Thursday, August 21, 2008

72 Goals in 1001 Days - 1 year 3 month update

This is a long post, so if you are not interested in lists, then you may want to
avoid this one.

Here is an update to the list of goals that I wish to have accomplished by February 15, 2010 that I originally posted here.

I have made very little progress on the goals and I think I know why. Many of them I just added to get a higher number of goals, attempting to reach 101 and weren't really that personally important to me. Of the original list, I completed 18/72.

Much like Trent from The Simple Dollar did, I think I can re-evaluate what is left and condense them into better, more concrete goals. As well, I will try to come up with at least one actionable item to make towards it. In essence these should be SMART goals. "S" for being as specific as possible, "M" for being able to measure progress, "A" for being attainable by changing habits, "R" for being realistic for me to willingly work towards it, "T" is for a specific time frame. In order to measure all my goals, I think I will create a spreadsheet with each refined goal then keep track of when I work on them and what the next step is.

2. Obtain my Bachelor of Education Degree: this is going to happen unless I try very hard for it not to, so I do not think this should be on my list.

4. Read the complete works of William Shakespeare: I have the complete works sitting on my bookshelf and I want to read through it.
Next step action: read 5 pages a day for 263 days until I finish it.

6. Make my own windex: we have regular windex in the apartment and may not go through it before the end of the 1001 day experiment. However, when cleaning tasks come up, I will look at homemade solutions first. This goal gets the axe too.

7. Have $18,000 in savings. We are very close to this goal and due to our automatic payments to the main savings account, we will reach this in about 12 weeks.

8. Measure my body fat percentage in some scientific fashion. I don't think I need to do this, but it is interesting to know what it should be and find ways to reduce the %.
Next step action: determine what my % body fat should be and locate a place to calculate it.

9. Become lighter by on average 0.5 pounds a week. This is a very nebulous goal as it contains no information about how I will actually do this. Instead of a weight loss target for a goal, I think a better idea is to have excercise and diet goals and then the weight loss is a side benefit.
Next step action: This goal gets reworded to: excercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day at a minimum of 4 times per week. Plan 1 week of suppers (the meal I usually over-eat on) in advance and do not buy non-meal food outside of normal grocery shopping.

10. Get Married: the season for weddings is usually summer and I suspect 2009 is
mostly booked.
Next step action: discuss with fiance values for the future and children to make sure we are on the same page.

11. Open an RRSP: this is something we really need to do.
Next step actions: read The Boglehead's Guide to Investing (whenever it comes in at the library), speak with a financial advisor about options (next time fiance and I have a day off together), and determine which financial institution to house retirement accounts.

12. Invest in a mutual fund: this may be taken care of in #11, but I suspect we will invest in index funds. This is cut.

13. Buy stock in a single company: the most risky of investment strategies that we will only take on if we decide we have enough time to do the proper research. Cut for now.

14. Liquidate unwatched DVDs.
Next step action: sort DVDs into ones that are immediate keepers and onces to be sold. Do this 08/18/08.

16. Beat Halo 2. Cut as I have little interest in vidja games right now.
17. Beat Jet Set Radio Future. Cut for same reason as #16.

19. Liquidate old books.
Next step action: sort books into ones that are immediate keepers and ones to be sold. Do this 08/18/08

20. Make 5 homemade gifts for people for various events (birthdays, Christmas, etc...) (2/5: mother's day coupon book, and homemade bread for Father's day). I like the idea of this goal as I am much more conscious about a consumer lifestyle than I once was. My preference will be to make gifts whenever possible.
Next step action: start fiance's birthday gift 08/19/08

21. Go on 10 relaxing drives around the island with fiance (1/10). This is going to be lumped with #31, #34 and #37.

23. Walk/bike the equivalent of Summerside to Toronto not including every day walking (620/1700 km). I am keeping good track of my biked kilometers and will continue in the winter at the UPEI gym.

24. Watch Season 1 of The Shield.

25. Read the Complete Cerebus series (4/16 TPBs). I don't think this is important to me when I have other more thought provoking material on my "to read" list.

26. Talk to Sam about his history with money. I am interested in his views on this.
Next step action: contact Sam via email/facebook to set up a chat time.

27. Plant and grow my own tomatoes. I am interested in producing my own food for
both environmental and personal satisfaction reasons.
Next step action: growing season for 2008 is over, but I will draw up a list of materials and
investigate the possibility of having a patch in a community garden rather than
grow them in the apartment.

29. Vacation in Vancouver. We really want to go back here.
Next step action: discuss with fiance when we would like to go, how much it would cost, and how musch to set aside to save up for it.

30. Play 5 games of Ultimate Frisbee (0/5). This ties in with #9 as excercise so cut.

31. Cook 12 romantic dinners for fiance and I (0/12). Lumped with #34, 37, and 31.

32. Become an Ebay seller.
Next step action: setup seller account, take photos of comics I want to sell.

33. Open an online trader account. cut for now as it depends on what we do for #11.

34. Get flowers for Pam "just because" 5 times (2/5). Lumped with #37 and others

35. Paint another 2 paintings in the Bob Ross style (0/2). I enjoyed the process of painting and seeing the results.
This will be lumped with #20.

36. Do 100 push-ups without taking a break (personal best: 32/100). I am actually working towards this based on the schedule found here.

37. Spend 10 complete days with fiance (3/10). This is going to be reworded as spending at least 30 minutes with fiance each day. I realize that it actually sounds bad to schedule time with loved ones and that it should just happen naturally. However with the way I am it is too easy to pursue other things and let more important matters slide. I need specific actions to take or timeframes
to do them in order for them to be done.

38. Help fiance's parents clean out a room in their house. They have way too much stuff in their home as many of the items are from my fiance and her sister's childhood and have sentimental value. I think I have developed a clever way for them to clear out clutter. For every item that has sentimental value that honestly will likely not be used again, take a picture of it and compile an album on the computer for these items. That way you can bring up the pictures, still have
the memories associated with the item, clutter is reduced in your home, and the item might find use with someone else. Win-win all around.

40. Offer to babysit 3 times for my friends so they can go out (0/3). This is something that might be difficult during the school year, but can be looked at next summer.

44. Plant a tree. Look at this for next summer as well

45. Attend a farmer's market and if I like what I see 30 more times (10/30): We've been attending off and on for the past little while and I do enjoy it once food is in season. It has become part of our food buying routine and will continue.
CUT (keeping track of it that is)

46. Determine my personal CO2 emissions (estimate)
Next step action: use a variety of online calculators to determine this

47. Reduce those emissions by 20%. Depending on what $46 turns up, this will follow

48. Convince 5 people to switch to PC Financial for their banking (1/5). Why do I
need to do this again?

52. Read 52 in one sitting to see if it makes much sense. I have little interest in this anymore. CUT

53. Make 10 jars of homemade pasta sauce and give it as gifts (0/10).
Next step action: decide on a recipe that is delicious and suitable for gifting.

54. Finish the few pieces of the puzzle for the paper based on my masters project. Very close to finishing this now and we are under the gun since other research groups are close to publishing

55. Do 150 sit-ups without taking a break (personal best 0/150).
Next step action: try to implement the same routine as for th 100 pushup goal

56. Wash and wax our car 4 times (0/4)
57. Clean and vacuum the car interior 4 times (0/4)
58. Check the car's air filter and replace/clean if needed 4 times (every 6 months)
Next step action for #56,57,58: schedule maintenance tasks on the calendar

61. Have the only animal I eat be fish/seafood for 4 consecutive months
62. Have my only beverage as water for 8 consecutive months: I don't think this is necessary as I drink soy milk every now and then to get B12.
63. Try being a vegetarian for 5 consecutive months (no animal flesh - eggs/milk/cheese OK)
Next step action for #61,63: I am actually moving towards a vegan diet for the most part. My philosophy is to choose non-animal products as a preference when making food for myself and to create dishes for my fiance and I that are vegan that she can eat. I am not going to get hung up on not-eating animal products in other situations where non-animal products are unavailable to me (ie. I'm not going to not eat at a family function just because there is meat).

64. Organize our filing container.
Next step action: get a freaking filing cabinet

65. Pay off completely the debt I expect to incur over the next 2 years from my Bachelor of Education degree. This is in progress as explained in other posts

67. Help Mark finish his basement. Cut for now as it is unclear if they will be staying in that house long enough to finish it. If he does start the project I will be more than happy to assist.

68. Obtain my class 4 license so that when I get a teaching job, I am qualified to drive a bunch of kids on field trips etc...
Next step action: find booklet or additional information about this license

69. Catalog our possessions for insurance purposes.
Next step action: start simplifying our stuff to make the cataloging process easier.

71. Learn how to swim: this will be a great way to exercise.
Next step action: find out where lessons are and when they are

72. Give Blood 10 times (1/10): 10 times will not be doable at this point but
Next step action: make appointment to give blood
1. August 29, 2007

See part 2 for the condensed form of this list to see what I will actually be working towards over the next year and a half in a much briefer form.

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