New Year, New Goals

Brett and I had quite the year in 2019. We started out with visits to India, Hong Kong, Australia (including a train ride across the continent), and the North Island of New Zealand. From there we spent three wonderful months in Japan followed by summer in Portland and then fall in the charming Costwolds village of Blockley (with side trips to Edinburgh, London, Oxford, and Bath). We’ve ended the year with another great family Christmas in Portland. It’s going to be a hard year to top.

Toward the end of every year, Brett and I assess where we are and what we’ve done, and then think about and start discussing where we’d like to be at the end of the coming year as well as what we need to do to get there. Once those decisions are made we set goals and the milestones we need to meet. I’m happy to report that we have (finally) come to a firm decision about what we want to do and where we want to go following WenYu’s graduation at the end of May – all will be revealed in the spring after we leave Japan for our mystery destination (the two are linked). Coming to a decision about our future has involved lots of research and discussion (still ongoing), but we’ve reached what we feel is a good compromise on the keep traveling/settle down divide and both of us are looking forward to going forward and making things happen. 

Below are eight goals we want to accomplish in 2020. The first one is my personal reading goal, but the rest of them are for the two of us.

  1. Read at least 52 books again including finishing the Inspector Morse series and rereading all the Harry Potter books. I also have a few unfinished books on my Kindle, including Hamilton by Ron Chernow and It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, and I also want to finish those in 2020.
  2. Get our two primary health issues – Brett’s surgery and my stomach problems – resolved. Brett wants to have the surgery done in Portland next June following WenYu’s graduation and is working now on setting that up with the surgeons.
  3. Follow through on our big plan for the rest of the year after WenYu’s graduation at the end of May, a short visit to Vermont and Maine, and then (hopefully) Brett’s surgery in June.
  4. Do a better job of sticking to a monthly budget. Although we’ll have somewhat less per month than usual while we’re in Japan, we’ll be able to increase the daily amount again once we reach our mystery destination.
  5. Spend next Christmas once again in Portland and go through our stored items with the girls (and fingers crossed, with our son and daughter-in-law as well) and let them take what they want, then downsize the remaining items.
  6. Meet our annual savings goal for YaYu’s college expenses, with disbursements to her in July and late December.
  7. Restock our travel savings account. We use these savings to cover major transportation costs (i.e. airfare) and other miscellaneous travel expenses. All our transportation has already been paid for through arrival at our mystery destination in April. We will need to save enough to buy tickets to get us from there to New York City in May for a short visit with Meiling (and to see Hamilton!!), then get us over to Massachusetts for WenYu’s graduation. We also need to save enough for a rental car while we’re in New England and for our tickets back to Portland and then on to our next destination.
  8. Do we dare say we’d both like to lose some weight? Starting with our last three weeks in England, we’ve been much too sedentary and the pounds having come creeping (bounding?) back. A big goal in 2020 is more exercise!

As always, the goals above are SMART ones: Specific, Measurable, Achievable (even losing weight!), Realistic and Timely (finish by the end of the year). Welcome 2020 – we’re ready for you! 

Wishing all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

21 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals

  1. Great goals! Your posts always inspire me.

    You don’t have to give specifics, but what area of Vermont will you be visiting? I feel like you’ll be so close-relatively anyway, to my home in Western Massachusetts.
    Happy New Years
    Anon in mass

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    1. Thanks Kay!

      We don’t have any definite plans yet but we’re thinking of spending the night in Stowe before heading over to Maine. We’ll be staying in Camden while we’re there, near Acadia.

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      1. Aaah I see, that makes sense that you’d visit stowe so far up north in Vermont, if you’re going to be in Camden. I’ve visited Stowe in the middle of winter and Acadia in the Summer. Both great spots…..but I really love all of New England really.
        Funny you’ll actually be very close to my father and step-mother, they live in Rockport, ME.

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      2. Our thought is that by going up to Stowe from Boston and then over to Campden we would get to see more of the area. We’ll drive back down the Maine coastline on our way back to Boston.

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      3. Our thought in choosing Stowe is that by going up that far and then over to Campden we would get to see more of the area. We plan to drive down the Maine coast on our way to Boston, and may even stay one extra night there along the way.

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  2. Happy New Year! Your 2020 looks exciting and I’m looking forward to follow your adventures!

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    1. Happy New Year to you and yours! (We actually have about 1 1/2 hours to go here in the west coast).

      We’re looking forward to 2020 – it will a very different type of travel year from 2019, but exciting just the same. Stay tuned!

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  3. Happy New Year! With your upcoming travel, your year is more structured than most people’s, but you still have lots of flexibility during each stay. Nice mix!

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    1. Happy New Year to you and yours!

      I hadn’t thought much about how structured our year is (and last year was too) but you’re right. We know where we’ll be when and most likely what we’ll be doing, although most of it remains somewhat fluid from day to day. The second half of 2020 is still a bit of an unknown for us right now, but the edges are there now and we’ll be filling in more as we go along.

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  4. Happy New Year! 2020 will be a big one with a new grandbaby, selling and downsizing our house to a new condo and all the chaos that entails. I’m hoping the builder has some delays (don’t they always?) so the move and the baby don’t arrive on top of one another. But what will be will be. The baby will take precedence, of course.

    It’s it interesting how long it takes to lose weight and how quickly it comes back? The holidays take their toll every year regardless of how I say I’m going to watch what I eat. Well, I did watch it…the treats, the wine, the eating out. All of it. And I can’t say I regret any of it…it was fun!

    Cheers!

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    1. You are going to have an exciting year! I’ve already got my fingers crossed for you that grandbaby and condo move don’t arrive at the same time. You’ve got a lot of motivation built in to get the downsizing and other tasks done too.

      Weight loss these days seems like an impossibility. I think of how careful I was last summer and all the exercise I got and the total lost was just six pounds!!! Back in the day I would have lost 25 – 30 pounds! I feel like I put that much on if I enjoy a glass of wine these days, let alone a small piece of cake or such. Thankfully the girls all say I look pretty good. There is a mirror here in the apartment that had me near tears each time I saw myself – I was so wide! – but Meiling discovered there was a “bulge” in it and everyone looked wider than normal!!

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      1. I’m with you! It took me the better part of 6 months to lose 10 lbs, and I think I can safely say half of it is back on. Of course, I’m also having my “January struggles” with getting back into healthy eating. One of these days, I’ll clear all the junk food out, but not today. LOL.

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      2. I was so careful last summer, walked at least two miles almost every day, etc. and lost a whopping six pounds for my efforts. That was a wake-up call for what it’s going to take going forward to keep my weight down. Once it’s just the two of us in Japan I’ll start to lose again. We also walk a LOT there – no way to get around it!

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  5. What a brilliant year of travel! I’m looking forward to reading about more of your adventures and about your decision.

    Happy new year to you both!

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    1. Same to you!! I think we’ll be happy with our idea for the second half of the year – it gives us options.

      And many good thoughts and prayers for your beautiful country – I remain horrified by what’s occurring there.

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    1. The very same good wishes for 2020 right back to you and Betty!

      For now, it looks like we will be back in Portland the first week of December, and we plan to stay for at least a month! We hope you can make it!!

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    1. Thank you, Anthony, and I’m glad your joining us!

      I’ve always been a planner and enjoy putting those skills I obtained over the years to good use now. I don’t remember when or where I heard to set goals for the new year versus making resolutions, but doing that has made a world of difference in what we’ve been able to accomplish.

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    1. 2019 was a great year for us – lots of dreams fulfilled and goals reached. I think overall 2020 is going to be an “interesting” year, as in the curse, “may you live in interesting times,” but still think it should be a good year for us. We are excited about both the plans we’ve already set up and about how the second half of the year will unfold!

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