llcoolvad: (cold)
Resolutions at New Years are always challenging. How to make them achievable, but still meaningful? I had a pretty decent 2013, despite some challenges and sadness. I'd like to have a pretty decent 2014, too, and get myself on a really good path for the future.

First, the past. 2013 goals, reviewed:

1. Stuff, get none. Success? Nope. Started a new hobby (jewelry-making) and had all the start-up costs of tools, organizing strategies, materials, etc. Bought a bunch of clothes due to job changes and weight changes. Replaced my semi-broken iPhone 4 with a shiny iPhone 5S. I guess that's it, really. I didn't buy anything else much, a few CDs, a bunch of kindle books. I had other expenses, though, including two large car repairs (the clutch and the power junction box). I've been spending a lot of money on food all year, between the commute to Boston and not wanting to drag food along with me, and then the cafeteria on-site at new job, and then my general apathy about dinner. I buy all the food and additionals for the house, also, so my food expenses are pretty high right now. I also rented a storage unit at the end of the year, so that's an ongoing expense, too, until I decide to get rid of all that stuff.

2. Job, get one. Success? Yes! I started the year with my old company being bought by a massive company, which was pretty stressful and confusing. Eventually we had to move our office, so I had to go from a 20-30 minute commute to a 1-1.5 hour commute, which wasn't pleasant at all. Midway through the year I got promoted, which wasn't completely unexpected but was pretty good anyway. I then got a new, much better, job, increasing my income this year by 50%, so that was pretty awesome, too. And my commute changed to 15 minutes! Gotta call this one a big win.

3. Health, get more. Success? This one's really a no: in fact I did pretty much the opposite! Because of my knee injury Sep 2012 I mostly stopped exercising, except for a weather-dependent 2 mile (ish) daily walk with Patrick since this September. I've only had a few periods in time this year where I tracked my meals. I gained 35 pounds back, which sucked (12 of them since I started the new job).

4. Fun, have lots. Success? Yes. I've been reading some, watching a bunch of TV and movies, and seeing my friends fairly regularly. I also have been regularly corresponding with my family, who I managed to reconnect with at my uncle's funeral. Went on my usual vacation with Stephen and Val, this time to Maine, and did some sightseeing there. I went to a few concerts (B52s, Richard Thompson, NKOTB(!)) this year, also a couple of plays and performances (Wicked, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Odysseo, Suburban Holidays), so that was all good. I've also still been hanging with my ex-coworkers from my last job. No baseball in person this year, TRAGIC because they won the world series and I missed it!, but I guess I can really count this goal as a win.

5. Learning, get some. Success? Sorta yes, sorta no. I took up a new hobby which I like, but I didn't take the photography course I paid for (it's online, through the Great Courses, so I can take it any time)(I have a hard time with "any time". I like schedules). And I've been learning all kinds of stuff at my new job, so I guess there's that. But I still feel a bit fuzzy and distracted, and some nights it's still all I can do to watch TV and read the internet.

So that's 2 NOs, 2 YESes, and a half-and-half. I'm going to count the half-and-half as a yes, however. Because honestly? I did learn a lot this year, it was just all about SharePoint and my new company and stuff like that. So I get a pass, I think. Overall better than half is OK, but I need to accomplish more.

Now, the future: I had sort of a joke goal of "Fabulous by 50", but circumstances being what they are, I am amending it to "Fabulous While 50", which gives me a year and 8 months to meet it. I'll be 50 in August, but if I can get to fabulous sometime while I'm 50, I think that's ok. Fabulous to me means out from under crushing debt, healthy, and having lots of fun. To get there, I'm going to pretty much keep the same goals except the new job one, which I will replace with debt reduction:

1. & 2. Stuff, get none, and Debt, pay lots. 1 and 2 are pretty closely linked. I paid off about $22K of my debt since June of 2012. Considering my pay rate during most of that time, that's pretty good. I've decided that I HAVE to get it all gone, this time, as fast as I can — especially the student loan. I'm going to be 50! I can't stand having a student loan debt holding on this long. I am making enough money now that with some careful planning (and financial luck otherwise, like car doesn't die, mother doesn't get ill, cat stays healthy, don't lose job, etc.) I should be able to get it done in a bit over 2 years. I think. I will improve on the "stuff, get none" as much as I can to further this goal.

3. Health, get more. I have a free gym at work and I'm paying, still, for the YMCA, which I never go to. I could maybe do some swimming? Do a light bike routine (knee-dependent, of course)? Something. I might spend a small amount of money to meet with a personal trainer for a few times to get a routine that I can do at home. I have so many aches and pains that I don't want to start doing things wrong and make myself worse. I also need to be more regular about taking my meds. And I am going to go back to tracking my food and plan my meals better. I've been so mentally exhausted all year that I just default to the easiest thing. I am certain that I'll have more energy and be more alert if I start to eat better again.

4. Fun, have lots. This one should be the easiest, but always proves to be the hardest for me. I will continue what I've been doing. I am not in any kind of place to date someone, currently, so that can stay back-burnered. But I am going to try to do at least one special thing per month. Going somewhere fun, seeing a show, seeing a game, getting out into the city with my friends but not the same routine. Like that.

5. Learning, get some. Here I just need to calm down and focus a little. The hard part at work is over. I've gotten through the first four months. I think I can start to relax a tiny bit, which should let me be able to relax at home a little more. Make more jewelry, consider selling some. Take really awesome photographs. Take that course. Take another course. Audible now offers some of the Great Courses (audio only) through their system, so maybe do that! Keep learning. I've had a domain that I've been paying for for years, and I've never put to use. Maybe do that.
llcoolvad: (cold)
So I have been thinking about the new year, and I started with the buy nothing (much) resolution. I would like to get the rest of my consumer debt gone before I hit fifty, and just leave myself my student loan debt (a lot less of that, too). It's doable, but probably only if I get a part time job, or if I get a new full time job that pays really well. So resolution #2 is to find a new job this year. For reals.

Next up is health. For two+ months I've been very unmotivated. My knee hurt, physical therapy was ok but ultimately unsuccessful (I mean, it's better, but it's not back to normal), and it got cold and dark outside. I put on 10 pounds! Some days it's 12. So it's back on the exercise wagon, and snacks have to go back to being the healthful kind and not the awesome kind. I am pretty sure I can swim with this knee problem. And screw the knee anyway. It's not the boss of me!

I've also got my deliberate fun idea from a previous post. Don't rely on fun just happening; become more deliberate about seeking it out. It's harder while I live with Mom. She's not a fan of spontaneity. She also has a lot of fear-based little-old-lady issues. Going out at night is dangerous! Being alone in the house is also dangerous! Leaving the house empty is dangerous! So I need to find a better solution to dealing with her fears so I can still go have fun. It's easier to cave, but I need to not do that so much.

My final thought is to get some learnin'. I need to get my skills all polished and shiny, and I'd like to get some more practice in some other things.

1. Stuff, get none
2. Job, get one
3. Health, get more
4. Fun, have lots
5. Learning, get some

Next up: how to schedule this stuff into my life so I actually do them!


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April 2017

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