At the beginning of the year I published a list of things I’d love to accomplish this year. The purpose of the exercise was to keep myself accountable to some of my bigger goals in life, improve myself, & have more fun. I’ve had this list posted in my kitchen all year, and I’ve tried to remember it regularly. Some of the items on it were ambitious, & life is always unpredictable, but here’s how I fared over the past 11 1/2 months in reaching my goals:
- Increase my net worth by at least $30,000
My net worth on December 31, 2012 was ~$35,367 – and as of November 30 it was ~$73,557. That’s a total increase of (holy &%^$) $38,190 in 11 months – completely awesome. A big part of this increase can be credited toward the stellar gains in the market this year, but I’ve also done pretty well optimizing my savings rate and cutting expenses.
I did splurge by taking a cruise vacation (this deserves it’s own post) & spending a good chunk of money rebuilding my shower, but I am happy with my savings progress so far this year. I am excited to see after December is done & gone what the real grand total will be!
- Bicycle to work at least 52 times
This was one of my most ambitious goals, set when I hadn’t yet experienced a complete year of riding. According to my bicycle mileage page I’ve ridden to work only 17 times so far this year. My original intention of working my way up to riding twice per week in the Spring & Fall didn’t pan out – the time and the energy required to complete this ride is pretty intense for me, and it proved difficult to try more than once per week.
Combined with the unknowns life just insists on throwing at us (illnesses, bike problems, knee & wrist problems), I wasn’t able to reach bad-ass level with my biking, but I hope to increase beyond 17 rides to work next year.
I am happy to report that I replaced a huge portion of weekend travel with two things – better planning, and biking instead of driving. I’ve completed 43 shorter rides (to the gym, store, etc.) over the past 11 months, mostly on Saturday & Sunday. It is my goal to avoid driving on the weekend if at all possible.
- Install a new bathtub & tile surround in the shower
This is done! (well… 95% done, and functional – someone really needs to force me to finish up that last 5% of cosmetic stuff).
- Paint 2 oil paintings
I never gave myself time to paint, so I’ve *not* completed this goal. I am ashamed to report that the same painting I started 2 years ago still sits unfinished on my easel.
- Read 12 new books from the library
I don’t believe that I quite reached 12 books – but I have been reading more regularly, all for free via the library! I love how amazingly awesome it is to reserve & borrow a book for free. This is one of my favorite forms of relaxation, and I am sure I will keep up my pace going into next year.
- Spend less time on the Internet than I did in 2012
This is probably a failure. Unfortunately, I am quite addicted to being connected, and it’s difficult to break free. If it’s not browsing a forum, chatting, reading info, or some other distraction, I am often working on a project, or tinkering with some new idea online. My intention when setting this goal was to bring more balance to my life, and I still believe I should strive toward making this part of my lifestyle.
- Drink less alcohol at home than I did in 2012
I did not keep any official tally on drinks, but I believe that I’ve reduced my intake of alcohol.
- Convert 10 pounds of fat into 10 pounds of muscle
This is a failure. I’ve stayed almost exactly where I was 11 months ago – I may have lost a bit of fat by riding my bike this year, but I did not replace it with muscle because my dedication to lifting weights has been lackluster.
- Visit the gym at least 156 times
Yikes – did I set this goal? That works out to be 3 times per week, which I did not accomplish. I would say that so far this year, on an average week, I was able to visit the gym twice. If I can bump this up closer to 3, maybe I will put on that extra muscle I am hoping for.
- Spend less than an average of $2.50 per meal
This has been a fun one to keep my eye on all year – some months were better than others, but my current meal average is ~$2.51. A few months back I did the calculation and realized I was closer to an average of $2.7, so I’ve been really optimizing the last few months to come in at my goal! I am excited to say that I think I’ll make it.
- Plan more meals
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
Yes! I have been successfully adding more variety and volume of fruits and vegetables to my diet.
- Hang dry some of my laundry when it’s warmer
This did not happen – I have to admit that I was too lazy to actually attempt this, and I am ashamed.
- Visit my family
I did not visit my family in 2013, but I am going the 2nd week of January, so I’ll give myself credit.
- Go camping at least once
Done! We camped at Vedauwoo in Wyoming – it was pretty cool!
- Improve my relationships with my friends & loved ones
I should probably ask them, but I would say I’ve accomplished this goal :)
- Host a barbeque or other gathering at least once over the summer
I was not able to make this happen, but it will definitely be on the list for 2014.
- Spend less money than I’ve budgeted for the year
With my vacation & bathroom remodel spending, I don’t believe I’ve accomplished this goal.
- Earn more “Internet income” than I did in 2012
This was a big win! I had an unexpectedly good run of referral income from my YNAB referral code, as well as increases in other places.
- Kick ass at work & earn a big raise in March
This was accomplished – I love my job, and I really like where we’re headed as a company; I have high hopes for 2014!
- Take my dog on more walks
To his delight, my pup has been walked more than usual – this is a nice relaxation for both of us.
- Go for hikes (small or large) at least 5 times in the spring & summer
I only went on 2 hikes – one while camping, and another this fall; I realize that I have to put more effort into scheduling these hikes, because they are always fun and invigorating.
- Share more tomatoes and garden vegetables than I did in 2012
Done! My crop this year was great.
- Attend more meetups than I did in 2012
This was a total failure.
- Spend more time living in and enjoying each day
I think I probably succeeded here, but I’d love to be more proactive with this effort by meditating and building moments of pause into every day.
- Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
I did not do this, but this goal will still be around next year.
- Employ more optimism
I know for a fact that I’ve accomplished this goal, and it’s made a big difference in my life. Optimism leads to more optimism as well as more energy, ambition, and clarity. I hope this upswing continues to compound exponentially.