Updated on 12.15.10

How Did My 2010 Resolutions Go?

Trent Hamm

As 2010 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look at my resolutions for the year and see how they’ve gone.

1. Lose 40 pounds

Result: Partial success

What do I mean by partial success? I mean that I did lose weight during 2010 and made it halfway to my goal by losing twenty pounds during the year. Best of all, the year ended on a very positive note, with most of the weight loss occurring in the last two months of the year.

I made great progress on this goal early in the year, then it rebounded during the period where I was editing my book and facing other stresses in my life. As summer ended, I was nearly back to where I started, but during the fall, I took control of things again in a positive fashion.

My biggest challenge is getting exercise. I can cut back on my food intake without much problem, but exercise is the continual challenge because my work is largely sedentary, as are my main hobbies (reading and gaming). For me, when I cut back on food, I have to be careful to not cut back too much or I get mentally and physically tired. Diet usually results in about 3/4 lb. loss per week if I hit that fine line of meeting my nutritional needs but not consuming excess calories.

The big difference for me is exercise – when I can get it. This, of course, points straight at a potential 2011 resolution, doesn’t it?

2. Pay cash for a replacement for my truck.

Result: Complete success

If you were paying attention back in late March, our family bought a 2004 Honda Pilot using cash off of Craigslist. We have been extremely happy with the vehicle, as it fits our family of five very well for road trips (meaning we can travel to visit our parents with plenty of room for the needed luggage, plus the safety of a four wheel drive in the winter months).

The only maintenance and repair cost I’ve put into the vehicle since acquiring it is the 100,000 and 105,000 mile maintenances, which I did as one big package at about the 103,000 mile mark. That was a bit expensive, but the vehicle has kept running like a champ.

3. Learn to play the piano.

Result: Success

I wouldn’t say complete success here because I’ve learned that it’s a long, long process to get good at the piano. I can play simple arrangements now and work through new songs by simply sight reading. I am happy with my progress throughout the year, especially considering that I’ve never played an instrument or looked at sheet music before in my life.

I’ve been lucky to have a great piano instructor, Diane Helmer, who really needs to have a website to promote her work. She didn’t just sit down and make me learn things the way she thought I “ought” to learn them, but instead figured out what my goals were and is helping me to achieve them. Diane, get a website and you’ll get a link from The Simple Dollar!

I fully intend to keep up my piano playing for years to come, and my two oldest children are beginning to express interest as well (which was an ulterior motive of this).

4. Reduce my entertainment and hobby spending by 50%.

Result: Middling success

My calculation so far is that my entertainment and hobby spending in 2010 is down about 35% from 2009, which is close to my goal but didn’t quite reach it.

Here’s why I still see some success, though: I took to doing a lot of trading via the internet of DVDs, books, board games, and other items this year. If you do not include the postage for these trades, I’m actually very close to my 50% reduction that I planned for for this year.

My hobby and entertainment spending did go down drastically. The biggest drop was in DVD purchases, which almost vanished. Gaming spending had about a 10% drop overall. Book spending went down about 40%. The only area that went up was a subscription to Netflix.

I’m happy with the changes, and I suspect 2011 will have lower spending than 2010 because right now I actually have a backlog of games to play, books to read, and films to watch.


I’m pretty pleased with my 2010 resolution performance. It’s not perfect, but I set some very stiff goals for myself during the year and I achieved (or mostly achieved) all of them.

Going through this process has helped me figure out some goals for 2011, which I’m going to share with you in the coming weeks. I tentatively have three of them in place and you should be able to guess one of them if you’ve read this article.

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  1. Debbie M says:

    Hey, you could tip your piano teacher by helping her create a website and teaching her how to updated it!

  2. Debbie M says:

    Oh, and congratulations on making real progress with every one of your goals.

    And now, fun with guessing:

    1) Lose 20 more pounds.

    2) Try a hobby that’s active.

    3) Start a band with your family.

    Ha! Well, one of those is probably close!

  3. Josh says:

    Good work on the goals Trent! I’m in the same boat when it comes to exercise, unfortunately I have found there is just no easy way around that other than making it a priority, and forcing yourself to do it no matter how tired you might feel or what the weather is. Often times, I think I am too tired to exercise but once I get started I realize I still have plenty of energy and those often end up being some of my best workouts! Keep up the good work!

  4. Petunia says:

    Congrats on doing so well with your 2010 goals!

    As far as making time for exercise, I find I do better when I keep a packed gym bag in the trunk of my car and go directly after work. If I go home first, I get caught up in something there, or realize how tired I am, or something, and I just don’t seem to get around to going back out.

  5. Kathryn says:

    Okay, i’m impressed.

    Most of us have vague goals that melt away within a few weeks of the New Year.

    You had specific goals and worked toward them so at the end of the year you could chart your progress. I see that as a HUGE success as well as meeting your goals at some level.

    Congrats, Trent!

  6. lurker carl says:

    Losing weight and saving money are easier said than done. Congratulations on both fronts!

  7. Marsha says:

    I really like how you gave yourself credit for progress on goals even if you didn’t entirely reach them. Some people would lose 39 pounds and think they failed because they didn’t lose 40. Good job on looking at the glass as half-full.

  8. Aryn says:

    You don’t have to go to huge effort to start exercising. When it’s not winter, you and your wife could start by taking a walk together every evening. Load the kids in the stroller and walk for about half an hour. It’s not a speedy way to lose weight, but walking is better than nothing and it will get you in a habit.

  9. Mule Skinner says:

    “bought a 2004 Honda Pilot using cash off of Craigslist”

    Hey! I wanna get cash off of Craigslist too!

  10. Adam P says:

    I’m sure you’ve already tried this, but gaming and excersize don’t have to be apart with the Wii Fit and that Xbox360 Kinect or whatever and the PS3 “Move” controllers… Friends are losing weight just playing video games now. I think it’s a great thing!

    Congrats on 20lbs Trent..that’s a real accomplishment. Your resolution should be to keep it off in 2011, because a lot of people who lose weight like that gain it back in the next few years. Sounds like you’re doing fine tho!

  11. Hannah says:

    All this with a new baby at home. Congrats.

    But what happened with NaNoWriMo?

  12. Briana @ GBR says:

    Great job on the successes! I’m hoping to meet some similar success in 2011.

  13. Karen says:

    Congratulations! I am very impressed.

  14. kittie says:

    Technically you did lose 40 lbs. lost 20 gained 20 lost 20. At least you are inspired others to make goals and stick with them. As for exercise… I have no excuse now. My boy friend moved in with his stationary bike and weight lifting multi-functional gym to go with my elliptical and treadmill and we refuse to have to dust them or use them for “hangers”!!!

  15. almost there says:

    Good goin’ on the weight loss. My spouse and I plan to run a 5k and 10k respectively next year. I have not run in 12 years but friends completed half and full marathons this year so time to get back in the saddle. As for the pilot maint. I understand the 105K maint. But do not see the 100k maint. required in the 2004 owener’s manual on page 164. Gooogle 2004 honda pilot maintenance schedule and you will find a link under the piloteer dot org site. You can print off each page there posted of the 2004 manual. Don’t go by what the dealer recommends, they are just padding their charges. Stick to what the manual says and you will do fine. Yesterday my radiator cracked at about a quarter miles of use. The local honda dealer wants to charge over $434 + tax for a radiator for my honda and $260 + tax and parts to install it. I can do it myself at a cost of $36 for the same type (built to spec.) aftermarket radiator on ebay with free shipping. Just sayin’, raise a hairy eyebrow when or if you are quoted something from the dealer.

  16. almost there says:

    Oops, “radiator cracked at about a quarter million miles of use”

  17. Vickie says:

    Good going on the progress with your goals. You’re an inspiration. :)

  18. marta says:

    “Diet usually results in about 3/4 lb. loss per week”

    That’s too much. You shouldn’t be losing more than 1-2 lb per week. If you lose weight too fast you will gain it back and then some.

    Other than that, not bad about the other goals.

  19. Lisa says:

    Congrats on your successes in 2010. Keep working in 2011. I’ll be rooting for you.

    @#18 Marta, I read Trent’s diet results as three quarters or 0.75 lb loss per week. That’s under the 1-2 lb recommended you mention.

  20. marta says:

    Lisa, that makes more sense, and yeah, that’s definitely more sustainable!

  21. Evita says:

    A 3/4 pound loss per week is very good. Most people who lose more are either quite obese, quite young or quite active. The rest of us lose at a much slower rate. Congrats Trent and be sure to include exercice to preserve your muscular mass and avoid gaining back those pounds.

  22. Fawn says:

    Great job on your goals!!!! :) You are an inspiration!! Now I have to set my goals and actually stick to them!! ;)

  23. brooke says:

    Gosh, it doesn’t feel like a year ago that you wrote those. I remember you posting them. I didn’t lose all the weight I had hoped either, however I did complete three of my resolutions: pay of my cc’s entirely (did that in April), start running (I ran 6 races from May to September) and join a CSA (actually joined a summer one and a winter one). I look forward to seeing your goals for 2011, and setting my own! Congrats Trent, on another great year on the TSD. Your blog is like an old friend, and I have enjoyed reading it for almost three years. Cheers!

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