2012 Goals: First Quarter Review

Remember this? Well, I promise you I haven’t. Although sometimes it’s not at the forefront of my mind as it should be. But it’s there. Somewhere.

Being that we have just (as in a few weeks ago) passed the end of the first quarter, I figure it’s a good time to see just how I am doing (or not doing, in the case of some of them).

1. Financial

  • Continue using Mint.com to track and assess my finances. I will log-in every weekday that I am at work. – No. As I learned, it’s not worth logging in every day. I do still check my bank accounts daily and track my spending on two different spreadsheets.
  • 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). – HA HA HA. Well, I have kept to my promise of putting a minimum of $25/check into Smarty Pig. But I no longer have four paychecks. Instead, I put in $50 every two weeks. Go me. But the laptop? Already bought (via credit) after my other one crapped on me. Now, I am saving for a better camera.
  • Pay the deductible for my auto claim without using credit by June 30th. ($500) – Funny how things work out. I decided not to fix the hail damage. And then was hit and run in a parking lot. And paid my $500 deductible. Out of pocket. Before June 30th. CROSS IT OFF THE LIST!
  • 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. – A learning experience.
  • 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. Not bad. Other than putting a laptop on my card, I’ve done fairy well on this. Small things here and there when my card has been misplaced, but it’s no longer a habit.
  • 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. Succesful, so far. Bon Ton will be paid off next month. Barclay now a bit behind schedule due to the laptop, but I’ve been sticking to an aggressive pay-off plan.
  • 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. LOL. I quit. Before October. So this is done. Sometimes free time is just worth so much more.

2. Health

  • Lose thirty pounds. Clear and simple. Not too extreme, but will make a definite difference. – Five down, at least. 
  • Give blood regularly. Check.
  • 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! Have not officially failed yet, but will. I’m more than two weeks behind. And can’t run. So I have been doing it on the elliptical. But I feel it’s not a good enough workout. Strategizing.
  • Do a strength exercise at least twice a week. No.
  • Including C25k, do cardio for at least 20 minutes three times a week. No. 
  • Cook at least once a week. And not something that you unwrap and stick in the oven! No, but definitely have been doing it more.
  • As mentioned above, participate in and conquer No Spend January by NOT eating out! Did pretty well!
  • This one is not a “SMART” goal and I will discuss it more below: Make alcohol less of a priority. Yes.

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! Such a big yes.
  • Become active in Art Noir and attend events regularly. Yes! Two events in the last week alone.
  • Regularly attend Drink and DrawYes! Only missed one this year.
  • Attend five arts and culture events in Des Moines. Working on it! I believe I have two in so far.
  • Post at least two photographic blog posts a week. On average? Yes. Definitely yes. But there have been weeks with less and weeks with more.
  • Write something for “fun” at least three times a month. I’m probably coming in just under average. But I’ve got time!
  • DOODLE MORE! Yes.
  • Use that sketchbook. Still haven’t made a dent in it.
  • At least once a month, shoot for the sake of shooting. Go on photo adventures. On average, yes.
  • ADVENTURE OVER ALCOHOL. (Again, more detail below.) YES.
  • Take an art class. Preferably not photo-related. Not yet, but I’ve freed my calendar for it!

4. Professional

  • Stay current on my Iowa CLEs. Take 15 credits. None so far.
  • Catch-up/put a dent in Indiana CLEs. Even though inactive, should keep current so I can “jump in” at any time. None so far.
  • 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. Ughh I hate networking. But I’ve attended one.
  • KICK ASS AT MY JOB. Get a performance rating of 4 or higher. Won’t be able to tell until next year, but I did get a 100% on my first quality review.
  • 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. Yes yes yes. Have also taken on other roles.

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. NONE . . . yet. :)
  • Introduce myself to two new people. I don’t believe so yet.
  • Commit myself to ADVENTURE. Not measurable, but it’s about a state of mind. Yes yes yes!
  • Try something different every month. Get out of my comfort zone! Hmmm . . . I feel I have been making an effort at this.
  • 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! I’ve had so many more nights this year so far that have involved either no or minimal alcohol!
  • Explore a new church. Yes. Attended a service at Gateway Church.
  • Speak in front of a large group. Yes. At work at an ARG event.

* * *

To sum it up: My heart’s been in the right place, but there are some areas (ahem fitness) that could really stand some more focus. Oh, and now there is a vision board involved (more on that later).

Until next quarter . . .

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