Goals and Plans for 2009

Roughly a year ago, I wrote an article entitled Goals and Plans for 2008 that specified the things I intended to do during this year: eliminate all of my family’s non-mortgage debt (didn’t quite make it), start an investing plan (yep), double the readership of The Simple Dollar (yep), pull the trigger on three writing projects (two out of three ain’t bad), and spend more time with my children (yep). All in all, a pretty good year.

Just like last year, I find myself looking forward to 2009, identifying the things I want to accomplish during that year. Here are the five big goals I’ve defined for the coming year.

My first goal is to eliminate my remaining student loan debt. That’s the only non-mortgage debt we still have, and it’s locked in at a percentage significantly higher than our mortgage. Thus, it’s our big financial target for the coming year.

For us to make this goal, I need to make an overpayment of roughly $1,200 each month on that debt. If I do that, the loan should be completely gone by the end of the year, leaving us with just our mortgage for debt.

My second goal is to write a manuscript for a second book. I want to write more of a “meaty” book for my next one, and I have a lot of ideas as to how to go about it. It’s going to be quite a bit of work – a different kind of work than writing 365 Ways to Live Cheap.

I intend to start this book in the spring. I find that I have more success starting big creative projects in the spring than in any other part of the year – summer is usually filled with a lot of breaks from writing to spend time with my family, fall is very routine-oriented, and winter is usually heavily in the doldrums.

My third goal is to get more involved with local politics. I am interested in running for a local political office in the near future, one that will likely eat up a sizeable slice of time on a regular basis.

I very much enjoy the process of local politics, as it often feels that the decisions you make and discussions you participate in directly affect the community around you. I look forward to the opportunity to get more involved with it.

My fourth goal is to lose a pound a week – a total of fifty two pounds. I’d like to get my weight back to what I weighed in college, which was the point in my life where I felt the healthiest.

The biggest change I’ll need to make to reach this goal is to incorporate more exercise into my life. In early January, I have a few appointments scheduled with my doctor, a dietitian, and a physical trainer to help come up with a reasonable and healthy plan for me to reach this goal.

My final goal for 2009 is to make a strong, concerted effort to let some of the most important people in my life know how important they are to me. I hope to do this in the form of letters and videos and to give these things the time and attention they truly deserve.

There are a lot of people in my life that I care for a lot and it’s often difficult to express to them how much they mean to me. By making this a priority, I hope I can find ways to let them know what they really mean to me.

What are your goals and plans for 2009? Let us know in the comments.

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