I know, I know. We’re almost 1/6 of the way through the year. I should have put together my goals for 2015 together much sooner. Well, the fact is that I didn’t. Putting together yearly goals has become a tradition for me. I’ve posted my goals for 2013, 2014 and now for 2015 on Living in Flux.
To be honest, last year’s goals were kind of a bust. I briefly mentioned this in my review of 2014, but the beginning of the year looked very different from the end of the year. Along the way, my priorities changed drastically. While you never know what will happen, this year is looking like it will be more stable. So, here are my goals – here’s to hoping they stick!
1. Pay off my two remaining private student loans.
Suze Orman would fully support my goal to pay off my two remaining private student loans. If you’ll remember, I’ve talked about how I started my student loan journey with nearly $90,000 in student loans! Throughout the years, I’ve made it a habit to pay extra to my student loans each month so that I can have them completely paid off by the time I’m 30 years old.
The good news is that my current student loan balance sits around $60,000, so I’ve been able to make a lot of progress in the last few years. My outstanding private loans are around $20,000. It will be a tough goal, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to pull it off by the end of 2015.
2. Contribute 25% of my take home pay to savings and extra student loan payments.
Each month, I aim to contribute approximately 25% of my take home pay to savings and student loan payments. Last year and the year before, much of my focus was on the student loan payments. This ended up feeling far too aggressive for me once I started to think about how a bigger savings cushion would better help me achieve my goal of moving to a new city.
I’ve decided to split up my savings and extra student loan payments by a 30:70 ratio. For every $1,000 I put towards savings and extra student loan payments, $300 goes to savings and $700 goes to student loans. This ensures that I’m continuing to put money into my emergency fund while still aggressively paying off my loans.
3. Take at least 20 days of PTO.
At my new job, I received a bump in vacation time. I’ve gone from 10 days of vacation plus 10 days of sick time to 25 days of paid time off, which encompasses both vacation and sick time. I am naturally a person who is resistant to take time off (what if something comes up!), but I am also human, so I need the periodic time off.
This year, I’m going to make it a goal to a) take advantage of my increased vacation time and b) rejuvenate a bit.
4. Be a backyard tourist in DC at least once a month.
When I was living in Hoboken, NJ, I went through a period of time that I was not traveling a lot. I was sad about that for a bit, because I wanted to get out! Experience new things! See the sights! And yet, New York City was sitting right in my backyard. I decided to do some of the touristy things that I hadn’t actually done before and document them.
Now that I’m in DC, I want to revive my backyard tourism series and do something fun and touristy around the DC area (VA and MD will count, too) at least once a month.
5. Work out 200 times.
This year, I really want to refocus on my health and fitness. In the past two years or so, I have really not been working out as much as I want or should. I started running in 2010 and have been tracking nearly every run (with the exception of maybe a couple) since then. This gives me the fantastic ability to look back on my progress. In 2011, I ran 515 miles! This was my highest mileage year. Last year, I only ran 64 miles! Clearly, not as impressive.
Working out 200 times in a year averages out to about 3 or 4 workouts per week. Richard and I have been going to the rock climbing gym about twice a week for a couple of months now. So, I want to complement that activity by getting off of my butt at least 1 or 2 other times per week.
Now, off to achieve my goals for 2015!
This year, I really tried to make my goals S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, actionable, reachable, and time-based. I think it’s totally feasible that I’ll be able to achieve these goals, even if it will be a challenge. I’ll provide quarterly updates on my progress throughout the year.
Now, it’s off to the races! Wish me luck!
What are your goals for 2015?