2023 was a quiet year. The most notable happening in my life was losing my beloved Buffy cat. Other than that, I took two long-weekend B&B trips and had my usual once-a-year visitor. No other traveling, even though with Buffy gone, I have more freedom to travel.
2023 Goals & Results
1.GOAL: Health: Maintain/improve on health gains from 2021-2022. 150-300 "zone minutes" per week. Maybe run a 5k?
Results: I DID run that 5k! I achieved the goal of 300 "zone" minutes for 16 weeks during the year, and over 150 minutes for 36 weeks. While there was some up and down in weight, I end the year within 3 pounds of where I began it.
GOAL: 2. Wealth: Continue to save, and to pay down total debt to 60k by January 2024.
Results: Wealth accumulation was a success--I did add savings, through my retirement plans, and my total assets are about 120k more than they were a year ago. My gross estate (including life insurance) surpassed a million, so I suspect that my total assets excluding the insurance will pass that in 2024. Debt-reduction, on the other hand, was a near total miss, down only $3,200. Buffy got lymphoma in March and I did not have pet insurance, and I took on some debt to try to save her, since the research indicated that it was not unreasonable to expect the chemo protocol to add many months to her life. But she only survived 2.5 months post-diagnosis. I'll aim for that 60k total debt by the end of 2024.
GOAL 3. Systems, habits, and routines: Improve workflow to get tasks completed earlier. At home, DAILY and weekly routines including 4 hours a week decluttering. Bring in some professional help to really make progress this year!
Results: Nope. I did follow a program for about 3 months and made some temporary progress, but nothing lasting. Well, the SYSTEMS I set up are good, and lasting but I didn't keep up with the routine maintenance that is needed to keep the clutter from accumulating. I need to build that in as a weekly and monthly practice. (For me, most of the clutter is paper, and this means recycling or filing papers WEEKLY or MONTHLY and not just when the piles are so high that they cover my dining room table and desk.)
2024 Goals--basically same, just moving the needle a bit.
The Health goal is "net negative" on weight--end each month lighter than I started it. If I can lose half a pound on average per week, that's 25 pounds during the year and at my goal in two years. But 25 pounds from where I am now would be a signficant improvement from where I am now and is actually what the average woman of my age and height weighs.
Also, now that I've done the 5k, my goal for 2024 is to keep it up. I found a group on Facebook that hosts "virtual" 5ks from May through January. You *really* run the race, at a place of your choosing, and during a 3-hour time window. You connect your GPS-enabled smart watch to the site to report distance and time, and they send you a medal for finishing. I could care less about the medal but am willing to pay the race fee for the extra incentive. I'm signed up for my first virtual 5k with this group next Saturday. My intention is to do the monthly races virtually all year, and run enough during the interim that running a 5k once a month is just part of training. I'll probably do two 1.5 mile runs during the week and a 3 mile run on the weekends (3.1 miles is a 5k), and maybe more once we get to next fall.
Then I want to run the "live" Turkey Trot again in 2024 (the race that I ran this year), and hope to boost my performance. My time for 2023 was 1:03:31 (very slow, but I wasn't last, I was 17th out of 19 for women over 60) and in 2024, I'll hope to break an hour.
Also I'm hoping to do more regular resistance training during the year. There are a limited number of basic movements (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Rotate) and I found a book called "The Simple Six" that lays out some exercises and recommends a routine every weekday of doing 1 set of 10 of each of 5 basic exercises (the 6th is walking), and each day, adding 4 additional sets of one of the exercises. I've found that I can do this in less than 10 minutes after I've had a couple of cups of coffee. I've also been reading up on "Micro Workouts" and found that there is research to substantiate this as a way of adding muscle. The gym and working with a personal trainer is definitely more intense (but also takes more time and $$). aybe I'll go back to that over the summer, but the "microworkouts" is a good way to get started and to maintain during the busy times of year.
Also, I want to take advantage of the fact that I live near an LL Bean outlet that has a "Discovery School," and I want to take some kayaking lessons and maybe even try stand-up paddle-board next summer.
My debt goal is the same as last year--bringing me ever closer to Financial Independence. And I DO plan to declutter significantly next year, but I'm not going to expect myself to do a regular 4 hours a week. It's going to be more irregular than that.
I'm planning to hold off on adopting another cat (or two) until I make some progress on the decluttering, so there's the incentive. And I'm most likely to get decluttering done during LONG weekends, especially when there's more light during the day. Daily decluttering is not going to work for me; I need to focus on trying to do some filing each weekend (on top of the grocery shopping and laundry that I do) and some decluttering of some small area each month. I'm going to try to make sure that I have at least one 3-day weekend a month in my schedule in order to keep up with my filing. So I'm planning to hire some help to clear out the other clutter areas that are a problem (one room in particular which once upon a time was a guest bedroom and now is just a MESS). The piles in that room are currently dangerously high and unstable for a kitty who might try to climb them. I REALLY would like to have new kitties by sometime next spring!