $1,600 a month in principal alone. Currently, we’re each planning on paying at least $400 a paycheck towards debt and plan on reevaluating our progress come February.
We also intend to do what we failed to do last year - eat out at most three times a month, instead of our regular once a week. Hopefully, the fact that we have a baby now will make this easier - except we consider ordering for delivery the same as eating out.
Develop Personally & Professionally
I want to create and publish an Android app. I didn’t do this last year, so I will accomplish this goal this year. I don’t intend for the app to be anything groundbreaking - in fact, it will probably be an app that’s been done a million times.
I also want to publish a variant of the book I published last year. Last year’s book was a children’s book from the vantage point of my dog, Princess. This year’s book will be a similar children’s book, but from the vantage point of my wife’s dog, Niko.
The most I’ve weighed in the past is 250 lbs. Recently I weighed myself and I was once again up to 250 lbs. I do not want to set a new record, so I want to lose at least 25 lbs and get down to 225 lbs. To do this, I’ve restarted counting my calories via the MyFitnessPal app, as well as began to take the stairs at work again. I’m also eating a banana for breakfast and my afternoon snack instead of the PopTart and Granola Bar I used to.
MyFitnessPal Weight Ticker
It seems to be working - I weighed myself earlier this week and I was down to 244.4 lbs.
My wife wants to be healthier herself, as well. To do this together we intend on hiking as a family (which is me, her, our son, and our two dogs) at least once a month.
How’d your 2018 go? Do you have any goals for 2019?