Making Plans and Achieving Goals

New Year, New You! 2017 Resolutions

Ah the new year is upon us and it is that time to start creating our wish lists, I mean our New Year’s resolutions.  Personally I get excited about this time of year.  I always enjoy reflecting on the past and planning for the future.  Where did I succeed and where did I fall short but more importantly what am I going to achieve next year.  A lot of self help type experts don’t really like the idea of New Year’s resolutions because people shouldn’t be only trying to achieve goals one time per year.  While that is totally true I still like creating some one year targets while enjoying the increased motivation and energy that comes from setting big goals and dreaming about the future.  So lets see how we did and where we are going.

A quick review of how I did on my 2016 goals:

  1.  Start a blog – Pass – I’m really happy about this one.  This was always kind of secret thing I wanted to do but never really had the balls to just do it.  It feels really good having a little piece of the internet and something out there that shows who you are.
  2. Increase my Powerlifting Total to 1200 lbs – Fail – I only added about 30-50 pounds to my total over the course of the year but my failure wasn’t due to lack of effort.  I tried running some popular powerlifting programs and even tried writing my on program.  Looking back I only truly missed 1 workout and that was the day after Brooke was born.  I plan on busting my ass to get stronger and will keep working at it but I am more concerned now with just overall day to day health.
  3. Run a 5K in under 22:30 – Fail – In fact I didn’t even have the courage to sign up and run one because “I wasn’t fast enough yet”.  I have this false script in my head that I need to be able to run at a certain speed or not run at all.  Looking back the goal should have been to just sign up and run a 5K.
  4. Increase retirement savings by 10% – Pass – We started a separate brokerage account outside of the Roth IRA for retirement purposes and increased Theresa’s 401K contributions.  These were small changes to our monthly budget but in 30 years will make a huge difference.
  5. Start a college fund with automatic draft – Pass – A few months ago I opened a 529 account (I’ll write a post about it later) and setup an automatic draft.  When I set this goal we didn’t even know we were pregnant but I knew we were going to be trying and you can start a college fund in your name and transfer to the child at anytime.  So I knew it would go to good use.
  6. Plan 12 memorable dates – Pass/Fail, call it a C+ – I wanted to plan and go on 12 memorable dates with just Theresa but only got to 9.  These were supposed to be something different not just the typical dinner, movie and drinks.  This was going to the park, rose garden, museum, food tour, brew tours, outdoor movies, plays, music festival, etc.  I was doing great until Brooke was born in October.  Not her fault as I could have still found a way even if it meant doing a picnic at home.  Theresa and I both really enjoyed these dates and I would highly recommend all couples try to make a habit out of this.
  7. Read 365 pages of my study bible – Fail – I made it about half way on that goal, reading a little bit everyday but then lost steam as summer rolled around.  I would like to finish that study bible at some point but it is a bit of daunting task.  In 2015 I read the bible start to finish but that was just a plow your way through as fast you can kind of thing.  Using a study bible helps you to dig into the passages and learn more but it makes the process quite slow and hard.

So overall I got about 50% on my 2016 New Year’s resolutions.  Kind of funny that my two biggest failures were fitness related as that is what I’m  most passionate about.  Some people would say that only achieving half of your goals proves that new years resolutions are a bad idea but I argue that it proves how successful it can be.  Look I have every intention of hitting 100% in 2017 but if I miss a couple and only hit 50% again that means that I achieved a few very important goals and certainly will have learned something from the failures and gained insight.  When looking at the goals I missed from 2016 I would say my biggest problem was not having a strong reason why I wanted to achieve them.  Yeah hitting 500 lb deadlift would be cool but it isn’t like I associate that with changing my life in any meaningful way.  So for 2017 I will pay more attention to only setting goals that have strong “why” associated with them.

Now for the 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Spend less time on my phone – I don’t know exactly how much time I’m spending on my phone everyday but I know it is way too much.  I actually just recently started to become a little bit conscious of the problem.  I read a report that said people my age spend about 4-5 hours per day on their smartphone/tablet.  A truly disturbing figure.  If I cut my smartphone time in half and use that time towards my other goals below these resolutions will all get hit and I’ll need new ones by summer.  My plan is to track my time using  the BreakFree app.  Once I get an idea where my time is going I can’t start slowly trimming the fat from my youtube time, MMA updates, fitness articles, political news, etc.  After I get a little more knowledge about the problem and some data from tracking I’ll start to set a goal with an actual target like less than 30 minutes per day on non productive phone activities.
  2. Weigh 170-175 – By the end of 2017 I will get my weight to under 175 lbs and will be maintaining that weight almost unconsciously.  In other words my weight floats around 190 lbs if I’m not paying any attention to my diet.  That is just kind of been my set point for several years.  Tracking every calorie, weighing every portion and skipping all fun meals isn’t really a practical solution for the rest of my life.
  3. Increase our net worth by 10% – I want our total net worth accounting for all investments, cash, house and mortgage to increase by at least 10% by year end.  This is a tough one as it is so market dependent and right now stocks and real estate are at an all time and we have a huge expense coming our way in the form of daycare starting tomorrow.  The main thing will be playing good defense with our money and cutting expense where ever possible.  We might invest more and may possibly look at a side hustle to bring in a little extra.
  4. Grow blog to 1,000 views per month- We started the blog in April 2016 and have just been basically writing but not really actively promoting it anywhere.  I would like to start actively trying to increase the traffic and start connecting with more readers.  I know that is going to involve stepping out of my comfort zone but I was really happy I took that step in April so I think it will be good for me again this year.
  5. Develop a night time routine – Right now I have a great morning routine.  I wake up, I meditate, I read, review my goals, jot down some to do items or just general thoughts, blog and workout.  I absolutely love starting my days like this as I feel like I’ve accomplished so much before 7:00am.  At night though I just brush my teeth and head to bed.  I would like to create some rituals or habits at night similar to those in the morning.  Perhaps some journaling about what I accomplished today and what needs to be done tomorrow or simply just read for 10 minutes.  The goal is just to come up with any productive routine that I do every night.
  6. Plan 12 memorable dates – I am going to give this one another go for this year.  I will come up with at least one unique date for us to experience together every month.
  7. Read two books on parenting – I was going to make this goal be a better father but that is to vague.  So my goal is to read two good books on how to be a better father and implement some of the action items from those books.
  8. Learn Spanish – I am hesitant to put this one on the list as there are only so many hours in the day and I already have quite a lot going but I figure I at least have a chance of finding time for this one if it is on the list.  If I could spend just two hours per week I believe I could make some very real progress.  Now I’m not looking to become fluent in the language I’m looking to be able to be able to communicate verbally at very a basic level.

So there you have it my 2017 New Year’s resolution.  An intimidating put completely doable list of goals for the upcoming year.  Best of luck to all of you on your goals and I will keep you guys updated as I go.



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