Setting New Goals for 2015: Big List

Help-Era Beatles via

Help-Era Beatles via


1. Put people first. Stay in touch with friends and relatives through visits, shared activities, calls, texts, email and Facebook. I always care about others, but don’t always show it by being there and making time. That needs to change. (Thanks to: Leslie Beslie)

2. Put the right people first. This year I spent too much time in work and committees and programs. I think the people there valued my contributions, in my official capacities. Fortunately, some real friendships have developed too. Now I need time to pursue them! And to limit commitments so I have flexible time with my loved ones.

3. Unschedule my time. I can start by limiting new obligations. I can fulfil my current commitments and then stop. I don’t want to sit home and do nothing. But since I already work some evenings and attend evening meetings, I would like the ability to be spontaneous now and again!

4. And in my unscheduled time…Do what I like! There are 3 things I want to be able to do freely – read what I like, watch movies often, and cook meals unhurriedly. Everything else is optional! I won’t be tying myself to any must-read, must-watch or must-try lists. I would like to just have occasional wish lists with a timeline of “whenever”!

5. Sleep more. I am aiming for a regular bedtime of 10:30 when I work day shifts, and to never get less than 7 hours’ sleep. This year I often had only 6 hours of sleep – which doesn’t feel good, and lessens my work productivity, too. I will find it hard to do everything I want in fewer hours. I will actually have to do less. Yikes!

6. Get help. This year I have asked Rom to be the grocery “mastermind,” the one who notices what is needed and finds the best prices and stocks up at the right time and manages the food budget. We’ve also agreed to make up a master list of housework and maintenance and to parcel it out between us. Rom has always been very obliging about doing whatever I ask, but I will enjoy not having to ask 🙂

7. Experience physical excellence. (Or, you know, what passes for it when you’re 51!) I loved being in fantastic health when I was in tip-top nutritional and fitness status. This year was middling, so it’s been over a year since I felt excellent, and I want to feel that again! In this case I will NOT be listening to my body or doing what I “feel like.” For me, that creates the opposite of excellence; more like physical sloth! So this will require discipline and regimentation, and I am OK with that.


  • Resume monthly menu planning (it’s been back-burnered for about 2 months)
  • Continue aggressive long-term savings (29% of my take-home pay)
  • Continue charity giving plan (now at 5% of THP)
  • Even more so this year: celebrate things all year and not just in December 🙂

TRYING AGAIN (resolutions I’ve made before and didn’t complete)

  • Organize all my digital photos and delete the crappy ones
  • Scan printed photos – about 35 photo albums – no rush on this!
  • Keep trying to take my own photos for An Exacting Life (not much progress in 2014)
  • Make rather than buy more snacks (such as muffins and granola)
Checkered Zag zentangle by Suzanne McNeill. Not mine!

Checkered Zag zentangle by Suzanne McNeill. Not mine!


  • Listen to all the Beatles albums. I was 6 when the Beatles split up and I never owned their albums. I know their singles but not the deep album tracks.
  • Spend some time drawing a few times a week. Just for fun.

I think because a lot of my goals are about “not doing,” I should get off to a good start.

I will follow Ginger’s advice in one of her comments: she sits down weekly over coffee to plan the upcoming week. I do that at work, but doing the same at home would be very smart!


  1. Deb

    Sent from my LG Mobile

  2. Aw lovely! I haven’t really made many clear goals, ambiguous stuff like ‘better balance at work’ which comes from a (hopefully) finalisation of a job and location, as since August I’ve been in a tail spin! But the ‘when’ and ‘how’ are rather out of my control! Definitely need to work on my ‘at home’ relationship – some tension there :p Thankfully the friendship goals should kick off well with a 30th in Feb for me – a long lost friend is offering to come to Sydney to celebrate after we lost regular contact from our schooling together in another state. Best new year news yet! And travel! I’ll head to the US, possibly Russia/Croatia/Turkey with my brother, and then Bali with family and partners. Busy travel year. And ambitious savings goals, yet again!

  3. Holly

    You have goals which seem very achievable and freeing, and you’ll say ahhhh when you hit them all. As for me, i’ve been in a tailspin since my husband’s latest health crisis, and I enter 2015 with an unsettling degree of uncertainty about the future. But I know what I can control, and so i will set forth goals to: 1) copy your goals #1, #6, #7 :); 2) continue my wardrobe refinement and other decluttering projects; 3) continue to save the max in my IRA (late bloomer, VERY late!); 5) Evolve. The last goal comes from my practice of adopting a Word for the year, and for 2015 I’ve chosen Evolve. So as I work on the goals above I will also remain open to other areas of opportunity and chances to Evolve. Oh yeah and 6) try to find time to start a blog.

  4. NicolaB

    I like the fact that your goals are fairly relaxed (except for ‘experience physical excellence!) rather than a crazily ambitious set of lists.
    I am impressed that you have managed to hand over being ‘grocery mastermind’- I would love to stop being the mastermind/noticer of some stuff in our house but I fear it would just not get done! (Hmm, am I being excessively perfectionist?!)

    • This is Day 1 of the new grocery regime and I am looking forward to seeing how it goes! Undoubtedly Rom will shop differently than I would. I am joking that he can choose what snacks to buy and how much, and therefore it will contribute to my new healthy eating plan, LOL! (I am a snack monster and eat a lot of sweets – Rom does not!)

  5. Fiona

    I like that all your goals embody such a strong sense of well-being: a healthy life with friends, good food and fitness. I love the ‘celebration’ posts – they are very uplifting to read.

    I’m also very impressed with your household organisation and handing over the role of ‘grocery mastermind’!

    • That is exactly it; I want to have that sense of well-being more often than not! I am hoping Rom doesn’t become the grocery despot, LOL! We are working on grocery and housework plans today.

  6. Claire/Just a little less

    Your goals are very positive and balanced – about being as much as achieving. It sounds like you’re putting yourself first as well as making time for others. I really hope you make progress with them. Happy 2015 🙂

    • Thanks, Claire. That is a good summary – the whole human being versus human doing thing! I don’t think I will ever be a person who comes home from work and turns the TV on and eats a bag of chips, but I do need to chill a lot more!

  7. I was laid in bed last night thinking the same, I have one old fella with no family who I visit once a week who is feeling really lonely so I’m going to try and spend more time with him (even though he can be a little difficult)

    We’re also going to concentrate on health this year so good luck on your journey. Happy New year my lovely xx

  8. krisalex333

    You are lucky to still being able to sleep. I find the older I get, the less I can sleep. Enjoy your 7 hours when you get it! 🙂

    • I know my sleep patterns are changing. I feel 7 hours is more than sufficient and never need to sleep more than that. If I can get those 7 hours on the nights when I have to get up early for work, that would be ideal!

  9. Katie T

    This is a fantastic list of goals. I especially like #2 – putting the right people first, which can be difficult (as it typically involve saying no). And, from your list, it looks like you are including YOU in the list of right people, which is so healthy. From your quest to physical excellence (which can for sure happen at 51 and beyond!), seeking more Zzzz, and allowing others to bring in their expertise when needed. If you find the best way to organize your digital photos, do share!

    • Thanks, Katie! My current method of organizing my digital photos is with an old software product called Microsoft Digital Image. It was discontinued a few years ago because Microsoft incorporated many of its features into the Windows built-in photo software. My usual procedure is to upload all my photos regularly and keep an automated backup (so I won’t forget), delete any total dud photos immediately, and assign keywords to the rest. I was up to date at one point but now have maybe 2-3 years of photos to review and tag. Could be worse! If I get really ambitious I will actually share them (in Facebook albums, collections on my iPad, etc.)!

  10. I wish you luck with your goals Dar. The sleep one is so important. Lack of sleep, if you’re anything like me, makes a difference to everything else.

    • Thanks, Laura. I tend to stay up late online a couple nights a week and it has a bad effect. It’s not that I’m up into the wee hours, but I know that screen time before bed (even at 10 or 11 pm) makes for worse sleep quality.

  11. Great goals. I love your first five goals. They’re very meaningful. Actually, they are probably goals I should tack onto my own. Happy New Year. May 2015 bring you everything you want and more.

  12. Great mix Dar and good luck! I love that you’re aiming for physical excellence – an admirable goal and a fun phrase to boot.

  13. Can I share a book recommendation relative to drawing? “Everyday Matters” by Danny Gregory. Love 💗

  14. Great goals! It looks like these will all help you focus more on yourself and your health which really, everyone should do. Good luck!

  15. Brilliant goals. I love putting people first and putting the right people first. I think I will knick these two for work and non-work,factually just for life in general.

  16. Good plans. Let me know which Beatles’ songs you like best. Happy listening.

  17. looks a great set of goals to me, I keep making them and scrapping them, 2015 needs to be a less list ruled year for me..

  18. I am feeling the same way about my unscheduled time (which I always somehow manage t give my own schedule to – even knitting is scheduled). I may start by giving myself an hour unscheduled time a week and trying to release the iron grip of control that I have over my life x

  19. Ginger R

    Glad to catch up with your blog. I always enjoy reading you. Thanks for thinking of trying one of my habits. I still enjoy planning my week over my Sunday morning coffee. I find it sets the tone for the week. Gives me direction, focus or a target. I rate my progress toward each goal and decide next steps. My tidy little spreadsheet has rows for each week of the year and a column for a summary and for each goal. I rate my progress with red check marks or happy faces or big red arrows “Do It!” Whatever feels motivating. A few reminders “Decluttered Pantry”, “Downloaded stmts.” These little inserted pics tend to help ingrain the idea in my aging brain.

    I’ve decided to continue with the same goals I had last year: I made good progress and want to continue. My BIG push this year is getting back on my fitness track – after my knee injury set-back last year – I’ve been a sloth. And – I vow to make a way to spend more time with my father (88). He’s nearly 60 miles away – about an hour’s drive away and I’m fairly tied down with caring for my Mom (88) – but I’ll make a way. So me first – then the people I care about. (Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before taking care of others.)

    Photos! Still one of my goals. They seem to multiply. I’m working up a divide and conquer plan. First doing a sort of inventory of what I have here. I’ve got my photos. But – I’ve inherited Mom’s photos since she lives with me now. And… I’ve inherited Dad’s photos – since he’s living in an independent living apartment now. And…. years ago – before Mom came to live with me – I inherited my maternal grandmother’s photos. I managed to get all of my grandmother’s photos organized into archival safe photo albums and one year took the albums on many extended family visits and got lots of help identifying people in the photos. Lots of fun. Many of those are scanned and shared online now. (Spokt website)

    I wish you a fun-filled, happy and health New Year!

    • I love your goals system! Methinks you need your own blog, too! Making time for fitness and two ageing parents sounds like a stretch, but you’ll feel better for it. I am impressed by the way you handled your grandmother’s photos. So you have a “system” in place when you have time someday to do your parents’. Good for you!

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