Yay, to my friend Heather who reminded me that last year, to mark my 31st birthday, I had a list of things that I planned to accomplish in my 31st year. Let’s see how I did. The asterisked portion is my 32-year-old perspective on what the younger me had planned to do.
1. Lose 31 pounds. Hell, I should lose more, but 31 sounds like a reasonable number. (**Um, no. I think I went backwards on this goal. But I have an action plan for 32. Tune in to see what I’m doing.)
2. Put $3,100 toward my emergency fund. (**Negatory on this one too. An emergency fund is in place, it’s just not that fabulous yet.)
3. … Get rid of 31 items. (**You know what? I think I accomplished this and if I didn’t hit the 31 number, I came darn close!)
4. Watch 31 sunrises and truly enjoy them, as opposed to just driving to work and being oblivious to the wonderful world around me. (**Again, I came close. That’s one of the things I miss about working at the cab company. It’s not really enjoyable to get up at 5 a.m. on the weekend, but there was something magical about driving to work while the majority of my town was sleeping.)
5. Learn to embrace my shortcomings and turn them into positive things and not stuff that I end up beating myself up over. (**Wow – this was introspective. I think I’ve accomplished this – at least, I’ve tried.)
6. Either find a new job or quit bitching about my current one because I think I’m driving my husband nuts. (**DONE and DONE.)
7. To not participate in office gossip. (**Getting better with this one.)
8. To finally triumph over my irrational fear of baking with yeast. I will master bread in my 31st year of living! (**DONE!)
9. To find a church home. (**Well … no. In fact, in my 31st year, I’ve moved farther from this goal. But I’m OK with this. This is something that my husband and I have talked about in length and we’re just not there yet.)
10. To organize my recipe collection. (**Getting there …)
11. To actually finish a first draft of my book (see birthday number 24, 27 and 29 … ) (**Good intentions, but no – a fail. But something to try anew in my 32nd year.)
12. To actually make progress on Number 11. (**Yeah, I stink.)
13. To find a new county park and go hiking in it. (**Done!)
14. To see my out-of-town friends more often. (**Getting there. Having weekends free has helped me enormously meet this goal.)
15. To go fishing with my dad. (**Not for 31. We talked about it this weekend – I just need to get my butt down to Iowa, get an out-of-state license and take my daddy fishing.)
16. To find a volunteer opportunity that I truly enjoy. I’ve been thinking about joining some sort of reading-mentor program. Reading is one of the things I enjoy most in life – I would like to share that joy with others. (**Kind of? I’m helping with the marketing efforts for a local pancreatic cancer fundraiser. I’m doing good, but this is good to see – reminds me of my passion for mentoring. Something to reach for with 32.)
17. To try and keep my car clean for 31 consecutive days in a row. (**I’m not claiming that I’ve come close to the 31 day mark. However, my car is better as of late.)
18. To make a budget and stick with it. (**Nope.)
19. To read 31 books that have to do with practical matters such as finance, DIY tricks, self-sustainable living, etc., and to write blog posts about each one of them. (**Nope.)
20. To bookmark 31 frugal-living bloggers and read them regularly. (**Nada.)
21. To try and not take myself too seriously. (**I’m getting better.)
22. To try and focus more at work and conquer my Twitter addiction. (I love the finance Tweeps, but I gotta tell you – those foodie Tweeps? They are FUNNY! And they post recipes! And now I have friends in Canada and India!) (**Hey! I’ve actually accomplished this!)
23. To put myself in 31 situations that I wouldn’t normally be comfortable in – i.e. – finding a new church home and not inwardly grumbling during the “passing of the peace” (also known as the “passing of the peas” in more humorous settings), go to more Chamber of Commerce events to network with people, maybe join a book club??? (**Nope.)
24. Write 31 random notes to 31 of my random friends and surprise them with ACTUAL mail! (**Damn, think of the people I’ve let down. Nope!)
25. In my 31st year, I will finally be free of credit card debt. (**YES! DONE AND DONE! WOO!)
26. In my 31st year, I will be more mindful of my spending habits. I’m so much better than I was when I was 21 years old, but I still have my “trickle” habits and some outright poor ones (yes, I still love Jimmy John’s, but how can I justify paying $5 for a sandwich I could make at home?) (**This is getting better.)
27. In my 31st year, I will pay off the Rattling Death Trap (RDT) and outright own a car for the first time since I was 16 years old and drove my beautiful blue Pontiac Sunbird that I bought from my cousin Jen. (And when I say “bought,” I bought half, my parents bought half and anytime I gave them lip, they reminded me that the “half” they owned consisted of the engine and the tires.) (**Done.)
28. In my 31st year, I’ll finally start investing my 401k again – and before you yell at me, I thought I had signed up, but the paperwork got mucked up! (**Done!)
29. In my 31st year, I will start paying attention to investment articles and make a genuine attempt at learning the lingo and actually understanding what they mean. (**I still stink at this.)
30. In my 30th year, I got to marry my best friend in the whole wide world. In my 31st year, I will tell him daily that I love him, I will be better at not taking my bad days home with me from work and I will remember every day how lucky I am to be in such a great relationship. (**I think I got better at this.)
31. I will try to think of 32 things to write next year, because I gotta be honest – this wasn’t as easy as it may look … (**Hrm … better luck for 33!)
OK – so there you go. I’m kind of pleased with what I did accomplish this year and have made a mental note of what I should try to accomplish my 32nd year.
What about the rest of you? We put so much stock in New Year’s Resolutions. Do any of you make lists when it’s time for your birthday? Do you stick with them? No?
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