New year, new resolutions

Someecards I hope you're not too exhausted from your yearly visit to the gym on New Year's DayAJ: A new year always really inspires me. I’m a total “new year, new you” sucker, and I’m so stubborn that resolutions usually stick with me, so I like to really push myself (at least for a few months which I think is pretty good considering how the rest of the world treats resolutions!). Kirby and I have totally different approaches to setting goals. My approach is that I want to take on totally attainable things that I’m not currently doing but could and should be doing. Kirby takes on a more reach-for-the-stars mentality, pushing himself to super-human lengths that might not be physically possible (love you, babe!). Either way, goal setting is an important part of growing and improving!

Like many people, our goals span both our personal and professional lives where finances are an underlying focus of all that we do across the board.

AJ’s 2014 goals (drum roll, please!):
Read 5 specific books. Kirby pointed out in our post from Monday that I read constantly, they’re just mostly mindless books. Mindless=happy. In 2014, though, I’m committing to read mentally stimulating, boring, professionally beneficial books that lack plot and character development. And I’m going to love it.
Learn to knit. I failed at this in 2013 despite my sister-in-law’s best efforts, loads of knitting needles, a ball of yarn and the beginnings of a scarf already provided to me. Her knitting is too pretty, and I’m too scared I’ll screw it up! But in 2014 I plan to screw up a lot of knitting because I lack domestic skills of this nature and I like learning new things.
Learn how to bake. Just suggesting this as a goal for myself caused me stress. Our family and friends will tell you that I’m actually a good cook but baking and I don’t get along. There are specific steps you have to follow, things have to be measured, it’s all too much. But my husband grew up with a mother who did things like make homemade bread and my sister-in-law works with yeast like it’s not even a thing, so in 2014 I’m committing to buying yeast for the first time, at the very least.
Make money money, shake money money. Everyone I know has goals related to their salary, and I’m at a point where I hope to reach the goal I set for myself going into my career within this year. The hardest part about declaring this a goal is that the possible disappointment that will accompany this goal in 2015 if it doesn’t come into fruition will be rough, but I’m declaring this a goal on a leap of faith and banking on those boring professional books to get me there 🙂 (and maybe some hard work and determination if I can fit it in with the knitting and baking).
Just say no. For one week a month I’ll go totally alcohol free. No occasional glass of wine after work, no margaritas on the weekend. 7 solid days of living a healthier, more focused lifestyle.
Bring in $100 more per month. I haven’t cracked the nut on this one which probably means I’ll struggle to accomplish it but creativity is where I shine so I’m determined to find a way.
Maintain my ideal weight. This has to be discussed annually otherwise I’ll fall off the horse more times than I can count. I’d like to be my ideal weight for the entire year post-January (you have to allow yourself time to actually get to that weight before you can maintain it, I hear).
Create and maintain a garden. I am the child of a master gardener and now have a beautiful yard that is begging for homegrown fruits and veggies, so this year my dad (the Bob) and I are going to build the garden beds, plant our bounty and then it will be up to me to keep the little buggers alive and edible. No pressure.

KJ’s 2014 goals:
Read 5 books. So I do almost no leisure reading outside of articles, news, professional publications, etc., so I’ve got my sights set on some books I would like to read throughout the year. This is less than one book every two months…should be doable, right?
Professional development. Continue to invest in my own “human capital” (i.e. unique earning potential from the ability and skills used to generate an income) by learning new technologies, keeping up-to-date with world-wide developments and continuing education (CE), and emphasizing both business development through prospecting as well as professional relationships.
Maintain my ideal weight. Much like Angela’s comment, it’s best for me to keep this front of mind too. I come from a time where I used to work out constantly throughout HS, but I’m a bit of a lazy person these days when it comes to working out. Eat better and workout more, here we come!
Double blog readership. So it seems strange to mention this to our readers, but….you all have helped build it thus far to what it is today (thank you!). So how can you be a part of our goal? You share our posts with just one other person…easy enough…plus it helps us all be just a little bit smarter with our finances when we work together and grow our knowledge together to make “financial independence” a reality we all can achieve!

Phew! Even though we’re quite open with this blog, it’s still hard to articulate our goals to the rest of the world. Maybe that will be the motivation needed to see that all of these are accomplished by this time next year? Hold us to it!

OUR combined 2014 goals (his, hers, ours concept – important to work together!):
Work out twice per week. This seems lame and at certain points will be no big deal, however, there are certain weeks/months of our year where we get really, really busy and even committing to twice per week seems absurd. This means more super early mornings spent together on the floor of our work out room crying in pain and telling each other we hate each other. It’ll be fun, really!
Increase our net worth by 35%. This is a calculated number and aligns with our overall future planning goals. It seems like a really big goal this year, but with the bulk of our planned expenses on updates to our home out of the way, new tires, brakes and batteries in both of our cars and curtailed spending on the horizon, we really feel like this is obtainable. We’re at a point in our lives where our savings potential is greater than any return our accounts could earn (and it seems that will be true for quite a long time!), but we’re hoping for that date some time where we can earn more than our incomes…might be a LONG ways off, but we’re working toward it!

    Do you have any recurring New Year’s resolutions?
    What are your new goals for this next year?
    We would enjoy hearing how you’re going to accomplish your goals.

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11 thoughts on “New year, new resolutions

  1. Whew you all impress me, make me smile, make me proud and make me want to keep rooting for you both!
    Happy new Year to you both!
    Love
    Bev/Mom

    • Thanks Bev! This time of year is always just so exciting and full of possibilities, fresh perspectives, and family, and we appreciate you and your support of us and our blog! 🙂

  2. These are such awesome goals. I love that you’ve both picked detailed things — that’ll help you succeed. My wife and I are also planning on planting a garden this year. We did a small balcony garden in our last home, but now that we’re moved and settled in and have an actual yard, we’re stepping it up a notch this spring.

    • Thanks Adam! Yeah, we’re pretty excited about what 2014 may bring for getting a garden. Our last home was a 1/10 of an acre town home where we didn’t even have a window we could hang some herbs and plants out to grow. We’ve got the space and sunlight now in our new yard, so it boils down to whether we’ll be able to keep the garden alive (and clear of hungry critters)! Best of luck to you and your wife with your garden!

    • @Adam, give me some tips! What are the veggie garden fundamentals I need to know and where did you start your research on what to plan when?

  3. I actually learned how to knit a few years ago by watching you tube videos. It was fun but then I learned how to crochet and I liked that even better! Good Luck with your goals!

  4. Angela, I am a goal setting junkie, too! Every year I would spend a train ride to work planning my goals. I divided them into health, money, writing, career, personal. Since my train commute is now in the past, I will have to find an alternative time–something I haven’t done yet. I never met all of my goals, but I always liked having something to reach for. This year, I plan to work harder at setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) Thanks, Angela and Kirby for sharing your plans for 2014. Best to you both!

    • Great time to sit down and plan for the future. I often do this type of stuff when I am passengering in the carpool on the way to work! Best of luck in setting – and accomplishing – your SMART goals. May 2014 be a great year for you!

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