I posted a lot about my goals in 2009, and I felt, at year's end, that doing so helped me to stay on track, keep motivated, and constantly re-evaluate my progress. So, I'm going to do the same thing in 2010. I won't even attempt the weekly goal check-ins I did at the beginning of last year, because that's overkill, but I will try to check in on my goals monthly.
Several of my goals are going to be repeats or slight variations from last year, so I'm going to start with those:
1. Take at least one overseas trip.
This didn't happen this year, but I feel quite sure it will in 2010. However, I'm keeping it on the list to remind myself to make it a priority.
2. Read 30 books.
I read only 29 books in 2009, and completed only 24 of them. Reading one per week, as was last year's goal, is probably not going to happen, so we're going for a slight improvement instead.
3. Get to a healthy size.
Last year, two of my goals were to improve my eating habits and exercise regularly. I sorta half-completed both of them, making progress, but not enough progress. I need to continue with that in 2010. I'm not 100% sure what a "healthy size" for me right now is, in terms of pounds or clothing size, but I know it's smaller than I am right now. So, this goal is non-specific. Making non-specific goals is, generally, not a good idea, but I'm allowing an exception for this one.
4. Save $500/month.
My savings goal last year was $100/month. This year, with no more credit card debt, I am increasing it substantially. I want to have an additional $6,000, if not more, saved by the end of 2010. I've already set up the automatic withdrawal, so this one is already in progress.
OK, now on to new goals...
5. Give 5%.
As I've mentioned before, I want to start giving to charity in a more substantial and well-planned way this year. I've decided to commit myself to giving 5% of my income, as a start. I know I could and should do more, but I also know I have been doing less, and given my other financial goals and obligations, 5% seems like the best number for right now. My hope is to increase it next year, or maybe even partway through 2010, depending on how it goes.
6. Start retirement savings.
I'm 30 years old. I should have retirement savings. I know this to be true, and yet I haven't done anything about it. In 2010, I need to fix this.
7. Join something.
This is sort of an odd one, I guess, but necessary. I need to get involved in something this year. A book club. Some sort of volunteer effort. Something. It would be too easy for me to never leave my house this year, and that's not good for me.
8. Write a novel.
Participating in National Novel Writing Month was one of the best things I did in 2009, and I fully plan to do it again in 2010. Next time, though, I am going to make an effort to plan ahead and write a novel that doesn't suck quite so much.
9. Create something.
I haven't been doing much, if any, art within the last year. I need to step away from the computer and get my hands dirty once in a while. This year, I want to create something.
10. Remember birthdays and send cards.
This has been on my list before, but fell off last year, and I was the worse for it. It is important to me to remember birthdays and send cards. I'm going to set up a reminder system right away to make sure this remains a priority this year.
10 seems a nice round number, so I think I'll stop there. I vow now, in the last hours of 2009, to work towards these 10 goals in the upcoming year. Near the beginning of each month, I plan to update my progress towards these goals and my plans to continue with them in the upcoming month. Anybody who'd like to participate with me, either here or on your own blog, is more than welcome.