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I resolve not to make any resolutions January 1, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in family, grad school, personal.
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I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. That’s because the couple times I did, I never kept them. This is because resolutions are somewhat ambiguous, lacking deadlines or steps to achieve them. (At least, the way most people do them.)

I am, however, an INTJ, which means I inherently love to plan things. I mentioned a couple days ago that I was intrigued with this post on conducting an annual review. It’s so nifty, it even has a spreadsheet you can use to do your planning.

I spent some time over the last few days working on it (much to the chagrin of the younger child, who wanted to use my computer to play games on the Bionicle web site), and I came up with a few things. I won’t bore you with everything, but some of big plans involve:

1 – Making significant progress on my dissertation. I hope it’s realistic, but I’d like to be done within 2 years.
2 – Significantly reducing credit card debt. Having two separate residences for two years is not cheap, but neither is the interest on a credit card.
3 – Plans to finish a half-marathon (walking) and sprint triathlon. This is because I need to exercise regularly, and I find that having a goal to work towards makes it much more likely that it’ll happen. If things go as scheduled, I actually have two triathlons on my list, but it depends a lot on finding another place to swim since NDSU took out it’s pool. If I have to wait for the public pools to open in June, I will probably only do one triathlon in July or August.
4 – A more structured approach to time with family in order to make sure it happens more often. Spontaneity is great, but it reduces to the likelihood that things will happen as we’re all going different directions, even moreso with an independent teenager. We’re trying to schedule a weekly time with family as well as a couple trips.
5 – I have some personal goals that involve reading for fun, finishing up some crafting projects, and finding a new violin teacher so that I can start lessons again.

And of course, I plan to keep blogging!

Part of the review process is to check every three months on the progress you’ve made. I’m curious to see how this goes. 🙂

So what are your plans for the new year?

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Comments»

1. Fluxor - January 2, 2011

Can’t you borrow money from other sources instead of a credit card? Line of credit or a personal loan from the bank perhaps? Secured by the house, maybe?

In the realm of self-help techniques, the standard way of setting goals is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals. I rarely do it myself, but I really should. It’s even now a corporate requirement. 😛

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2. FrauTech - January 3, 2011

You’re way ahead of me on goals. I’m graduating this year so honestly with that big milestone lined up it’s hard for me to focus on so many of the other things I should be looking at, and usually I’m a planner.

Not sure I follow Fluxor’s recommendation to move the debt around though. Probably near impossible to get a home equity line of credit in this economy which might be the next best thing. I like the advice to start with the smallest debt first and pay it down because it gives you more personal satisfaction (rather than the obvious paying down the higher interest rates first). I suppose it is a lot like weight loss which I’ve never succeeded at so I’m not sure I have much to offer in that arena! Just keep plugging away but I suppose you already know that.

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Fluxor - January 3, 2011

A line of credit secured by the house is just another way to say “home equity line of credit”. I got one and I have two other unsecured lines of credit (they just give them to me based on my good word…and the fact that I have a job). Of course, Canada’s banking system didn’t nearly collapse, but my brother’s in the US and he recently got a whopping loan for developing real estate. Money may not be flowing as fast as before, but it hasn’t totally dried up.

The other option is to credit card hop. Apply for a new credit card with one of those low introductory interest rates (for 3 or 6 months) and move money around that way. It’s more hassle and you’ll have to keep applying, canceling, applying, canceling; but it works.

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mareserinitatis - January 4, 2011

No, no credit card hopping for us. We actually have kept it down so that we only have three cards, and my husband thinks that’s too many.

We’re considering applying for a second mortgage. I would be less nervous about doing that with some unexpected expenses this year (braces for me, having to buy a new vehicle last fall that is nowhere near paid off, etc.).

I’m not familiar with SMART goals. My only ‘regular’ employment has been through agencies, and if they aren’t happy with you, you just find yourself unemployed. 😛

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Fluxor - January 5, 2011

One need not work for a company to learn about SMART goals. It’s a pretty common technique. Basically, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. It’s good for any goals you set, personally or professionally.

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mareserinitatis - January 5, 2011

I guess I was trying to do that – setting a goal, figuring out the milestones and when I need to have them complete on order to accomplish the goal in the specified timeframe. I just didn’t know there was an acronym for it. 🙂

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