December 30, 2008

In 2009, I will...

Last year, I made my New Year's goals public. I'm doing it again this year. But before I tell you what I have in store for 2009, let's review what I did (or did not) accomplish in 2008.

Goal 1: Do a physical activity lasting at least 20 minutes, four times a week.
This goal was up and down, but I can't say I tracked it enough to know how consistent I was. I think the percentage of weeks I made this goal is incredibly low. But I feel like I worked out more this year than the previous one. Plus I found a new gym and a routine that seems to work for me. So I may have not been strong with this goal the entire year, but I'm ending strong. For that, I'll give myself a .4 on my success rate.

Goal 2: Make an educated vote for president.
Done. And if you read this blog at all from September to November, I hope I helped you make and educated vote too. My success rate equals one.

Goal 3: Volunteer one day out of the month at a charitable organization.
I did not volunteer one single day at any charitable organization, so this one was a big fail. But I do donate to Chicago Public Radio on a monthly basis, so I gave a little. I give my success a 0.1.

Goal 4: Take violin lessons.
Done. I took two fiddle classes, so this was a completely successful goal. I get a one out of one.

Goal 5: Learn about my family's history.
This one is hard to define in terms of success. I remember having conversations about my family with my family this past year. I learned I'm one than one-half German (I always thought I was a quarter), my great grandfather on my mother's side used to smuggle alcohol from Canada during prohibition and my dad is actually a second, having been named after his grandfather. The thing is I know I learned more than this, but I have forgotten most of it already. At best, I can only rate my success at 0.4.

I've given myself a 2.9 out of five for my goals accomplished. Better than 50 percent, but not as good as I'd hoped. Here's hoping 2009 is more successful. I've once again, set five goals for myself. I've tried to make these as concrete as possible so I'll know for certain if I've reached them or not.

And now, my list.

Goal 1: Find out and fix my credit score.
It is absolutely terrible, but I have no idea what my credit score is. I've never looked into it, mainly because I haven't had the need. And given the number of credit card applications I receive on a weekly basis, I've always assumed my score is pretty good. But I don't know my score. Nor do I know what errors it may contain. I have friends with horror stories about fixing their credit ratings. These stories generally are set under dire circumstances, like buying a house. I figure before I make any major purchases (nothing planned now) where my credit may be a factor, I'd like to get my credit score in order.

Goal 2: Learn the history of my violin.
My violin wasn't purchased by me or my parents. It was passed down in our family and eventually rescued by my mom years ago from my grandparents garage sale. The story I know about its history is vague.
Some grandfather (great or great-great) on my mom's side ran a hotel and a man
came to stay one night. The man couldn't pay so he left his violin as payment. He said he'd come back with cash in exchange for the violin. He never did.
See vague. I'd like to know names of people, locations, the name and location of the hotel, when exactly this all happened, etc. This goal stems from my fifth goal of 2008, but it's a little more concrete this time around.

Goal 3: Run the Shamrock Shuffle in under 50 minutes.
I am nervous just typing that. I've run the shuffle two other times. I came in around 57 minutes both times. It's my standard, jogging pace of 11+ minute miles. By cutting my time to under 50 minutes I will need to cut more than a minute off my per minute mile pace. I don't know if I can do this, but I'm sure as hell going to try. My inspiration is my friend Kelsa who is running her first marathon in less than three weeks. We used to run at the same pace, but now that girl can sprint past me. That's because she's diligently trained and cut down her time. I plan to do the same.

Goal 4: Play vibrato.
This is an extension of my fourth goal from last year. I have gotten back into playing violin this past year. A lot of my skills have returned but I'd like to expand my playing abilities. One thing I've never been able to do is play vibrato. Vibrato is the difference between long flat notes and the sweet, pretty vibration of a note. For some reason, my wrists and fingers have never been able to move in a vibrato motion. I've wanted to know how to do this ever since I started playing. My main motivation now will be the wedding I'm playing at in September. Wedding songs just sound so much prettier with a vibrato.

Goal 5: Cut my student loans in half.
I owe close to $9,000 in student loans. That is not a lot compared to what most people owe, but I'd like it gone sooner rather than later. I've always paid more than the minimum, but I can contribute more. And really, it's the only debt I have so why not get rid of it.

So that's it. Stay tuned in 2009. I'll be sharing my triumphs and challenges as 2009 progresses. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

kelsalynn said...

I love the history of your violin...and I can't wait to hear more about it. I'm so curious now too! Great goals Amy! A little bit of everything, which is good.

I can't believe you don't know your credit score or have seen your credit report. Let me know if you need help. I use credit karma dot com- it's free and you can see your credit score every month for free. It's cool. It's not the report, just the score, but you can usually tell every month by your score if something has changed on your report for the worse or better. Check it out. I signed Michael up to so now I monitor his score.

You can get your credit report for free once per year too. FYI. Don't pay for it.