New Year, New Directions: Goals for 2014


I’m squeaking in at the end of January with my goals for 2014. It counts as long as you set your goals before January is over, right?

I’m going to be honest: last year, my goals for 2013 were a mess. I didn’t even take my own advice of crafting S.M.A.R.T. goals when I came up with them. There were too many. Things came up that made some less of a priority (ahem, running in races). The path to achieving some of the goals was nebulous (“become a better writer”).

Well, I’ve learned my lesson for 2014. I will have fewer goals this year. I will also have more defined goals this year. Ultimately, I want to look at a goal and say, “Yeah, I met that goal, no doubt!” or “Wow, I didn’t meet that goal, but I know what I would have needed to specifically do to meet it.”

My 7 Goals for 2014

1. Contribute $25,000 to my student loans.

More Money will be in your pocket when you look up salary information

My main focus this year is going to be paying off my student loans. I’ve come a far way, but there is still a far way to go. I’m currently on track to pay off my student loans before I’m 30, so this year will determine if I’m able to stay the course or even get ahead. While paying off $25,000 is a bit of a stretch goal, it’s still feasible.

2. Finish reading one book every month.

In 2013, I managed to read over 20 books. While this was a great achievement, my one downfall was that I didn’t read any books in either November or December. Things got crazy, yo. In the second half of the year, I also didn’t have the luxury of being able to read while commuting. Not that I’m complaining about not having a commute. This year, I’m going to focus on reading at least one book per month. And, I’m also going to be starting to share book reviews on ones that are relevant to what we discuss here at Living in Flux.

3. Run in two races before the end of the year.

Running Shoes

I set some pretty high and unrealistic goals last year on the running front. I had tons of fun at the Color Run, but other than that, running really took a backseat. This year, I want to run in two races. Conveniently, Rochester hosts two half marathons per year: one in the spring and one in the fall. If I can run in those two races, I’ll consider this goal accomplished.

4. Attend a professional conference.

If you’ve spent any time here, you know I love me some professional conferences! I’m not sure what one I will be able to go to and I’m using the term “professional conference” loosely, so we’ll see. All I know is that I’ve found conferences to be a great place to learn new things and to network with others about a shared topic of interest.

5. Go on one trip using miles/rewards points for transportation and/or hotel.

All neatly packed in my carry on

Since my focus is going to mostly be on paying off my student loans this year, there is going to be a lot less money left over to use for travel. Less travel is an okay sacrifice if it means that I can get my student loans off of my plate that much faster. While my travel budget is going to be slim, I want to still work in a trip or two. My plan for doing that is to use points and miles to get there and for lodging. I don’t know where I want to go yet, I just know that I want to use points and miles to get there!

6. Sell at least 30 items on Etsy.

If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you know that I’ve been wanting to start up an Etsy shop for quite a while. With coordinating my move, moving, traveling, and other personal things that came up in 2013, my Etsy shop vision had to be deprioritized. Now that I’m through the thick of it, I’m turning my attention back to my Etsy shop. For real this time! By the end of the year, I want to have sold at least 30 items. That doesn’t seem like a lot and hopefully I’ll blow that number out of the water, but I want to be realistic about how much I can possibly create and move by the end of the year, considering that I have a full-time job and other things going on.

7. Build a built-in closet in my bedroom for under $500.

One of the cool things about moving to Rochester is that Richard already owned a house. As someone who has only rented previously and who loves DIY, my eyes immediately glossed over at the possibilities. The sky is the limit! Most of the BIG projects were done in 2013, such as painting the kitchen cabinets and painting all of the rooms in the house. While the big things are done, the nature of the beast is that there will always be things to do. This year, I want to address the closet situation in our bedroom. Or, in other words, addressing the fact that there is no closet in our bedroom. If you’ve done any sort of research into built-in closets or closet systems, you know that they can be HELLA expensive. Well, I want a closet and I want it to cost under $500.

Already a 1/12 of the way there

So there you have it, my goals for 2014. We’re already 1/12th of the way through the year and it’s feeling good. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to the rest of what 2014 has in store.

 What are your goals for 2014? What do you want to accomplish?




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