Resolutions are the big thing every new year, but I personally believe in having ongoing personal goals. There is a benefit in setting specific achievements for the year, though; it gives you something to measure against.
Here are my goals for 2011:
- 2011 goal
- Have a fairly fluent conversation with my girlfriend or her parents. This means that I can talk about various topics without pausing or searching for words too much.
- I have already taken about a year of introductory courses in Mandarin at university. These courses were very good at introducing me to the basics of vocabulary, grammar, and learning how to write the language. What I learned isn’t enough for fluency and proficiency, however, so I need to continue learning via self-study if I am to improve here. Given my one-year sunk cost investment, continuing along this path is a no-brainer.
Save 50% of net income
- 2011 goal
- I would like to save or invest 50% of my net income this year; this might be one of the toughest goals to achieve! We are moving into a new condo very soon, so we have notary fees to pay, a “welcome” tax, new furniture to buy, and so forth. My car is also coming up for purchase, and I am considering buying it out. Unless I get a very low interest rate, I am going to try to do this in cash. Then there are the usual mortgage payments, etc… and as I didn’t use much vacation time last year, I will have up to five weeks of vacation time to use this year. Company policy has changed so there is no more carrying forward… use ‘em or lose ‘em! It would be nice to use some of that to go somewhere.
- In short: It will be difficult to hit 50%, but on the other hand, if I hit my New Year’s Blogging Resolutions, then this may be achievable.
- By learning to live on 50% of my net income and investing/saving the rest, I am not only building up a big buffer between my expenses and my income, but I am also building up capital for the future. I might be aiming too high for this year, but keeping the goal in mind will encourage me to avoid spending too much money in other areas.
- 2011 goals
- There are a few aspects of getting healthier:
- Healthy eating
Eating better food has been an ongoing goal for a while, now. It’s already more than a year since I used to eat pizza pockets for breakfast and various frozen foods for dinner. I don’t eat perfectly, but the 80/20 rule applies: Getting much of the way there is already a big improvement. I don’t eat out very often anymore, and we cook meals at home most of the time. There are still things to work on, like weaknesses for sweets or using an empty fridge as an excuse to buy pizza instead of going grocery shopping.
I’ve been a bit less successful with exercise, but I’ve recently found a strategy that works for me. I’ve ended my gym membership, as paying to work out next to big, stinky guys isn’t really effective for me. I don’t think I have the build or genetics to be big, myself, so maybe something else would be more effective.
In the spirit of Primal Blueprint Fitness, my exercise goal is to reach the following level of fitness in 2011:
- 50 pushups x 2
- 12 chinups x 2, 12 pullups x 2
- 50 squats x 2
- 12 shoulder press pushups x 2
- Forearm/feet plank for 90 seconds, and side planks for 45 seconds each side. x 2
This is a decent level of fitness. I’m probably about 40% of the way there, so there is really no excuse to not hit this level this year.
Finally, Getting a good night’s sleep is the area I’ve been the least successful with, so this is where I can find the most improvement. Maybe a vampire bit me when I was young, because without constraints, I can find myself waking up in the afternoon and sleeping in the morning. Other times I wake up early enough since I need to get to work, but then I feel like a zombie with a “foggy head” the whole day; this might be because my sleeping and waking hours aren’t consistent enough. My 2011 goal is to start waking up around the time the sun rises or 6:30 am, whichever is more reasonable. This might be the toughest 2011 goal for me!
- Healthy living is very important. Our bodies and minds are the only ones we have, and they are the most important asset in our lives. I am not old by any means, but nonetheless, as time goes on, my body needs more maintenance. A new car will still work for a good amount of time even if you don’t take care of it, but it will last much longer if you do.
- 2011 goal
- Don’t say things that I will come to regret later on. Don’t hit the wall or other things in frustration.
- I sometimes have difficulty keeping my emotions in check, especially if I feel that a situation is unfair. I’m better with this than I was when I was younger, but I still need to work on this a bit more. Regardless of the situation, I should keep the high ground and choose the path that leads to the best results. I don’t think that emotions should always be bottled up, but they can be managed in an appropriate way.
So, reader, what are your ongoing personal goals, and what would you like to achieve in 2011?