This is the third year in a row I’ve made New Year Resolutions. I started back in 2016 (see my 2016 resolutions and 2017 resolutions) and was so impressed with how successful it was, I kept on doing it. Without my yearly and quarterly reviews, I wouldn’t accomplish half of these goals. Rose Colored Water has been instrumental in what I achieve every year, and even if I never posted, the check-ins alone would keep me going.
This year, I decided to stop calling them resolutions and start calling them goals. My plans and desires are not resolutions by definition. A resolution is something you “resolve” to do. My goals are more than just things I am resolving to do. I could resolve to eat better, but I would rather make a specific goal to cut out dairy three days a week.
See what I mean?
For 2018, I made concrete goals I can take specific steps to reach. Plus, most require a lot of work and aren’t dedicated to making me a better person. I am not trying to lose weight, eat better, or pursue minimalism. This year, I need to get things done. If I don’t, other parts of my life will rearrange and change course.
There are very specific career goals I have in the Air Force, and I hope to complete all of them in 2018. I’ve mentioned it before, but if I don’t get into nursing school, then I can’t apply to the NECP. That will mean another year of waiting for the next cycle to open again. There’s also the possibility that I will get into a nursing program, but not into the NECP. My goals extend past my acceptance into that program.
1. Get into nursing school.
I am applying to five programs, but two of those may fall through before I can finish their application. I will update you as things develop. Acceptance into nursing school means I can move forward with my application to nursing school.
2. Get into the NECP.
Once I am accepted into nursing school, I will move forward with applying to the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program. If I don’t get into the NECP or can’t apply, this goal will roll over to next fall where I will reapply.
If I don’t get into nursing school or the NECP, I plan on hopping into a few more college courses (pathophysiology, general chemistry II, and medical terminology) to increase my chances and gain more educational experience.
3. Score a 90 on my PT test.
Typically I take my test in October. However, if I get into the NECP, it is highly recommended I test in June or July so my testing cycle falls during summer sessions (less going on and more time to prep). I have never scored below a 90, and I don’t plan on starting now.
4. Make Staff Sergeant (E-5) first time.
I will become an E-4 (Senior Airman) just in time to test for the rank of E-5 (Staff Sergeant). Staff Sergeants are given more responsibility and take on supervisory roles and responsibilities. I want to make E-5 the first time because it comes with a big pay increase and I would finally be the same rank as many other people my age. That’s the tough part about enlisting at an older age. I believe I am ready for that position and hope to have a positive impact in my work center.
If I don’t make it this year, I will have to wait another year to test. If I don’t get into the NECP, it would be horrible for me if I didn’t make this rank the first time. Talk about feeling like a failure…
5. Volunteer 100 hours at the hospital.
I volunteer in the emergency department at a local hospital, so over the next year, I would like to gain at least 100 hours. This provides invaluable experience for me and looks great when applying to nursing school.
These are the general goals I want to accomplish in 2018. They aren’t necessarily important to anyone but me, but I place them high on my priorities.
1. Take one big trip.
Hopefully, this trip will be a big move to wherever I get into nursing school, but if that falls through, I would like to take a real vacation. I want to go somewhere I haven’t been so I can forget about my problems.
2. Move closer to work.
As you may already know, last year I moved to be closer to my husband’s (now ex) work. This increased my commute time from 30 minutes to more than an hour each way. Now that I am divorced, I can move back to the area I lived before – shortening my commute time, increasing my happiness, and reducing my expenses.
I will have to give up my two bedroom lifestyle because my roommate is PCS’ing in April and I move in March. There is no one else available to live with right now, so I think it’s best for me to downsize and sell some stuff. This will help with some of the debt pay-off and improve my minimalist mindset.
3. Read my entire 2018 book list.
Every year, I make a reading list. This year, I am attempting to read 39 books. It’s an audacious goal, but some of these books are from my 2016 and 2017 lists. Check out this page to see all my book reviews as I work through the list this year.
4. Make intentional purchases.
I hope to spend very little money in 2018, but I also want to create a space that feels cozy and minimal. Right now, I still feel my home has too many odds and ends. Reducing the amount of stuff (furniture, random knick-knacks, etc.) will create a much quieter, peaceful environment.
I’m going to continue purging old things I’ve found in dumpsters (literally) and start saving up for specific furniture and decor pieces I’d like to have. Check out my Home Decor Pinterest board to see some of my minimalist style wants.
1. Pay my debt down to $40,000.
I have about $60,000 in debt. This is scattered across credit cards and student loans. Paying off $20,000 on my salary is going to be tough, especially since I will be living alone. However, I’m dedicating 2018 to the biggest, most bodacious, nearly unachievable goals.
If I can put an additional $1000-$2000 a month towards my regular debt payments, I can achieve this goal with the help of other things. Paying down my debt to $40,000 would be ALMOST as good as getting into the NECP.
Below are some goals that will help put more money towards my debt.
2. Refund my extended warranty on my car.
I admit it. Buying the extended warranty for my GMC Terrain was a decision made out of fear. It felt like the right thing to do to reassure myself. Now that I’m trying to cut my expenses and find some loose cash, the warranty must go. I’ve never needed it, and with a healthy emergency fund, I will be able to handle anything that comes my way.
The fine print reassured me that even if I did need to use it, they would find a way to not honor it. So… through a bunch of hassle and letters, I will attempt to get back the pro-rated amount left over on this extended warranty. It will go right back into paying this car off.
3. Pay off my car.
Of the $20,000 I want to pay off this year, my car is the first priority. I am still underwater on it and it is the biggest payment I have. I hope to pay it off in full by September.
4. Switch to the Blended Retirement System and get my employer match.
As of January 1st, a new retirement system is available for military members. I won’t go into details here, but I’ve decided to opt-in to this plan, which will now include a 5% employer match to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). I want to continue contributing 10% into my TSP, so now it will be like I’m putting in 15%. Pretty dope, right? Once I pay off more debt, I’ll increase my contributions.
5. Reach $5000 in my emergency fund.
That ever-elusive $5000 I’ve been trying to save is finally going to happen. Honestly, I’d rather have this sitting in my bank account than paying down the debt to $40000. I want to feel secure financially, and this is the most important way to achieve that.
1. Monetize Rose Colored Water.
Last summer, I said that monetizing my blog was a priority and I wanted to make $500 a month by the end of 2017. This was also around the same time I decided to end my marriage. Everything blog-related was put on the back-burner and I vowed to eventually get back to it. This is the year. I am still keeping the goals of making $500/month on the blog by the end of 2018. Through affiliate marketing and ads (possibly), monetizing my blog will help me reach the goal of paying $40,000 in debt off by the end of the year.
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2. Retake/Finish the Making Sense of Cents Affiliate Marketing Course.
I started this course back in April 2017 and never completed it (for the same reason as above). After May, I really want to dig back into this course and get to work on affiliate marketing and optimizing my posts.
3. Publish 10 posts a month.
I have not wanted to blog for a long time, but I am dedicated to growing my site and helping others. This year, I hope to publish at least 10 posts a month. This will require me to re-motivate myself and work through my lack of inspiration. I have a ton of ideas and drafts; I just can’t bring myself to write them. This is my year though. I’m going to make it happen.
4. Finish re-optimizing my blog posts.
This is something I worked fervently on last spring, but fell to the wayside when all my life changes happened. I hope to continue this and finish making all my blog posts beautiful with Pin-worthy images.
These are big goals for the year, but I believe I can accomplish a lot of them if I stay motivated, excited, and energized. Many of my friends are PCS’ing this year, so I will be spending more time indoors (alone, sadly). The positive side to this, if I don’t get into the NECP, is that I will be able to put more time into reading and blogging.
What are your goals for the year?