2014 was all about doing and growing and achieving. It was an incredibly full year, to say the least, and even though I didn’t blog about it (since, um, March), I thought a lot about my goals. Here’s how it went down.
- 10 projects. Just two finished projects, the shelf liner I put in when I moved, and another I worked on nail polish swatches. It turns out that I have a lot of nail polish (132, to be exact.)
Y’all, I killed this. I am super happy with how well I did, and I’m giving myself a gold star.
- Pay down credit card from 2013. I not only paid off this card, but got two credit cards to drop interest rates by at least a percentage point. In July, I transferred all my remaining debt onto a card with 0% interest for 18 months. I’m on track to pay the rest off by Dec. 2015!
6619/1700 = 389%
- I also made some good strides with my student loans. I consolidated them later in the year and cut my payments in half. Once I’ve paid off my credit cards, I’ll use some of that money toward my loans and pay them off earlier.
What I’ve learned: Ask for a reduction, whether it’s lowering your interest rates or consolidating. Automatic transfers rock my socks off—they let you “set it and forget it.”
- Plan and stick to a budget. I didn’t do so hot on this one, in terms of making a spreadsheet, but I did really well when it came to buying things with cash, rather than putting it on a credit card. This year, I bought a new mattress, plus plane tickets to Ohio, Hawaii and Chicago with cash. I wouldn’t have done that in the past. I’m also trying that thing where you’re responsible and buy things like groceries on a credit card, then pay it off every month.
- Save $2500. Done and done. I also repaid the money I took out for vacation in Hawaii.
- Drink 64 oz. of water a day. I don’t know why I don’t do this. I definitely feel better when I do it, and I was really good in the middle of the year, but then I quit for some reason.
- Lose 45 lbs. Ehhhhh.
- Walk 4,000 steps a day. I completed this 208 days in 2014. I walked 1.9 million steps—that’s about 856 miles, or the distance from my house to New York City.
- Reduce procrastination. I think I got better at this, but it’s hard to tell when everything at work is haywire.
- Send one card a month. I definitely didn’t do this for very long!
- Cut down on wasting time on the internet. Early in the year I said this, and it’s still true: Not so good at this. I am always feeding info of some sort into my face, even when I’m blow-drying my hair. I think I need to cut that out.
- Write two pages/day, three days/week. This went how I expected: I started out strong, then petered out. However, I did finish a full journal, and that’s something I haven’t done for a long time.
However, the aforementioned travel really helped my mental state.
- Read 15 books this year. Done! Exactly fifteen.All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot (His writing is so, so good. Memoirs of a vet in 1930s England.)
Upstairs at the White House by J.B. West
The Group by Mary McCarthy (I can see why it was considered shocking when it was published in 1963, but… meh. I did learn a lot of new words, though.)
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Another in the tradition of an ignorant protagonist learning nothing. I blame Orange is the New Black.)
Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Love it. I wish I could write this well.)
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (Enjoyable in the way the Little House books are. And there’s a sequel!)
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (We’ve talked about how it’s problematic and the author is so privileged in a way she can’t see, but I think there are a lot of good takeaways there.)
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (Anachronistic and lots of convenient happenings to keep the plot moving.)
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver (I like her writing a lot, but her endings seem to always be a letdown.)
The Apprentice by Jacques Pépin (Surprisingly charming!)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life by Bliss Broyard (UGH. So terrible.)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Funny! Much better when you read it as an adult)
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles (Yay! So good.)
15/15 = 100%
Go to four museums or Atlanta things. I didn’t go to museums, but I did “Atlanta things” like spending a lot of time on the Beltline walking to different places, going to new-to-me restaurants and attending festivals. My intent with this goal was to get myself out of the house and take advantage of what Atlanta has to offer. I’m calling this one a win.
4/4 = 100%
I tried a couple of new tools to help me keep track of my goals this year. It’s not only that I love data (and I do), but they help remind me of the goals in the first place. Being very honest, I flat-out ignored YNAB, but I like the Habit List app, and the Fitbit app got a lot better this year as well.