We’re halfway through 2020, and time for me to check on how we’re doing with our goals for the year, both joint and personal.
Joint goals for Brett and me:
- Continue to stay healthy! Besides avoiding COVID-19, Brett and I both want to lose an additional 10 pounds. We will continue with our current eating plan and exercise for the year and see where that takes us. We plan to segue to cross-training before the middle of the year, and will be purchasing a recumbent exercise bicycle to add to our walking. Our end-of-the-year goal is to be able to walk two to four hours at a time at least four days per week. Because we are no longer planning to do a walking tour, we now walk purely for personal exercise and getting in a distance between 3.5 to 4 miles most days of the week. We take Sundays off, but unless it’s raining we walk the other six days of the week, mostly up at Kukuiolono Park. We have both lost weight, are almost done with eating meat, and while I haven’t lost any further weight I also have not gained any weight so I’m calling it a win.
- Save enough to cover YaYu’s 2021-2022 college expenses. Thankfully we have 12 months to accomplish this, but her final year has the potential to be an expensive surprise, even with financial aid, as the college knows they have a “captive audience” and may lower previous levels of aid (this happened to us with our son). We are on track with what we wanted to save for this, but YaYu should be able to contribute more of her own earnings as well this fall. Fingers crossed! Once we are done with this expense at the end of December the money we put away for YaYu will instead go into our travel savings.
- Save $8000 for future travels, including an additional $1000 in Delta gift cards from Swagbucks. This is a big goal, but we think it’s one we can accomplish. Savings throughout the year will come from the $1 bill/change jar; WenYu’s and Meiling’s reimbursements for their phone plan; a monthly saving allotment (which has been increased for 2021); all refunds, reimbursements, and rewards; and every other bit of odds and ends we can throw into the account. We’re on track to save over $10,000 this year, and I’m now working on earning another $500 Delta gift card before the end of they year.
- Save $600 for Christmas 2021. We plan to keep it simple again next year, even if we’re all together again. Brett and I have already decided that any gifts we give each other will be to support our 2022 walking tour in Japan. Well, we’re no longer doing a walking tour in Japan, and any gifts Brett and I exchange will be things we need for Big Adventure II. We’re on track to reach this goal as well. Starting next month we will be adding in one or two items into our shopping (stocking stuffer items for the girls) and have that done by December with hopefully very little disturbance to our budget. We already have yen set aside to send to the grands for them to spend at Christmas.
- Send at least one stored item to each of the girls. We plan to send WenYu a lamp we’ve been storing for her, and also her light box (for drawing), but have no idea yet what to send to Meiling (she wants my KitchenAid mixer, but for what it would cost to send from her we could buy her a new one). Postage is going to be expensive no matter what we choose to send, but we are determined to start whittling down the stuff we are keeping for them. YaYu’s things will stay here for the time being, until she finishes school. We’re going to let the girls go through their things when they’re here and carry items back with them. We’ve already asked them what to do about some items, and have sold the KitchenAid mixer, the light box, and a couple of other items we were storing for the girls that they have said they no longer want. The lamp went up on our local Buy & Sell, got lots of view, but no takers so it will be saved for a garage sale later.
- Go to the beach at least 26 times. That’s an average of every other week but we think it’s a goal we can accomplish. We’ve been to the beach ten times this year so far and with summer just getting started we think we’ll be able to reach our goal by the end of the year.
So far so good then on the joint goals. There are mixed reviews however with my personal goals:
My Personal Goals:
- Read 52 books. Last year was a bust as I didn’t read for nearly three months after we came back to Kaua’i – my mind just couldn’t focus. I have decided that 2021 will be a “year of mystery” with my reading focusing on mysteries, thrillers (which will include the John LeCarré books – will get as many read/reread as possible), and police procedurals from around the world. I already have over ten books on hold at the library! I have already finished 40 mystery/thriller/procedural books, and should end up going well over 52 books by the end of the year!
- Add 20 minutes of upper body strength training with weights to my daily exercise. I need to improve my upper body strength for our 2022 tour. YaYu has agreed to help me find a program I can follow online. I am continuing with 10 minutes of upper body strength exercise three times a week. With 2-pound weights it’s still a workout.
- Continue to study Japanese, and add French as well. I’m going to finish up the Memrise Japanese offerings at the beginning of the year, then plan to move on to working with the Japanese for Busy People text to get a firmer grip on the grammar. I’m not sure how much I can improve, but the point for me now is to keep going with it. I found a free beginning online French course offered through MIT, and want to start that. It will be challenging, especially since I will have to submit lessons and will actually be awarded a grade for the course once I sign up, so once I start I will be committed. I thoroughly enjoyed learning French before we left on our Big Adventure and have been wanting to learn more. I kept up with this for a while, but was honestly not enjoying it and gave it up a few months ago. Japanese is a lost cause for me at the this point, and I’ve decided to study either Italian or German beginning next year in preparation for future travels.
- Start writing a book. I have an idea of where I want to go with this, so will begin next month with an outline, and also start researching publishers. I plan to set aside an one hour each day for book writing. I figured out very early on that I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in writing a book and stopped trying.
Overall, I would say we’re making great progress this year toward accomplishing our goals. There are just two things that aren’t going to happen, but otherwise we’re on track to getting everything accomplished and that makes me happy. Yeah us!