It’s a brand new year, which means it’s time to set yearly goals.
This year will be the fourth year I’ve posted my goals on this blog. It’s crazy that I’ve been doing this blog thing (and making almost no money from it) for over four years.
If you count the posts from my old blog that I’ve imported, it’s been over ten years.
Anyway, back to goal setting.
While most people use the SMART system - that is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound - I do something a little different. I use abstract and concrete goals.
Abstract goals are a high-level overview of what I want to do. Maybe I want to be healthier. Maybe I want to be more sympathetic.
Concrete goals are the how - this is where I might use the SMART goal criteria. This is where I’ll take my high-level, abstract goal and plan on how to accomplish it. For example, to be healthier (my abstract goal), I will track my food daily, eating no more than 2,000 calories daily on average, and will weigh no more than 225 pounds by the end of the year (that’s three concrete goals to meet one abstract goal).
Improve Our Finances
Our financial goals for 2021 are:
- Max out our Roth IRAs & HSA
- Max the match on our 401ks
- Up our 529 contributions from $25 to $30 a month per kid
- Up our church donations from $50 to $100 a month
- Become 100% debt free
- Figure out what to do after debt
- Eat out no more than 1x week on average
The first four goals are automatic - the IRA, HSA, and 401k money is taken directly out of our paychecks, and the 529 contributions and church donations are set up as automatic payments. I’ve also already changed the amount for each.
Becoming 100% debt free will happen sometime this year - maybe even in the first half of the year. We have less than $10k left, and we lowered our debt by over $20k last year.
After we pay out debt, we’ll have to figure out what to do with the money we’d been putting towards the debt. I want to max out my solo 401k and potentially max out our 401k contributions overall, but we’ll have to see where we’re at when the time comes.
Be Better Parents & Our Goals for Our Kids
- Read at least one book to each kid every day
- Hike as a family at least once a week (typically on the weekend)
- Sign up our son for preschool
- Potty train son - preferable before he turns three (on March 26th), but at the latest by the time preschool starts
- Enjoy our daughter learning to walk and talk
- Max two hours of TV for the kids only on the weekends. No TV during the week.
- Improve our parenting skills by either taking a parenting class (preferably) or reading a book
- Volunteer at church at least once
Improve Our Marriage
- Have at least seven dates
- Attend at least one marriage seminar or retreat
The second one is largely contingent on how the pandemic plays out this year.
Seven dates nights is feasible, however, even if we have to find something socially-distanced to do.
Improve our House & Yard
- Widen the driveway and fix any places where it may have sunk into the ground
- Continue with my ongoing war with ground ivy
- Monitor the french drain and expand if needed
A couple of problems with our driveway.
Improve My Health
- Maintain my weight at 225 lbs or less
- Reach a body fat percentage of 20% or lower
- Run at least one 5k
- Daily run to a 5-minute walk, 40-minute run, 5-minute walk
- Continue strength training
A month ago, I wrote about meeting my fitness goal last year and how I began running. I want to continue that by running at least one formal 5k. I’ve been running a little over 3 miles every weekday morning anyway.
Distance ran per run, in miles.
To help meet the “run one formal 5k” goal, I joined the Ohio River Road Runner Club. They host several 5ks (and other running events) throughout the year that are free with a paid membership. The next 5k on their calendar is the Sweetheart Shuffle on February 14th. Of course, especially now, every race is tentative.
As far as my “daily run to a 5-minute walk, 40-minute run, 5-minute walk” currently I walk 5 minutes, run 13 minutes, walk 7 minutes, run 13 minutes, walk 7 minutes, and then walk a final 5 minutes. My plan is to slowly move minutes from the 7-minute walks to the 13-minute runs until the running time has taken over the walking time. I intend to always do the 5-minute warmup and cooldown walks
Develop Personally & Professionally
- Attend at least one conference
- Run for city council
- Read (i.e. finish) one book per month
- Finish the fast.ai course
I’ve already begun petitioning to get on the ballot for city council. I’m currently at 40 signatures. I need 50 valid signatures to get on the ballot, but I am not allowed to turn in more than three times that number (i.e. 150) total.
My supply of masks, pens, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizer sitting atop my petitions and clipboard.
My minimum goal is to simply get on the ballot; I do intend to do some campaigning as well as talking to people.
As for the fast.ai course, I’m currently on lesson seven of eight, although they’ve only released about half of the lessons so far.
Better My Blog
- Remove the jQuery dependency
- Clean up the CSS
- Continue with the Blog Statistics, Book Reading List, and End of Year Side Income Report series
The main CSS file (style.css) has a content length of 23,859 bytes. To contrast, the main page (at the time of this writing) has a content length of 4,358 bytes (that’s the HTML only). I’m not using a number of the CSS classes, plus it could be better organized.
My Wife’s Goals
Improve Her Health
- Lose weight
- Exercise at least 150 minutes a week
Develop Personally & Professionally
- Recertified her PTCB credentials
- Read at least two books
- Clean at least for 15 minutes 4 times a week
- Clean, declutter, and otherwise minimize the house, especially in the computer room, garage, and our bedroom
What goals do you have for this year?