2012: GOALS

All around the world, the internet is being overtaken by end of the year blog posts. People are stating their intents to make changes in the new year, recapping the past 12 months, and making “best of” lists. I am one of those people.

As mentioned before and pursuant to the advice of Cassie, I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. However, I do put in place New Year’s Goals. I must confess, however, that working the past few years in the Corporate World has pretty much taken out the fun of setting goals as it is a requirement of my job (yes, requirement–both development and performance goals must be set and a plan is to be adhered to for which I am rated on). However, it has also helped me figure out the right way (used loosely) to make goals.

(Ignore this paragraph if you are allergic to Corporate World buzz words. SYNERGY.) For a goal to really work, it should be “SMART”–that is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. The reason resolutions do not work is that they are not specific or measurable. (Shout out to Tony Cañas for this quote and lesson!) “I’m going to work out more!” or “Spend more time with my family!” are nice thoughts and all, but what do these “goals” really accomplish? How are you going to do this? What does it mean to do this? How do you know you’ve accomplished these goals? You don’t. That is where the SMART-method comes in and why goals, not resolutions, work. </end corporate speak>

(For a fun example of someone who sets yearly goals using their birthday as an anchor rather than January 1st, check out Laura’s blog, A Love Letter to a New Year! Laura uses a list of goals that she sets on her birthday, and then blogs all year about completing or attempting these goals. In November (YESVEMBER), she works on a subset of goals.)

Without further ado, I bring you my 2012 Goals by category!!!

1. Financial

  • Continue using Mint.com to track and assess my finances. I will log-in every weekday that I am at work.
  • Save $1000 to go towards purchasing a new laptop. I am using Smarty Pig to put a minimum of $25 from each paycheck towards this goal (hey, I get at least 4 paychecks a month).
  • Pay the deductible for my auto claim without using credit by June 30th. ($500)
  • Participate in and conquer No Spend January with my friends, with focus being on not eating out at all (with one exception of a lunch date with my former boss mid-month. Hey, it was already scheduled). Mint.com will be used to judge how succesful–reduce food and dining expenses by $500.
  • DO NOT USE CREDIT CARDS. (Exception: iTunes account is linked to a credit card. Can use, but must pay-off balance each month.) I acknowledge emergency situations may pop up, and those will be assessed on an as-needed basis.
  • Pay down credit debt substantially. Pay off Bon Ton and Barclay bills and have Citibank paid off by August 2013 (yes, this goes into the following year. But that is when my 0% interest ends!). Will likely post more about this at later date to bore tha pants off of everyone.
  • NO LONGER RELY ON INCOME FROM YOUNKERS JOB BY OCTOBER. This one is a bit vague, but if I follow healthier spending habits I will no longer rely on that “extra income” and can leave before the next holiday season.

2. Health

  • Lose thirty pounds. Clear and simple. Not too extreme, but will make a definite difference.
  • Give blood regularly.
  • Complete C25k again and NOT overdo it. Complete before May 1st. Let myself ease back into running rather than thinking I’m still 17 and can run 6 minute miles. I need to accept I have a lot of work to do!
  • Do a strength exercise at least twice a week.
  • Including C25k, do cardio for at least 20 minutes three times a week.
  • Cook at least once a week. And not something that you unwrap and stick in the oven!
  • As mentioned above, participate in and conquer No Spend January by NOT eating out!
  • This one is not a “SMART” goal and I will discuss it more below: Make alcohol less of a priority.

3. Creativity

  • FOCUS ON CREATIVITY! This is not a “SMART” goal per se, but it is a change I would like to see and need to make. The goals below will help ensure I accomplish this, though I hate setting quotas on creativity as it defies the purpose. Creativity is spontaneity!
  • Become active in Art Noir and attend events regularly.
  • Regularly attend Drink and Draw.
  • Attend five arts and culture events in Des Moines.
  • Post at least two photographic blog posts a week.
  • Write something for “fun” at least three times a month.
  • Use that sketchbook.
  • At least once a month, shoot for the sake of shooting. Go on photo adventures.
  • ADVENTURE OVER ALCOHOL. (Again, more detail below.)
  • Take an art class. Preferably not photo-related.

4. Professional

  • Stay current on my Iowa CLEs. Take 15 credits.
  • Catch-up/put a dent in Indiana CLEs. Even though inactive, should keep current so I can “jump in” at any time.
  • Attend three networking events outside of my place of employment. Although I am not looking for new opportunities at this time, will be good to get more practice and stay relevant in the game.
  • KICK ASS AT MY JOB. Get a performance rating of 4 or higher.
  • Be involved at my place of employment. Stay involved with the Gen Y ARG and make myself useful. Have at least one thing to say at each meeting.

5. Personal

  • Do at least two of the following four vacations: 1) Vegas in October; 2) Chicago in the spring; 3) Weekend Iowa Roadtrip to a place I’ve never been; 4) Portland at any time; or 5) Roadtrip to the Northeast.
  • Introduce myself to two new people.
  • Commit myself to ADVENTURE. Not measurable, but it’s about a state of mind.
  • Try something different every month. Get out of my comfort zone!
  • Place less of a priority on alcohol. This ties in with just about everything. Too many events that I attend or plans that I make are based around alcohol. I’m not saying I need to cut alcohol from my life or that no events should contain alcohol, but rather alcohol should not be what I base my plans around. When given the choice, I should choose adventure over alcohol!
  • Explore a new church.
  • Speak in front of a large group.


There you have it! While that may look like a lot to commit to, it really is a matter of several small changes (the largest being cutting down on eating out) and a commitment to adventure and creativity. I think I can do it. :) I’ll recap my progress on each category at the end of the year.

In the week to come, I will also be sharing my top images of 2011 as well as a recap of the year  (in abbreviated list form).

What are you seeking to do during 2012? Please share your goals by linking up below or leaving a comment!

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Linking up to My Insane Goals.

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7 thoughts on “2012: GOALS

  1. Erin says:

    These are excellent. I have no doubt that you can conquer most of the them. For the travel goals, there’s a book called 36 hours that gives an itinerary for ways to spend a weekend in various places in the US. I remember somewhere in Iowa being in the book–maybe check and see if your library has it? The copy I gave my parents is on its way to Texas, otherwise I’d look it up for you.;)

  2. adangross says:

    Awesome! I’ll have to check that out.

  3. emily house says:

    First of all, I now-not-so-secretly-love corporate jargon. SYNERGY!! But seriously, I needed the SMART reminder, because like it or not, ’tis the season for initiating change. This post will help make my personal goals more definable. They aren’t as specific yet, but I’m absolutely on the same page as your financial goals. It’s different being part of a duo, especially since I’m not the primary breadwinner, but that makes it (wait for it) an adventure, too:)
    This post was awesome. It makes me like you even more. I’ll be cheering you on in 2012!

  4. these are all wonderful! thanks fo sharing.

    thank you for your lovely comments on my blog. much appreciated!

    wishing you and your the best for 2012!

    happy new year!

  5. abbietoekneeabbie says:

    Cheers to deboozing. I’m with you!

  6. Awesome list! Your financial goals all look really smart. I should probably adopt a few of them. ;)

    Thanks for linking up to the Insane Goals Monthly Link-Up. It would be great to have you join in next month to see how you are doing!

  7. I’ve never been in the corporate world, so I’ve never heard about SMART, but I like it! It made your goals so specific and attainable. I especially like the creative ones.

    I should have put “speak in front of a large group” as one of mine. Maybe 2013. :)

    (thanks for participating in the link up)

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