2012: The Year I Get It Together

New Years – and the resolutions that come with it – is still a couple months off, but I’ve already started thinking about the goals I’ll be setting for the coming year.

For 2011, most of my focus was put towards (1) finding steady employment and (2) moving back to Sacramento. With both of these goals accomplished, however, I’ve been struggling to find new goals to motivate me. It’s too soon for me to start looking for my very own place sans roommates, and with the job market still in a rutt, I doubt I’ll be able to move into a job in my field anytime soon. Overall, my life feels like it’s finally back on track, so where do I go from here?

The more I ponder this question, the more I think that perhaps the answer is to get the peripheral parts of my life – things like finances, fitness, and some better habits – in order while I wait for the larger pieces of life to come together.

My financial situation, for instance, is a bit of a mess compared to a year ago. The thing about being (essentially) unemployed for nine months is that it wreaked havoc upon my pocketbook. When I left my old State job, I had a few thousand dollars saved up between my checking and savings accounts; by the time I finally did get hired this past June though, I had nearly emptied my checking account and was a couple hundred dollars from doing the same to my savings. Add to that the credit card debt I’d been building up (as well as the money I’d borrowed from my mom) during this same time, and I was finding myself in a less than ideal situation.

On the bright side, I have managed to make some sizable dents in that debt since I started working, putting $100 or more towards paying it off each month. Unfortunately, I’ve also had to invest heavily in improving my wardrobe for work, replacing my laptop, and furnishing my apartment. I’ve started using Mint more to help manage my finances – including planning and *gasp* sticking to a budget – so hopefully in a few months I’ll have my debt close to eliminated and I can start focusing on building up some rainy day funds.

My other big task for the coming 12+ months is to finally get serious about blogging and webdesign.  Words w/ Jeff is going to be a huge part of my 2012. I’ve been much better about maintaining this blog than I have in recent years, but I want to take it to the next level. That’ll mean leaving Blogger for my own self-hosted WordPress, a brand new design, and maybe a few other ideas I’ve currently got kicking around inside my head. I’ll also be devoting a lot more time to my client’s website, which is functional but hardly up to my own high standards (I’m a bit of a perfectionist, if you hadn’t realized).

There are a few other things I plan to take care of, but I’ll leave those until proper resolution making time. I’m curious though: what’s currently motivating you? Are you already making lofty goals for the coming year, or is that too far away to even think about?