Goals Update – January

Today is my Birthday! yay…  Well, it’s just another day, but I did start late as I needed to meet a tradesperson at home (working on something on my house project list).  Now my bath is smoother, and I’ve been advised to clean it with washing up liquid.  As to the colour appearing yellow – might try changing the light globe (I’m assured it is WHITE!)

Financial

I didn’t put a goal to make my mortgage repayments – cause to me, that’s a given and it has to happen.  However, I am aiming to pay an extra $5k (as permitted by the terms of my fixed rate/term loan).  As such, I’m trying to ‘overpay’ asap, as the sooner I get my ‘extra’ money onto the mortgage, the more I’m saving in interest. And the sooner I can start on all the other goals below!

$20k target by 22 Dec: start of month: $13,487.55.  End of month: $14,119 at 30/1/13 – should be $14,249 by 31/1/13.  Well on track

However, this is about to take a BIG hit, as outlined above.  It will take between $3-4k out of this account.  Hopefully it will slightly lower my interest added to my mortgage (and by the same token, I’ll pay a touch less take on the interest I might have earnt if it was in savings)

Generosity target of at least $100 per week (weeks Mon thu Sun – and based on when things were withdrawn from my accounts):
week 1 – $175: church ($25) + belated xmas gift ($150)
week 2 –  $140: charity donation ($100) + church ($20) + Big Issue ($20)
week 3 – $80-$180: church ($20) + Brother loan ($100) + gift ($60) *loan may be repaid… so a ‘bad’ week* (3 hours volunteering)
week 4 – $125: church ($45) + Red Cross ($80) (+3hrs volunteering)

Bills savings of $200 per week:  totally automated, so yep, meeting that!  Cept I did (of course) withdraw to pay the contents insurance and water bills. Oh and I found I had close to $500 more than I needed in my fund for my annual health insurance premium, so I’m moving that to the higher interest account and putting it towards the $20k goal (rest assured, for the next few months, I’ll drip feed this health insurance fund to ensure I cover any inflation in premiums, but I have a few months yet).

Health

Cook at home twice a week: almost, but not quite met

week 1 – Wednesday (Fried rice) & Sunday (carbonara)
week 2 -once on Thursday night (chorizo potato salad) & Sunday (Cabbage salad with pear)
week 3 – Steak, packet potatos, hot cabbage & strawberry Souffle & Wed (spaghetti carbonara (which I’ve only JUST learnt how to spell!))
week 4 – Friday I made some polenta, and some cookies for a party.  SO, no that’s just one meal

Sugar – fail!  Chocolates on Mon, ice coffee Tue (did say no to icecream on Mon night… that counts in some regard!), choc chips on Thu night. I think I stopped tracking after this. Actually this ‘healthy eating’ is SO much more challenging with an ice cream monster in my midst – although I settle for a mouthful or two of his, it’s breaking my willpower!

Train for polo – fail. But yay for season break. If I was more dedicated, I’d do a swim session.  But I’m not.  But at least I’m not wasting a coach’s time.  Alas, one from two at this stage (the third wasn’t on as Monday was a public holiday).

Cultural

2 films a month: Acheievd. Saw Rise of the Gaurdians on Sun 30th (technically in week 1), and Jake Reacher on Mon 7th Jan.  Tom Cruise is a meglomaniac! I’d have seen something else with different company, but nonetheless, wasn’t too horrible and I was curious to see it. Last night I used my almost expired movie voucher to see The Impossible.  I had to pay for the date’s ticket – so cheap on a Tuesday! I’d like to see Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook (not yet out here).

2 books a month: Achieved. Worked through ‘Freakanomics’ by SD Levitt and SJ Dubner – if only I had a better memory I could recall some better stats in social situations.  Like how or why drunk walking is more dangerous than drunk driving.  Also read ‘Obedience’ by J. Yallop – a dark book, and slow moving, but I liked it.

Career

Certification:  Gold star for effort: First, I filled in the webpage, so my work has 14 days to approve my costs to get certified.  Simple step (save for uploading a photo – WHY?), and then I’ll really have to put my head down.  It just takes small steps and this one was easy – I even had momentum to do more, but sadly the site hindered that!  <– Alas, this was all in vain I quickly found out.  So I decided to divide and conquer the task – there’s 16 x 700 words episodes to write.  So I divyed up the tasks between myself and four colleagues.  That way we could manage our three ‘episodes’ and come together in a fixed time period to reflect and enhance each other’s writing.  And hopefully inspire us to embark on our remaining 13!  I did get two fanatastic episodes fleshed out, under the word limit, almost simultaneously as I got an email saying the payment we get for doing this are now coming irrespective of our action (or inaction), whilst negotiations continue between our employer and unions about our award.  Still it feels good to have started – as there’s every chance I might need them again once the union/work fights are resolved.

I’m starting to think I don’t like my un-measurable goals (or more to the point, my career goals!)- and can see me saying for months ‘no progress here’ – but maybe that shame will spur me into action?

Annual Goals

Despite my efforts to make this ‘publish’ whilst I was enjoying life, I failed 🙁  But that’s given me time to reflect (and enjoy my time off) and so I’ll ensure everything listed still fits reality!

Financial

– Save a total of $20k by 22 Dec (for mortgage refinancing):  Current balance is $13,487.55.  Whilst this account doesn’t pay bills, it is dipped into occasionally for ’emergency’ spending (which sometimes means ‘a flight’s a really good deal, and I can save that money up again’!)

– Continue to meet all bills with weekly savings contribution of $200 per week

– Aim for $100+ ‘generosity’ per week – charity, church, random acts of gifting and kindness (this is setting the bar HIGH – but it’s in the ball park of 10% of salary, if others can do it, I should try it!)

Health

– Cook at home at least twice a week – living alone, cooking semi-regularly means I have some healthy food, and limits my take out. It also means I don’t have to buy lunch (which I hate – not the buying as much as the decision making process… and then the money spending… I hate spending money and then finding it was ‘wasted’ because I didn’t like what I bought!)

– Limit wheat intake – try to make the ‘right’ choice more often

– Limit sugar intake – maybe ‘dessert’ once a week.  No sweet snacks…

(both the above aren’t measurable… so not very exact.  The rule I used between 12 Nov (my return from my last trip) and Christmas was to not eat any sugar.  Whilst that wasn’t strictly adhered to, I certainly lowered it significantly.  Whilst I was away, every day pasteries was the order of the day!! )

– TRAIN and play water polo – I’m good at attending every game (been known to reschedule holidays around games!), but not so good at training, so I need to commit to a weekly training, and stop making excuses!

Cultural

– 2 films a month – a few years ago, I counted my ticket stubs on new years day, and had 40 for the year! That’s INSANE but an indication of how much I love immersing myself in the cinema (musty carpet smell and all!)  It’s truly a few hours where I can escape.  It’s not the same to steal it from the internet, and do your mending or cook dinner at the same time.  When I go to the movies, I don’t text. I don’t let ‘normal’ life interfere (though… I do chatter away to someone who has been silly enough to come along with me – sorry!)

– 2 books a month – So far I have had 52 loans at my local library, and given I’ve only been ‘in area’ for a year, that would be more like one a week (actually seems I started lending in March, so more than one a week!).  That being said, some of them aren’t ‘read’ – I did borrow some CDs.  I also borrow magazines, and they aren’t something I’m willing to count as ‘books’.

Social

It does seem weird keeping targeted lists on social front.  But there are a lot of friends who I don’t keep in touch with as much as I’d like to.  I’ve certainly been better since I stopped being a student (Being a student just sucked life out of me – there was always something I ‘should’ have been doing, and it never seemed there was enough time just to live… to enjoy life…)  In the past I know I set a goal of calling a friend a week (obviously targeting ones I wasn’t seeing regularly, so largely those who live interstate) This was a big deal for me, as I realised I don’t call people ‘just for a chat’ and felt awkward about it.  One thing I have mastered in the post card sending whilst on holidays, as well as Christmas cards (though this year the latter list was severely truncated…)

– touch base with an out of town friend once a month

– make time for friends around regular commitments (work, church, water polo): I’m mindful that a close friend mentioned I was ‘always busy’, and therefore did lessen my load with water polo.  I want to make sure my friends don’t feel like they are neglected, but at the same time, not that I’m leeching off them to spend every hour together -it’s a balancing act between needy and hoity independence sometimes!

Professional

– Get my certification: Agh this is something I have to do, but have NO enthusiasm.  I shouldn’t take the next week off, I should stay at work at write career episodes – but the friends goal above is winning out!

– Start looking for my next role: career progression targets at work mean this is the year I need to look for a new role, so I can meet the certification + experience targets to continue progressing.  I’m loathed to leave where I am – I have a great boss, I’m still learning, I love my work, and I don’t want to risk any of those things by moving.  But if I don’t move, then I might be closing doors for my future (and I’m young, there’s a lot of ‘career’ ahead!)