Well 8/8 is coming to an end here on the East Coast. As I watched the Olympics tonight and looked to book some spring travel, I thought it would be a smart decision to record some thoughts about our summer and write a few goals for the next 8 months*. I’m not much of a goal person (only wrote goals for my job as a teacher), but I know that written goals are more powerful than spoken ones.
Here are my thoughts and goals for 8 different areas. And I added in the financial impact of each one as well…
Thought – We’ve enjoyed a great summer of long walks, swimming in our pool, and kayaking in the lake.
Goal – Even with all that activity, I should definitely be doing some work with weights. My goal is to get to the YMCA and do at least two hours of strength training each week.
It’s important to change activities and to continue to maintain muscle tone and strength. We belong to a YMCA and it is hard to get motivated to go there when the weather is nice! If I remember the money we already spent to join, I might be more motivated!
Thought – We’re stuck in a rut with meal planning right now. It’s been a much warmer summer than we are used to, so we’ve grilled more than normal. We’ve done well with fruits and veggies, but it’s time to mix up the menu.
Goal – There are thousands of great recipes we can try – for the grill or even for the slow cooker (to avoid heating the house up!) My goal is to try at least two new recipes a week! We have some allergies and intolerances that make planning a challenge – but no more excuses.
When we don’t plan ahead for meals, we tend to make the same thing too often and it gets boring. Have you ever heard of Brian Wansink (Cornell University consumer behavior professor) and his book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think? If we’re bored, we’ll eat things in addition to our meals or do things like go out to eat or order out. This can both hurt your waistline and your budget.
Thought – When we give, we make a difference. I had a set of twelve matching glass containers (vases) sitting in a closet. Rather than try to sell them, I put them on Craigslist yesterday for free. A young lady and her fiancée stopped to get them to use them at their reception. As you can see by their note, they were thrilled.
Goal – How many other things are sitting in closets (or the garage, basement) that someone else could put to better use? As we begin to de-clutter our home over the next year, my goal is to try to give away as much of the “extra” as we can.
Is making even a few hundred dollars trying to sell things really worth it? After reading the note the young lady left yesterday – I’d like to just pay it forward and I hope she will later too.
Thought – One area where we really could use some clear routines is in terms of renting our apartments (paperwork, advertising, criteria for tenant selection). We had three units open up for next month and if we had a better routine, we would definitely save time and some confusion.
Goal – I am currently in a beta-test course with Paula over at AffordAnything.com and even though I have owned rental properties for many years, I can always learn more. My goal by spring is to have all the paperwork revised, criteria set, and pictures of units ready to post.
We get 20-30 responses to each advertisement we post, yet 10-15 of the respondents do not meet at least some of the criteria we require. Making changes could save a lot of time whenever we need to rent an apartment.
Thought – I left my full-time job and have been doing part-time work online and some in-person consulting. But there may be a temporary full-time job offer coming up that I will need to consider. Stay tuned!
Goal – My goal was going to be to continue to work toward location independence while doing limited work in schools this year. Based on a call I received today, my goals may need to change.
It’s always interesting and I’ll share more on this soon. The longer I am away from full-time work, the more positions I have been offered. It’s a nice problem to be able to say no when I choose too!
Thought – I’ve enjoyed reading blogs for years. But I have also had to read many textbooks and journals as a doctoral student and college professor.
Goal – I have read very little for pleasure in the last 10 years (not that PF blogs aren’t a pleasure to read!) My goal is to try to read at least one book a month and I would like to focus on history. As we get ready to travel in the next few years, understanding more about the history of different regions will be incredibly important.
It’s time to head down to the library and get out some books (or do it online!) No need to spend money on books when the library is only a few blocks away!
Thought – These beautiful summer days are going to come to a halt within a month or two. It’s time to start planning some winter travel to get out of the snow and cold.
Goal – We have a Southwest Companion pass and we look to maximize travel on Southwest. The goal is to do one trip somewhere other than our normal travel destination this winter.
The Southwest Companion pass saves us hundreds of dollars each flight. We may not earn a Companion pass every two years, so we want to use this benefit to see some places that we have never been. Please feel free to share some ideas in the comments!
Thought – It’s been a great summer of fun! As the weather turns colder and grayer this fall, we tend to be inside more and that is generally not adding more to the “fun” column. Fun needs to be a fundamental part of our plans!
Goal – Make sure to schedule activities throughout the fall and winter that we know we enjoy doing. We can’t just wait for things to happen. The goal is to do at least two fun things each week – different than our normal routines and activities.
There are hundreds of things to do in our area (free and low-cost ones!) We don’t have to travel far to have good, cheap fun!
Do you really think I picked this random day (8/8) to come up with 8 thoughts and goals to focus on over the next 8 months? (That’s just a lot of 8’s…) I picked this topic because I looked at the calendar when planning the trips and realized that exactly 8 months* from today, I will be hitting one of those major birthday milestones. Maybe fun, travel, fitness and reading can be combined in a week of vacation!
Any big goal categories that I am missing? Anyone else fly Southwest and have a (warmer) destination to consider next spring? The goals I have listed seem reasonable to accomplish, but what if I go back to work? Will I just fall in to the “old grind” again and ignore my goals? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that too.
Photo Credit “8” – AlainaCherup@Freeimages.com