It’s time to close out the 2022 goals. I have to get started on creating new goals while I have New Year energy and enthusiasm.
Overall, I enjoyed 2022. It was certainly better than 2020 and 2021. It’s a nice streak of things getting better for us for three straight years. I’m looking forward to keeping it going for 2023.
Each year is more than a spreadsheet of goals, but it’s always helpful to quantify goals and resolutions.
Here’s my updated spreadsheet:
(Click for Larger Image)
Make $70K of income
I finished the year with $98,633.82 in income. Dog boarding nearly doubled from 2021, which itself had doubled from the pre-pandemic years. So that’s 4x as much money as I made a few years ago. It’s come a long way since I decided it would be nice to earn a few extra hundred dollars a month.
Blogging and my part-time customer service gig were almost exactly what I had expected. Maybe in 2023, I’ll try to raise my blogging income, but I’m happy with how the customer service gig is working out.
Final Grade: A+
Save Money for Wife’s Retirement
I’m estimating this at $20,000. My wife and I sync up every month for a brief financial talk, but it hasn’t happened yet. We’ve had a good last few months, and I know she’s been socking away some cash. She’s super excited about the interest rates at banks. She’s got this crazy idea that we can live off the interest. In related news, I’m wondering who I married and spent the last 20 years with.
I probably won’t renew this goal for 2023. We sold a condo and invested most of it in conservative high-dividend ETFs and bonds. We keep leaving some in cash, which fulfills the purpose of this goal.
As for my wife’s retirement in general, she seems to waver each month on whether she wants to retire. Her regular work is going well, and she enjoys it. However, the chase for a promotion is like The Hunger Games. It’s not fun and stressful. I encourage her to slow down and just do the work she loves, but she’s super close to the promotion. I can’t explain it all here, but the military promotion may also be worth a million dollars when you factor in the increased pension.
The important thing is that she can retire when she wants. I think if the promotion comes through in June, she can coast doing work she enjoys. If not, I hope she finds something to retire to. It doesn’t have to earn a dime as long as she’s happy doing it.
Final Grade: B-
By traditional measures, this is a failure, only saving 20K of the 30k goal. However, she might be at 30k with her I-bonds. This goal became somewhat irrelevant in the middle of the year due to the condo sale.
I only got 9.5% of my goal to get 50,000 page views on my website on Kid Wealth. I had hoped for some media attention to find it and give it a boost. It didn’t happen. It’s not enough to just write good (well, decent) content and hope that the media promotes you. Nowadays, you need to go out and promote yourself to get that media attention. I’m too busy for that.
The good news is that more and more people are finding it. As long as it helps one person, it’s working. Traffic is growing about 12% a month, which is close to 4x traffic per year. That 5,000 page views could reasonably be 20,000 next year.
I had hoped to get 75 articles published, but I only got 64. At least I accomplished 85% of this goal.
Final Grade: B-
I’m being generous with my grades. I did a lot of other stuff with Kid Wealth that doesn’t show up on the spreadsheet. I redesigned the site, got the logo done, and hired a social media person. I need to hire a Pinterest person in 2023, but hopefully, I won’t have to do as much.
I think I would have had over 75 articles if the dog business wasn’t so busy.
Content Audit/Article Refresh
I’ve made no progress in refreshing articles for Lazy Man and Money. Writing articles for two blogs is a lot of work. It is hard to carve out the time to go back and refresh old articles. I thought I could do this as part of my regular writing, but it isn’t working.
This is a failure. I’m going to keep it around for next year. I think there are a lot of benefits if I can do this. I also have found a few articles that need refreshing, which will get me started. Sometimes momentum is everything.
Final Grade: F
Look into Dog Training
Earlier in the year, I looked very briefly into dog training. There are a hodge-podge group of certifications. It’s hard to find out which ones are useful.
I don’t think dog training makes sense. I think I would need one-on-one time with a dog, and I usually have a few dogs at the house. Maybe when my wife retires, she can be with the other dogs while I work to train one.
In the meantime, I found that there’s a dog and cat CPR class online through the Red Cross. That’s low-lying fruit. I think I could do it in a couple of hours. I should have gotten that done.
Final Grade: Incomplete
I’m giving myself an incomplete because I technically looked into dog training, but nothing has come from it.
I lost weight and got to 177 pounds and 23.8% body fat in May. However, I gained it back. No bueno.
I can get to 175 pounds again, but it’s WORK. When I was younger, I could just think about being a weight and get there. Getting older is tough. It’s not going to get easier. I need to be tougher.
Next year, I’ll add a goal where I spend a week doing 15 things from my extreme Lazy Man diet article each week.
Final Grade: D+
I came very close to touching the goal but didn’t keep it. I’m not giving myself a failing grade because I did get there for half a year.
I had several months where I barely drank. It went well. I like relaxing with some light beer, though. I’ve almost completely cut out mixed drinks. I only have wine on rare occasions like holidays or events when there isn’t another option.
Final Grade: C+
Make a Bucket List
I didn’t make any progress on this.
Final Grade: F
Programming with Python
Even though I bought Python Programming for Beginners: A Kid’s Guide to Coding Fundamentals (affiliate link) several months ago, I haven’t opened it. I purposely bought a book aimed at kids to share with them.
I wanted to program something easy with the kids, such as something that calculates random dice rolls. I’ll have to renew this one.
I got the kids using our Artie 3000 over the winter break. It’s a modern version of Seymour Papert’s Logo turtle – a robot from the 1960s that could draw based on simple commands. They worked with it a bit but lost interest in a couple of hours. The interface for coding with Artie is a little difficult.
Final Grade: D-
I at least did something, I guess.
For us, getting organized isn’t just getting the house in some kind of order but getting everything in good shape. At the beginning of the year, our ceiling had a leak, and we had to tear much of it up. It seems like something is always falling apart.
We made a lot of progress over the last year, but we still have a long way to go. We’re spending around $20,000 for new paint (the whole interior of the house) and carpet for the upstairs. The carpet we have is from the previous owners, so it’s at least ten years old. It isn’t designed well for dog boarding. Our new carpet is better. The painter is going to make a lot of the nicks from all the dogs, and the two kids look a lot better.
My wife also wants to hire a professional organizer. She found one, but this organizer charges $95 an hour. It’s $170 to even have her come out and look at the house. That’s paying someone a salary of nearly $200,000 a year, which seems like a lot for someone to organize stuff. I think I could organize a lot, but I don’t have the time and/or energy.
Nonetheless, I asked my wife if she could stay within a $2000 budget. This seems very reasonable from what I found online. I was worried that we’d spend the $170 only to find that the recommendation is another 100 hours of work or nearly $10,000. With the painting and carpeting, I want to limit how much more we spend on the house this year.
Final Grade: C+
Travel Four Times
We went to Puerto Rico in March. My wife and I had only been for one day on a layover before we had kids. With COVID, we weren’t sure about travel rules internationally, so this was a great way to get some international culture while staying in the United States.
We did our annual staycation in Block Island in June. It’s about a half-hour drive and another half-hour ferry.
Also, in June, we spent several days in New Hampshire. I wanted to go to a Jack Johnson concert. It’s a place my wife’s family often went on vacation, and we’ve been a couple of times. We finally got to take the kids to Santa’s Village, which is New England draw. We also spent some time at FunSpot.
In August, we went on a Disney cruise – our most extensive travel ever. We spent 17 days in Denmark, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, and England. I wrote two articles about it. Here’s the first. And here’s the second. I hadn’t traveled internationally much (outside of our Aruba timeshare) in my life, so this was huge for me. It was a great experience for the kids too.
Final Grade: A+
This is a good mix of travel for us. Disney was very expensive, though. At least we got a great price because we booked when they appeared to have cut prices due to COVID. The same trip now seems like it would be 40% more! Next time, we may go with Royal Caribbean to save some money.
Every year has its challenges, and 2022 was no different. It’s a tale as old as time, What’s the matter with kids these days?
I joke, but in general, they are good kids. Now at ages 9 and 10, they are just starting their spring semester. We’ll get their report cards in about a month and see how they did last year. They usually get top grades.
Kids’ YouTube Channel
We used the tripod I bought during Amazon Prime Day (affiliate link)! My 10-year-old created a Pokemon Scarlet and Violet walk-through. He did it all himself, and it is terrible. It’s only terrible because it was a first attempt, and he was winging it. We talked about a couple of things we could do next time, such as turning the phone sideways and zooming into the television instead of getting our whole living room in.
I then suggested that he look for a YouTube video on how to make good gaming YouTube videos. He loved the idea and learned a few more tricks. Future videos are going to be much better. The phase of learning something new when you get tremendous improvement is always fun.
Final Grade: C-
My plan with the YouTube Channel isn’t to make them YouTube stars. I think it’s useful for them to learn skills like acting and video editing. They always play around and make fantastic stories. They spent a morning writing a script. It’s like an unstructured drama class.
We never got to fly any drones. Much like the YouTube Channel, flying drones isn’t all about flying drones themselves. It’s getting outside. We got outside a lot, though, so that’s a win even if we didn’t fly drones.
Final Grade: F
My 10-year-old has soured on Lego Robotics. The other kids are REALLY into Legos; my son doesn’t match their enthusiasm. He mostly sits around and watches them.
We signed up for Lego robotics for my 9-year-old, and his age group doesn’t start until later in the month. He is really into Legos, so I think he’ll love it.
They each played with the Artie 3000 a little bit.
Final Grade: B-
I’m going to count this as both kids having done 20 hours of coding. It’s not great. I bet my kids would look at me funny if I asked them about an assignment operator, data types, or even how to do binary math. Some of that stuff can get complicated, so I’m joking, but only a bit.
We had great success with the camps this year. The 10-year-old loved theater camp, and we’ll do that again. He also loves cooking camp and the pet camp at the local animal shelter.
The 9-year-old loved sailing camp and discovered a love for surfing. He even got a surfboard for Christmas. He also enjoyed the pet camp.
I don’t know if we’ll try too many new things for 2023. While I would prefer that they do new stuff, I’m happy if they stick with some things they love.
Final Grade: A+
It seems like goals are either hit or miss. That’s okay. I intentionally planned a lot this past year.
One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that each year new things come up. You can make some plans in January, but even if you intend to follow them month after month, things change. Everyone had that happen with COVID. Individually, we each have various things that come up. I take whatever wins I can and adjust for next year.