The biggest thing I learned from last year’s mixed bag on goals (coming soon!) is to set specific goals (even when life is not predictable) and to not set goals I don’t really care about meeting. Because if I don’t care, how can I possibly expect them to get done?
1. Track All Income and All Spending
I’m going to do away with the monthly attempt to balance all my accounts and use a zero based budget. It just isn’t working with T’s fluctuating income. However, I can only do this if I can know exactly how much we earned and how much we spent on everything. Including T’s spending money. This saves me the hassle from trying to figure out how to deal with month to month variations in income and spending.
2. Max out both T’s and my Roth IRAs ($5000 each)
3. Max out my 401k ($16,500)
4. End year with 20k more in cash savings accounts
This is the hardest goal to come up with. I did some budget guesses and this should be possible but by no means guaranteed. As you can see above, we are focusing on retirement savings, we still plan to do a fair amount of traveling, and we may have some less than ideal living situations. I’m also counting some money T is going to put into savings in the next week or so as already there – meaning it won’t count for 2012. No cheating!
- Long Term Savings: increase from $15,000 to 35,000
- Emergency Fund: Stay at $25,000
In the spirit of setting goals I actually care about, these are running focused. I eat relatively healthfully and drink lots of water, so no food/diet goals this year. And while I believe in the philosophy of lifting heavy weights, I just don’t love it enough to incorporate it into my routine. Same with yoga – I enjoy it, but it has nothing on running for me. There is only so much time, and this is what I want to do in 2012.
1. Train for and complete the L.A. Marathon – and PR!
Yay! I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to PR since L.A. is a million times flatter than Big Sur. Train for means that I’ll do 90%+ of my runs (temporarily derailed by the holidays).
2. Run a sub 2 hour half marathon
Now you know roughly how fast (or not!) I am. I’m hoping to do this in the next 2 months (have 2 half’s planned), but I won’t be able taper properly for them, so if that doesn’t work out, I’ll have to do it after
3. Run 1000 miles
Absolutely achievable if I run all year long! I made it to about 920 in 2011, but I barely ran all summer.
4. Incorporate more strength, core, and stretching work
I know it is important, but it is sometimes hard to fit in. I’m going to track how much I do, and really, doing this with any consistency is an improvement.
Life and Adventure
1. Push myself professionally I’m not putting specific professional goals on this list, even though that arguably will be my biggest focus in 2012. Starting a new role will be a big learning experience and challenge, and I’m going to keep challenging myself and expanding my skills as opportunities come up. But I have nothing specific to say here. I just want to get better. Better at my job, better at networking, better at not being afraid. That isn’t a goal, that is just life, right? So while I have no specific professional goals, I’m going to keep on pushing. I’m adding this to remind myself to keep reflecting on this.
2. Read 25 books, including at least 5 from this list.
I read about 30 books this year, and this is slightly less. I know if I just put a random high number I’ll avoid harder books and read easier fluff more often. I just want to read a lot, and to me, reading 30 books was plenty (especially since most of these I read in the past 6 months). I’m not currently considering business school, but maybe someday I’d do a part-time MBA while working. Or not, you know? But I still want to get some more business knowledge.
3. Backpack and Hike and try some new things
We want to do at least 1 “good” backpacking trips with ~4 days of hiking then 1-2 shorter ones (that don’t require me to take vacation). I’d like us to do a few day hikes too, but we’ll play that by ear. I have some ideas for the new things (kayaking, paddle boarding, snowshoes) but I will play this by ear too.
4. Give more
Money and time. I tried to get involved on a regular basis with an organization last year, but the timing hasn’t worked out and the organization seemed to have more interested volunteers than they knew what to do with! I doubt I’ll be able to pursue that opportunity while marathon training, but maybe after March. And I’ll keep my eyes open for other ways to give back. At minimum, I want to give at least $500 in cash donations throughout the year.
This is less of a goal and more of a priority in my life right now… But I want to see somewhere new this year, make time to see my family and friends, and seek out a little adventure. My current travel ideas for 2012 are here.