I call them my goals. Resolution doesn't really accomplish much, such as I "resolve" to do something. But a goal, well, that is something that you should work towards.
I have encouraged my family members (well, at least my wife and my oldest son) to set goals of their own, but I don't think that they have paid much attention to me. Maybe goal setting isn't for everyone? But for me, it is the only way that I know I can accomplish something, to put it in writing, and refer back to it every so often.
I use my personal finance spreadsheet pretty regularly, so why not use that for goal tracking? Even for non-financial goals? So I have started. I wrote down several goals in a spreadsheet page. I will soon be making a sheet or two to track these goals, and perhaps to even make a dashboard showing progress. The financial ones are all there, so it is easy to include non-financial goals.
My goals are also subject to change. It is probably a good idea to evaluate my goals at least once per month, to make sure that they are still consistent with my overall plan.
So, here is the listing of my beginning goals for 2009...
- To accumulate an emergency fund of around 6 months of living expenses (around $20,000)
- To adopt a healthier lifestyle in terms of physical excercise (excercise at least five times per week for thirty minutes per session)
- To read at least two personal growth non-fiction books per month
- To spend at least one hour per week participating in a non-writing art pursuit.
- To complete four online college courses (may be free courses, but must be college level)
- To join toastmasters to hone my speaking and reasoning skills
- To write in my blog, "Doing Money Right," daily.
- To start one other blog about another subject
- To solicit articles to 10 other magazines, and be published in one other magazine than I am already being published in.
- To continue to write for the magazine I write for, and have all articles in by deadline
- To begin contributing to my 401K at work as soon as eligible, and save enough this year to get the company match.
- To fund our vacation fund according to our planner to allow us to take a vacation during late winter 2010 (and get out of the cold for a bit!)
- To open a high interest checking account to hold emergency as well as other funds.
- To actively grow my writing business so that I earn $5000 per year.
- To plant a garden with the kids to watch it grow, and harvest the vegetables.
- To begin writing a book, and solicit a literary agent to attempt to sell it.
- To visit the library twice per month to help with goal number 3.
- To increase my income by 10% this year.
One of the customers at work was talking to me during a test drive about New Year's resolutions, and she could not believe it when I told her about my list of goals, and that I kept track of them with a spreadsheet. Yes, maybe that is a bit unusual, but how else am I going to know if I hit them or not?
I hope that everyone here will help to keep me accountable!