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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Goals

It's easy to see the new year as an opportunity to do a complete overhaul on myself, but I know me and I know I can only strive toward goals that are simple and attainable.  So, again, I'm breaking it down into a few key facets of my life and have limited each facet to 3 principle goals.

Here we go 2012:

  • Marriage: Again, keep date nights as a focus for Jerry and I.  I'd like to continue to aim for 1 date night a month.
  • Parenthood: Try to live in the moment and lighten up.  I do my best to appreciate this time with the kids while they're young, but like any parent, I have plenty of moments of frustration, anxiety, and even anger.  Sometimes, I feel I am too quick with these emotions, and I'd like to try and focus on fostering greater patience and learning what battles are worth fighting.
  • Friendship: Make time for friends.  In the past few years, with kids, it's become easy to push friendships to the back burner, but in the last few months of 2011, I made the time to keep up with some lunches with girlfriends, and we enjoyed an evening out with our friends (without kids) and it reminded me of how valuable it is to keep up with friends -- both past and present.
Financial (I've never made a separate list for money, but in the past few years, I've been more conscientious and mindful of how we save, invest, and spend.  So, this year, I have a few specific goals that are monetary.)
  • Save: The past few years have been devoted to paying off our debt; now, it's time to build the savings.  Ideally, I'd like to create an emergency fund that would consist of 4 months worth of Jerry's salary (net).
  • Invest: Research, decide upon, and contribute to the kids' college savings plans.  They each have savings accounts, but those earn, like, 1% interest.  I want to invest in some accounts that would more realistically build adequate amounts for each child's college fund.
  • Save again: We need a new car, but if possible, I'd like to actually save up to buy one in full, not finance anything.  This is a lofty goal, but after paying off our debt, I'm not eager to finance another vehicle.
  • Grading: Learn to create an electronic gradebook.  I'm completely inept with Excel, but it's the 21st century.  Time to learn.
  • Technology: I have the bare minimum knowledge with how to teach classes online, and while I don't want to teach online, I see that the future of teaching will at least demand a knowledge of blending online components with a tradition bricks-and-mortar approach.  Time to take some of the tech classes.  Blergh.
  • Spending: I have some money to burn that was part of my POY award last year and I've been waffling for months about what to do with it.  Time to decide.
  • Miles: Track my mileage.  2011 was a complete bust in terms of keeping track of my mileage, and I really feel more accountable when I do it.  Time to return to record keeping.
  • Time:  Never go more than 2 days between runs.  My motto, since high school, has always been to not go more than 3 days between workouts, but in the past few months, I've lagged enough that I have -- at times -- allowed as much as 4 days to come between me and some sort of committed physical activity.  When I do that, I feel like shark farts.  So, new rule: 2 days is the maximum spacing between runs!
  • Training: Return to HM shape.  I feel like I'm at my running best when I'm in HM shape (running about 20-30 miles a week).  And with that middle distance training, speed usually returns hand in hand.  I hope for that to be a nice side effect.
So, there ya go: Bring on the end of the world!  Hello 2012!


MCM Mama said...

You'd think that there would be some sort of app or template for grade keeping. Seems like there is for everything else...

Lately it feels like our college investment accounts are doing shit. So frustrating.

Sounds like a good plan for 2012!

NICOLE said...

Best of luck in 2012. Great goals.

Julie D said...

Those are some great goals! Excel classes with your POY money?? ;)

But really, seems like you've given it a lot of thought. I think it's always difficult to keep all of our goals in balance (even kidless), but the attempt is always motivating in itself.

Carolina John said...

It's going to be a fantastic 2012! Dave Ramsey says to build 6 months of expenses into an emergency fund, then switch to a 80/10/10 model, where you can live on 80% of your income, save 10%, and give away 10%. If your expenses are too high to live 80/10/10 (like mine are) then you are still living paycheck-to-paycheck and that's not good. Check out some Dave Ramsey if you haven't yet done so. Pretty amazing stuff.

Chicken said...

Those sound good! Expecially the date night...most important to stay sane! Good luck with the New Year!

MNFirefly said...

Great goals!!

runner26 said...

these goals are really well thought out! i'm sure you will do a great job with them. happy new year!

Anonymous said...

You are amazing in so many ways. And way ahead of most of us! What I learned, raising 3 kids, is that I never simply said No. I always said "No, because ...". That explained to the kids why I denied something, made sure I did not say No because I was too lazy to deal with w/e they wanted. Plus it ensured that I stuck with my No. There definitely are no shortcuts in raising great kids. And the first 3 years in their lives are the most important ones.

James said...

Sounds like a great plan for the year. Best of luck with them all!

Krissy said...

Nice goals! I need to sit back and do my list as well...if I can get to my last blog entry that I have been wanting to put up for over a week now I will be impressed! hahah... my life is so upside down at times!

fancy nancy said...

I am aiming for 1 date night a month too. Once kids came it was such a challenge...but worth it! Good luck in 2012!

The Life of Mel said...

I just found your blog (and of course you're taking a break stopping :)) but I wanted to say you can save for a car and have the emergency fund and everything. My husband and I have done it, and bought our last 3 cars with cash. I never thought that'd happen.
One's an '03 and one's an '04, but they run GREAT and they're paid for, which is much better than a brand new car that has a shackle on us (and loses 10% of value when we drive off the lot!)

I use dailymile.com for running tracking, and I love it (I even have a little ticker on my blog so I can see it!

Anyway, I'll read through the rest of the blog, you may already have done these things or whatever, but I thought I'd comment while I saw the post that brought me here (from google reader feed of all places.)

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Miguel said...

Best of luck in 2012. Great goals.