Back when all my little goals seemed so important
Every pot of gold fill and full of distortion
Heaven was a place still in space not in motion
I Got You
I got everything
I Got You
I don’t need nothing more than you
I got everything
I Got You
– “I Got You” by Jack Johnson
I know it’s late to create goals for 2022. We’re already about 1/10th through it. Like the Jack Johnson quote above, I used to focus on my “all so important” goals. Now, I’m pulling back a little bit. Goals can be still important, but the top goal is to be happy with the ones you love.
We’re still dealing with a pandemic and there’s a lot of stress for many people out there. It’s okay to focus on living. As Buffy the Vampire Slayer once said, “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”
With those two big acknowledgments out in the open, I still think it’s worth it to make some goals. I’m going to try to make them smart goals, but think I’ll miss with a few. I did well completing many of my goals last year, so I’m going to try to build on that success.
If you already have goals, this is a good time to renew those New Year Resolutions. Early February is prime time for people to start to fall off the wagon.
Before we get started here’s my goal’s spreadsheet for this year. It’s a lot easier to have a spreadsheet than it is to go back and read this article. It’ll also help you follow along:
Make $70K of income
Last year, I wanted to make $50,000 with a stretch goal of $60,000. That was good because I didn’t know if travel would ever open up and I could make money boarding dogs. Well, with vaccines it opened up and I ended up making about 3x more than I usually do – in only about 8 months. I ended up making $75,000.
This year, I may not do as well. It’s started better, but I lost one of my freelance clients late last year. I don’t know if I want to do all that dog boarding this year. My part-time customer service position pays a set amount and I don’t see that changing any time soon (unless I lose the job).
Save Money for Wife’s Retirement
My wife was very certain she was going to retire last year. Then she got a new job with an easy road to a promotion that she likes. It’s a lot less stressful too. So she’s going to give this a year or two and see how it goes.
Last year we were trying to save $100K for my wife to feel comfortable with retiring. We’d still have my income above, but it’s irregular. We’d also have her pension, which would be around $65,000 minus some insurance we’ll buy so that I’ll get the pension if she dies. It’s a good situation, but we aren’t mortgage-free yet and we have 3 investment properties that aren’t mortgage-free either. Our kids go to a great private school, so we’ve got a lot of expenses.
We were able to save $30K last year and that’s our goal for this year. It would get us to $85,000 in savings. Maybe we’ll be able to save some more and safely invest some. Could that get us an extra $15,000? Probably not, but maybe it would get us very close. I have some other money squirreled away (she knows about it) that could also bridge the gap.
I want to get 50,000 page views to Kid Wealth this year. I have about 660 now, so I’ve got a long way to go. It’s okay, I’ve just started. I don’t know if 50,000 is a good number or not. Sometimes it’s tough to get a single view. Sometimes a big media outlet links to you and there’s a big flood of thousands of page views.
I also want to get 75 articles published. I think that’s a lot I’ve only published 7 articles right now and I’m hoping to get to 80.
These are going to be difficult goals. I’m still going to be posting here along with the dog boarding. If you have kids, I hope you’ll check it out. There’s no advertising and I worked hard to make sure that the pages load very fast and look a lot better than what you see here at Lazy Man and Money. Sometimes a fresh clean slate produces great results.
Content Audit/Article Refresh
I want to go through 15 old articles and refresh them for 2022. It’s a lot of work to refresh some of my old articles. They are that bad. I often write about current events or my life and it’s hard to take that view from 2007 and put it in a 2022 context. However, when I can do it, the articles are very good and helpful for readers.
Look into Dog Training
I’m not sure if I want to go into dog training. I usually like to board dogs that are well-trained already. However, this would be a good way to make some more money. Of course, this would take more time – time that I couldn’t spend blogging. However, maybe I could charge higher rates and host fewer dogs if my clients know that they are getting someone who has a professional dog training certification.
As you can tell, I’m not very committed to this. That’s not a great sign of a goal.
I had gained a “Pandemic 15” and my goal last year was to lose it. I was at 192 pounds and that’s not great. I had gotten it down to 186, but a stressful Christmas came and I ended up back around 192. The good news is that the first month of January brought it back to around 185. So now I only have 7 pounds of that “Pandemic 15” left.
My goal will be to lose another 10 pounds. That would get me to a round number of 175. That BMI would still be 25.8 – not great. However, my body fat percentage is bordering on the acceptable range. It was as high as 28%, but now it’s around 25%.
I’m going to try to lose those 10 pounds by eating more healthy wraps. I’ve been eating these Tumaro’s Wraps with some lettuce, tomato, salami, deli chicken, cheese, some roasted red peppers, and banana peppers. It’s good and it seems to be working, so I’ll stick to it. Unfortunately, it’s probably too salty for what I should be eating.
I’ll also try to do at least a couple of things from my extreme Lazy Man Diet. The diet is too extreme to stick to long-term, but I should be able to incorporate some of the things.
To get to my goal, I’ll need to add more exercise than walking my dog… especially weight training and cardio.
This should really be “drink zero”, but I don’t know if I can do that. We’ll see how it goes. I’m only a few days into coming up with this idea, but I feel strongly about it.
Make a Bucket List
I worked on a bucket list last year, but I don’t think it was very good. I’ve been reading about making a bucket list for the next five years. That sounds more manageable. I think it would include a lot of travel, but that’s still a little uncertain now. I’ve also never been fond of traveling. Of course, this also directly works against my dog boarding goals – unless I build a credible dog boarding robot.
As part of this, I’ll explore making a dream board. That will get me to the dangerously close place of scrapbooking. Now I’m starting to understand why I always put this off.
Programming with Python
I want to get back into programming, even if it’s just to make stupid little programs for myself. For example, once upon a time, I could have coded Wordle. I bet I could still do it, but it would take me a long time to get a development environment set up and organize all the logic.
While my main motivation to get back into programming is for my selfishness, it would be helpful to do it, so I could get the kids set up with something. That’s why I’m going to choose Python to get started in this. Python wasn’t a big programming language until I started to stop coding, so it would be new to me. It’s also good for helping kids learn real coding, not just moving visual logic blocks on a screen.
This has been a tough goal because I’m always pulled in a lot of different directions. Right now, I’m trying to finish this post in time to get it published before it gets too late on Monday. I also have to start the slow cooker for dinner tonight. There are some trouble tickets I have to do for my customer support job. KidWealth also needs a new article. So while I’m very motivated to dig into Python programming, I’ve got to stop before I give myself a panic attack.
This isn’t going to be a SMART Goal because I don’t know how to quantify success with this. My wife has gotten an organizer to come to the house once for an hour and we made a lot of progress. Then the kids and I got COVID and we had to put it on pause. After finishing the basement last year, we’ve got a lot of clean-up to do. It’s going to be tough to fit this one in.
Travel Four Times
Last year my wife wanted to go on a European cruise. That wasn’t going to happen in 2021 and it isn’t matching up with our 2022 plans. I’ll see if she finds anything she likes for the kids’ March vacation in 2023.
This year, we are going to Puerto Rico in March. I’m very excited. I’ve only been there for one day on a cruise layover and it wasn’t enough. It has fewer COVID travel issues for us because it is part of the United States. However, it has its own culture. As much I’m going to enjoy it myself, I love getting the kids some exposure to a new culture. They’ve never been anywhere where Spanish was a major language.
For one of the other trips we’ll go to Block Island – a staycation we do every year. That’s great for getting away from electronics and hiking in nature.
For another trip, we’ll go to Hershey Park and the Cartoon Network hotel. We try to get to Hershey every year and the kids enjoyed the Cartoon Network hotel last year. My wife enjoyed Amish country. I enjoyed everyone being happy.
Our last trip is up in the air. I’m hoping to go to Aruba, but we weren’t able to book a school-friendly week with our timeshare this year. We can sell our week and buy another week on an exchange without too much loss, but my wife would like to go somewhere else. I’m okay with somewhere else as long as it’s warm and relaxing. I need a break from the New England cold around November/December to get me through to next spring. We didn’t have that this year and I can feel the difference.
It’s hard to come up with plans for the kids. Their interests are always changing. The things we can do during COVID keep changing as well. We’ll have to play it by ear. That said, I think we can try a few things:
It was just before Christmas, but I completed the goal of setting up the kids with a YouTube channel. I even got them a domain name, social media accounts, and an email account. They know how to do any of that stuff and I won’t teach it for a while. My oldest, 9 years old, knows how to film and post to the channel. He’s only allowed to do it if a parent is around though.
They have one video up and it isn’t great. I think it’s gotten 5-7 outside views (other than ourselves), which is good for how terrible it is. There was script or plan, just silliness around the house. The longest journey starts with a single step.
Unfortunately, they haven’t taken a second step since then. They’ve been very busy, so it’s understandable. I have no expectations that they’ll become YouTube stars, but there are some useful skills they can learn. The kids (and their dad) can learn filmmaking. I can help them learn how to organize and outline their thoughts. They can create a set. The big idea is to get them to create something, which will stimulate their imagination.
The goal this year is to make 20 videos. They don’t have to be good videos, just better than the first. We’ll let practice take its course and improve all of us. Maybe next year, we make a goal of a number of subscribers or a video that gets 200 page views. We’re all flying blind in this YouTube world, so we’ll have to figure it out as we go along.
The kids and I find flying drones very fun. It’s hard to find the time to take them. We’re all moving in different directions.
I got them started with Tynker.com a bit last year. They didn’t love it. I was hoping that being a game, they’d enjoy it, but I guess it was still too much of a focus on teaching and learning. Maybe a different Tynker game would be better.
Maybe with my Python plan above, I can get them involved in that. It might be a better plan for 2023.
We’re still trying to figure out camps for this year. I don’t think most have started up yet. At least we registered for a spot at the sailing camp in time. I think we’ll do cooking camp again even though it is super expensive. I find it is a valuable skill. The 9-year-old loved it and my 8-year-old is just old enough to do it. Maybe we’ll do a karate camp this year because they are getting good at that. We may also try theater camp.
There are so many different things for kids to do nowadays. It’s a good thing that kids’ minds are flexible because I wouldn’t know which end up with all the things they are into.
Last year a lot of these goals conflicted with others. Fortunately, there are fewer conflicts this year. The biggest conflict I see is a fight against Father Time. There’s just so much to do. I’ll have to remind myself to breathe and focus on the opening paragraph of this article. That’s what’s important.