20 Personal Goals For 2018

I’m not a big believer in New Years resolutions.  I think it’s more apporpirate to set goals.  These can be touched on throughout the year.  I also think they should come from experiences or goals from before 2018.  Continuity will help.  These are 20 goals for 2018 that I have.

Family

  • Be protective of my den.  Our family of four should pull together and always have each others back.  I’d like to be a better example of this.  Our children will definitely learn this value, and now’s the time to get a little better at it.
  • Be more of the husband and dad I want my wife and kids to remember.  I often look at things I wish I could change.  Why just wish?  There are things I do or say today that I don’t want to be remembered for.  Why not change to do the things I want?
  • Look out for my/our parents.  Both my parents and my wife’s parents are very strong and independent.  Even
    image from morguefile courtesy of xololounge

    so, I’d like to look out for them more.  They spent decades looking out for us (and still do).  I’d like to reciprocate more.

  • Be there when there.  This one is simple.  Stay off cell phones, tablets, and TV time when our family is together.  I definitely want to ‘put the phone down’ more often.

Money

  • Be stable.  We’ve made some changes to add a little flexibility to our cash flow.  This is good and is a safety net for us.  I’d like to make sure we set ourselves up so that money doesn’t surprise us.  At least not in a negative way!
  • Spend with purpose.  We spend money on vacations. To some this might seem wasteful, but we do so with purpose.  These provide memories for us and our children.  This is worth it.  I’d like to make sure that our spending in other areas is done with similar purpose.
  • Be wiser.  I haven’t always made the best money decisions.  Sometimes I take too many risks.  Sometimes, not enough.  It’d be nice to fall more in the middle.
  • Setup a trust / will.  This one speaks for itself!

Health

  • Exercise.  I have done a pretty good job of keeping up on exercising.  I’d like to continue this and make sure it’s steady.
  • Moderate.  As I continue to get older, I see more and more how what you put into your body matters.  When you’re young, it doesn’t hit you as hard.  So continuing to have awareness and make responsible decisions continues to grow in importance.

Blogging

  • Figure out Pinterest.  I always thought this was something for females.  But I’m seeing that it’s also a great tool for bloggers.  It seems many of the most successful bloggers use Pinterest.  It’s time to figure it out for myself.
  • Comment.  I read a lot of blogs but I haven’t really taken the time to comment as much as I should.  It’s time to change that.
  • Facebook.  I do share a lot of great posts that I read on Twitter.  I’d like to continue to expand my social media engagement by sharing posts, as well as interacting on the Facebook community.
  • Really be part of the personal finance blogging community.  I’ve been blogging for a long time, but I have never really immersed myself in the blogging community.  I participate, but as I often do in life, I am more on the sidelines than in the middle.  I can’t promise I’ll jump right to the middle, but I’d like to move a little closer.
  • Redesign.  I haven’t given Money Beagle a fresh look in a couple of years.  It’s due!

Job

  • Look for internal opportunities.  I have a pretty great job.  I’m good at what I do.  I am well thought of.   Still, I don’t want to get complacent. I have some ideas on how to expand my skills, while not risking the good reputation I’ve built.  I’d like to act on this in 2018.
  • Review other options.  Because things have been going so well, I haven’t really looked at other opportunities.  While I’m in no hurry to leave, maybe there is an even better opportunity out there.  I need to spend time looking to make sure I’m not leaving myself behind.

Life

  • Appreciate beauty.  I want to spend more time just looking around and enjoying the beauty of life.  There’s a lot there.
  • Live for today and tomorrow.  Finding the mix of living for today but also making sure tomorrow is taken care of can be tough.  There are no guarantees, so while I don’t want to do anything foolish and spend every dime today, I also don’t want to get to the end of my life and regret not doing more.
  • Take risks.  I’m pretty hesitant to try new things.  Why? There’s so much out there to do and learn.  Experiences are great, why not have more of them?  I’d love to get to the end of the year and have stepped outside my comfort zone more often.

Readers, what are some of your goals for 2018?  I hope you have a great year ahead!

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

2017 In Review

It doesn’t feel like a whole year has gone by since posting our 2017 goals.  But, the time is upon us!  Here is our 2017 in review.  I hope that your year was fantastic and that you have a great 2018 ahead!

Money

I had a goal of increasing our net worth by about 10%.  We were able to beat that, with about a 15% performance.  This is largely because of the amazing run of the stock market.

We had talked about doing a refinance of our mortgage.  This is something that we pulled the trigger on.  We now have flexibility in our cash flow.  This has allowed us to pay cash for several projects around the house.  The biggest one we tackled this year was getting our exterior re-painted.

Exercise

I have stayed consistent with working out, for the most part.  I have had to stop running because of some foot pain.

image from morguefile courtesy of xololounge

Still, I’m heading to the gym and now using the elliptical.  I miss running, though.

Health

I was steadily gaining weight throughout 2016.  I set a goal of losing 15 pounds and then keeping most of it off.  I never got quite to 15 pounds, but I did get to 13.5 pounds.  I was able to keep most of that off.  I’m currently down around 10 pounds total for the year.  Not bad considering this is the holiday season!

Vacations

We had some awesome vacations.  The summer camping season was pretty good, though not our best.  Although we had a nice summer in terms of temperatures, we just never hit it lucky to get the best weather.  For both of our week long trips, the week before and week after were gorgeous, where we had cooler and/or rainier than normal conditions.  It was never a wash out but since we had to book these months out, we couldn’t reschedule.  It just felt like we were working around the weather more often than in the past.

We decided to add in a trip to Cancun for my wife and I to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  Now that was awesome!  The trip and the weather and everything was simply incredible.

Our family took a week long trip down to Florida earlier in the year for Spring Break.  We rented a condo and had a great time.

We also did a mini-trip to Great Wolf Lodge, as our kids love the indoor waterpark.

All in all, we had lots of fun!  Most importantly, we made some great memories that will last us all a lifetime.

Church

Unfortunately, I didn’t hit my goal of going to church as often as I would have liked.  The urge is pulling me closer, though.  I plan to renew this goal in 2018.

Kids

Our kids continue to grow, even though we tell them not to!  LOL.

They are involved in different activities.  Our son did baseball this summer, and is still in Cub Scouts.  He plans on starting basketball next month!  He also did a robotics camp over the summer.  Our daughter is in Daisy Scouts, and takes two dance classes per week.  School keeps them both very busy as well!

Work

I have been at my current job for 11 years now.  There aren’t really any big surprises.  I really enjoy where I’m at and am well thought of by leadership.  The work life balance is incredible, though this if offset by pretty predictable salary increases.

Things were pretty good this year.  Readers, how was 2017 in your household? 

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

How Will I Stay Motivated After Losing Weight?

I’ve written a couple of times about how I have been working to get in better health this year.  So far things are going great, and I’ve now lost about 9.5 pounds total.  Things have definitely slowed down over the past couple of months.  I expected that, as this is typically the area where my body hits a wall.  But, I’m still happy with where things stand.  The issue now will be how to stay motivated after losing weight.

Summer Is A Downfall

I wrote earlier about how I stopped snacking at work at the beginning of the year.  That’s still held up.  I haven’t eaten one single thing that I haven’t brought in!  If you know my typical snacking habits, that is a big accomplishment.

But my other normal downfall is upon us:  Summer.  We do lots and lots of camping, and this tends to bring about a lot of poor nutritional choices, at least compared to the rest of the year.

  • Snacking.  There are always munchies and stuff around for camping.  It’s just the nature of things.  I’m always a sucker for a handful of potato chips or something.
  • Alcohol.  It’s vacation, usually at the beach or around a fire. These things make a nice cold drink or two a big temptation.
  • Lack of exercise.  Right now I’ve been trying to get some sort of exercise just about every day.  This involves a combination of running, walking, or lifting weights.  Last year, I tended to do very little of this while camping.

As you can see, these are all things that could definitely put at risk some of the gains I’ve made.

How To Combat The Dreaded Summer Weight Gain

So, I guess the question now is how do I fight this?  Here are some ideas I have:

  1. Hold myself accountable.  Last year, I knew I was gaining weight throughout the summer.  In typical denial, I basically avoided the scale.  This year, I’ll make sure to check in regularly no matter what.
  2. Carry a snack cup.  Instead of a handful of this or that, I’m thinking of getting my own little snack cup that I would have to use when snacking.  This would force me to go get it, force me to fill it, and hopefully put up a mental block if I fill it multiple times.
  3. Take some healthier options.  There’s between 4-8 of us on typical camping trips.  I can’t ask that people like be removed on my account. Nobody wants to be that person.  But, hopefully I can take some of my own stuff to mix in so that it’s not all junk food.
  4. Reduce alcohol and change mixers.  I don’t drink beer, but instead prefer mixed drinks.  Last year, my drink of choice was whiskey and Coke.  This year, I’ll probably switch to vodka and club soda.  Vodka has a few less calories than whiskey, and club soda is 0 calories, compared to a whole lot for Coke.  I’ll also mix them a little lighter.
  5. Exercise regularly.  I’ve gotten in such a routine of waking up and doing some exercise, that I’m hoping I just keep this up.  Right now, if I wake up and don’t exercise, I don’t feel right.  So, if I can tap into that when camping, it’ll keep me pushing along.

Crossing My Fingers For Success

This probably won’t be easy.  The work thing was actually easier because I went cold turkey.  But, I just can’t see myself going cold turkey on the fun things associated with camping.  I think starting off with an approach centered on moderation is my best bet.

The best laid plans, right?

Wish me luck.

Readers, how do you deal with temptations and other obstacles that can derail success you’ve made? Do you have any tips for me?  Please let me know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

2017 Goals And Plans

We made it to another year.  We had a great year last year and are looking forward to another wonderful year.  Here are some 2017 goals and things that we have going on.  What are your plans for the year?

Money

Our goal for money is to keep on keeping on.  We want to save for retirement a bit more and maybe for some larger projects, but nothing right in front of us.  Building our net worth in a slow and steady fashion is the goal.

We had considered the idea of a refinance of our mortgage to free up some cash flow.  This might still happen, but we put it on hold since rates started going up literally days after that post!  That’s honestly my luck.  It might be something to look at, but we’ll see.  I know many say rates are still low but I just have a thing against refinancing at a higher rate than I’m currently paying.  This is even more true knowing it wasn’t the case just a few months ago.

Exercise

I want to continue to go to the gym but I have a few different goals this year.  Last year, pretty much all I did was run on the treadmill.  I want to reduce the number of times I run, but offset it with different activities.  I literally lift no weights or do any other type of conditioning.  I’d like to be more well rounded in my exercise approach.

Vacations and Fun

We have a few things planned for the year:

  • February: Our winter mini-getaway to a water park located a couple of hours away
    Image from MorgueFiles courtesy of Lash.

    .  The kids absolutely love this place and ask about it at least once a week.

  • April: We are heading to Florida for Spring Break.  We’re heading to the Tampa area.  We already have lodging all set up, and are finalizing our plans on getting down there.
  • Summer: We’ll be doing our traditional assortment of camping trips.  We’ve already booked Memorial Day and the 4th of July week trips.  We’ll have another  week long trip that we’ll book later, as well as filling up the rest of the summer with additional shorter trips.
  • Fall: We round out our camping season with a couple of colder weather trips.

Health

I never got around to a few of my checklist items to get done by the end of the year.  I really want to make sure to get checked up, as well as take care of some of the other items.  It’s obvious that my prescription has changed for my glasses, so taking care of that is something to do fairly early on.

On top of that, we’ll just pray that everybody else in our immediate and extended families stays healthy and accident free.

Church

We really don’t get to church very often.  By that I mean that we’ve turned into one of those cliche families that goes on Easter and Christmas.  Our kids really enjoyed Vacation Bible School, and I honestly feel that they need some of the lessons and principles from the teachings.  It wouldn’t hurt for me and my wife to go either!

Kids

We’re always excited to see our kids continue to grow and learn and mature.  They are finding their way with activities.  My son is in Cub Scouts and we’re having fun, so hopefully we continue with that.  He’s also getting into things like basketball, plus he still loves desigining and building.  My daughter continues to take dance lessons, and has started Brownies (Girl Scouts).  I’m sure by the end of the year they’ll both have more things on their laundry list!

We’re really looking forward to what the year ahead brings.  What do you think of our plans, and what do you have lined up for the year ahead?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.