2012 Goals In Review
I love this time of year. Christmas is over. The New Year is still at bay. Its the cozy in between. I make it a policy to never work this week (if I can at all help it). Like my birthday week, I consider it sacred space. Time we don’t have nearly enough of. Time to reflect, to write our own schedule, to do (or not do) as we see fit.
For me that looks something like slovenly pijamas, unkempt hair, and not leaving the house much at all. It ain’t pretty. I’ll spare you the image, and we will cap off 2012 with…
Ford! Senior Dog extraordinaire, looking particularly possum-rat-ish in this photo, and still going strong since joining the pack way back in late February. He’s not without his health concerns (or senility), but he’s made it to 2013 to our mild shock and pleasure.
So senior dogs are appreciated, books are read, cupboards are cleaned out, closets organized, gardens puttered in, curtains washed, all those chores. Plus lots of time to think about goals. Old goals. New goals. It’s important. To me.
No matter what our little space here becomes, I think I will always use it to track goals. It’s just damn handy. One of those things made more real by sharing with the world. I did it in 2011. And I wrote them for 2012.
I neglect goals. I write them. I forget about them. Mostly. I need some sort of quarterly follow-up, which sounds markedly similar to a new goal with very little to do with the existing. Ahead of myself. Anyway, despite that nine-ish months of neglect, we did just fine. I’m pleased. Here’s why.
Goal: Increase savings by 15K.
Result: Done. Perhaps just barely. I may have tucked the last of it away just last month. Still done. It made me incredibly happy to see I had accomplished the first goal on our list. Setting the tone and all that.
Goal: Find a better interest rate.
Result: Another Done-zo. Again with the procrastination, but I just moved money from the formerly illustrious ING, who has recently let me down in so many ways, to a new destination. Interest rates are still abysmal, but slightly more respectable. I also have a better Savings/CD split. Less cash more CD. Room for improvement in fully fleshing out the CD ladder. Those poor rates don’t provide much motivation.
Goal: Big Fat Mortgage Balance of $X40,000.
Result: Our first failure of the year. By a long shot, like almost 3k and change long. The good news is, I actually don’t care. We put our efforts into refinancing. And our money, making goal #1 even more of an achievement and invalidating any remorse I have about not hitting this target. Post-refi, I’m feeling pretty unmotivated on the mortgage pay-off front. It eats my money, without providing much relief on the day to day overhead. I throw money at it here and there. I try to ignore it. The mortgage remains. Big and Fat.
Goal: Donate $50 a month.
Result: And another fail. I started out so strong. Fell off the wagon by April. Back at it in June/July, never to return come Fall. Over all, a better showing than year’s past. Not up to snuff. More room for improvement.
Goal: Targeted Savings.
Garden: Put away additional 1k.
Result: Not sure. I spent it. Whatever I managed was adequate for our coop and garden purposes.
Vet: Add 2k to balance.
Result: Balance currently sits at $1300, so uhm no. However, we tapped the account mid-year, when our senior dog worries and Holistic Vet trips began in earnest. Without that pilfering, goal would have been easily made.
Car: Save 5k.
Result: Yet another not quite. Or not even close, might be more appropriate. A little over 50% of goal accomplished. I was distracted by paying off a car. Recently we’ve become much more ambitious. Ground has been made up. Further ground will need to be dealt with.
Overall: A mixed bag, but targeted savings accounts are meant to be used. That’s what I did.
Run 1/2 Marathon.
Result: Done. In under 2 hours no less. Did I ever mention that? I’m still reliving the glory.
Cancel Costco Membership.
Result: Done and done. I will admit to missing their toilet paper, but I’m not looking back.
Increase Food Production and Preservation.
Result: Done and done (and done). I could go on, but the ultimate measure of success was giving away a bunch of those pickles. They were well received.
And there she is. 2012. A mixed bag. One I inexplicably feel is mostly full of success. Given the high percentage of admitted fails in that list, I’m can’t imagine why. Maybe it’s something about the goals themselves. Maybe it’s having the leisure to review them in the oversized flannel pants and The Husband’s hoodie at a less than respectable hour of the morning for such attire. Or the act of looking back at all the documentation here. My words. Your comments. Probably all of that together casts it in a rather rosy, accomplished light. Whatever the reason, I’m ready, 2013. Bring it.
Do you write yearly goals? Do you track them? Why? Or why not? And, if so, share your successes and failures because I’d love to hear about them.