Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolutions

As you may know, I hate New Years/making resolutions.

But lately I've been feeling like maybe I should set some goals.  Not resolutions.  Goals.

And then I remembered that after September 11th, I did a lot of soul searching (as I am sure many of you did) and I wrote down my Lifetime Goals.  It's been nearly a decade since I developed my list so I thought I'd pull it out and see how I'm doing.

The first thing I noticed was that my list was hand-written.  Oh yeah.  That just cracks me up because I use the computer for EVERYTHING nowadays.  Even my grocery lists are typed!

Just for a little background information, at the time I developed my Lifetime Goals in September 2001, I was 31 years old.  I had a 2 year old and a 3 month old.  I was on child-rearing leave from my job.  We had dial-up internet access and I did not have a personal email address, only a work email, which I think I checked only two times while on maternity leave for nearly a year.  (My how times have changed!  Now I check email about two times per hour.)

I listed goals in four different areas:  Lifestyle, Travel, Personal, Financial.

I'm doing great with my Lifestyle Goals and if I had to list goals today, I would list the exact same items as I listed a decade ago.  Among them:  live a cancer-free life, never need false teeth, exercise regularly.

My Travel Goals make me laugh.  Clearly I did not anticipate having 5 children!  The destinations listed on my travel goals were:  Prague, revisit Italy (where we honeymooned), Iceland, New Orleans, and Hawaii.  Even today, I would still really love to visit Prague, Iceland and Italy.  I can check Hawaii off my list (visited there in 2004) and I have no desire to visit New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

My Personal Goals were many and most are still relevant.  One goal included raising 3-4 children so I guess I will have to revise this one to include FIVE children.  Another goal was to get a second masters degree or possibly a PhD.  I can tell you that I have absolutely no desire for that at this point in my life.  I suppose I was thinking that I'd be gainfully employed, with someone else (my employer) footing the bill for the additional degree and probably thought I'd work my way up the pay scale with said degree.  So I am crossing this off my list completely.  (I have completed 6 graduate degree credits as well as a number of other workshops so it's not like I've given up on the idea of furthering my education.  I just do not want to embark on another degree program.)  I'm doing ok on the goal of staying happily married until 'death do us part' but I am not doing very well on my goals of hugging and kissing each family member every day and also telling each family member each day that I love them.  This is something I struggle with.  I know it seems like it should be so easy.  I try.  I do.  It's just that I'm not great on the follow-through.  (But at least I'm consistent, right?  Ten years later I'm still working at it.)

My Financial Goals are short:  live debt-free (except for a mortgage) and to pay college tuition and books for my children for an undergraduate education.  Again, I was NOT thinking I'd have FIVE kids to put through college!  So I think I might have to refine this goal a bit.  We do have college savings for each kid (but not nearly enough to put them through college, at least not yet) so I'll have to give some thought to this.  At the very least, I'm going to commit to driving them to college on their first day.  Ha!  Only joking, of course I'll drive them but I'm gonna help them financially too.  But they're gonna have to contribute as well.

So I think I'm going to update my Lifetime Goals, add some sub-sections and figure out how to save for college AND visit Iceland.

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