The goals I have this year have never been more important. After going through what was, hopefully, the toughest challenge of my life, I will now define my legacy by how I recover. I’ve separated my goals into three major themes: Restore My Health, Improve My Mind, and Maintain My Finances.
Restore My Health
The most important of all my goals: if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. After suffering from kidney failure and pleurisy, there is nothing more critical to me than getting my health where it needs to be.
1. Lose 15 Pounds
This will take me down to 170. 165 is probably my ideal weight, but I don’t want to set both a reachable and maintainable goal. I’ll buy a blood pressure monitor and make sure my readings are normal, as high blood pressure is bad for your kidneys.
2. Join a Tennis League
This will definitely help with my first goal. I’ve already joined the USTA for $40 down; now I just need to start playing on a consistent basis. Tennis workouts are more fun and enjoyable than any other type of workout I do.
3. Lower My Medication Levels
I’m on more types of medication than I can count on a single hand, but my condition is stabilizing. This is more of a prediction than a goal, as I don’t fully have control of the situation. But I hope to be healthy and on less medicine by the end of the year.
Improve My Mind
There’s no doubt in my mind that my mental health and physical health are in tune with one another: one component can not be well without the other being the same. In my three years as a consultant I thought I was pushing my mental growth to the limit, but I couldn’t be more wrong. I worked in a culture that valued bullshit over substance, a system that was both inane and unfair. But I don’t live by their rules anymore.
4. Take the GMAT
This is something I’ve put off forever. I think I’ve put this off because I’ve met so many MBAs who don’t live up to their billing. I know, better than most Fortune 500 companies, that an MBA degree doesn’t justify a six figure salary. But it definitely opens the door to having one. I simply don’t see myself earning the measly salary I’m earning now three years in the future, if all I need is a degree that says I deserve more. I’ll take the GMAT, look at my score, and ponder this further with clear a set of options.
5. Read at Least 12 Books
I read less than 12 total books this year, which makes for less than one per month. Compared to other bloggers out there, that’s really lame. People often lament the 9 to 5 schedule, but one benefit, at least in my perspective, is that I now have much more time to read books. While I was a consultant, I was always frazzled and working too much to just sit down read. Plus, if you’ve ever met a consultant, you’d realize these guys aren’t exactly the book reading type and a bad influence on my principles.
6. Pick a Domain Name and WordPress Theme
I’ve put this off for a while now, but I hope to finalize something early next year. My current website name and WordPress them just don’t feel right for this blog. I’ll make the upgrade and probably buy the Thesis WordPress theme by Chris Pearson.
7. Earn $100 in Adsense Revenue
While a financial goal in it’s nature, the sheer dollar amount of this goal makes it irrelevant from a financial perspective. I make more than that in interest every month. My goal is to learn about building and maintaining a website, SEO, blogging, and content collaboration. I must be clear that I do not expect a quick financial return from this endeavor; I will invest time and money into my website and my reward will be the learning I receive from the process.
Maintain My Finances
Probably the least important goal, but worthy of my list nonetheless. I foresee no problems meeting the goals I’ve set below, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take credit for them.
8. Increase My Net Worth by $25 K
With market appreciation, I shouldn’t have trouble reaching this goal. The only potential point of failure is if the market crashes again. I may be jinxing myself when I say this, but “man, that sure won’t happen again.”
9. Switch from Money to Quicken
This is difficult but necessary step towards fully controlling my finances, mainly due to Microsoft’s pathetic support of its Money software program. When I switch to Quicken, I’ll likely switch from H&R Block to Turbo Tax, as I’ve heard the latter tax program is better. Just have to wait for a combo deal on a Sunday that includes both.
10. Max Out All Retirement Contribution Limits
I’ll make my very first retirement contribution in my Roth IRA at the beginning of the year. After a few months, my 401(K) at my new company will kick in, and I will invest in that throughout the year, planning to max out at the end of the year. In addition, I’ll create a non tax advantaged account and invest through Vanguard.