Each year I try to set a few goals, with varying degrees of success. Let’s review the goals I set for 2011 and see if there are any lessons learned that I can apply to my goals for the coming year.
Save for emergency funds / investments
For the first six months of this year, this goal went really well. I was able to save about 25% of my salary that I set aside for mutual funds or other investments.
However, after giving birth to the second baby, I was more engrossed with buying of baby stuffs and gadgets that I went out of control of my financial limit. Added on, we went for a family out-of-the-country getaway that was supposed to be scheduled next year. Lastly, I abruptly took up my doctoral degree that was not initially on my plan.
What went wrong? Impulsiveness is truly one of my weaknesses. Whenever, I think of something or just overly mesmerized over material possessions, right then and there I took out some cash from my savings. Until I realized that my spending went spiral and uncontrollable.
What can I do to realign this goal? I should have to open a separate account for funds of this purpose, an account that will surely enforce me to save like time deposits and will earn interests. Likewise, I have to set an amount intended only for baby’s spending. For family getaways, we can just do it in a frugal way like camping or simply having a picnic in public garden. I can still continue with my doctoral degree, as it was my longtime dream, but have also to set a portion of my salary for my tuition fees.
Create a mini-garden at Home
I really love gardening and putting up a mini-garden at home seems impossible. First, Jesse tried sprouting a variety of vegetables in a seedling plot. But because the soil around our new home is mostly sandy and acidic, we failed to establish a vegetable garden in our backyard. It requires us to buy fertilizers or soil garden which I largely felt was a frivolous endeavor.
What went wrong? Our place is not conducive for gardening. We are living in a four-flat building and all sharing the same backyard. Likewise, stray animals like sheep and goats can easily access to our area because our main gate is always open.
What can I do to realign this goal? I can simply have flowers in a pot or just plant vegetables in used tin cans or unused plasticwares. We can have fertilizers out of food leftovers, fruits and vegetable peels, and dried leaves and twigs.
Being involved with my kids
I’m practically becoming an involved mother to my kids’ daily activities and undertakings. With Andrei’s schooling, we always set a study time each night which lasted for one to two hours. At weekends, I get him participated in household chores like setting the table for dinner and watching over his younger sister. For our little girl, I make sure that she is well taking care of especially she is now in the crawling stage. After I get home from work, I took her from her crib and the two of us will take a nap in the afternoon. Whenever, she’s awake I always find time to play with her. Before going to bed, I regularly read fairy tale stories which delighted my girl so much.
What went right? I simply attacked this goal with relish. Motherhood has never been fulfilling and satisfying to me since I have my second pregnancy. Now, I always find time to be with my kids whether playing with them at home, or taking them out to the mall, or recreational places. I made sure I provided everything that they need coupled with warm cuddles and sweet kisses.
Becoming passionate with baking and cooking
Whenever I have free time at home, I simply go to the kitchen and check the cupboard for the grocery items and match the ingredients from the recipe book. Then, with a little dash of excitement a delicious meal is cooked for the whole family. Every month, I tried something new from pasta to grilled meat and from Asian to Arabian cuisine.
What went right? Ever since I was young, I tried cooking. I cultivate my desire my buying myself baking tools and equipment that really help me to come up with a perfect cakes, cookies, and pastries. I also regularly watch cooking sessions on TV or download recipes from the internet.
Shred off some fat and jog
My biggest opponent in this regard was my dedication for breastfeeding to my baby which requires me to take more calories and food intakes. Sometimes I feel so hungry that I cannot control what I am eating because if not I felt dizzy and nauseous.
A month after baby’s delivery, everything was quite successful, I reduced about 2 pounds. However, my tights, butt, and tummy are still in bad shape. Fats which are normally deposited in these areas are hard to shred.
I even plan to undergo zumba dancing and jog at the neighborhood a couple of months ago but still I ended up to sleeping or otherwise watching TV at home.
What went wrong? I don’t think my fitness plan accounted for the possibility of such things going wrong. It’s just I’m not really emotionally and physically prepared to shred off the weight right away especially I have a little baby to nourish too.
What can I do to realign this goal? Flexibility. Whenever, I set a goal, it needs to have a path leading to that goal that’s as flexible as possible. Like for example, i will not pressure myself to hit a target weight loss per month. On the other hand, I can go for healthy snacks and organic food to help me gain energy and prepare my body for the workout soon.
My own thoughts
Setting goals for each year motivate us to make ourselves stronger and make our life better. But along the way, the goals expected to have a clear path to success sometimes have obstacles that you don’t see at first hand, and sometimes those obstacles prove overwhelming.
The best thing you can do with any goal is to give it some careful thought in advance. Make sure that it can be something simple, manageable, achievable, realistic, time-bound and sensible. Think about your plan carefully and look for potential problems as well as solutions to those problems. The more care you put in up front, the more likely you are to see success as things unfold.
I hope the lessons I learned will help me reflect my 2012 goals.