In many ways, 2018 was a preparatory year for me. Putting the little bits of my life into place so that I’d be ready to transition into a new sort of life, a family sort of life (*silent scream of terror echoes in my head*). And I certainly feel more at ease with myself than I was even a year ago. So here are my goals for 2019:
- Get pregnant. AAAAAAaaaaaahhhhHHHHHHhhhh. Sorry, this one scares me a little. A lot. Bodies and pregnancies are weird. But also they’re totally normal? And I really want a family, but also knowing that I’ll be so much free time and sleep is, *gulp*, kind of daunting.
- Achieve “financial equilibrium”. Once we’ve hit this net worth milestone (roughly equivalent to CruiseFI), then we’ll start working our way toward upgrading our home and reaching semi-FIRE levels of investments.
- Take two international trips. My friend is getting married in Copenhagen this summer and my husband and I are talking about going to Japan. Want to sneak in a couple of international jaunts before kids.
- Finish at least two “courses” worth of learning materials. I feel like my brain has been atrophying over the past however many years since college. Therefore, I’d like to make it through a couple of “courses” worth of learning material over the next year. I think this will be brushing up on my Japanese before our trip using Pimsleur and taking some Coursera classes on DB engineering / playing around with AWS for work.
- Get my internet addiction under control. This will be starting with a no-internet January. (Note I wrote all my January posts in advance.) So if you don’t see me around for a while, that’s why.
- Finish writing my podcast. I’m in the middle of writing a fictional podcast. And by middle I mean very beginnings of. I have an arc though and decent outlines. By the end of the year I want to have finished scripts for the season and be ready to start staffing/recording a pilot.
Then there’s my “keep on keeping on” list:
- Maintain regular diet and exercise. Last year “body weight” was on the list, but, um, goal #1 from the first list. Instead, I want to make a commitment to maintain regular exercise that is appropriate for where my body is at throughout my pregnancy and thereafter.
- Continue volunteering and donating 10% of our income. Instead of just my income, I want my husband and I to donate 10% of our combined net (which he’s a-okay with).
- Read at least two books a month. I think I set the goal too low last year. I’m hoping, if I manage to get my internet addiction under control, I should be able to free up a lot more time for reading.
What are your goals for 2019?
Here were my goals for 2018:
- Marry and combine finances with my partner. PASS. To be fair, this is not completely finished by I did manage to get married and we’re like 80% of the way there with the finances. So I’ll give myself this one.
- Increase net worth 3 units. FAIL. I started off the year 5.28 units from my financial freedom goal. Haven’t finalized the numbers for this month yet, but it looks like I’ll be somewhere between 0.25-0.5 units shy of my goal. But I’m okay with that. Husband was unemployed for half the year, I took a month off between jobs, and of course there was that big salary drop with my career change. There are more important things than money. And, honestly, we did fine.
- Generate another stream of income, separate from my job. FAIL. I didn’t really focus on this at all.
- Chisel my way to six-pack abs. OKAY. I don’t have a six-pack or anything close. BUT I did keep up with my ab workouts all year long and have core strength like woah. So that’s cool.
- Visit Ireland and Amsterdam. OKAY. We did go to Ireland for our honeymoon, however I’ve come to realize that (1) my friend lives in Copenhagen, not Amsterdam and (2) we’re going to visit her next year for her wedding.
- Get involved in 2018 governor’s race. FAIL. Basically anything that required time this year I simply did not do. Other than my new job. That’s taken up… a lot.
- Do one “interesting” thing per month. FAIL. This was a cool idea in theory and if I really thought about it I probably averaged one interesting moment per month but didn’t really document this well and twelve months later this feels more kitschy than important.
Then there’s my “keep on keeping on” list:
- Maintain body weight, regular diet and exercise. PASS. Consistent exercise and good (enough) eating.
- Continue volunteering and donating 10% of my income. PASS. Summary here.
- Read at least one book a month. PASS. I technically passed this but I feel pretty silly for setting the goal so low and also still kind of ashamed for how little I read. I started plenty of books but got bored midway for a number of them (which never used to happen to me before). Yes, I’m super basic and read like a high school student. What of it? If y’all have book recommendations, I’d be happy to take them. Anyway, here’s what I finished:
- Tar Baby by Toni Morrison (5/5)
- Jazz by Toni Morrison (4/5)
- God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (3/5)
- The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (3/5)
- Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver (3/5)
- Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders (2/5)
- Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit (5/5)
- The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (3/5)
- The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin (4/5)
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (5/5)
- All the Names by Jose Saramago (4/5)
- Daisy Miller by Henry James (4/5)
- Cymbeline by William Shakespeare (3/5)
- Laughter In the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov (3/5)
Overall I did pretty terribly with my goals this year. Oh well. But at the same time, I still had such a big year between marriage, changing careers, and going through really hard personal stuff with family and friends. Looking back, I was so unfocused on what I wanted my life to look like. But I am pretty proud of myself of powering (muddling?) through some really hard times. I feel more mature, like I am starting to get an understanding of me as a fully formed being with experiences, not just a little bundle of potential. It’s a scary feeling, like I’m finally accepting closing certain doors on my life. But I’m moving forward. And that’s… good?
How did you fare with your 2018 goals?
This is going to be a big year. My fiancé and I will get married. If all goes well, the voters will upend our robotic overlords. Yeah, I’m optimistic 2018 will be a good one.
This is also the last calendar year before my partner and I start trying for kids. Which means I want my goals to count. I know life and personal identity don’t stop when you have children, but there’s still a part of my brain that’s like: Embrace the YOLO while you still can.
With that in mind, here’s my first draft at goals for 2018:
- Marry and combine finances with my partner. If I hit only this goal, I’ll consider this year to be a win. The hardest part, by far, will be planning the wedding.
- Increase net worth 3 units. According to my calculations, I should be able to increase our net worth 2.5 units on my income alone. If my partner finds work by Jan 1, we’ll be looking at something closer to 3.25 units. If we hit the 3-unit mark, that’ll set us up to hit our “financial equilibrium” by first half of 2019. It’ll also mean that our non-house assets will be greater than our mortgage.
- Generate another stream of income, separate from my job. Right now I’m able to supplement my income with churning and proceeds from our roof of solar panels (expect a detailed post in a couple months). It’d be nice if I can find another light-weight way to make a couple thousand a year, just to pad our expenses.
- Chisel my way to six-pack abs. Pure whimsy and vanity. I’ve never been the rippling muscle type: my muscles are 90% jelly and I don’t think I could do a pull up to save my life. But I have been going to core classes the last couple months to good effect– you can now see the faint outlines of a couple abs right under my rib cage. I feel like if I put work into it, I’ll be able to get myself a six-pack. And this feels like my last opportunity since I imagine I shouldn’t try this while pregnant.
- Visit Ireland and Amsterdam. Combination honeymoon and trip to visit our friends while they work abroad. Fiancé will get to connect with his Irish ancestry, plus it’ll be his first time traveling internationally.
- Get involved in 2018 governor’s race. It’ll be an uphill slog to get rid of our elephant-in-the-room governor, so I want to help out where I can.
- Do one “interesting” thing per month. This is an idea I took from Chris Hutchins who was recently interviewed on the Mad Fientist podcast. In my updates, I will plan out my “interesting thing” for the next month. I’m hoping having a collection of 12 memorable moments by the end of the year will help me feel like I’m living to the fullest in 2018.
Then there’s my “keep on keeping on” list:
- Maintain body weight, regular diet and exercise. Due to my CSA, I have been eating healthier this year than I ever have before. I’ve also been pretty diligent about putting in 2-3 exercise sessions per week. I’d like to maintain that trend and keep my body feeling strong.
- Continue volunteering and donating 10% of my income. I’d like to continue fostering my relationship with my Little Sis and help her navigate the terrible time that is early teenager-dom. Also, charity.
- Read at least one book a month. Stay curious, keep reading.
Looking at this list, I don’t feel like I’m really setting “goals” for myself. “Goals” entail growth. This is more just itemizing the things on my schedule for 2018. Nothing here is terribly outside of my comfort zone, with the notable exception of political canvassing. That one’s going to hurt. Everything else, though, feels like the natural extension of the person that I already am.
Should I get more weird and creative goals? Or I’m just putting too much pressure on myself to live it up in my last moments of unmarried, childless freedom? I think this is likely just a blip of new-years inspiration-envy FOMO, which too shall pass.
What are your goals for 2018?