Just like that another year is gone and it’s time to make some new year’s resolutions. For the next month gyms all across the country will be overcrowded with people who made the resolution to get back in shape. By mid-February things will revert back to normal as over-zealous resolutionaries (best made up word so far this year!) lose their enthusiasm and return to their sedentary lifestyles. One of the nice things about having a blog is that by writing out my goals for the new year and keeping a link to them right at the top of my blog, I can’t pretend they don’t exist once my fervor has waned.
I did a pretty good job with my goals in 2012, and hopefully I can be just as successful this year. Last year my goals were mainly financial goals, with one health/fitness goal that turned out to be too difficult to measure accurately. With that in mind, I tried to expand my goals a little to cover a few more aspects of my life and make sure they’re measurable.
Down Payment Fund – Reach $20k by the end of the year
Dividend Portfolio – Invest in at least three new dividend-paying stocks
Retirement – Max out IRA
These don’t require too much explanation. I’d like to double the amount in my down payment fund, at which point it may be time to move it out of the stock market and into a nice, safe savings account. I’m not setting a goal for a specific dollar amount in my dividend portfolio, rather I’m just resolving to expand the number of stocks in there to achieve greater diversity. And finally, I thought I’d keep maxing out my IRA as a goal for the year, just as a reminder that it’s something we should do every year while we’re able.
Take on new responsibilities, let go of old ones, get a promotion/raise
This is a little ambiguous, as I’m not sure exactly what is in my reach. I struggled in late 2012 with letting go of some of my old responsibilities after two new people joined our team. But I recognize that the growth of my team opens up new doors for me to advance. It may be possible to transition into more of a management role, expand my cross-functional responsibilities, or just get a title inflation and a nice raise.
Run/walk at least 15 miles per month (but preferably more)
I’m very hot and cold when it comes to running. I’ll go on a spurt where I run three times a week for a month or two, then I’ll all but stop for the next month or two. The exact number of miles to run isn’t terribly important, but it needs to be high enough that I’ll have to commit to running a couple times each week to reach it. Hopefully I’ll blow 15 miles per month out of the water, but the number also needs to be low enough that I can reasonably expect to achieve it month after month so I don’t get discouraged.
Plan my wedding
I’m getting married in just over a year! That means 2013 is the year to plan my wedding. I suppose I don’t really have much of a choice with this goal – either I plan a wedding or I don’t and we have to elope. Fortunately, everyone else in the world besides me seems to be incredibly excited at the prospect of planning my wedding, so I guess I’ll have a lot of help!
If you haven’t set goals for the new year yet, now’s the time. Make sure your goals are challenging, but achievable, and measurable. Set goals for various aspects of your life, such as finances, work, health, relationships, or hobbies. Write them down somewhere permanent, where you’ll see them every day. At the beginning of every month, check in on your progress and see if you’re on track to meet your goals by the end of the year.