Tag Archives: resolutions

Hello 2015! Goodbye 2014. And so on…

It has been one hell of a year. Accounting for all that has happened, no wonder I feel mildly overwhelmed. As life speeds ahead, I’m grateful for this one day a year to stop and reflect on how much changes in the course of 365 days. A lot, to say the least.

I’m trying to become a more mellow person, but that’s a struggle. Whatever seems massively important today, unless it has to do with your loved ones or close friends, isn’t really that important at all in the grand scheme of things. When I care too much about everything, that’s when shit starts to hit the fan. Work is work, love is love, and the two should never be accidentally interchanged. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t work hard and get shit done, but the amount of stress I create for myself on this impossible quest to perfection, and the ultimate downfall of such anxiety, is not worth it and it doesn’t help anyone.

In 2015, I’d like, more than anything, to manage a solid and productive year at my current job. This will not only enable me to reach or at least get near my 2015 financial goal of $400k networth (up from $300k today), but it will also provide me with the confidence I need to be highly employable going forward, with a playbook to use which can be followed in any role I take, at least within my specific type of position and industry. It’s creating the playbook that’s hard, especially when you have to learn from trial and error.

In my last opportunity, I realize now that a lot of the challenges there were not my fault. I didn’t make the right plays, for sure, but sometimes young companies have issues beyond what a marketing or sales person can help. Lesson learned there is to never take a job unless I believe 100% in the product and also know there’s a large pain point it is solving.

That’s not to say anything is going to come easy in 2015. I am in a much better situation, but some of the realities are the same as the last and I want to make sure not to make the same mistakes. While I don’t want every year of my life to be dedicated to my career and working long hours, I think 2015 is the year to do it. I don’t have kids yet (but hopefully will soon) and outside of a stable relationship with my boyfriend of nearly nine years, I don’t have much of a social life to speak of, so I might as well invest my 2015 into, as calmly as possible, kicking ass at my job. (And accepting help from the right people who can actually GSD. I.e. hiring smart and making decisions not based solely on resume but on my gut.)

I’m also accepting that there are some things I’m good at and some things I’m not so good at — and I want to forget about that and try my very best to see what I’m truly capable of — if that isn’t good enough for this role or this type of role then, well, I need to figure something else out. I’m hoping that’s not the case, but we’ll see. The difference this time around is that I want to push myself to do whatever it takes to succeed. It is going to be a struggle every step of the way, but what good taste of victory isn’t?

As a working professional, I’m not allowed to be scared, but I am, but I’m also reminding myself that it isn’t worth being scared over succeeding or failing in a job as long as you believe you’ve actually done your best (and you have enough of an emergency fund in the bank to help you through whatever transition needed should you falter.) I have to wake up every morning and ask myself — what needs to get done today? And I need to get that done. Period. No getting distracting on projects that may help the bigger picture but aren’t contributing to your core objective. To succeed at work, you have to be selfish. You have to learn to say “no” a lot. And you have to get results so people trust that when you say no, it’s for good reason.

Outside of work, I hope 2015 will be an exciting year on the personal front. It should be the year my boyfriend proposes to me, which I’m actually excited about given we’re pretty much married at the moment and there is no other person I’d rather spend the rest of m life with. What I have learned about myself is that – while I thought I’d want to marry someone who is career-minded and well-traveled, for many adventures throughout the next however many years of my life, I’m actually much more of a homebody who prefers stability in my relationship. That’s not to say we don’t take trips on occasion, but we’ve yet to travel abroad with each other (my Southeast Asia trip was with a high school friend, not with him) and that’s ok. I’ve discovered that the value of a relationship is having someone to come home to at night, to share a meal with, to watch a movie or tv series with, to cuddle with and wake up next to in the morning. And, of course, to raise a family with when the time is right. All of the other excitement can be obtained outside of a relationship in the form of individual adventures and sharing time with good friends.

2014 has also been a year of seeing my parents go through their own transitions. My mother turned 60, my father, in his 60s, still has terminal cancer, yet is doing miraculously well, #knockonwood, and they’ve been remodeling all of the bathrooms in their home, considering purchasing a condo in Florida to spend the long winters, and surprisingly enough have not killed each other on a series of road trips across their part of the country. I have to remind myself often that I’m now old, and so are they. I mean, 60 isn’t that old necessarily, but 60 year olds are grandparent age, and neither I or my sister have had a child yet, so they’re occupying themselves with a variety of other engagements. But it is strange, how fast life goes, and remembering your parents when you were young, and knowing your time with them, even without accident, is limited. Living far away, if you see them twice a year, for 30 more years, that’s even just 60 more times to say hello and goodbye to the people who made you, and that’s a terrifying thought, no matter how many times they drive you to want to jump off a bridge on each visit.

I hope that 2015 is filled with success, love, and friendships. My resolutions are to go to the gym every weekday (or walk at least one hour with commute), to NOT pig out, binging on crap food just because it is the only thing that helps combat my terrible anxiety, to focus on the primary success metric on my job and relentlessly show results to my boss and team so they can trust me and I can expand to do the things I enjoy most while still delivering unprecedented results, and to spend reasonable amounts of quality time with my family who are across the country, not just my parents, but my cousins, grandparent, and sister. I also want to get rid of tons of shit and live a simpler life.

Finally, my New Years resolution, which is crazy, is that I don’t want to buy anything (other than perhaps a new suit and coat) between now and June 2015, as my focus is on losing weight and saving money. I want to have my 401k and HSA maxed out by March ($20k), following by investing in a post-tax IRA ($5.5k) and manage to save another ~40k-75k through some serious frugality over the year. I can’t focus on that though, as it distracts me from what gets me there, being successful at my job, and growing into an actual executive who looks nothing like the me prior to 2014. Bring it on 2015, I might not be ready for you, but let’s make it happen.


Update on 2010 Goals

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.