Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a fabulous time celebrating the end of one year and the start of another. Before turning towards goal-setting for the year to come, it’s time to take a look back at how things went in 2018.
2018 was an interesting year around here, that’s for sure. Financially, there was of course the great stock market crash of Q4 to content with. My work life changed significantly as I took on a new position. Things with this site went in ways I never expected. And generally it was an eventful year.
My 2018 Goals
In case you’re new, or don’t remember, I had set a series of goals for 2018 in a variety of categories. Setting goals in a variety of categories helps me to remember to be a more well-rounded person. Although I’ve been less well rounded than I was hoping, to be frank.
I selected six categories that were meaningful to me – Family, Work, Creativity, Money, Travel and Health. If you’re thinking of using this kind of framework for your own goals, select categories that are meaningful to you. Don’t set a goal that doesn’t get you closer to your personal dreams just because you think you “should”.
So now lets break down how each category went.
Oldest – All goals achieved! He became a Life Scout in late October and received
Middle – He did his play earlier in the year, and has had multiple performances with the band. He even marched in our town’s parade! Now that he’s started middle school, it seems he wants to join ALL THE CLUBS.
He joined Gardening club, where the kids run a garden and sell veggies at our local farmers market. He also joined a club for the book series Wings of Fire (affiliate link). He’s continued to play the drums in the band, and every Friday goes to our local YMCA for activities. This is in addition to continuing with Scouts and earning his first rank. Busy kid!
Youngest – He’s doing great on his goals! He started preschool this fall, and loves spending time with all his friends. In fact, over this winter break he keeps talking about how much he misses all his friends. He doesn’t ever really want to leave preschool…which can be a bit of a problem when my husband goes to pick him up.
He can count past 10, recognizes most of the numbers 0-9 (occasionally mixing up 6 and 9, which is normal), and can say the entire alphabet. Recognizing letters is next up on the list, and he does recognize a few of them. It’s something to continue working on next year, in addition to his fine motor skills.
The list above had my original goals, although they changed significantly through this year.
Work – Day Job – This one changed a lot. In the middle of the year I shifted to a different department, which came with a salary increase but also a significant change in my day-to-day work. I had been with my old area for seven years, and although it was a new project every year, I wanted to get some experience in a different department. The area I went to is our International technology department.
It’s been an adjustment, that’s for sure. And it impacted many of the rest of my goals for the year. The new job has come with increased travel (not international travel yet), as well as all new technology/people/processes. It’s been about six months now, and although I’m told I’m doing well, I still feel like I’m adjusting. I plan to give this at least one year and then evaluate what I want my next step at work to be.
Blog – Well I blew past all my goals for CMO, that’s for sure. This time last year I had been nominated for a PLUTUS award and featured on Business Insider, but that was it. This year I had a single article with Business Insider that reached over a million page views. I won a PLUTUS award for Family Finance and was nominated for one for my series on female breadwinners. I’ve been featured now not only on BI several times, but also in Forbes, on MSN, Yahoo Finance, Marketwatch, and CNBC.
Frankly all that was totally unexpected. I still remember starting this site two years ago, dreaming of a day when I might get above ten page views. Or a single comment.
I made enough income to pay for the expenses that come with running this site and discovered I don’t really enjoy the money-making process. I have no issues with people earning incomes through their sites. After all, many folks are putting in lots of hours of their lives into it and that deserves compensation. Honestly, though, I would have made more money working part-time delivering pizzas than I have through the blog.
My mission is, always has been, and will remain to help others. Reaching more people lets me help more people. Stay tuned to Friday when I talk about my 2019 goals for this site.
One brand-new recipe each month – I’m going to say Pass here. I’ve been doing a ton of experimentation lately with white-whole wheat baking, to great success. I’ve made coffee cake, cookies, brownies, even donuts with white whole wheat flour.
I’ve actually been considering making an eBook with all the recipes, not only for myself and my
One new art project a month – Looking back at the past year I think I can give myself a pass. Some months I didn’t do any, but some months I did multiple. Right now, in fact, I’m in the middle of a project to paint my middle
Read four books a month – Big old FAIL here. I’m lucky to get through a single book a month. Reading has just taken a
Re-do One Room In The House – FAIL here again. I fully planned to do this, but just didn’t. I could use any number of excuses here but I really just didn’t prioritize it. There are a lot of things I want to update about this house, but there are some repairs I need to do first. Ah, the joys of homeownership.
Thank you, market crash, for helping me to remember that I shouldn’t make goals that depend on market increases.
Mortgage to 75% of payoff – PASS. I’m actually at 82% of payoff. If the stars align I may have enough to pay it off this coming year. We’ll see…
College to 80% oldest / 60% middle /25% youngest– ALMOST, but not quite. We poured in money towards this goal but
We managed to reach 76% oldest /57% middle /17% youngest, which is why I’ve rated this an almost. Next year, the goal will be about what I contribute instead of relying on market increases, even modest ones.
Max Retirement/HSA – PASS. Both were maxed this year. I paid all my medical expenses for the year out of pocket, as I didn’t hit the deductible (for a change). This is to let the HSA start to accumulate money for future years. This acts as a kind of medical emergency fund, in case we encounter significant expenses, as well as a potential fund for the future.
With my husband’s various medical issues, you just never know when we’ll need a large sum of money. I feel very fortunate we were able to pay medical expenses with cash flow this year. Most years aren’t like that.
Road Trip – Sort of pass. Originally we were planning to take a road trip over the summer, but since I changed roles over the summer, I wasn’t able to take the time off. This saddens me since we’ve had fun on our other family road trips.
My husband and the boys did go on a road trip together to PA, where they visited a college for my oldest son together. I had to work, unfortunately, but got to tag along via Skype and social media.
Day Trip – Gonna pass this one. Not only did my husband and the boys go on a number of day trips over the summer, but we went together as a family to various places on weekends. There were some months we didn’t really go anywhere, but all in
Camping – Pass! We went camping in July in Rhode Island, which is our usual camping plan. We also went camping at the beach with the scouts in the fall. We camp out in tents – yes, even in the cold or rain. Camping together is a blast!
Plan Post-Mortgage Payoff Trip – Pass. We started to talk about going to Japan as a family. We’ve read a few library books for adults and kids on the topic, started Duolingo for Japanese, and generally keep talking about it.
I’d love to get this done before my oldest son turns 16 and gets a job. Once that happens, family trips will be much more difficult.
Generally, this is the category that we did the best at, while simultaneously failing two of the four categories.
Continue to have husbands health improve/no new surgery/no major health events – All got a pass. This is something we don’t ever take for granted, since the past almost seven years have seen four major surgeries. My husband does have other medical issues as well, but fortunately for us none of them acted up in a big way this year.
Hiking merit badge? Fail. My oldest son decided to do the swimming merit badge instead – you can select between swimming, hiking, and biking for this Eagle-scout required badge.
Walk at work 3x per week – Fail. There were actually a bunch of months where I did this, but more months that I didn’t. Now that it’s cold I’m sure I’ll use that as an excuse to continue to not do this.
It’s difficult to fit in everything I do plus time to walk at work, especially on days where I have seven or eight hours of meetings. I’m going to adjust this goal for next year to better reflect the reality of my life.
Unexpected goal – Together as a family we’ve lost over 100 pounds this year.
In the middle of the year, we decided to make some not-insignificant changes to the way we ate, and to our general level of activity. We weren’t feeling our best or looking our best. So we embarked on what we call a “lifestyle change”.
I’m not a believer in crash diets, or strange eating plans we can’t stick to forever. I AM a believer in making adjustments to what foods we eat most of the time, how we cook those foods, and not eating out much at all. This is where all the experimentation with white whole wheat baking came in. We also upped the amount of protein, fruits and veggies we were consuming.
This isn’t a healthy lifestyle blog, and I’m no expert. But if folks are interested I can go more in-depth into the kinds of changes we’ve made. Just let me know in the comments.
All In All, An Amazing 2018
To wrap up, I want to thank YOU, the readers, for stopping by and reading this site. Not only would I just be talking to myself without you, but you inspire me every day to keep this going. I hope that something here at CMO helps you, educates you, or inspires you – and I’m looking forward to helping you more in 2019!
Let me know in the comments what you’re most hoping to achieve next year.