Monday, June 18, 2007

Clearly Defined Short-Term Goals - Super Size Edition!

Last week I took a sick day and was busy catching up on the following day. No more neglecting! I'm going to get through my short-term goals today.

1. Buy a laptop. I'd like a Macbook, and I've been told that there will be a significant OS upgrade in October. So buying one before then might be a bit silly. Perhaps it would make a good Christmas present for myself? Who knows, I might find a good post-Christmas deal.
Redefined goal #1 - Buy a Macbook within about 6-7 months time (i.e. by January 2008).

2. Pay off student loans. This is my single most important short-term financial goal and happens no matter what, at the expense of all others. By the end of THIS YEAR.
Redefined goal #2 - Pay off my student loan by Dec. 31, 2007.

3. Develop emergency fund. This will be a fairly small one. I don't have any large assets (house, car, etc.), I don't have a spouse or dependents, and we have socialized health care in Canada so anything medically necessary is paid for straight out of my taxes. We also pay into Employment Insurance every month (well, those of us being employed above the table do anyway) so if I lose my job, I would be at the EI office in a hot minute and would have something to pay the bills while I find a new job. I think $1500 is enough. I'm partway there, and have it stashed in an account earning about 4.5% yearly.
Redefined goal #3 - Develop an emergency fund with $1500 in it.

4. Take a vacation to Oregon. My boyfriend and some of his cousins and I are planning a camping trip on the Oregon coast this summer. This will also be an opportunity for me to pick up some of my own camping gear, which will be needed in order to accomplish a few of my other goals. For this one I don't think I'll need much more than a tent and cooking stuff.
Redefined goal #4 - Take a camping trip to Oregon; save $500 for camping gear.

5. Visit my family. I live in Vancouver, BC. My parents live in Kentucky, my sister in Tennessee, my dad's family mostly in North Carolina (except one brother in San Fran), and my mom's family all in Pennsylvania. It's hard for me to visit them both in terms of money and time off from work. Nevertheless, I would like to do it more, and I would like to visit some of my extended family as well. It's been two years since I saw any of them.
Redefined goal #5 - visit my immediate family at least twice, and my mom's and dad's side of the extended family at least once each in the next year.

6. Get a job doing what I love. My degree is in linguistics, and as far as I can tell, a good portion of the jobs are in academia - which is fine with me! Though I think it's probably impossible for me to end up as a professor within the next three years, what with no Master's, nevermind a PhD. There are other things I love doing though and other fields I would be happy to work in, and they include fibre arts, environmental advocacy, and various kinds of helping people (poor people, kids, whatever).
Redefined goal #6 - become employed in any of the following fields: linguistics, social science, fibre arts, environmental work, or charitable organizations.

7. Become actively involved in environmental advocacy. I think that to do this, it's probably best for me to focus my energy in one particular place or topic. With that in mind, I think this goal should be merged with #36, since I can focus my energies on a particular place: my church.
Redefined goal #7 - Become actively involved in environmental advocacy by developing and implementing an environmental stewardship program at St. Oswald's.

8. Finish Learn-To-Ride and Learn-To-Race. These are courses at the local velodrome, and I've finished two of four. Easy!
Redefined goal #8 - unchanged.

9. Grow a garden. I tried some containers last year without a lot of success, but I think I needed some more container-friendly vegetables or something. I'm trying again this year and I want some results!
Redefined goal #9 - Grow a garden and harvest something edible from each patch that I plant (so far, I have carrots, squash, zucchini, peas, beets, tomatoes, salad greens, peppers, and some herbs).

10. Preserve food for the winter via canning/drying. Self-explanatory, but this can probably be merged with #29 - get friends together to visit farms - since in my mind they are pretty much related, I wouldn't do one without the other.
Redefined goal #10 - Go in with some friends on buying/picking produce in bulk from local farms, and preserve it via canning, drying, or freezing.

11. Buy local. I think this is really important for several reasons, and you can look them up easily for yourself. It just needs a little more definition regarding how much and how local. Also, this includes stuff I grow and make myself!
Redefined goal #11 - Obtain at least 50% of my food from within 200 miles, and my non-food from within 200 miles where possible (i.e. an affordable option exists).

12. Spend less time on the computer. I think this can be modified to include any screen, including the TV. How much is 'less' though? I think I'd be happy with very little computer use outside work, seeing as I already stare at the damn thing all day.
Redefined goal #12 - Limit my computer/TV time to an average of one hour per day outside work (except as needed for job and/or grad school hunting).

13. Practice meditation. I find this really helpful, especially when I'm trying to simplify my life and reduce stress. Ideally I'd like to practice this daily, but starting small is probably the better plan. This may include mindful knitting!
Redefined goal #13 - Practice meditation for one half hour, three times a week.

14. Write more. I enjoy writing and do it well, and I did develop some of the discipline needed while at university. However I haven't kept up with it. I've written a few short articles for my church newsletter, and I've been asked to submit one to the monthly Anglican newspaper. I'd also like to get in the habit of "morning pages" - just stream of consciousness, the object is simply to fill two or three pages.
Redefined goal #14 - Practice writing regularly - one short article per month, and morning pages three times a week.

15. Read more books. I think an excellent start would be the ones on my bookshelf (including Shakespeare's complete works). I also found a list somewhere of the 100 best classics, some of which I've read and all of which I'd like to. This actually encompasses goals 70 and 71 as well.
Redefined goal #15 - read all the books currently on my shelf or the 100-best list that I have not read yet.

16. Knit a sweater. It has to be wearable, and by 'wearable' I mean it gets worn, regularly. Not that I would knit anything else, of course. My days of "Gauge swatch? I don't need no stinkin' gauge swatch!" are over. I even have a few specific possibilities in mind, but I'll leave it open for now.
Redefined goal #16 - Unchanged.

17. Have a Buy-Nothing Christmas. And by "nothing" I mean no consumer goods - obviously if I make something I might need raw materials. For example tonight I am going to make a batch of mint jelly to put aside, and I need some pectin and an alarming amount of sugar.
Redefined goal #17 - Unchanged.

18. Buy a camera. I would LOVE a digital SLR. I love taking pictures but don't have a camera. I've been borrowing James' SLR but I'm terrible at getting film developed and don't want to pay for it anyway. I think my budget will top out at $1000.
Redefined goal #18 - Save $100 a month; buy a digital SLR.

19. Go snowboarding. So much fun! I've only been twice. Must go more. Also, must improve skills.
Redefined goal #19 - Go snowboarding at least three times during the 07-08 season. Learn to carve.

20. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I did this while I was in school and unfortunately, I don't get automatic spring breaks anymore so weeklong trips to California are not that possible. But spending a Saturday at one of the build sites in the Vancouver area is definitely possible.
Redefined goal #20 - Spend at least five Saturdays working with Habitat.

21. Research an ethnography. I thought about merging this with my "Write more" goal but it's really quite separate. Ethnography is by far my favourite subject and I really enjoyed researching and writing one while in school. Bonus points if it's eventually published. But right now I just have to get started.
Redefined goal #21 - Choose a social scene to study, and begin the participant observation/research.

22. Start sewing. This one is necessary for accomplishing #30.
Redefined goal #22 - deleted.

23. Learn how to use a spinning wheel. My local yarn store has classes. However I'm merging this with #24.
Redefined goal #23 - deleted.

24. Knit something with my own handspun. See above - I'm specifying a wheel as opposed to a drop spindle, which I can use already.
Redefined goal #24 - Knit something with wool I've handspun on a spinning wheel.

25. Run 10 km. Easy.
Redefined goal #25 - Unchanged.

26. Bike 100 km. Also easy! All you have to do is bike 50 km in one direction and leave yourself no other option for getting home. However this isn't really much of a stretch for me anymore, I did 73 in one go a few weeks ago, and that was fully loaded. I think my panniers weighed twice as much as my bike! So I'm going to say 150.
Redefined goal #26 - Bike 150 km.

27. Take pictures and get some prints framed. After I get a camera of course. I have a couple friends who are excellent photographers, and I'd really like to work on my skills and get a few nice prints made. I think they make great gifts as well.
Redefined goal #27 - Practice taking pictures regularly (i.e. on a weekly basis) and get prints of five of my best.

28. Practice networking. I already went over this in micro-goal #7 really, though it is also a short-term aspiration as well.
Redefined goal #28 - Deleted.

29. Get friends together to visit farms. See #10.
Redefined goal #29 - Deleted.

30. Sew one whole outfit for myself. I haven't decided yet if this includes underwear yet, but I'm leaning towards "why the hell not?" I don't think this will include shoes. Socks yes. They'll be knitted though obviously.
Redefined goal #30 - Unchanged.

31. Learn to dirtjump. I have a badass dirtjumping bike and it's high time I started getting some air on that thing.
Redefined goal #31 - Learn to dirtjump; be able to do a clean run on medium-sized tables.

32. Improve flexibility. I used to do springboard diving and could pretty much just fold myself in half. Ahh to be young and nubile again.
Redefined goal #32 - Practice stretching in order to improve flexibility for 15 minutes each evening.

33. Go scuba diving. Vancouver is great for this, or so I'm told. If I save $35 a month, I can take a beginner open water course with 10 dives in less than a year's time.
Redefined goal #33 - Take a beginner open water scuba diving course; save $35 per month for it.

34. Go rock climbing. How many outdoor sports have I mentioned already? Vancouver is a mecca for pretty much any of them. Anyway, rock climbing. I think there's a course I can take somewhere so I can be on the other end of the rope as well. I'd like to try it up a proper rock face and not just an artificial rock wall, but let's start in the shallow end here.
Redefined goal #34 - Go rock climbing three times; get certified to belay.

35. Play board games. Come on, free entertainment! Well, once you own the game anyway, and between me and my friends, I have access to many. Not that I watch much TV to begin with, but I'm trying to come up with even more alternatives.
Redefined goal #35 - Spend twenty evenings playing board games.

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