What just happened?
No, I do not mean about all of the sexual misconduct allegations against famous men, the latest terrorist bombing or what the President Tweeted this morning.
What I mean is that just a minute or two ago, we were making our New Year’s resolutions as the calendar changed from 2017 to 2018, and here we are with one-twelfth of the year gone already.
If you are a technical sort or a deeper thinker, then another way to look at it is that even more than a twelfth or 8.33% of the year has passed since thirty-one out of three hundred and sixty-five days is 8.49% of the year.
So on a personal note, I am reporting to you, my accountability partners, how Yours Truly has fared so far in an effort to keep myself on task and not forget about those goals that I set thirty-one days ago and for you to think about the same as they apply to you.
Below is a recap of my 2018 Resolutions:
- Remain gainfully employed at the same or comparable position in a municipality within a forty minute drive from home.
- Invest another five thousand dollars into our daughter’s Bright Start 529 account. The accompanying goal was going to be to get to the one hundred thousand mark in total savings for her accounts, but as of today we have attained that. A dip in the market could put us below that number, but as of today she has over $100,000 combined in her two college accounts.
- Pay Ourselves First, making investments into my and my wife’s IRA with every paycheck or automatically every month as long as I remain gainfully employed.
- Self-publish two high-quality eBooks including a forthcoming book based on New Year resolutions. Publish an additional two shitty books. Just crank them out, list them for a buck and see if anyone buys them. I will not even use my pen name for those two, but a pen name for the pen name.
- Cover our son’s college expenses – tuition, room and board, food, private music lessons, books and some spending cash.
- Resolve our car situation, which at this point means disposing of my inoperable old Subaru.
- Pursue at least one new job, maybe two. This sounds easy peasy, but I have not seriously pursued more than two new jobs over the past five years or so. I did not get either one. The last two that I was offered, I declined.
- Be a better husband as measured by my actions rather than words.
- Be a better son, visiting my widowed mother at least one day in every month of the year if even only for an hour or two. Note: she does come to our house nearly every Sunday for dinner and a visit. I just do not go there.
- Take my family up nort to da U.P. for a vacation.
- Visit NOLA with my son in March (already booked).
- At least fifty-two good posts. I want to write far less posts and spend my time on more worthwhile ventures. I want my posts to be more informative and more widely read than my first two hundred or so have been. Fifty-two is an average of one per week, which should be enough.
- I must net minus fifty books. I aimed for this amount in 2017 and failed miserably. I cannot and will not fail in moving along fifty more books than I obtain in 2018.
- I would truly love to take twenty vacation days, like I accumulate in a year. I would settle for eighteen, which would be a new record for me. I must improve upon the fourteen that I am taking in 2017 in my twenty-fifth year of employment.
- Have at least one home improvement made. Not just fixing something broken, but doing something to improve our home like a new kitchen floor, having rooms painted, insulation or one thing that we do need to get fixed – a crack in the foundation.
- Unsubscribe from fifty things between my work email and my personal Yahoo! email accounts.
- Move along at least one dozen clothing items. No elaboration. Either I do donate twelve to the Salvation Army or I do not, but I certainly intend to.
- Print at least five hundred photos. I know that this is an odd resolution and a high number of photos, but I have not printed any photos since before 2010 and have at least 10,000 digital photos between my current phone, our cameras and on CD’s with photos from two prior phones.
- Get the cap on my root canal done early in the year. I gave up on dental improvements in late summer after tapping out my $1,500 in benefits plus paying an additional $900 or so on a root canal.
- Three or more beach days. The last two summers, my daughter and I have ventured to the beach only once. Pitiful considering that I grew up going a dozen or more times per summer.
- Weigh 195 pounds or less when I report fifty-two weeks from now. This does not seem like much of a goal considering that I have weighed exactly 200 pounds for the better part of the past several years. Like millions of other Americans, I have a goal of losing weight.
- Sell my NUGT shares if I go up by $10,000.
- Strive to enjoy my life more. Worry and stress out about things less. I realize that I cannot be a “I don’t give a f*ck” kind of a guy, but I do not have to worry so much about every little thing including those beyond my control. Only my wife and I will truly know if I succeed in this somewhat.
- Become grittier. I will measure this with the Grit Scale as conceived by Angela Duckworth and will answer honestly both now and at the end of the year. I know that my grit score will rise if I succeed in the above twenty more measurable goals.
- Do not be afraid to try something new and fail. I realize that failing is counter-productive to achieving your goals, but when many goals are things that I would do automatically like continue working, going on vacation or getting rid of an inoperable vehicle, you must strive to accomplish some things outside of your comfort zone. What is not so easy is to start an e-commerce business or hit a specific income goal for my online publishing. That number is $500 in a month, which would please me enormously at this point in time.
- Create more and consume less. By the end of the year, I would have liked to have created more than one new income stream. It may be a new website, designing tee-shirts, selling my photos, recording podcasts for sale or delivering packages for Amazon, but I want to create more thoughts, words and income. I want to consume less hours watching TV, less cookies, less second helpings and less in general. In my case, less would be more. I would also write “consume less coffee,” but that would be an automatic failure.
I fully realize that I had set a wide-ranging set of goals and resolutions for myself, but I thought it wise to do so and to review it monthly to try to keep myself on track.
After one month of the year, I feel good about several things on my list, not so good about others, and with yet others I am glad to have this chance to review them to keep them in the forefront of my mind.
I remain gainfully employed; I have Paid Myself First in January and am doing so again this week; I have paid our son’s college expenses and I have disposed of my inoperable old Subaru, now having moved along both junker cars that I have driven for years. I got $180 for it from Victory Auto Wreckers.
I have been a better husband as shown by actions rather than words after a long drought, and I have also visited my mother in the City after not having done so for all of 2017 (she does come to our house many Sundays).
I have been a good father, taking both of my children to things that I would probably rather not have. I took my daughter to a new horse riding stable and will be taking her there again in February. I took my son to a jazz concert at Symphony Center last Friday that I loved, but would not necessarily have done it without reminding myself to be a good father.
I published one New Year’s resolution-based eBook right on the first, fulfilling part of a resolution. However, its five dollars in sales for the month is only a mere one hundredth of the $500 in sales that I would like to achieve in a single month. I have a long freakin’ way to go to achieve that resolution! I currently have a second eBook in the works and plan on publishing it by the end of next month. It will be the first of many 2020-oriented self help books with the words “2020 Vision” in it.
My son and I are scheduled for a flight to New Orleans next month on the 19th, returning on the 24th. We will be staying at my sister’s lovely home in Uptown. Not having gone anywhere beyond southern Wisconsin from my suburban Illinois home for the entirety of 2017, I am very excited to be going there and we plan on eating and drinking well, taking in many sights and hearing a lot of live jazz music. We also plan on staying out of harm’s way, as New Orleans has a much higher murder rate than Chiraq despite all the news coverage.
I have not yet shed even one pound.
I only took one vacation day in January on MLK Day when both of my children were off. I plan on taking at least one in February before taking five in March. As of now and after thinking hard about it on National Plan for Vacation Day this week, I sincerely hope to take at least sixteen more this year or to possibly set my personal record by taking a total of eighteen.
I have already given away over a dozen clothing items, along with donating twenty-four books to the Salvation Army in late January. I am not yet declaring victory on these two resolutions, recalling how I got off to a great start on moving along my hoard of books last year. However, statistically, I am well on my way toward achieving them.
I have unsubscribed from over twenty email lists already and should have probably resolved to unsubscribe from a hundred considering how many I get.
I am scheduled to have my root canal completed on two consecutive Wednesdays this month, so I anticipate checking that off of the to-do list. After not having gone to the dentist for over fifteen years, I resolved to get my teeth “fixed” last year and stopped once I had tapped out my dental coverage plus laid out around a grand of my own money. I will get the root canal completed this month and still intend to continue going for regular cleanings like we are supposed to.
I have not yet had a home improvement made or printed out any photos, but reviewing this has reminded me to do so soon.
No worries about cashing out my NUGT shares yet. Although their value has increased by a few thousand dollars since the first of the year, I remain over ten grand away from being ten grand up on them.
I have not pursued another position yet, but there is one current recruitment that has piqued my interest. I would apply tonight for it if I could firm up who my five references will be.
This is my ninth post of this year. In terms of good ones, I put the number at maybe three so far. I am relatively pleased with Keys to Our Prosperity, Need a Hard Nudge and My Own Decade and a Half Journey. The others are for shit but, of course, your opinion may differ and to each his or her own. Writing forty-seven more good posts this year is easier said than done, but I intend to before we head out to Arizona at the end of the year.
Insofar as the more difficult to measure resolutions, I am not sure how to answer any of them. I have not been particular grittier, nor have I vastly improved at creating more than I consume. I have not enjoyed my life any more or worried less this past month than in years before. I have not yet launched my own e-commerce site, for some reason wanting to make enough with my self-publishing in a month to pay the two year cost for the website, a mere $136 on name.com.
I am not patting myself on the back one bit. I am just trying to hold myself accountable for achieving my largely mundane goals and resolutions. Resolving to remain gainfully employed is not exactly earth-shattering, but it is important.
I am giving myself two more months until the end of March to report again and I aspire to have a few more positive things to report.
Or at least a great vacation with my son to write about.
You now about my progress or lack thereof on my 2018 resolutions. How are you doing on achieving your own?