2018 Review and 2019 Plans

Before I write about my 2019 plans I want to review my 2018 plans. In 2018 I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions or specific goals for the year I just shared some things I planned to accomplish during the year. The three things I planned to accomplish during 2018 were to save/make money, finish hiking the Appalachian Trail, and lose weight.

I did not finish hiking the AT. I spent a couple of weeks hiking on the trail and didn’t complete much mileage. I wasn’t able to get in a consistent hiking groove so I decided to return home rather than keep hiking. I”d still like to finish the AT, but it isn’t a priority so I’m not making it a goal right now.

I did accomplish the goal of saving/making more money. My total earnings were actually a little lower in 2018. However, the more important goal of saving more money was accomplished. I put over $11,000 in my company 401k, $6500 in my IRA, $400 in my solo 401k, and also invested about $2k in dividend stocks. That was well over 50% of my after-tax income. I’m considering this plan/goal a win.

My third and final plan was to lose weight. The first half of the year I actually gained weight. The plan was not going well. After I moved to Thailand I made great progress losing weight. I started 2018 at 230.2 pounds, went all the way up to 234.6 pounds, before eventually getting all the way down to 206.4 pounds. I didn’t set a specific amount of weight to lose. I think losing 23.8 pounds qualifies as losing weight and consider that plan accomplished.

In summary, I accomplished 2 of my 3 goals last year. As Meat Loaf says, “2 out of 3 ain’t bad“, so I’m satisfied with those results.

This year I am going to make my goals a little bit harder. This year I intend to focus more on actions rather than end results. For example, I can’t completely control whether I lose 30 pounds. However, I can control how often I exercise and whether I drink soda. If I follow my actions I’ll probably reach my goal. Even if I don’t reach the goal I’ll make good progress and developed good habits.

I’m sharing some of my goals now and I’ll make further goals once I’m in Thailand and have ample free time to get things done.

My first goal is to be able to do 1 chin-up. I haven’t been able to do a chin-up since I was 21. That is 30 years ago so being able to do a chin-up would be a pretty big accomplishment. This is a repeat goal from a couple of years ago. I didn’t make much progress on it then. I’m bringing back the goal since my brother left behind one of those pull-up bars that hang over a doorway at my mom’s house. I’ve been using it several times a day and can tell I’m getting closer to being able to do a chin-up. I can now do 1 band-assisted chin-up and can lift myself up several inches without the band. Last year when I first tried to do a chin-up I couldn’t even lift myself off the ground so this is good progress. If I continue to use the pull-up bar several times a day and lose weight (see next goal) I’m certain I’ll accomplish my goal of doing a chin-up.

My second goal is to get down to a BMI of 24.9. That would put me in the normal range for BMI. Last year I managed to get my BMI down to 29.9 and below which put me in the overweight range rather than the obese range I had been in for several years. I have gained some weight back and now have a 30 BMI putting me back in the obese range. That means this year I need to go from obese to normal weight. To accomplish that I am going to resume my intermittent fasting. I got out of the habit once I returned to the U.S. Intermittent fasting consistently will help me lose weight. The big thing I’m going to do to lose weight is stop drinking Dr Pepper. Soda makes up a big portion of my calorie intake. Giving up Dr Pepper will be difficult, but I know it will help a lot in losing weight. The last thing I’m going to do is make sure I exercise at least a little every day. I bought a jump rope and am using it for a few minutes several times a day. It isn’t much, but I do think it will help.

I’m also going to set some goals for this blog. I will flesh those out once I’m in Thailand. The goals will involve writing more, improving SEO, and figuring out ways to make more money from the blog.

That is all my goals for now. I’ll add more goals during the year. Working at my tax job and then my trip to Thailand will take up the first half of the year. I’m unsure what I want to do for the second half of the year. Once I figure that out I can set more goals that will work with my plans for the second half of the year.

2 thoughts on “2018 Review and 2019 Plans”

  1. Focusing on actions rather than results leaves the attainability within your nexus of control (mostly), good choice. You’ll probably even find many things mutually reinforcing, like giving up Dr Pepper and food spending 🙂

    I’m amazed you earned so much in 2018 with all the time off you’ve had! I’d very much like to arrange my life in a similar fashion. A few months of work, then a few months of play (ie personal interest time), I just can’t seem to take the first step of giving up my FT job. I’d be very interested in a post concerning how you’ve manufactured the intermittent jobs and conquered the fear of not being in full-time worker bee mentality.

    My spending is a bit more than yours, a little over 20K last year. If I could figure out a way to have a diverse job experience with long periods of intermittent time off netting anything near what you did in 2018, I’d be set!

  2. I work in the tax field which is naturally seasonal. My other document review job is project based so they are always hiring several times a year. Sometimes they aren’t hiring when I need them to be hiring so there is a risk there.

    My income wasn’t that high last year. I haven’t added it up, but doing a ballpark estimate off the top of my head I’d guess I made about 35k. Once I do my taxes I’ll see what the actual figure is and maybe I will do a post comparing my income to my expenses and how much I saved.

    I hope you are able to find some seasonal/intermittent jobs that work for you.


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