New Year, New You

The blogosphere has been a bit overwhelming lately. I usually enjoy all the Year in Review and Resolutions posts. I like reading between the lines for drama (especially juicy breakups, so good), and reading resolutions is inspiring. But now everybody’s posting 12 part retrospectives with each and every month’s highlights and struggles? Phew, exhausting stuff. I mean, it’s already boring thinking about my past year. Plus these photo heavy posts take forever to load!

Even more annoying than the trend of month by month breakdowns is the hot new un-resolution trend of choosing a single word to manifest in the coming year. Common words I’ve seen: create, balance, gratitude, embrace, enough, beauty. BARF. The New York Times has gotten ahold of this trend, so it’s totally basic by now.

Anyways, here in my little 11 x 10 corner of the world, I’m sticking to my personal tried and true: setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. That’s right, going Six Sigma on my life. I learned about SMART at an old job, and while I didn’t meet my professional goals there (it was the type of place that talked about goals, but didn’t really honor them when it came to resources), SMART has been great for my personal life!

Specific / Measurable / Achievable / Relevant / Time Bound

I had a little trouble coming up with goals for the year, so I tried to remember what I did in 2014. It was a pretty good year. I feel like for the most part I handled most challenges like a rational and kind human being. While I didn’t expect much out of the year except a serious grind at work, looking back I accomplished quite a bit.


  • Mostly, it was a big year for fitness. For some reason my running got better in the beginning of the year. I honestly don’t know what I did differently. Riding that wave of success, I decided to do a half marathon (inconceivable!). I tried a few new types of exercise for fun (Insanity, Zumba, kettlebells), but due to the race training I ended up settling into a weekly routine of lifting/Pilates, running, and yoga. With the intense training schedule and a slightly cleaner diet, I dropped 15 pounds in about 7 months. So I lost the extra pounds I put on last year and then some.
  • I also tackled my general moodiness with a few new tools and found myself feeling much better by winter. No Seasonal Affective Disorder- huge win!

$$$ / Hustle

  • I made February a frugal month, which was a needed reset after the holidays. Overall for the year, I didn’t save that much, which was disappointing. Surprisingly, I still hit my net worth goal of 100k, pretty much all in retirement funds. 😀
  • I started an Etsy shop.While I haven’t made a ton of money from it, it’s been a really fun side project. I’ve even gotten some touching emails from customers. Can’t complain.
  • I got a promotion at work, which is good, but not a surprise.


  • This sounds silly, but I finally finished a class on Coursera. Two, in fact. For years I’ve been signing up and dropping out weeks later-my secret shame. For the record, the Wharton Intro to Marketing class is really interesting, and doesn’t require much of a time commitment.
  • I started learning R & Python this year. It makes my brain hurt a lot, but I’m glad I finally got serious about it.
  • Not learning my lesson the first time, in a fit of madness I began seriously contemplating grad school. I’ve found a few part time night and weekend programs that look promising (Berkeley?), but I’ve got a lot of work to do to apply, starting with prereqs.


  • 2013 ended with me kicking out a roommate, which was awkward but necessary. Two roommates later Ryan moved in. While it was a bit bumpy adjusting to the change, overall it has been positive. Despite having less privacy I think our relationship has gotten better. Also everybody in the house gets along, which makes it such a happier atmosphere. No more worrying about being attacked by a drunk roommate.
  • I visited Los Angeles 3 times in 2014, which is better than the year before but not great.
  • The floor in our bathroom rotted out and everything had to be gutted. I developed quite the daily relationship with the annoying handymen. I thought maybe I would learn to love them, but no. It was terrible.

2015 Goals- Building on 2014. Challenging, but doable.

  • See my family 4-5x this year. I’m really hoping to land one of those 1$ MegaBus tickets. One dollar!!!!
  • To fulfill my prereqs I’m taking two after work college classes this semester. I’d like to make it through without losing my shit (is that measurable?). Since I’m going to have to study during most of my non-work time, I need to learn to accept “good enough” and to let go of control by delegating tasks to others. This is actually really hard for me.
  • Be more frugal. Save up enough money for another year off. Safety money.
  • Journal daily. I’m using a 2015 daily planner as a journal. So far, so good. Surprisingly, the 2015 Moleskine daily planners are extremely popular -Amazon is sold out of most models. AMAZON.
  • Work on my lifting and get some super strong arms. Goal: chin ups.

So there you have it. I found this holiday card on sale at the art store, and filled it out with my goals. It’s staring at me every day. No excuses!