While I'm grateful to be back to 100% after my surgery two weeks ago, it looks like my 3 month hibernation from society has officially begun. Every year I think, "Oh, I'll totally be able to get everything done I normally do during tax season." And every year I fail - as if that's surprising. This is my... 12th tax season. You'd think I'd have figured it out by now. So while I have several bloggy ideas floating in my head at any given time, I find it harder and harder to get on here as we approach those big tax deadlines. I'll do my best to get a couple of posts up each week, but working an extra 2-3 hours a day just leaves me in a comatose state when I get home at night - no matter what time it is. And seriously, the last thing I want to do is get BACK on the 'puter after staring at four screens for 10 hours straight.
But wow, it's already February and I haven't shared any of our big goals for the year. We're always kind of slow to get them figured out and down on paper, but we've got some good ones for 2011. We tried really hard to nail down at least one goal (as a couple or individually) in each of these categories:
- Financial Goals
- Professional Goals
- Personal Development Goals
- Marriage & Family Goals
- Physical Goals
- Spiritual Goals
- Social & Community Goals
So here are just a few of our personal goals for 2011 that I wanted to share...
1. Financial: We will get our debt snowball down to the last debt on our list, the hub's student loan.
Predicting exactly when we'll be done with our debt snowball is tricky since our income fluctuates each month, plus *hopefully* we'll be forced to temporarily stop our snowball later this year to stash away cash for maternity leave. But we feel very confident that we can hack through everything that is in front of that last big debt by the end of the year. Also, a piggyback goal to this one... depending on our income levels in 2011, we may have to add our HELOC to our debt snowball. Normally, a 2nd mortgage or HELOC is paid off in Baby Step #6 on Dave's plan, but if the balance is less than half of your annual income, you add it to your consumer debt snowball in Baby Step #2. It would definitely drag out Step #2 (and therefore drag out our rice and beans lifestyle a bit longer), but it would have a HUGE long-term payoff if we were able to do that. So while we're VERY ready to get past Step #2, we hope that our income will be great enough to require us to stick with it a little longer.
2. Personal Development: I will read 50 non-fiction books in 2011.
Y'all have already heard this one... I initially had it for 25 books, but with the pace I was setting in January, I decided to be brave and double that goal. Tax season will probably slow me down some, but I'm still confident I can get 50 books under my belt this year. I just finished my 5th yesterday. So why non-fiction? It's purely about growing my brain and also growing my faith. So yeah, this double dips as a spiritual goal too. A lot of the books I'm reading are faith-based, but many are personal finance or business books. I've had a lot of these books on my list of good intentions for a long time and I decided 2011 is the time to make it happen. Charlie "Tremendous" Jones said, "You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read." So there you have it. I don't want to be the same person in five years. I want to be a better, wiser, stronger version of me.
3. Spiritual: I will read through the entire Bible in 2011.
Yeah, y'all know about this one too. I began reading just before Christmas to get a good jump-start. I am using The One Year Bible on my Kindle and am loving it (revisit this post for more on this particular Bible). I really thought I would just make a goal of regularly reading through the Bible, like 5 days a week. And I wouldn't give myself a hard time about finishing it in 365 days. But after starting it, I found it SO easy to fit in the reading each day. And I also keep a notebook where I jot down the "synopsis" of each day's passages along with any verses that strike me or questions that arise. I feel silly for thinking this was going to be a chore. It has been an incredible joy. I know most of the big Bible stories, but it's been SO long since I read them all in great detail. So I decided to forget being passive about it and declare that I would indeed get the job done in 2011. I'm right on track.
4. Professional: I will begin writing a book on struggling with infertility this year.
I don't know how the hell to do this one, but I'm just going to fly by the seat of my pants here. Whether this will be a published work at some point, God only knows. But it's something that's been swimming around in my head for a couple of years and I figure, what better time to start than when I'm in the thick of it? Not that I think my hurt and fear will be forgotten if and when our dreams of parenthood come true, but I want to document those feelings now while I'm facing them. And hopefully be able to reflect back once I've overcome them. There's not enough good information on struggling with infertility and I feel led to contribute somehow, so perhaps this is a big first step. My goal is to have a rough draft by the end of 2011. Probably really rough, but we'll see.
5. Spiritual/Social: We will use $30 once a month to bless a friend or neighbor.
You've heard me talk about how big our hearts are for giving. The hub and I love, love, love it and can't wait to have the financial means to give in big ways later on. But for now, we are pretty much restricted to tithing while working our debt snowball. Though, the other day I thought of an idea for a particular friend... just a small little unexpected gift that I knew would bring a smile. And then I thought, why not do this every month? $30 is not a lot. But $30 well spent can lift a spirit. And shouldn't we all be in the spirit-lifting business? I'm excited to see where this goal takes us this year.
How are YOUR goals coming along?