20 for 2020

As you can tell by the title, I am shamelessly copying myself from last year and doing the same thing with goals for this year, just adding one to match the year. Now 20 is a lot of goals, so I might have to come up with something different next year so this doesn’t continue indefinitely!

Here’s what I have in mind for this year.

Money

1. Max out Roth IRA contribution for 2020

New year, same goal.

2. Stretch goal: max out Roth IRA by the end of Q3

So far I’m trying something new this year: when I get paid from either my second job or Rover, I send those earnings straight toward my Roth IRA, sometimes before they even hit my checking account. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (wait a minute, I definitely want $200!).

A secret goal of mine is to max out my Roth IRA with only the money earned from my side hustle. I made less than $6,000 at my second job last year, but all of sudden I have another side hustle (one day I will SLOW THE FUCK DOWN but it is not this day). I’m still regularly walking dogs over my lunch break, which doesn’t make me a ton of money, but it’s certainly not nothing. This is very much a stretch goal, and the way my life is going right now, I’m not at all confident that I’d be able to do it. Buuuuuuuuut…

2020 progress one full month into the year

This number also includes $700 that’s not side hustle money: $350 for two months of the year so far that’s the difference between my current rent payment and what I was paying last year. And when you include those savings each month, all of a sudden maxing this out in the first half of the year looks doable, and definitely by the end of Q3.

But there are things afoot that might slow my contributions down for the meantime…

3. Max out my 401(k)

I came soooooo close last year. It would be amazing if I could start doing this while still in my 20s!

4. Start investing in an ESG fund

If maxing out my 401k and Roth IRA weren’t enough for me, I also want to scrounge up enough cash to meet the $3,000 minimum for investing in a Vanguard ESG fund (I could buy ETFs but to be honest I don’t actually know everything about investing and from what I can tell since I don’t currently have any ETFs, it’s honestly just easier for me to sit on the cash until I have the minimum rather than adding ETFs into the mix). The bulk of my investments are in VTSAX (or other index fund equivalent) and it would be nice to invest at least some of my money in a socially responsible fund where I’m not profiting off of guns, oil, or tobacco.

I’ve largely neglected my brokerage account in the last few years thanks to trying to max out my Roth, but luckily I’m not starting from zero here. I sold the holdings of my Acorns account late last year. Some of that money went into savings, but $1,000 of it is sitting parked in my money market fund in my brokerage account, waiting for another $2,000 to join it. So I just need to find that $2,000 somewhere, no big deal.

5. Reach a 50% savings rate for the year

I surpassed my 48% goal for 2019, so I’m upping it slightly for this year.

6. Do two no-spend months

February might be one of those two because January was $$ 😅

Travel/experiences

7. Use our companion pass five times this year

Here’s where it’s an interesting comparison to write these goals this year, versus writing them last year before I’d moved in with my partner. Inevitably some of these goals are tangled up with him.

A few weeks ago we achieved the hallowed status of Southwest Companion Pass holders so now we get buy one get one free flights! I have lots of ideas about how we should utilize this for the next almost two years.

(I’m putting this here so he can’t break up with me 😂)

8. Visit a new state

I didn’t achieve this one last year. Now I’m coming for this goal with the companion pass!

9. Visit a new national park

Another borrowed from last year, except I did achieve it last year. This one is a softball, stay tuned.

10. Do something or go somewhere new each month

Keeping track of this last year was fun so I intend to do it again.

11. Go on 52 hikes this year

My partner and I have a goal of averaging one hike per week this year. This is beyond ambitious since we’re already extremely far behind. We have a loose definition of a “hike” set at approximately 3 miles but really the goal is to a) get outside and moving (even if it’s just a nature walk) but b) to not be able to cheat by walking around the block or our neighborhood and calling it good.

This counted as a hike but was not a new state for me

The good news is we’ll be able to do more than one hike in a day if we go out to Shenandoah (especially if we go camping) so we can make up for lost time. And speaking of camping…

12. Go camping (more than once)

Another goal borrowed from last year, but this time I want to go camping more than the once or twice we did last year. I have new sleeping pads I bought over Black Friday that are waiting to be tested out (and I’ve since returned the one I bought last May that felt like I was sleeping on the ground)!

13. Go on a trip specifically to see autumn leaves

For a hot second I thought about planning a last-minute trip to Maine last October. I didn’t go through with it due to various money/time constraints (we were busy and as awesome a trip as it would’ve been, adding in another weekend away would’ve been stressful), but that’s not to say it might not happen this year. Ashevillle is also a contender for a leaf-peeping trip.

Personal goals

14. Continue decluttering my wardrobe

(And also get to the boxes still not unpacked from last year’s move.)

Decluttering is super hard when you can’t fit into the clothes you might get rid of to try them on and decide if you’re getting rid of them or not. Which leads me to…

15. Lose my extra weight in the first quarter

Look, I realize that this is a potentially problematic goal. But.

I’ve been carrying some extra pounds for a year, probably more at this point. I’m not so much trying to lose weight for the way I look (although when I’ve been at my heaviest lately, I’ve very much been dissatisfied with the way I look), but for a more practical reason: I refuse to buy new clothes.

For a very long time, I have been unable to fit into most of my pants or shorts and have been squeezing into the same two pairs of jeans for most of the year (dresses and leggings are great. Especially when you first get an IUD and have some bloating on top of extra weight). The simple solution would be to call it a loss and buy some bigger pants, but I refuse to accept that.

I’ve been meaning to go through and pare down my clothes for ages, but the fact of the matter is that there’s a whole lot in my closet that doesn’t fit me. I don’t want to get rid of something that I LOVE because it doesn’t fit me right now, and I don’t want to keep something that I no longer want even though it’s impossible to tell how things look on me when I don’t fit into them at all at the moment. That changes first quarter.

16. Go to barre three times per week

Pretty self-explanatory after that last one. I haven’t been perfect but I have already met this goal once so far this year, which is sadly way better than I’ve done in a long time.

17. Transition permanently to a better diet

What that means is: much lower carb, cutting out toxic veggie oils (canola oil is terrible for you and it’s in everything), and eating organic, grass-fed (where possible) milk and dairy.

My partner and I are already experimenting with making these changes, and that’s a large reason why January was so expensive (I’m scared to add up the grocery spending for my next post 💀). However, we haven’t gotten fully into the swing of things, nor have we figured out what are going to be staple meals for us. Because what the hell are you supposed to eat when you remove lots of rice and pasta from your diet??

My largest struggle right now is that so far the answer to that is: meat. I’d say before moving in with my partner 90% of the meals I made for myself were vegetarian, and I have a problem with greatly upping my meat consumption even more now than I already did last year. I have to figure out how to reconcile that.

So all that to say: we are in a period of transition now. The goal is to make changes that stick. And hopefully I don’t get tired of eating massive salads for lunch at least once a week!

18. Try something new/out of the ordinary for me

Getting a bike membership won’t count this year!

19. Be more consistent with bedtime/wakeup routine

I have a problem where I am always, always tired. Like zombie-ing through life tired. I did a sleep study last summer to see if I officially have trouble regulating my sleep/wake cycles, but it was inconclusive. I started a medication a few years ago to help me sleep better, and let me tell you it has changed my life.

But I am still constantly exhausted. There have been days in the last few months where my alarm goes off but I am physically unable to keep my eyes open, so I roll over and sleep for another hour until I finally wake up a bit more alert. That requires going in to work late, and while it is super easy for me to adjust my hours and work later those days, who’s to say a) that shit will continue to fly or b) I don’t get a different job where I cannot do that anymore?

I have good sleep hygiene. My partner and I instituted a “no phones in the bedroom” rule a few months ago since we were scrolling late into the night and for entirely too long in the morning. I bought a weighted blanket and it’s a bit inconclusive as to whether it does actually help me sleep better, but it is comfy. I also bought a sunrise alarm clock a few months ago. Some mornings I’m awake before the alarm goes off thanks to the light, which is frustrating because I always want more sleep, but hey, that means I’m not being jolted awake. Despite all of these things, I’m still exhausted all the time.

One thing that will help though? Going to bed earlier. Slash on time.

Doing so is hard because some nights my partner and I both get home late after working out, and then after cooking and eating we aren’t done with dinner until 9:00. Which leaves us two hours to clean up from dinner, do anything we need to do that evening, and get ready for bed. Oh and maybe also talk to each other for a bit after being at work all day. Blogging nights are also always very late nights, too.

But some nights we say we need to get up off the couch and go to bed but it keeps not happening until it’s way past time to get ready for bed. We need to be better about those nights, and I should lead that initiative considering I’m the one with the sleep issue.

This is hard to measure, but it also is measurable, thanks to the fact that I have a Fitbit that tracks when I sleep and how well I slept. Also not feeling so damn exhausted is a good indication that I’m on the right track.

20. Read 52 books

I did NOT expect to fall short on this last year. Here’s to making it happen this year.


Alright, I’m tired just thinking about all those goals. Off to go accomplish them! But also to get more sleep.

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