By luck, hard-work, and grace, 2021 was one of my most productive years yet.
These were the goals I set at the top of the year and how I did against them:
- ✅ Refinance the mortgage
- ✅ Plan 1 vacation and 1 get-together with my family (parents & siblings)
- ✅ Donate my hair to charity
- ✅ Finalize our wills and Advance Directives
- ✅ Read 12 books
- ❌ Plan a vacation with my husband’s family (parents & siblings)
- ✅ Climb a 5.12a graded route
- ✅ Test systems for success (miracle morning, musical cues)
Influencing these goals were a stronger personal mission and set of values coming out of the pandemic. First and foremost was commitment to family. With our parents getting older and the threat of COVID-19 shortening the time available for family, I set goals to spend time with our loved ones, and I dedicated a portion of each paycheck to a savings account that could fund these. We spent quality time with both families this year, but I also learned that one of my goals (planning a vacation with my husband’s family) was not ultimately within MY realm of control. I spent hours helping search and suggest destinations that could accommodate two large dogs, 10 adults, and on long weekends only, but a successful outcome was dependent on my husband and his siblings agreeing on the details. In 2022, I’ll continue saving money towards family vacations with both, but will reframe to something easier to effect an outcome on (e.g. a vacation with just my parents-in-law).
I wrote previously about my early retirement ambitions, which help marry my family-driven and financial goals. A benefit of being “free” to leave a job is that we’ll have the option to quit to care for ailing parents. Refinancing the mortgage decreases our required monthly expenditures. By finalizing our wills and advance directives, we’ve also set our own house in order to care for our family and give them some direction if we predecease them. We don’t want them having to guess our wishes during a difficult time.
Donating my “COVID” hair to charity was also a high point. I’ve had a sticky note on my wall that reads “Service to humanity as Camille’s moral imperative”, and donating something that was free to me was literally the easiest thing I could do for that goal. Additionally, I established a Donor Advised Fund to automate weekly giving to our top charities (which I’ll share more on in the future), and I mentored three undergraduates and alumni from my alma mater. I don’t intend to share much on my profession, but I consider this too as having service to a greater good.
Finally, I included a few fun challenges for myself including pushing myself to read more, climb harder, and be more efficient.
I’m still tweaking my 2022 goals but the ones below have been top-of-mind lately:
- Test systems for success, round 2 (Kindle highlight strategies, Airr, enhancing my personal KMS)
- Plan 1 vacation with my family, round 2 (tentatively, a national park visit)
- Plan 1 vacation with my husband’s parents (tentatively, a train trip)
- Earn or save $12,000 more than in 2021 (… still fleshing this one out)
- Read 12 books
- Improve my climbing (Test: lead climb a route on a particularly gnarly wall in our climbing gym)
- Volunteer 20 hours of my time to charities or mentoring
What will you be working towards in 2022? Anything we can work on together?