In past years, I set goals for the upcoming year. In January 2017, I wrote a letter to myself using FutureMe.org, mostly related to beating my financial progress from 2016, travel, and developing friendships. In 2018, I publicly tweeted out 6 goals, and in my recap post last year, I said I smashed 5 of them.

note notebook notes page
Looks like a Resolution list I might write. Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

But in 2019, I didn’t really feel like setting goals again. That is, until January 1st, when Miss Mazuma reached out to me personally to challenge me to a step competition lasting the full year. We’re 351 days into the challenge as I write this, and I haven’t fallen short of the goal in any of the first 50 weeks – I can’t let myself fail now! (I’m at 4.25 million steps in 2019 at this moment. Gotta keep steppin’!)

So I’m falling back to my 2017 FutureMe list and my 2018 recap post to see if I’ve continued to make additional progress in 2019. Spoiler alert! Yes, I have. Which means I need to set the bar higher in 2020.

  1. Max out IRA sooner than in 2016 (October). I waited until I had a 3-paycheck month and a tax return at the same time in March 2019, and fully-funded my Traditional IRA in one contribution. (I also later re-characterized these contributions to my Roth IRA)
  2. Make new friends. Check! I made quite a few new friends this year, thanks to attending a CampFI, the Playing with FIRE screening tour, FinCon in DC, and the Adventures to FI Retreat in Montana. I also organized meetups in Fort Myers and Tampa, and attended other meetups in Cleveland and Port St. Lucie.
  3. Find a way to travel more; even though I don’t have a lot of vacation time. Check! I made day trips to Tampa and Port St. Lucie. I completed weekend travel to Gainesville, Indianapolis, Helen Georgia, Clemson SC and Charleston SC, San Diego, Atlanta, Richmond VA, Lake Geneva Wisconsin, and Key West. I stretched out conference travel in Cleveland and made a road-trip to Durham NC, Baltimore, DC and Destin Florida which included 2 conferences in that loop. And I used three personal days to make a 5-day trip (3 plus 2 travel days) to Montana. Lots of points were used, and I still have almost as many as I started with in 2019!
  4. Recommit to reading and writing again. Check. This is my 30th post of the year, and I have read 11 books (about twice as many as last year).
  5. Continue to unwind the Lending Club disaster of 2015. I have $306 left in the account, down from a high of $7,500. But the rest are locked up in 60-month loans, so they won’t be paid in full for at least another year.
  6. Learn to love yourself. You’re a really good guy, smart, reasonably funny, and you care so much about others, but very little about yourself. Fail, but I’m resolving to keep working on this one. And thanks to so many of you wonderful friends who continue to say nice things about me – I’m starting to believe them 😉

Looks like I’m 5/6 again this year.

My 2018 recap post foreshadowed a lot of my year in 2019:

I set 6 resolutions for 2018 and I smashed 5 of those, so I call it a win. I have been thinking about resolutions for 2019, but I like the idea of setting intentions instead of resolutions. I fully intend to build upon the successes of 2018 and to forge ahead with new plans. I cannot wait to make so many more new friends at CampFI Southeast Week 2 in January, and to reconnect with my favorite people in the world at FinCon19 in Washington D.C. in September. Travel remains high on my priority list, but I don’t have a whole lot of time saved up, so I might just need to take some long weekends and use up some of my accumulated hotel and airline points to go see some more of this beautiful blue and green marble we call home.

CampFI – Yes, so many new friends!

FinCon – Yes, my favorite people in the world!

Travel – Yes, keep earning and burning points and miles!

Looking ahead to 2020, I already have 2 trips planned for January, 1 in March, and hope to take many more. I’ll attend CampFI Southeast Week 2 in Gainesville again, and the following weekend is a trip to Little Rock and Nashville over the MLK Weekend. March will welcome the EconoMe Conference in Cincinnati, and I hope to see many of you there! Those three trips combined will take only 1 vacation day, so I’ll finally be building up a little batch of time off from work.

I have already submitted paperwork to HR to increase my 457(b) contributions to meet the 2020 maximum of $19,500. This year it’s a nice round $750 per pay period (26) versus $730.76 and leaving 24 cents worth of contribution room! LAME! That TWENTY-FOUR CENTS could become a couple whole dollars by conventional retirement age! 😊

(Also, I’ve already calculated that we will have 27 paychecks in 2021, so I’m already prepared to decrease my biweekly contributions next year at this time, even though the contribution limit will most likely increase to $20,000 for 2021 – that’s $740.74 per pay period).

My 2020 $6,000 Roth IRA contribution is sitting in my Vanguard Money Market Account, ready to be deployed early in 2020 for the maximum “time in the market” to work its magic.

I’ll complete another minimum spending requirement on my current Chase business card just after the first of the year, so that means another 50,000 + 4,500 for the points earned on spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, will be posting to my account for future travel planning.

And one important goal I didn’t even know I had for 2019 was to give more generously than I had in the past when I held more of a scarcity mindset. I am going into 2020 with the intention of giving more away than I did in 2019.

What do you have in store for 2020? Do you set goals or resolutions, or are you just trying to get better one step/day/week at a time?

  1. “And thanks to so many of you wonderful friends who continue to say nice things about me – I’m starting to believe them”

    Aww, Josh. I don’t know you that well, but I see enough of you on Twitter to know that the nice things they say about you ARE true. You are a good friend with a kind heart and you care about people!

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