A New Year’s Worth of Goals

I don’t remember when, but someone once advised making goals versus resolutions when approaching the new year. Goals are something you work toward; resolutions are something you have to keep (and are therefore easily broken).

Lovely, isn’t it?

In that spirit, here are my/our goals for the coming year:

  • Refinish our dining room table top. At our first house here on Kaua’i, the dining room sat on the west side of the house, and the afternoon sun beating through the window literally melted the finish on the table in places. The table top is solid cherry butcher block and right now it looks awful. So, Brett and I are going to strip off the old finish, clean and lightly sand, and then refinish with mineral oil.
  • Stick with exercise. I’m increasing my time on the recumbent bicycle this month from two 10-minute sessions to two 15-minute sessions. It’s not a lot, but I think if slowly increase the time and tension, at the beginning of each month, and don’t overdo it, I’ll be more successful in sticking with it. I’ve already got two fans in position to keep me cool. I’m cleared to walk again, so am going to try to get out on the Coastal Path with Brett a couple of times a week as well. I have to be very careful though not to aggravate the bursitis in my right hip, or I could easily find myself with back problems again.

    Proud to say that I can already read all but xx of these kanji!
    Proud to say that I can already read all but five of these kanji!
  • Continue to work on learning Japanese and Portuguese. Both are impossible languages, for me anyway (all those diacritic marks in Portuguese!), and very, very different from each other, but so far I’m still enjoying the process, so want to see how far I can get by the end of next year. I’ve found that having to check off my study time each day is already a big step toward staying motivated.
  • Save, save, save. We plan to put away as much as we possibly each month and see where we end up by the end of the year, but we have big expenses for YaYu in the spring (AP and SAT tests and Key Club convention on Oahu), and may have to help with WenYu’s college expenses next fall, although she plans to cover those herself as much as possible. Besides taking YaYu to whichever college she will be attending, a BIG trip for 2018 is already in the planning stages – I’ll reveal all later. I’ve gotten our 2017 Christmas savings account started, with a goal of $720 by next December, ($60/month), and I’m back to earning Swagbucks to add to that amount.

    I could easily stay here for a night - the St. Regis in Princeville.
    I could easily stay here for a night – the St. Regis in Princeville.
  • Take a Kaua’i staycation. When YaYu is at her Key Club convention in May, Brett and I want to splurge and spend a night at one of the resorts on the island. There are several wonderful ones to choose from, and some offer kamaaina discounts.
  • Cut back on news and social media. I w-a-y overindulged in both this past year. I like to know what’s going on, but have decided I am only going to read one newspaper and one blog going forward, check Facebook and Instagram twice a day, and everything else can go away. It’s going to be very important to stay informed, but I need to be more discriminating about it. I unfriended a few toxic people on Facebook recently, as well as “friends” I haven’t heard from in well over a year or two, if ever.
  • Read 52 books. I’m going to set up a separate page here on the blog and track them. My overindulgence of news last year kept me from reading as much as I should have.

And that’s it! I think these are pretty doable, and I’ll try to update you here on our progress as we go through the year.

10 thoughts on “A New Year’s Worth of Goals

  1. I love your goals for the year. Challenging enough without being over the top crazy. I will look forward to hearing about how you’re doing and to what you are reading. Hi to Brett and the girls and best wishes to all of you in 2017!


  2. I like the distinction between goals and resolutions. Since I haven’t made many resolutions in the past few years, I connect more with goals. The new calendar always makes me want a clean start and new goals. And I definitely share your goal of cutting back on news and social media. Both have the tendency to make me anxious lately, and I have also found my attention span shrinking with more use – including when I’m trying to read a real book, which is something I’ve always loved. Just not a good influence and I need to stay informed but at a less frantic pace, particularly in reading Op-Ed and Twitter.

    This will be our first full year of both of us being retired and one of my goals is to spend less money. Some of the things we got hit with this year were unavoidable (new well tank, repair of leaking skylights, etc.), but I definitely can cook more and cut back our grocery budget. It’s way too high for two people. I admire your weekly menu planning and am working on the same idea.

    Here’s hoping 2017 is a good one!


    1. I think I heard the distinction between goals and resolutions on an Oprah show, years and years ago and boy did a lightbulb go off in my head! I’m a very goal-oriented person, so this made so much sense to me, because I’ve never been able to keep a resolution in my life.

      I’ve pretty much given up on Twitter – it was too addicting and I could spend (i.e. waste) lots of time there. I’m determined to stay informed but want to read more books versus the news, opinions, etc. I have one newspaper now, one news blog (which sometimes posts some Twitter stuff), and that’s it this year.

      Retirement is wonderful. Take your time and figure out what works for you, what you want to do.


  3. Love the idea of goals instead of resolutions. So much easier to deal with. My number one goal this year is to rebuild my emergency savings account. I figure if I have just one simple goal, I will have a better chance of accomplishing it.


    1. Yes, a goal is something to work toward! If you tell yourself at the beginning of the year “I’m going to lose 30 pounds,” but only lose 20, you’ve still accomplished something, whereas with a resolution (“I will lose 30 pounds”) if you don’t make it you’ve failed. There’s nothing wrong with having just one goal. Actually, all of our goals melt into one big goal we have, which is to save money this year.


  4. Thanks for sharing your goals with us! Just curious: of all the blogs in the world, you will choose to read only one. Which one did you choose?


    1. I read lots of blogs besides ones covering news, but this year I’m only going to read Balloon Juice for news opinion. I’ve been reading it since 2008, and don’t want to give it up. The blog has a liberal point of view, but they have an interesting groups of regular commenters that have been around for years who know each other, and present lots of different views on topics. They’re a pretty knowledgeable bunch though. If you want to comment, you’d better have a pretty solid argument – trolls are ousted fairly quickly. They also have a great group of front page posters, including one who has worked for years higher up in the government/army as a specialist, and who brings a wealth of background knowledge. Another front pager is a specialist on health care/insurance. There are also pet posts – everyone it seems is an animal lover. Anyway, it’s always a good read, especially if you give yourself time to go through the comments. Balloon Juice is an acquired taste though.


    1. I tried Goodreads, but it was just one more thing I had to remember to keep up with. Maybe it’s time I tried it again? I often go there to read reviews, or to confirm that what I’m thinking about a particular book is not totally out of the park.


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