Below is the write up that I did at the beginning of January regarding my 2009 goals. For each item, you will find results (both good and bad):
Debt Repayment and Tracking
- Attack Remaining Debts -This year we’re going to continue making strides against our three remaining student loans. At a minimum, I expect to be down to just one remaining debt (aside from my mortgage) by 12/31/2009.
Success! On May 5th, we made a major step down the road to debt freedom in paying off Tasha’s student loan. That brings us down to only my student loan left for our non-house debt, both Tasha and I are excited to have achieved this milestone.
- Track Food Budget For Entire Year – The reasons for this are twofold: I want to understand what proportion of eating out versus cooking at home we are doing, and I also want to track the amount of savings we get from couponing and using TheGroceryGame.com. With any luck this will allow us to control our food budget better and should roll up into gains for the debt repayment goal.
Success! I kept a spreadsheet all year long that tracked our food budget spending. Thanks to TheGroceryGame.com, we were able to save 74.93% on our groceries this year. We averaged under our monthly food budget this year, and only spent 10.55% of our food money on fast food.
Personal Health / Exercise
- Karate – I intend to get back into the dojo in a major way in 2009. Since I am unsure how often my monthly dues will entitle me to work out at the Denver dojo, I am going to set this goal at an average of the two workouts a week that I know are covered. Additional weekend workouts or at-home workouts will be icing on the cake. Expect karate tagged items to track my progress.
RESULTEpic fail. I ended up with only 49 workouts this year, not even averaging once per week. Work was the primary contributing factor, but laziness and travel time to the Denver dojo for the first half of the year also reduced my ability to train at the dojo regularly. This got better toward the end of the year after I joined the Arvada dojo, but I believe it was too little too late for this goal to succeed.
- Gym – During 2009, I intend to join several of my coworkers at the Louisville Recreation Center for workouts on my non-karate nights. I will define a more realistic goal for amount of working out, I suspect it will be around twice a week given my current workload and karate schedule. I hope to begin this goal sometime in January.
RESULTAnother epic fail here. Things went well in the early part of the year, but I only made 20 visits to the gym. I wasn’t very diligent about tagging my gym workouts so there might be one or two more that were mixed karate/gym visits, but I wanted to do a bit better than this as well.
Recreation / Blogging
- Daily Blogging – I intend to blog on average once daily for 2009. I will track this similarly to how I did for 2008, keeping tabs on complete months, number of days blogged, and total number of blog posts.
RESULTPartial success on this goal. I blogged a grand total of 363 days this year, missing only one day in August and one day in October. I made 384 blog posts during this time, crossing a milestone of 2,500 posts since this blog began back in 2003.
- Guitar – I intend to practice my guitar on average three hours per week in 2009. This has been an interest of mine for quite awhile, its time that I assert myself toward practice so I improve.
RESULTPartial success here. I didn’t really begin practicing the guitar in earnest until June, so I was way behind the curve on my three hours per week goal. I did pretty well in the last half of the year, since this is a hobby I can do in a few hours at the end of the day to relax. I didn’t really track hours spent playing during this time so I can’t be certain on my success, but I have gotten better since the beginning of the year and I’m willing to count that as a partial success.
- Multitouch Table – Last year I started acquiring materials for my multitouch table. The relocation prevented me from completing the table and I never executed on a final build. I want to have this one completed by 09/30/2009.
Complete failure to launch here. It took me until October to even find the materials that I have purchased, and I quickly realized that I lack the tools needed to construct this project and that purchasing said tools and materials conflicted against our debt repayment goal so this one lost out.
Professional / Technical Development
- Learn C# – This one’s for my job. I want to self-educate on C# and .NET 3.5, so I purchased a book, C# 3.0 Unleashed by Joe Mayo. I would like to have the entire book read with code examples complete by 02/28/2009.
RESULTSuccess! I have learned C# enough to be dangerous at the office, working on several coding projects this year. I used the aforementioned book as a reference, however it quickly became apparent that reading a coding reference book wasn’t very conducive to learning. I did employ this book frequently in my coding projects, so I’m willing to count this one as successful.
- Learn Adobe Flex – This one is equal parts my job and the multitouch project. I want to learn Adobe Flex, the action plan is undetermined on this one thus far. Stay tuned and more details will surface as the year progresses.
Another failure to launch here. I still don’t have an Adobe Flex license that I can use productively at work, and the multitouch motivator never materialized.
Final thoughts on the year…
In general, I consider these goals a mixed bag this year. I think I was far too aggressive and had too many goals, so expect to see next year’s goals streamlined. I wish I would have succeeded on a few more fronts, specifically my karate and gym related goals. I am happy that I have figured out a few hobby and relaxation related goals that appear to have stuck, which helped to dissuade the job-related stress that has set in this year.
I’m most proud of the debt repayment, tracking, and blogging goals for this year. We really focused on these goals this year and it showed, hopefully next year will be no different. Expect to see my 2010 goals tomorrow!