2011 Personal New Years Resolutions- a Mid-year Check-In

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Earlier I talked reviewed my personal finance resolutions for 2011 because we're half way done the year already (still can't believe it).  Today I will review my personal resolutions.  I found it easier to complete the personal finance resolutions as I think it's less about behaviour change than personal resolutions (uh.. one word- exercise!).  Anyhow, here goes the review.  It will be painful, I am warning you.

Personal New Years Resolutions- 2011:

  • Exercise more! Specifically, exercise at least twice a week (hey I’m starting off slow, they have to be achievable, right? LOL).  This can be in the form of yoga, going for a run with the dog, or hiking.  This was an epic fail last year, so hopefully I will be able to adhere to this resolution.  I did buy a yoga DVD and I have a one month pass for a yoga studio I plan on using in February in which I will be going every day or maybe 4+ times a week.

FAIL!!!!!!! This was pretty sad.  I did a month of INTENSE yoga in February (mainly to take advantage of a Groupon-like deal) and then stopped.  No hiking, but I did walk the dog.  No yoga at home either.  I am going to start writing it in my calender again so I can plan for it in my day.  Oftentimes life just gets so busy that I forget.

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff– Sometimes I find myself easily aggravated over little things, that really don’t matter in the big scheme of things.  I need to be more patient and practice compassion.  I know this isn’t really measurable, but I wanted to put it in here anyways.

Hmm… it Fluctuates: Some days I find myself so wise and so in tune with myself (and calm), and other days (like today for example) I was getting easily flustered over traffic.  I think what would help is to meditate more often (perhaps before I go to bed, or before I start for the day) to calm my mind- and whenever I find myself getting anxious or flustered, I can try to go to the happy place of calmness and serenity.  I have definitely been listening to more New Age type music, and that's been helping me try to achieve some zen-ness.

  • Continue volunteering– I volunteer twice a month at a soup kitchen and I also volunteered as a mentor last year for an immigrant who had recently come to Canada.  I hope to continue this, but having both going on a the same time + blog + full time work + house stuff was a bit much last year.

SEMI-FAIL: I have been continuing to volunteer twice a month at a soup kitchen, but haven't been able volunteer as a mentor again.  I think it will be even more difficult come September when I return to school. Sometimes I think my plate is getting too full and feel overwhelmed.


  • Hike the West Coast Trail– The West Coast Trail is a 75km wilderness backpacking trail on Vancouver Island and it takes about 6-8 days of hiking to finish.  People come from all over the world to hike this popular trail and it is often on many hiking enthusiasts “must do” lists.  300 people a year have to be evacuated out of the trail due to serious injury, so it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart.  There are pulleys, cable cars, huge 20 feet ladders to climb… the ladders is the main reason I’m not so keen on it.  I HATE heights (my palms are getting sweaty just thinking about it) and climbing a huge ladder with a heavy backpack isn’t my idea of fun… but hopefully I will manage to conquer my fear and not plummet to serious injury!

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Whoops, palms are getting sweaty again thinking about the heights involved for this trek.  My friends and I are set to do this in August, so my inspiration is again re-ignited and I plan to get in serious shape for this.  I did cycle 45 minutes to work and 45 minutes back (sooo tempted to take transit back home, but it would defeat the purpose of saving gas money as I would have to pay $2.50 for bus fare).

  • Go hiking once a week at least during hiking season.  I was really good at doing the Grouse Grind (this 2km long outdoor stairmaster in Vancouver) two years ago, but last year I think I only did it once.  I might consider buying one of those “unlimited passes” to download from the cable car this year so I will be forced to hike it more often.

SOMEWHAT ON TRACK: My friends and I did a 15km hike today (hence the super belated post today) around Buntzen lake in Coquitlam- who knew- wildnerness in metro Vancouver's back yard!).  I am still contemplating getting an unlimited Grouse Grind pass, but it's $110 for the season.  That would mean I have to go 11 times this summer to break even, which is doable….however the gas guzzling associated with making the trek up North Vancouver to get to the base of the Grouse Grind does not appeal to me.  I'm still on the fence about this one.  What do you guys think I should do?

  • Continue blogging three times a week– I love blogging but I find that it takes up quite a bit of my time.  I need to continue on this quest for balance.

FAIL: I am indeed blogging three times a week, but my the balance is a bit off.  I have been staying past 12:30 to 1 am on most nights, and averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night.

  • Read a book every two months– Sad to say, the only time I read is during vacation, but I need to find the time to read in my day to day life.  Usually I’m too exhausted to read before bed.  I’ll try and read once a week during breakfast instead of watching the morning news.

ON TRACK- I THINK: I've been pretty good, I think.  I read 3 books that were not personal finance related (which is pretty amazing for me).  I have read The Millionaire Next Door and just recently finished reading Robert Kiyosaki's Cash Flow Quadrant.  Still finding little time to read on regular basis, and tend to read books in big chunks of time versus nightly before bed.

  • Bring a lunch to work every day– I actually look forward to my lunches (I make them the night before) and I like how I am saving $8 a day.  Instead of lunches, I save my money for travel ;)

DOING GOOD SO FAR: I must say I've been doing pretty good with this.  I haven't gone out for lunch unless it was for a coworkers birthday or if they were leaving our office to pursue other things.  I have started making lunches and freezing them for those nights when I am just too darned tired to make lunch for the next day.

  • Don’t go on facebook on the computer at home– I find my self obsessively compulsively checking facebook, maybe 15 times a day, I log in refresh, and log out.  It’s almost like an addiction to updating and refreshing!  I look at pictures of friends of friends sometimes, people who I don’t even know or even care about.  I know this is definitely not healthy and is a huge time-waster (aka death to productivity).  I am allowing myself to go on facebook during the day on my iPhone, but in the evening, I’m going to try and stay off it.  I’ll do this by signing up for that site where you can ban sites from firefox called LeechBlock (shout out to 27 and Frugal who introduced me to this) and you can choose when to ban it (I chose M-F from 1800-2355).

SUPER FAIL: My obsessive compulsive behaviour has not ceased despite using LeechBlockmost of the time, I end up going on Safari instead.  I do think that I have been spending less time on it, and spending less time facebook creeping friends of friends LOL.  Anyone have any suggestions on how I can stop this addiction to facebook?

Readers, how have your personal resolutions for 2011 been panning out?

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

24 Comments

  1. Financial Samurai on June 28, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for reminding me to do my own mid-year update!

    Funny you obsess about FB. I just donno why I haven’t gotten into it at all. You sure you’re not stalking your Xs??! 🙂

    I just check Twitter and e-mail. FB… maybe a week before Zynga launched Empires & Allies game lol. Now, once a day or so.

    Sam



  2. retirebyforty on June 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

    It looks like you did OK overall. Good luck on the West Coast trail, it sounds exiting!
    My exercise went completely by the way side when I did my stay at home dad stint. I’m getting back into the routine now though. I find that a structured routine is the way to go for me.
    Keep working on the Fail items, you still have 6 months left. 😉

    Oh, I am not addicted to FB anymore. All my friends pretty much quit updating so it was easy to quit as well. Us old geezers are too busy. hahaha… Or maybe we are just less addicted to the internet…



  3. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter on June 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Life does get in the way sometimes. I think you are still doing great.
    I too have gotten off facebook. I hardly check it. Rather spend my time doing other stuff



  4. Jewel of Toronto on June 28, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I was doing the same thing and now I’ve completely weaned myself from FB. I actually deleted all my content from FB and then my account and didn’t even think about it for 2-3 weeks, though your account is really just suspended, not deleted.
    I went back on to call for sponsors for a race I’m running. I now take advantage of the way FB emails you when someone sends you a message (and you can respond from your email client; you do not have to log in). I still get to hear from friends when they want to chat but I don’t feel even slightly compelled to log in.
    Good luck!



  5. Fabulously frugirl on June 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I am terrible, but now that we are half way through the year, I am afraid to look at what my goals were! I’m across it might be a big fail. I can think of 2 right now.



  6. Helly on June 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    This is why I don’t make resolutions– no goals to fail at 😉

    As for the working out– any way you can arrange for a workout buddy to help you stay motivated and on track? Or maybe sign up for classes or a gym/yoga membership? I know it seems silly to spend money on something you can do on your own for free, but I’ve found that if I’m shelling out my hard-earned money for something like that, I’m less inclined to skip it. And if it keeps me motivated to stay in shape, then it’s money well spent.

    You’ve still got half a year left– good luck on the rest of it! 🙂



  7. TSM on June 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Its great that you’re setting mid-year review times. I need to do that — its hard to believe 6 months has already gone by and the years half over!



  8. MoneyCone on June 29, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I logged out of FB a while back. Best decision ever!



  9. young on June 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    @Money Cone- Ugh- you have such willpower! you all have such willpower!



  10. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:01 am

    @TSM- I know, I can’t believe it. Time really flies. Hope your review goes well!



  11. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:03 am

    @Helly- heh.. but if you don’t make resolutions, then there won’t be goals you succeed at either!

    I got a work out buddy! She made me buy the Grouse Grind pass ($110) so now I have to go AT LEAST 11 times this year to recoup my costs (I am aiming for 20 times maybe). It’s a 2.9km “nature’s stair master” I think your theory is correct- shelling out my hard earned money is such a great motivator. I guess that’s why people buy gym memberships!



  12. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:03 am

    @Fabulously frugirl- What are they? 🙂 I forgot my goals until I reviewed my blog post- talk about forced accountability! 🙂



  13. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:04 am

    @Miss T- Awe thanks 🙂 I don’t feel like I am hard on myself, just being realistic. I do still have half the year left to make up for the first half of the year! 🙂



  14. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:06 am

    @retirebyforty- Haha, you’re not an old geezer! Maybe with baby RB40 there is no time to look at facebook! You guys are all an inspiration for me- I will try REALLY hard to only go on facebook maybe 3 times a day (I know that sounds like a lot to you, but I think I ‘update’ my newsfeed like… 10 time a day on my iphone).



  15. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:07 am

    @Jewel of Toronto- Thanks! Again, you’re an inspiration! I don’t know if I can bring myself to delete my account..! The problem is, I don’t update MY page or anything, its just all the facebook creeping I waste my time on 🙁



  16. young on June 30, 2011 at 12:09 am

    @Financial Samurai- You are lucky! Haha, no, I’m not stalking my ex. Empires and Allies? Is that like Warcraft? 🙂 Zynga is so creative- I only know their Party Poker game.



  17. Little House on June 30, 2011 at 6:13 am

    This was a good reminder to me that I need to do a mid-year update as well! I think it’s great your accomplishing some of your goals – you shouldn’t think of it as an all or nothing; if you’re making progress, then that’s a positive thing. 😉

    As for me, most of my goals this year were finance related. I can’t say I’ve met them all, but I’m on the right path and that’s what counts!



  18. 101 Centavos on July 1, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Kudos to you for volunteering at a soup kitchen. That is one thing that I chide myself for not doing more often, volunteering on a semi-regular basis. Time pressures are what they are, unfortunately.
    We don’t facebook frequently, much to the chagrin of some far-flung family members, who seem to be addicted. Once we tracked down long-lost friends and gotten in touch via email, both Mrs. 101 and I seemed to gradually come off the FB use.



  19. Lindy Mint on July 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    All this talk about hiking is making me want to hop in the car and head to the mountains. At least you’re making good progress on some of your items.

    I’d like to say that I’m not addicted to Facebook, but I do have a smart phone. And after email and Twitter have been checked, why not Facebook next?



  20. Financial Samurai on July 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Yep, Empire and Allies is like Warcraft. Addicting. I’m one who hasn’t played a game in 15 years too!



  21. young on July 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    @Financial Samurai- You’re a reformed Empires and Allies addict, eh?



  22. young on July 2, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    @Lindy Mint- Best of all, hiking (usually) is a free experience! 🙂 (Just read your last post on experiences vs stuff and loved it). So are you saying you’re a closet facebook addict (in the form of checking it on your smart phone?) 🙂



  23. young on July 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    @101 Centavos- I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue to volunteer there unfortunately. I always go into the shift thinking “ackkk I’m in such a time crunch, I should really stop volunteering because it takes so much of my time” but then, at the end of the shift, I think “wow, that was really great and it’s nice to feel helpful, even if I was washing dishes all shift”. I enjoy the camaraderie that the volunteers have.

    Kudos to you for getting off the FB addiction. The SAD thing about getting in touch with people/ long lost friends is that our high school isn’t even having a 10 year reunion this year it seems, because everyone is caught up already on facebook!



  24. young on July 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    @Little House- That’s true- I should have done a % completion instead of an absolute Yes or No. Yes, at least starting on them and following through is what counts, congrats on your progress!



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