A look back at 2011

We’re stuck in limbo as far as the trip is concerned, so I need to set some concrete goals for 2012. Before I do that, I want to revisit some of my 2011 goals and how I did with them. I wasn’t blogging at this time last year, so hopefully I remember everything!

  • The Purchase Project: I’ll call this a half-success. The project was my attempt at breaking myself away from habitual bargain shopping. I vowed to purchase only 1 item for myself per month for the entire year. I lasted until about July, which is pretty good in my opinion. More importantly, it has changed the way I think and act as a consumer. I no longer go to stores to look around, I no longer scour the bargain racks, and I no longer buy things that I just don’t need. The first and second months, I don’t even remember what I bought. What I do remember is that I purchased toward the beginning of the month and regretted it later on when I found something I wanted more. After that, I put a lot of thought into what my purchase would be for the month and was a lot more careful about my spending. I got away from the one item per month mid-summer when I bought a pair of running shoes, work shoes, and work pants in the same month. Even though I stopped following the original plan, it built good habits and I am more happy with myself as a consumer.
  • Join a running club: Success. I joined Glen Ellyn Runners in April. I have met some great people and really enjoyed running with the group. I have been consistently running with them every other Sunday (alternating with my weekends at work) since I joined. I love it, and wish i would have done this sooner! It also helped me accomplish my next goal…
  • Run a marathon, half marathon, and 5k: Check, check, and check! I ran the Columbus Marathon (4:04:25), Schaumburg Turkey Trot half marathon (1:55:31), and Halloween Hustle 5k (23:21)… and PR’s at all 3! All of my training really paid off this year. You can follow my racing on athlinks.
  • Finish paying off student loans: Completed in March. We’re now debt free, with the exception of our mortgage.
  • Finish saving for the trip: Done! Woohoo! We reached our savings target in November. We utilized automatic bank transfers from our checking account into a separate ING account to keep us on track. Paying yourself first is definitely the way to go when it comes to reaching a lofty savings goal.

Other notable things from 2011 include joining a local CSA, getting rid of all nonessential “stuff”, taking a photography class, losing 20 pounds, putting our house on the market (twice), getting travel vaccines and an IUD, living off of 27% of our post-tax income, and watching entirely too many Gordon Ramsay reality shows on hulu.

Farewell 2011!