Happy New Year! The beginning of the new year is a common time to make new goals for the year ahead. First, let’s take a look at my goals from 2011 and evaluate how I did:
- 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.
- PASS. I can have a basic conversation about basic topics. I don’t consider myself anywhere near fluent, and I still need to improve a lot, but it’s pretty neat that I can now hold basic conversations and understand a good portion of the characters. I am taking the final Chinese course of this program this semester. Languages have never been my forté, but I am getting there.
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.
- PASS. I pretty much made it. I think I hit about 45% overall when all was said and done, which is a bit short of the goal but very good nonetheless. I included money saved and money invested, as well as debt repaid. I did not include market changes in the value of my investments.
I had a great deal of help from the company’s 6% match; without that I don’t think I would have made it, as the taxes were killer this year. I ended up going to St-Kitts for a week and Ethiopia for about two; both were quite interesting vacations. I stayed home for the last two weeks of December except for a short trip into the States.
- 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!
- FAIL. I have been eating healthier and I can’t complain too much about our dietary habits these days, but I totally mucked on the waking up early and the exercise bit! It wasn’t a complete wash, as I improved on pushups and I no longer sleep until 1pm on the weekends. I am still embarrassed and I should have been able to do it.
- 2011 goal
- Don’t say things that I will come to regret later on. Don’t hit the wall or other things in frustration.
- PASS. I actually didn’t remember even having this goal. I still acted a bit stupid this year, but overall I can say that it was a good year for me here.
I did best on the savings front and worst on the exercise and waking up early front. Overall, some progress is better than none and I need to work harder this year so that I can continue to make more progress.
So, reader, how did you do in 2011? What are your ongoing personal goals? I’d love to hear your stories.