Monday, September 10, 2012

Progress on New Year's Resolutions from 2008

At the end of 2011, I still had not met my 2008 New Year's resolutions. Instead of making new resolutions for 2012, I decided to continue working on the 2008 resolutions and track my progress. Here's my latest report card on how I'm doing on the 2008 resolutions.

2008 New Year's Resolutions and Status
CategoryCategory ActivitiesStatusGrade
Healthier LifestyleLose 10% of weight Have achieved a 13% weight loss and am within 2% of the weight of my sophomore year in high school. I am considering trying to achieve a 20% weight loss which would put me almost at my lowest weight in high school.
Better dietAchieved a target of 5 servings of vegetables/fruit per day in July, 2009, and regressed back to 2-3 per day.  Since early August 2012, I have been eating at least 5 servings of vegetable and fruit per day.  In addition, I've been taking Metamucil three times a day which provides 1/3 of my daily fiber requirement.
More exerciseIn July, 2009, I had exceeded my target of 3 times per week by regularly exercising 6 times per week and then fell back to 2 times per week.  Since early August 2012, I've been averaging 3 times per week, above 3 some weeks and below 3 for others.    I still need to consistently be exercising at least 3 times a week.
Tax StrategiesIdentify five strategies to minimize taxesUsed Roth IRA contribution, Child tax credit, Roth IRA conversion , and 0% long term capital gains in 2008. Continued to benefit from these four tax strategies in 2009, and added a fifth of using accelerated itemized deductions and standard deductions in alternating tax years. In 2010, we  benefited from two additional tax strategies involving the saver's and making work pay credits.
Contingency incomeEarn 20-40% of retirement income needs in first 3 yearsAchieved 27% in 2008 due to deferred compensation. In 2009, 16% was achieved because our monthly expenses declined when we paid off our mortgage. In 2010, we earned 46% of our projected expenses.  In 2011, we earned 80% of our projected expenses since I took on a temporary full time job at a non-profit.  In 2012,  the temporary full time job ended and I decided cut back on part time jobs.  So 2012 earnings will cover about 30% of annual living expenses.
Have FunFamily activities and vacationsHave attended 100% of our daughter's school activities for parents. We are doing several vacations a year and plan a major national parks vacation in the next couple years.
HobbiesPlaying tennis, and some golf.  Doing coin collecting, tennis and golf with our daughter.

This report card is a significant improvement over the September 2010 report card which had a B+ average. My main opportunity area is exercise. I won't consider my 2008 resolutions successful, until I give myself an A in every category :-)

For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.

This is not financial or personal development advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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