Because it is helpful to do sometimes, I’ve pulled my goals from 2009 and reviewed the progress I’ve made. Ideally, this is a process that moves faster than on 3-year increments, but meh, oops.
GOAL: Increase savings to $15k. That’s about $1000/mo saved. $500/paycheck. $125/wk. $25/workday. Etc.
PROGRESS: I pulled that one off by June. And then I spent it all getting engaged and traveling this past year. Well spent, if you ask me. Now I’m trying to save up to get married and restore some savings buffer.
GOAL: Travel. I don’t really care where, but I travelling is something I want to be doing.
PROGRESS: Apparently I took a trip north with Connie in September of 2009, and that was a lot of fun. However, since then (and mostly in 2012), I’ve been to Orlando, Anaheim, Moldova, Greece, and China. I love every minute of it. Well, except maybe the long flights.
GOAL: Get my passport. Crucial for #2. I have been telling myself I was going to do this since 2006.
PROGRESS: Done. Paperwork turned in 2009. The only downside is that I had long hair at the time. Every single airport I enter, the guard says “cut the hair, got a job”. I swear; even in Germany.
GOAL: Tile my house. I almost did it this year but bailed at the last second to sort the office instead. It’s going to be a lot of work.
PROGRESS: It only took me most of the summer and a huge effort over Christmas break, but it got done. Thanks mostly to my parents’ and Wes’s help. They kick-started my butt and then helped quite a bit to keep it moving. That was an awful and huge project that I’m glad I did.
GOAL: Paint more of the house. Maybe a bedroom.
PROGRESS: Worked with two ladies I knew to pick colors and painted the front room in June of 2009. Since then, I have extended that paint through the entire main part of the house, and worked with Connie to redo the kitchen and office. The house is finally coming together.
GOAL: Cook more.
PROGRESS: Still working on that. With two of us in the house now, it’s a little easier to cook. Plus Connie likes to try various and diverse recipes, so that makes it a little more exciting.
GOAL: Read more. At least a book per month. I want reading to be my fun hobby again, and I’ve got plenty of books to explore. And I live near a library.
PROGRESS: Better, but still only maybe 3-5 books a year. If that. Traveling was the biggest boon to my reading. There’s not much else to do on planes a lot of the time, so it’s a great way to pass the hours. However, my stack of books keeps growing, so I need to buckle down and get reading.
GOAL: Open up better; be warmer. Have to think on this one.
PROGRESS: Moving along. I still don’t feel proficient in interpersonal interactions, but I’ve got some of the rules down and I like people. That’s a good start.
GOAL: Decide where I want my career to go and start working toward it. I’m thinking advertising and graphic design classes. [july 2009 update] -Decision more or less made : now just gotta get to work
PROGRESS: Decision definitely not made. I’m just as aimless as then, only now I have an MBA and am more comfortable calling a pipe dream a pipe dream. I’d still love to run my own business, but I’m still trying to find something that I’m good at that I can market without a marketing department. Perhaps custom coding for business applications or web sites.
GOAL: Not get a significant haircut; just trims. I think I’m going to be stubborn and keep it long. At least for awhile. Or until a pretty girl tells me it looks better short. I’m a wuss. [amendment. It's July and I'm kind of sick of this hair.] [amendment 2: FAIL, hair cut in mid July.]
PROGRESS: Yeah, that didn’t last. The long hair was awful. It’s back to short, and I have a fiancee now. COINCIDENCE?!?
GOAL: Live a little. Live a little more intentionally.
PROGRESS: Traveled, tried to do some things that push my comfort zone. Still not that good at it, but I like trying.
GOAL: Go on a date with a beautiful woman.
PROGRESS: On August 10, 2009, I got to take Connie out for our first date. It is now just over 3 years later, and we are engaged and looking to set a date next fall. Sometimes a little effort goes a long way. I still can’t believe I wrote that down though; what a loser.
GOAL: Redesign this site again. And get the bohlingfamily.com set up and running. But that’s more a January goal. (done Jan 2009)
PROGRESS: Bohlingfamily.com is up and running. This site has the same design (I think). I still want to re-do it.
So, in review, I’ve met almost every goal that had a measurable goal, and barely accomplished anything on non-concrete goals that I’ve set (Like “Live a little”). That’s likely due either to the ambiguity of the task, or the ambiguity in the measurement of the task. So it may be time to revisit those ambiguous goals and put some measurable elements or specific tasks on them.
I’ve read, and they’ve said, that setting goals makes a difference, even if you don’t actively pursue them. Just writing them down triggers the mind to try and watch for opportunities. I’m thinking it might just be confirmation bias, though. We see mainly the goals that we accomplished, and “forgot” about those that we weren’t. Either way, having some positive feedback definitely helps build momentum, so I’ll take it.