26 Aspirations and Goals for 2010 (from December)
1. Save 20% of my income for retirement
Update: I should be able to save more than 20% of my income this year if I can maintain my current job. At the beginning of this year I was making $60k per year. Then I was laid off. Now I’m making $100k per year. While I won’t make the full $100k this year (I had a few months of unemployment already), I should do ok in 2010. I’m revising my goal to save 30% of my income for retirement which includes maxing out my non-matched 401k and traditional IRA or Roth if my income qualifies. $16,500 in the 401k and $5,000 in the IRA… $22,500 total into retirement savings. But $22.5k is 30% of $75k. Should I save the rest of the 30% elsewhere for “retirement?” Really, that would mean saving in a taxable account until next year roles around and then putting that money towards retirement, especially if my income level tappers off in the coming years. I think this year is going to be unusually good for me, and I may not match this level again for a long time, if ever.
2. Save 10% of my income for other upcoming expenses
Updated goal: I’d like to save 25% or more of my income for upcoming expenses. I’m not sure where I’m going to save this money yet.
3. Increase my net worth to $60,000
Updated goal: increase my net worth to $100k
4. Study (a lot) for graduate school tests
fail. It’s so hard to think about grad school when I have a great job. But eventually I will want to seek out higher education. I don’t want to wait that long because I do want to have a family in the next 10 years.
5. Take the GMAT (and poss retake the GRE)
Well, I haven’t studied yet, so I haven’t set up dates to take either of these tests yet. Not sure I will in 2010 to be honest.
6. Apply to grad school(s) in fall 2010
I kind of feel like I should apply for fall 2010 but a lot depends how my current job goes.
7. Stop drinking alcohol (except on my birthday)
Well… I haven’t been drinking a lot of alcohol, but I have had a few drinks here and there. Working a high-paced job makes having a drink at the end of the day all the more rewarding and relaxing.
8. Go to the gym 3 times a week
Major fail on this one so far. I don’t know when I could go to the gym. I’m so busy. I’d like to go in the morning, but I just can’t motivate myself to get to the gym at 6am (with all the hardcore workout folks in the morning) so I could get in a workout before catching my train. At night, I just don’t have the energy. It would be best if I could take an hour or two mid-day and go to the gym, but I’m not sure that would be possible. And it also extends my work-day by one to two hours. I’d rather leave earlier and come home and relax. But I do need to work out, I’m not getting any younger and my body feels it.
9. Earn $10k in freelance income ($833 / month)
It looks like I will reach this goal. In addition to my main job I’m working on a freelance project that pays $2800 / month. It may not last all year, but 3 months of the project is $8400, and that makes me a lot closer to reaching my (previously seemingly unreachable) goal.
10. Eat 1300 calories per day
I have no idea how many calories I’m eating but I’m sure it’s more than 1300.
11. Drink 8 glasses of water per day
Unless you count the water in the beverages I get from the coffee machine at work, I’m not getting close to this goal.
12. Come up with sweet, non expensive things to do to make my boyfriend happy and do them
Hmm. I haven’t really come up with anything specific that is non expensive. I told him I’d buy him a bike after I get a full month’s paycheck at my new job. That’s not cheap. But it’s not that expensive given I didn’t really get him anything for his birthday this year and we then can both go biking together on the weekends, so we won’t have to pay for other things to entertain ourselves. And it will be healthy for us to go biking.
13. Go to 1 networking event per month and get up the courage to talk to people (which is going to be really hard since I’m giving up alcohol)
I haven’t really done this but maybe in the summer I will start going to more networking events.
14. Keep my room organized (easier said than done, hello ADD)
Well… it’s not that bad right now.
15. Write max 20 posts per month for blogging gig ($500 / month)
I hit the 20 posts last month. But now I’m cutting back on the blogging, I might quit the gig because of conflict of interest. Which is kind of a bummer, but it also is too tough to write blog posts in the morning now that I have to leave for work so early.
16. Start a saving fund for basic expenses for the second half of next year when I’ll likely be out of a job.
Funny… I’ve been there, done that, and employed again. I didn’t save enough to cover all my expenses really… I had to dip into my actual savings… but I was only unemployed for two months. Even without figuring out how to actually get paid unemployment, I managed ok.
17. Write hand written letters to the people in my life who I’ve lost contact with (sans Facebook status updates). I don’t really like many people, but it saddens me that I’ve lost contact with the few people in this world who I really admire and consider friends.
Ok, I have not done this at all. I did hand write a parking ticket payment earlier today. Does that count?
18. Take an antidepressant for a year and see if it actually helps my mood swings over time.
I took lithium for about 2 months and it made me feel really weird. Got kicked out of the study where I was getting the meds for free. So today I’m not on any drugs. I don’t feel like I need them right now, but maybe I do. I’m definitely feeling a bit more stable than I was a few months ago, but I’m just on a ramp up of novelty again.
19. Go to group therapy when possible and give what it takes to get the most out of it possible.
I went to a few months of group therapy and would like to go back. It was actually really helpful for understanding how to interact with people.
20. Make an effort to spend one day a month with each of my few friends.
I’m seeing people more often now that I work in the city. So I think I’m reaching this goal.
21. Invite my roommates to do something fun outside the house and try to build my relationship with them (I am really bad at socializing with my roommates, I like them but when I come home I usually just want to hide in my room. They are so close to each other it’s sometimes awkward for me to be there.)
Have not done this yet, unless you count a trip to Costco.
22. Read at least 4 fiction books and 4 personal finance / economics books and 4 books on interaction design
Hmm… I read a few chapters of one book so far. With my commute, I really should read more. I wonder if I’d read more if I had a Kindle…
23. Start saving for a car replacement
Oh, right, that’s where my additional savings should go this year. My car has 170k miles on it. I am not sure how much longer it will last.
24. Put my all into work, even though sometimes I don’t know how to. Be positive at work and supportive of the chaotic environment that is life at a startup. Try to bring a smile to the table always.
Well, I’m no longer working at a startup. Still, I need to remind myself to do this in any job I do. Any job is somewhat chaotic (unless you’re doing routine admin, and then it’s just boring.) I just need to remember to embrace the chaos and thrive on it.
25. Work on being a better listener and communicator. Learn from career counselor how to do that.
While I still have a lot to learn on the listening and communicating fronts, I have improved a lot and matured since my early 20s. I’m being very careful in how I communicate to people at the office and attempting to stay on everyone’s good side.
26. Try to take one day at a time and be happy for all I have and all the opportunities that are to come.
Minus the brief depression of being unemployed, I’ve done this pretty well. Right now I have to take everything one day at a time because there is a lot to do and I don’t have the time to really think ahead to the future.
So… that’s my quarterly update on my 2010 goals. For some, I’m doing really well. Others… like my health goals… are suffering a bit. There’s still plenty left of 2010, maybe I can manage to meet my 26 goals before the halfway point of the year.