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Yearly Goals: Looking Back and Forward

03/07/2012

A couple of years ago Jason and I took a tip from some successful friends and started writing down goals and a game plan for the coming year. These aren’t the dreaded “New Years Resolutions” and I’m purposely waiting until the second week of January to write this blog post. It’s not about what day we start; it’s about making a plan for the year. In fact, we haven’t written our goals for 2012 yet—though we both have a bunch floating around in our heads. We’ve used this tiny notebook to record our goals for the past 3 years:

Some of our goals are on a personal level, some are career related, some are for our family and home, some financial, and some are big picture goals.

We didn’t hit all of our goals for 2011 and that’s OK. We set a lofty income target and we didn’t quite make it, but we did see a significant leap. We’ll try for that goal again in 2012. We had goals to finish some home projects like put a shade roof on the pergola and build a privacy fence around the patio and garden, which were completed. Others, like replace the plumbing mainline to the street, we decided to forego.

We had written a goal to start saving for our next vehicle. We ended up buying the Silver Bullet in cash. Yay!

We had planned to save up money for an adoption or for medical expenses if we had a baby. We ended up draining all of that money preparing our home to become foster parents. That works, too!

We had intended to save, save, save for our future (kids, vehicle, retirement) in 2011 but we ended up just saving a little (see above two points).

My favorite goal of 2011 was “Take more risks.” At the time, that was a big picture goal. We didn’t have anything specific in mind when the calendar page flipped over to 2011. Turns out we became foster parents, which was a pretty huge risk. We also bought a piece of land and put our beloved MCM ranch on the market with plans to build our dream house in 2012 with rooms for more kids.

It’s fun to look back at how much life has changed in one year. 2011 was a challenging, stretching, overall good year.

Here are a few of our (not too personal and/or financial) 2012 goals:

• finish new home build

• move in and get settled

• finalize Precious’ adoption

• specific goals for our retirement savings

• save up cash for a new vehicle to replace our 10-year old Ford Focus

• reopen our home as foster parents

• release Jason’s first solo album, Acoustic Lullabies

 

• specific marketing and distribution goals for Acoustic Lullabies

• get debt-free (but the house)

 

• specific home related financial goal

• specific income target

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2011 Annual Goals

01/05/2011

On December 30th, Jason and I were driving to Branson for a weekend getaway. (Actually, J was working: playing for Guy Penrod; but to me, it was a mini vacation!) Eight hours in the car gave us plenty of time to reflect on 2010, our goals met and unmet; and to dream and plan for 2011. Instead of starting out with a list of home projects like last year, we decided to start with a list of financial goals. In 2010 we filtered most of our nonessential income toward home projects and saved what we could. In 2011, we plan to filter a lot of our nonessential income into savings and investments, and keep a lower, specific amount set aside each month for home projects and repairs.

Our financial goals include a target annual income, retirement savings milestones, general savings targets, getting both of our old cars in good working condition and saving a certain amount toward new replacements and saving for a vacation.

We did, of course, make a list of projects for our home for 2011:

– fence around garden – carried over from 2010’s list

– pergola roof – carried over from 2010’s list

– replace the galvanized steel plumbing pipe from the house to the street (to improve our water pressure)

– get gas run into our house (if the gas company will do it), get a gas range and fireplace

– get 3-5 more fruit trees for our back yard (we’re leaning toward pear, date, cherry … any suggestions?)

– build 1 or 2 more 4′ x 8′ garden beds for vegetables and strawberries

And then, I decided we needed to make another list for big picture goals. Things like:

– read more books

– take more risks

– give more money away

– smile more and make it authentic

What about you? Do you make goals for the year? Resolutions? Do you write them down or just make 1 or 2 decisions that are easy to remember? I’m curious to hear what others do. If you have any great ideas or special goals/resolutions, please share!

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Yearly Goals

01/04/2011

We’re 4 days into the new year and many people have already made resolutions … and some may have already broken their self-vows. A few years ago Jason and I heard about a successful couple from our neighborhood who write out their goals and a gameplan together every year, rather than New Years Resolutions.

At the start of 2010, Jason and I decided to give this a try. He’s very goal oriented and I’m very visual so together we sat down with a little hardback journal and wrote out goals. Our goals for 2010 included a list of home projects and repairs we wanted to complete:

– finish master bathroom renovation – check!

– pergola roof – moved to 2011’s list

– fence around garden – moved to 2011’s list

– install garbage disposal – fell off the priority wagon

– get new tires for our car – check!

– fix car windows that won’t stay up – check!

– refinish nightstand table – fell off the priority wagon

A second list included 2010 financial goals. We listed 4 areas and target amounts we wanted to save for each purpose. We hit 2 of the goals and came halfway to the other 2 goals.

I also made some goals for myself in four personal areas: home, career, family and spiritual. My goals included things like rework my home office, expand the number of designs in my Etsy shop, help more with the gardening and composting more, and stop obsessively planning (AKA worrying).

We’re really pleased how things have turned out this past year, both in terms of meeting goals and in unexpected, unplanned blessings. It has not been an easy year for many people and I know a lot of our Nashville friends are more than ready to forget 2010.

I love the start of a new year and the excitement and potential of a fresh start! Last weekend while Jason and I were driving to Branson, Missouri for New Years (where he was playing), we wrote our goals for 2011. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow.