It’s a New Year - which means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions. Or, in my case, New Year’s Goals.
This is the third year I’ve made one of these “New Year’s Resolutions & Goals” posts, but the first year that it’s this late.
Previously, I made the post within the first few days of the year, and as such, it was the first post of the year.
This year it’s the fourth post and I’m writing it with the last few days of January.
Before I say what my goals are for this year, let’s recap last year’s goals:
Improve Our Finances
We did the easy, automatic stuff - max our Roth IRA and max our 401k match.
We didn’t decrease our debt principal balance by at least $20k- but only because we spent $14k on a new (to us) car. If it weren’t for the car, we would have made it.
The new-to-us car: a 2016 Honda Accord LX
Our goal for eating out was to eat out no more than three times a month. There were a few weekends we didn’t eat out, but we had a lot of trouble sticking to this goal. Typically we ate out once a week. In fact, things got really bad in December - we ate out multiple times a weekend (although we did try to keep things cheap!).
Develop Personally & Professionally
I wanted to create and publish an Android app. I didn’t, but I did start working on making an Android app.
I did publish another ebook - The Adventures of Niko:
I wanted to get down to 225 lbs, but at the end of the year, I was closer to 245 lbs.
MyFitnessPal Weight Chart for 2019 showing my bad effort at losing weight.
I did take the stairs every day at work. The only times I took the elevator was when taking the stairs simply wasn’t possible - such as if I was pushing a cart.
I did okay tracking my food at first until at some point I got sick and stopped recording my calories.
According to this “calories consumed” chart, I stopped recording on November 20th
I have been eating a banana for my breakfast and my afternoon snack instead of the PopTart and Granola Bar I used to. In fact, I’m so used to my bananas that I forgot this was even a goal!
My wife wanted us to hike as a family at least once a month. We did hike, but it was less often than once a month.
Now that I’ve recapped last years goals, let’s move on to this year’s goals:
Improve Our Finances
A few of our goals are automatic - namely, maxing out our Roth IRAs, maxing out our HSA, maxing our 401k match, and putting $25 a month per kid (so $50 total per month) in their 529 accounts.
Three of those are via payroll deductions - the 401k and HSA are handled via the companies we work for, and I have direct deposits set up from my paycheck into each of our Roth IRA accounts.
My wife says that since these are automatic and things that we are doing anyway, they can’t be goals. Do you agree or disagree?
More actively, we intend to lower our debt by at least $20k. This will also mean that we will pay off two loans since our two highest interest rate loans have a total balance of less than $20k.
Since we had trouble limiting ourselves to eating out at most three times a month last year, we’re relaxing the goal a bit this year. Instead, we intend to eat out at most once a week.
I also want to publish more “low content” books such as my Soduku Puzzle Book.
Improve Our Home
Last year I delt with ground ivy invading our lawn.
I also started to deal with a drainage issue in our back lawn - I installed a French drain and a dry well.
Dealing with both the ground ivy and the drainage has resulted in a lot of bare ground in the backyard, so I need to plant grass. Plus the winter has left our backyard messy in terms of debris. I’m itching for spring to come so I can clean the backyard.
Our driveway is starting to fall into disrepair - plus we also want to widen it. While I do a lot of stuff DIY, I don’t want to pave my own driveway - I really don’t have the time. So we need to plan not only what we want done to the driveway, but who we want to do it.
A couple of problems with our driveway.
Our goal is only to get the planning done; we may or may not do the driveway this year.
Improve Our Health
I still want to weigh less than 225 lbs.
In addition to tracking my food and exercise, I also want to track my cholesterol and blood pressure.
Blood pressure should be easy enough - we have a blood pressure monitor at home. We don’t have a way to check cholesterol on our own, so I’ll be dependent on the doctor’s office and any the free cholesterol-checking clinics (supposedly Sam’s Club has them quarterly) I can find.
I’ll keep my habit of taking the stairs at work.
Develop Personally & Professionally
I want to go to more conferences - not just to learn, but to network. I already started this goal last month with the the 2019 Cincinnati Cybersecurity Conference.
Data Connectors logo - host of the 2019 Cincinnati Cybersecurity Conference
The events I go to don’t necessarily have to be “conferences” - they can also be conventions, trade shows, expos, summits… I’m even considering attending Kroger’s annual shareholder meeting since it’s not far away in Cincinnati and I own a few shares.
Nonpolitically, I intend on going to the District 40 “D40” Toastmaster Conference.
For conferences in my field of work, I found a couple of sites that may be of interest:
Finally, I want to finish and publish that Android app I talked about earlier.
Get Involved with the Community
My wife and I want to volunteer at church at least once.
City Hall of my local government
Better Our Marriage
My wife and I want to have - at a minimum - seven date nights this year.
So far we’ve had none - but it’s only the first month, and we’ve got a newborn.
Historically we’ve done rather poorly on the date night thing. (I don’t think going out to eat counts as a date night if we bring our kids, as much fun as they are).
I’ve also mentioned to her that I would like to attend marriage seminars and retreats. We did attend some “fight night” marriage retreat at a somewhat local somewhat “mega” church a few years back, but that just consisted of them playing a video one a big projector screen in front of a large group of people while they served dinner.
How’d your 2019 go? Do you have any goals for 2020?
If you have any blog posts similar to this one, feel free to share the links in the comments.
If you have any suggestions for conferences, feel free to share those, also.