New Year’s Resolutions, For Serious

New Year's Resolutions for 2013

So maybe this photo is from our Fourth of July a few years ago. But it seemed New Years-y, right?

I can say with certainty that I made New Year’s resolutions last year. I know that because I make them every year. But I can also say that I definitely don’t remember a single one of them. And the ones I made the year before? Nope, don’t remember those either. And I think Johnny’s in the same boat. Year after year we make resolutions. They’re usually written down on little notecards > that soon evolve into bookmarks > before becoming safe havens for chewed gum > that finally meet their end as another piece of garbage in the trash can.

Even without our resolutions, we manage to accomplish a decent amount each year… I mean, it’s a whole year. How can we not? But that doesn’t change the fact that our resolutions fall by the wayside. So it’s time, yet again, to set some resolutions.

And 2013 will be different because our resolutions aren’t just going on a notecard. They’re going on the World Wide Web-isphere. Right here, to be exact. So we’ve got to own up to these babies. That said, we’re keeping our resolutions attainable and reasonable. I won’t be resolving to become a petite brunette, and Johnny won’t be aiming to evolve into a stocky body builder. We’ll save those resolutions for next year.

But enough babbling… here are the what’s and why’s of our resolutions for 2013.

Couple Resolutions

  • Take a long vacation together (at least a week). For one reason or another, we haven’t gone on a legit vacation for a very long time. We’re talking nothing more than a 4-day weekend for two years. So we’re gonna remedy that this year. We’re thinking 10 days? No, not realistic… but at least 6 days. That’s a weekish. And with or without Baby? Not sure yet…
  • Add $25k to savings. We’ve never put a quantitative number on the amount of money we hope to save in a given year. The goal has always just been “Save.” So this is a test, one we hope to pass with flying colors.
  • Start contributing to a Roth IRA. We both contribute to our companies’ 401k and 403b. But we’re ready to invite a new member to our exclusive club, and Mr. Roth IRA seems like a responsible choice.
  • Have our freaking baby. That’s right. We’re resolving to have our baby. Hopefully this resolve will help her to show up already! COME ON, girlfriend!

Joanna’s Resolutions

  • Run a 10k. I haven’t run in a very, very long time. But when I’m not pregnant, I like to run a few times a week. So I’m hoping to build up to being able to run a 10k after Baby.
  • Save up enough side/freelance money for this 24-70mm lens. I like to take pictures to document our lives. And I will be wanting to do this even more with Baby Girl added to our brood. The 24-70mm lens is all-purpose and it takes gorgeous photos… I should be a spokesperson for Canon.
  • Read 5 financial books. I read all the time. But it’s about 99% fiction. And often young adult fiction… erm… ANYWAY, I’ve got a few financial books in mind to help change that statistic.
  • Fit into my old jeans. This is a given. I’m hoping to not wear maternity jeans for the rest of my life, thanks! The day I say goodbye to elastic waistbands, I’m gonna shout it from the rooftops.

Johnny’s Resolutions

  • Figure out the most cost-effective/practical second mode of transportation. We’ve done a single car for the last four months without any problems. But with my work being 20 minutes away, it might complicate life for Joanna and our baby. So it might be time to consider getting another ride. Car? Bus? Horseback? I intend to crunch some numbers and figure that out.
  • Start rock climbing at a gym twice a week (and figure out how to pay for it). You’d probably be shocked to hear that I’m not a “gym dude.” Yes, yes, this wiry, 160-lb. frame is all self-made. I can’t do monotonous exercise, but I need a more consistent exercise plan. So I plan to join a local rock gym, boulder twice a week, and figure out where the $50/month is going to come from.
  • Read 5 fictional books. I read two or three novels-worth of news, blogs, and other non-fiction every week. But as a writer by trade, I need to soak up more adjectives, character development, prose, etc. So that’s what I intend to do.
  • Make a piece of furniture with my hands. My hands are too clean, too unscuffed. And 2013 is the year that changes. I don’t know what I’ll build, but I look forward to “building” something other than IKEA furniture this year.

And so it is written. And sealed with the figurative blood of our blog. How do our 2013 resolutions line up with your own? Anyone out there giving resolutions the cold shoulder this year?

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  • Reply Pauline December 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Good luck! I prefer goals to resolutions, and have made a few money ones, for life and personal improvement I prefer monthly smaller goals. Too much to keep track of!

    • Reply Joanna December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Good call! If I’m hoping to accomplish any of my resolutions, I’ll definitely have to break them down into smaller goals from month to month. Like for that 10k I hope to do in 2013, my goal for the month of January will just be “run,” and I’ll be a happy camper if I manage that! 🙂

  • Reply Michelle December 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I hope 2013 is great for you guys! We’ve never really gone on a long vacation either. Always seems to end right when we start having fun!

    • Reply Joanna December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

      Thanks, Michelle!

      And no kidding with the long vacation… that might prove to be our hardest resolution yet!

  • Reply Brian December 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Good luck with your goals!

    I don’t know where you live but a little moped can be extremely cost effective mode of transportation. They can be had pretty cheap, are very reliable and get great mpg… of course people might start assuming you have a DUI/DWI as your are putting around town (or maybe I’m the only one that assumes this).

    • Reply Joanna December 28, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Thanks, Brian!

      Haha, I’ve never thought about the DUI thing with moped drivers, but now I’ll be giving them all the stink eye! 😉

      We live in a pretty mild climate, so getting a moped is definitely something Johnny’s looking into. We had one in college, and there was nothing better than taking a summertime cruise on it together.

      • Reply eemusings December 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        Scooters are SO cheap to run and here you don’t need a special licence! We too have one car and T has a motorbike. Works for now as we live 20 minutes walk from my office.

        • Reply Joanna December 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

          Good to know other people are making it work! I’m scared to death of driving the suckers, but if Johnny wants to do it, more power to him.

  • Reply Chris December 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Food, Fitness, and Finance. Pretty much broad goals that everyone makes every year. Eat better, focus on improving my physique, and getting my financial house in order. I’m just a sucker for alliteration. Actually the real reason those are my goals is because I’ve recently ended a long term relationship and have been all over the place in every aspect of my life. So I am going to really *Focus on Food, Fitness, and Finance*. I love alliteration.

    • Reply Johnny December 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      I’m a total alliteration junkie myself. Whenever I see alliteration in the wild (book, movie, whatever) I always point it out to Joanna. She usually just rolls her eyes at me.

      Ain’t nothing wrong with the meat and potatoes goals of the three F’s. Here’s hoping you handily hit your goals in 2013.

  • Reply Joanna December 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Oh, I’ve got to add the date night one to the list. Johnny and I have no idea what’s about to hit us as new parents, do we?

    And if I ever do fit into my old jeans, it will be because I worked my booty off… which is what my three older sisters have tried and are still trying to do. Unfortunately with our genes, it doesn’t just magically go away! DANGIT.

  • Reply Cait December 28, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Great goals, J and J! I’m still working on mine, but they include becoming debt-free, focusing on my career, reading more… and I have a few secret goals I hope to make realities in 2013, too. 😉

    • Reply Johnny December 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Nothing is more exciting or motivating than following someone’s journey to becoming debt-free. Look forward to following your progress of beating the crap out of the Debt Monster.

  • Reply DC @ Young Adult Money December 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I am posting my resolutions tomorrow, and they are a little broad. I hope to make $1k/month on the side, which encompasses getting more spreadsheet/database work as well as developing the site (though I plan to reinvest all income from the site). I also would like to start drawing again (after a 10 year hiatus), and we would like to save more money.

    I like your fictional book goal, because it’s something I would like to do as well. I pretty much only read non-fiction.

    • Reply Johnny December 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      I like how you know where your side income will likely come from. I’ve been known to set a goal like “make $500 extra this month” and then I just sort of expect it to fall out of thin air. Which is absolutely worthless.

      I’d love to see some of the drawings make your blog (after you’ve shaken the rust off). 🙂

  • Reply MomofTwoPreciousGirls December 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Maybe if your resolutions had previously been written on receipts, you guys would have been able to find them!

    I hear lots of good things about the Couch to 5k/10k programs. I can’t personally attest, since I’m pretty satisfied with the couch part!

    My one and only goal is to get back into employment. I have been laid off and HATE being home. The layoff came at the worst time of year since so many companies freeze hiring at year end. Super frustrating!

    • Reply Johnny December 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Seriously! Too bad all those receipts are in some landfill somewhere. 🙂

      This economy has been rough. I’m sorry to hear about your not-so-awesome 2012 experiences. But 2013 is a new horse to jump on and hopefully you land a great job soon. We’ll be pulling for you!

  • Reply Jeny December 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Get a bicycle! Bikes are great. For the longest time my husband and I did the sharing one car thing, then my husband started riding his bike predominately. Now we are down to no cars and we both just ride everywhere. It totally fits in with the goal of fitness too.

    • Reply Johnny December 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      I would totally consider a bike. My commute might be a little bit too far for it to be practical every day of the week, but maybe I could bike the days of the week Joanna needs the car. Regardless, biking would be a really fun non-monotonous exercise option for 2013. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies December 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    My goal is to pay off the rest of the debt that we took out for RE investing the last few years (it’s at $58K now). But the Mr. seems a bit slow to come on board so far. He thinks it might be too big of a stretch. But I’d rather try and come close than not even try at all. =)

    • Reply Joanna December 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      That’s the attitude! You never know unless you try, and who knows, you might just be able to do it. Good luck!!

  • Reply Rob December 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I would say that one New Years resolution that is a sure thing to complete for you guys will be “Have our freaking baby” – hopefully that should be a no brainer, eh? 🙂

    As to a cost effective alternate mode of transportation, when my wife and I were your age (and my wife was at home with the kiddos and needed our single car), I used to car pool with 3 other guys who worked at my company. It worked out great as we four guys had one standard rule of passenger pickup – be on time or you’re on your own for your ride. It was cheaper on travel costs and I only needed our car every 4th day for work. And another suggestion which might be feasible: telecommute (work from home) a number of days per week.

    We don’t make New Years resolutions. Often they tend to quickly get forgotten. Instead we make 90-day mini resolutions – 4 times a year. Better to have a few goals to reach each quarter than a long yearly list. It also allows us to better “customize” our goals as circumstances dictate and time passes during the year.

    • Reply Joanna December 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      I love the idea of mini resolutions. And I bet the success rate is much higher with a three-month deadline. Johnny and I discussed this last night, and we’re going to give it a try this year with some of our smaller goals! Thanks for the awesome tip 🙂

  • Reply Catherine December 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    We also need a vacation BAD, with baby because she’s so much fun! We already have one in the works for next summer (family reunion in Boston) and I can’t wait!

    • Reply Joanna December 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      We fell in love with Boston while we lived there. You guys are going to have so much fun!

      Now if Johnny and I can just get “one in the works,” I’ll feel much better about accomplishing that resolution… 🙂

  • Reply Dustin Small December 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Loved your resolutions 🙂 Nice touch splitting it up into the couple and individual resolutions. Maybe if I tried that I’d actually be able to keep some of mine next year! Does it count if only one member of the couple follows through? 🙂

    • Reply Joanna December 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks, Dustin!

      And I think it works the way it did in grade school… if one partner follows through, you only get half credit 😉

  • Reply The Stockodo Seven: First Edition December 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    […] (and great looking) blogs I’ve come across in a while. Joanna wrote a cool article on New Year’s Resolutions that have inspired some of my […]

  • Reply Brett Wilson December 31, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I really enjoyed your resolutions. Good to see that you are starting a Roth Ira. Good luck with your resolutions!

    • Reply Joanna January 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks, Brett!

      We’re looking forward to seeing our money work a little harder this year! Happy New Year!

  • Reply Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin January 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Just came across your site today. I love that you both contribute to you, my wife likes that I blog but wants absolutely nothing to do with it.

    It looks like you two will have your hands full in 2013, especially with a baby 😉

    • Reply Joanna January 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks for stopping by our blog, Marvin! Yes, having a new baby will ensure that 2013 is a year like no other!

  • Reply Living with One Car | Our Freaking Budget January 29, 2013 at 7:06 am

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