Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Goals

People have a love-hate relationship with new year's resolutions. The people that love them are infatuated with the idea of a fresh start and that they can actually make some changes in their life. Those who hate new year's resolutions think that they are all just empty promises that are forgotten by the third week in January.

Typically, I haven't made new year's resolutions because I was either too lazy or thought that changes should occur naturally in the flow of life. When I have made resolutions they have been to0 broad and it has been hard to track my progress. Or I've just completely given up because I forgot about it by the third week of January. This year I'm going to try something a little different. I'm going to set some achievable goals for the next year and set check points every month or so to track my progress and keep focused. These aren't so much resolutions as they are tasks that I can complete that will help me achieve larger goals.

That was way too much buildup for a bunch of new year's resolutions.

New Year's Resolutions:

1) Write every day
Pretty self explanatory. I want to take at least some time every day to write something. Anything. This doesn't mean that I will post on this blog every day, but I can only imagine that I will post more frequently. I'm hoping this will improve my writing skill and increase my creativity as I look to find something to write every day.

To keep track of this, I have a calendar that I will keep with me and I will cross out every day that I write something. Looking at the calendar and keeping the streak going will motivate me and keep me honest.

2) Organize my iTunes
I've got about 20GB of music but I only have five playlists. This means that I tend to listen to my entire library of music on shuffle and skip through the songs I don't want to hear depending upon my mood at the time. Not the most efficient way to make the best of my music collection. I want to set up playlists for my different workouts and for riding on the train (which is where I listen to music the most).

I've set up reminders on my Google Calendar to remind me to reserve time for this on a monthly basis. Add that to the fact that the music on my iPhone is starting to get a little stale, and I think I'll have plenty of new and useful playlists in no time.

3) Re-do the second bedroom
Right now our second bedroom is pretty cramped. We've got a full bed in their along with our desk, filing cabinet and my shelves that are overflowing with books. Plus, the closet isn't as organized as it could be so I have a set of drawers sitting just outside the closet as well. It makes for a cramped and unusable space. Dee and I want to replace the bed with a sleeper sofa and organize the closet. Plus, we need to get more shelves so that all my books can find a place to live. If we do it right, it should be a great place to write, read and relax.

I've set some reminders to schedule trips to the Container Store and to continue to monitor furniture stores online for stuff that would suit that room. This won't happen until after the wedding. Anyone need a full size bed?

4) Write and direct another sketch show
Not much else to say here. Item #1 will be key to making this happen.

5) Take a writing class
Pretty easy. Find a class, sign up and go. This is another one that will wait until after the wedding.

6) Paint the condo
We love our place, but we're getting tired of staring at the white walls. We have an idea of what we want to paint each room, we just need to get Dee's mom in here to confirm that we're on the right track and then get it done.

This one feels like a summertime job. I've set reminders for June to get this started. This will also depend upon our financial situation at the time.

7) Organize my hard drive
This one should be pretty easy to accomplish. Right now I have all of my documents sitting in the Documents folder on my hard drive. I can find what I need quickly thanks to Quicksilver but those times when I know what type of document I'm looking for but don't remember the file name, I have to do a little digging. If everything was in its proper place, I'd be able to find everything I need as quickly as I need to.

I've set an appointment on my calendar to take care of this later this month.

8) Continue to get my finances in order
In 2007, I did a pretty good job of getting my finances organized and managed to save money while continuing to be able to do the things I want. I want to make sure I continue to do those things and take my financial planning to the next level. I won't just be dealing with my finances in 2008 as Dee and I will be married and managing the household finances together. This is the perfect time to take a second look at our retirement plans, savings plans and tax situation.

After the wedding, I've set a reminder to schedule some time with a financial planner to help us create a new strategy and follow it.


Of course, these aren't in the order of importance. They're just in the order they occurred to me as I started thinking about my resolutions towards the end of last year. All of these are pretty doable and with the helpful reminders I set for myself, I think I can get them all done.

Happy 2008!

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