Last December, I drew up a set of goals for the year, and I even expanded them in January:
But I haven’t tracked them much, and didn’t do a half-year check-in. How inexact is that?
September always feels like a new year for me – probably the result of 18 years of schooling, starting each new school year in September, plus my kid’s 13 years of school after that. And after September 30, I still have a quarter of the year to do some goal-cramming 🙂
So here is my progress report on the expanded goals:
1. Reading Down the House – My attempt to read a stack of books I bought and forgot. I would read them “someday.” I challenged myself to read all 17 by Dec 31 of this year. It will happen. I have read 13 and I didn’t love them all, but I have no regrets. I gave up on one, but will substitute another book (I’ve taken home 4 discarded books from the library, oops!) So I have 3 left on my original list.
2. Goodreads – I resolved to start a Goodreads page. (It’s a website where you publicly track the books you’ve read). Long since done – I entered lists of books I’ve read since 2006, as long as I’ve kept lists. I copied over reviews I’ve posted here. I really like the recommendations Goodreads has given me based on what I’ve read before. If you have a Goodreads page, let’s be book buddies! Otherwise, you can always get a sneak peek of what I’m reading over there.
3. Document Our Home Library. Nope. I haven’t done it. Not even started. However, I did pare down my bookcases slightly by giving away 37 books I don’t intend to read again. I’m sure I can keep going. Meanwhile, I’ve decided this isn’t a priority. The quickest solution would be to add them to my Goodreads page as books I own.
4. Organize Digital Photos. FAIL! Despite this being important to me, I haven’t made any progress. All photos I upload to my computer are in folders by date. That’s it. Any photos I use here on the blog, I edit and resize, and save another copy. But I had tagged all my photos with keywords up to 2011, and I want to tag all the rest. I have to confess there’s a good reason this hasn’t happened. I work on a computer for about half of each work day, and do at least 4 hours a week of computer-based volunteer work, and blog about 12 hours a week, not including blog reading. This adds up to at least 40 hours a week (over 7 days). So I cannot physically manage any more computer-based work, and should probably do much less again!
5. Use Own Photos for Blog. Sigh. This works when I am writing about things I’ve done. But I don’t always write about everyday life, and I don’t have photos for all the topics I’m interested in. I try using Creative Commons photos first, but sometimes I just give up. The answer would be to plan my posts further in advance so I can get photos ready, but I have never worked that way before – it would be a stretch! We’ll see.
6. Write Something in Addition to Blog Posts (like a short story or an opinion piece). No progress. I haven’t stopped to think or plan for this. It’s been back-burnered.
7. Walk to Work. Yes – finally something I’ve done! I was really happy to develop my cold tolerance last winter, be out in the open air, and keep my car off the road. Spring wasn’t too rainy, and summer wasn’t too hot. I can walk home in the dark when I get off work at 9 because the neighbourhood is well-populated, well-lit and safe (everyone is out for a jog or walking their dogs). I only take my car when I need it to attend a work meeting at another site. Well, 2 or 3 times this year I got distracted and didn’t leave myself enough time to walk, so I drove rather than show up late 🙂
8. Travel x 3. Oh yes! We’ve made our annual trips to Toronto and the UK, and our long-awaited NYC trip is coming up in October. Murky thoughts are emerging for trips in 2015.
9. Max Out Savings. I’m savings-happy this year. I met with a financial advisor in January to do some RRSP and TFSA planning, and arranged automatic transfers. I love not having to think, plan, or physically transfer funds. It just grows! I also paid my annual bills (such as property tax and insurance) as lump sums last Fall, then saved for each of them on a monthly basis this year, so I can once again pay them as lump sums when they come due this Fall. I saved monthly amounts for gifts, charity, home repair and so on, rather than just paying out randomly as events happened. All in all, it meant living on a tighter budget all year, but not worrying about any bills whatsoever. I noted in a previous post that you need savings to get this system started (I have switched to an “equalization” budget since I posted this).
10. Just Say Yes. This is my pledge to give money to charity whenever I am asked directly. It happens less often than I thought, and is very manageable. It helps me give more, and feel good about it – I like not evading canvassers!
11. Declutter. I did one good decluttering round-up, reported here. I give my stuff to charity yard sales or donations bins, so if I hear of any Fall events coming up, I will make time to declutter more!
12. Change Clothes Buying Strategy. Unfortunately, this has not taken effect. I don’t regret my purchases this year, but I am way over budget. I still need a winter parka and a waterproof messenger bag. I will post later this month about my other recent purchases.
13. Taming the Snack Monster. I have discovered, or rediscovered, a couple of techniques that work. First of all, I bring a day’s worth of snacks to work each day (usually a breakfast top-up like a bagel, fruit and yogurt). I very, very rarely break down and go to the canteen or the vending machines in the building. So that works. Recently I resumed my practices of having no after-dinner snacks, and I can tolerate that pretty well. Finally, I promised that if I wanted sweets, I would go out to a cafe or restaurant and sit down and order a dessert or treat. And I hardly ever feel the need to actually do this. So if it weren’t for the rhubarb custard “boiled sweets” (hard candy) and Cadbury banana chocolate that I brought back from the UK, I would be doing quite well. I am also pleased to say that Rom and I went out for ice cream twice this summer and didn’t keep any in the house!
14. Celebrate! I really make a point of finding fun and/or relaxing things to do all year. This year has been a bit of a crunch because of the library reno project I was involved in, but work is back to normal now, and I have lots of vacation time to use up before year end! I am always on the lookout for concerts, plays, movies, books and restaurants to perk up my little life 🙂 And we have a family celebration of one kind or another about once a month.
Thanks for bearing with me…I am not really looking for any rah-rah encouragement to get the whole list done by the end of the year. In fact, it would be quite acceptable if you agree I can stop now, LOL!
Did you have goals or resolutions this year that you don’t report on regularly? How are they going?