2015 Goals

Historically I have been ambivalent about the motivational impact of goals, but I derived a decent amount of wisdom by re-reading my MMM forum journal and all the comments it’d built up since June 2014, so having a post like this where I can revisit at the END of 2015 will be potentially valuable.

  • Quit my job. The benefit of extra family time will far exceed the additional income. At this point, over ten years, my earned income will only mean 1 additional pre-FIRE year for the Alchemist. I think that’s a worthwhile trade. Having weekends with two parents home will also make DIY projects much easier to manage.
  • Eat healthier AND more seasonally. We made big progress on this in 2014 but there’s improvement to still be made here. Having additional preservation options (large dehydrator purchase and possibly an extra freezer) will make this even easier.
  • Do more science and history in homeschooling.
  • Increase home food production. Stretch goal: acquire chickens.
  • Increase muscle mass. My core and legs are quite strong, but I need to increase my upper body strength and overall anaerobic capacity. The health benefits of lifting increase with age, so getting a handle on this in my 30s will pay dividends long into the future. The Alchemist is considering joining a gym, but we’ll wait until the New Year’s craze dies down before doing it.
  • Reduce waste and overall footprint. The main goal here is to be more mindful of packaging, particularly with food. For example, while I like Trader Joe’s coffee beans, the mostly non-recyclable packaging increasingly bothers me. I want to get in the habit of bringing my own reusable produce bags. A variety of very small decisions, but the combined impact is still rather large.
  • Take at least one ‘fun’ vacation (e.g. not to visit family or friends). As much as we love visiting family and our few dear friends (and the free lodging we get by travelling this way), we also enjoy exploring the world on our own terms and seeing things at our own pace.
  • Learn how to car camp. Stretch goal: do an overnight backpacking or bike touring trip. This is related to the goal above and probably will go hand in hand with the previous goal, since hotel or AirBnB accommodations with a family of 5 eat up such a huge chunk of the cost of travelling. Non-remote camping still costs some money, but it’s a lot less and I think we’ll enjoy it. To be on the safe side, we’ll be borrowing gear initially, in case we discover we totally hate it. (Note: I realize the gear requirements for car camping versus bike camping or backpacking don’t map 1:1.)
  • Keep writing fiction regularly. Add one more character serial. Stretch goal: get to a point with Einar’s story (or character #2) that I can revise it and package it as a polished e-book. I love writing my fiction. It’s easy to let it fall by the wayside but it’s potent mood medicine for me and at least a few of you seem to be rather enjoying my stories as well. I have a number of partially written characters and settings to draw from for character #2’s serial. I know who I’m leaning towards right now but we’ll see who ends up winning.

I think that’s enough for now but perhaps I’ll think of more to add later. What are some of your 2015 goals? Do you share any of mine?

If you’re someone who’s anti-goal, I’d be interested in hearing your reasoning too! I definitely used to be that way myself 🙂

Edit 1-8-14 It’s barely into the New Year and I’ve been inspired to add two more new goals thanks to this awesome post by Mrs. Frugalwoods about her clothes (shopping) free 2014.

  • Buy no new clothes in 2015. The lone exception I’ll allow myself is a pair of athletic trainers. My current pair is already on their last legs. Otherwise, I can’t perceive any needs in my wardrobe and if something unforeseen were to happen, it gives me the incentive to learn better sewing skills.
  • Learn the basics of homebrewing beer and/or hard cider/fruit based fizzy adult beverages. After a clothes ban in 2015, I think a store bought alcohol ban in 2016 would be a great challenge. I’m going to be spending a lot of time and money, both joint and personal, on the garden in the first half of 2015, but in the second half I’ll have a little breathing room to think about another sustainable hobby. If I enjoy it enough, maybe some hop rhizomes can go into the 2016 garden plans as well 🙂

6 Comments on “2015 Goals”

  1. Awesome goals. I think my 2015 goals are to formally articulate my career goals(and end game) and set attainable SMART goals to get there. Other than that, I would like to consciously take down our discretionary spending by 10% and be conscious in all spending activity – both time and money.

    • David says:

      Heh, the Alchemist also talked about SMART (the acronym) goals when she read this post 😛

      Conscious/mindful spending is a HUGE paradigm shift. So many things flow from doing that. I’ve been doing it for a while, but I’m adding more detail to our tracking categories, and it’s already helping me see areas where our spending is a bit mismatched with values.

  2. You’ve got a great, comprehensive set of goals going on here–nice! I’m thrilled, and honored, that you’re joining me in a clothes (purchasing) free 2015. I was so glad I did it in 2014 and I’m looking forward to my second year on the ban.

    Homebrewing is definitely something we plan to get into on the homestead. We’re just too limited by space and time to pursue it at present, but, I look forward to hearing how it goes for you.

  3. […] Just a brief check in on my goals and seeing how they’re going. The original post is here. […]

  4. TimeDancer says:

    I actually wrote a similar post at the beginning of the year as well. Maybe it’s time I do an update on how far I’ve gotten with each. I love your goals!

    • David says:

      Thanks! The Alchemist is big on SMART goals, so she’s taught me the importance of checking back and seeing how far you’ve come. Not all of my goals were measurable (the M in the acronym) but even with holistic goals, you can do an honest self-assessment to evaluate your progress.

      Hope your check-in shows positive results 🙂

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