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2019 Goals & My Word of the Year

January 1, 2019
AUTHOR: Emilie
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Oh a new year, time to get the ball rolling.

Word of the Year: No.

“No.” is a complete sentence. When I asked to do something- to volunteer, to help, to pick up more than my share of the task, to dive into something I’m only slightly interested in, to bite off more than I can chew- I rarely say No. In 2019, I aim to say no ALL the time. I have enough on my plate.

Every Yes is a No to something else, but every No is just a way of keeping the opportunities coming. A No keeps the door open. It gives you options.

Quite counter to my nature, in 2019, my word of the year is No.

Goal #1: Read 32 books.

Why? This year I found myself wanting to read smaller books to get closer to my goal of 36 books. I averaged 244 pages per book, but I felt the temptation. Moreover, I definitely caught myself turning down books that I worried would take me too long to get through. I know that I can read 32 books/year, so this is just the continuation of that.

Process steps: Reading 2-3 books per month (roughly 650 pages) or 21 pages per day. Keep a reading streak since even a 3-4 days off can lead to weeks.

Needlepoint ornament I gifted to my friend Carol back in 2015

Goal #2: Stitch Savannah Ornament (Needlepoint) + One Baby Gift (Cross Stitch)

Why? This year I struggled to get my needlepoint ornament out the door, but I know how special it is to have these ornaments that capture special things about our lives. I would like this to be something I do every year, just to capture what has been going on. Needlepoint is an expensive hobby, but memories are even more expensive.

This year I’d really like to push myself to also stitch a baby gift. We had two amazing babies come into our life this year, with more coming soon. Stitching a gift is something that always means so much. I already have all the stuff, it’s just an investment of time- one, this year, I’m determined to make.

Process steps: Designate a day of the week (not the weekends) that will be my stitching evening. Leaning towards Thursdays right now; On Thursday (or whatever day of the week it might be), I just stitch while doing whatever it is we’re doing (Netflixing?).

Goal #3: Hit 100K Net Worth (Combined)

Why? They say that the first 100K is the hardest to collect. That will be our goal in 2019. Being debt-free, with two moderate incomes, renters in our rental home, in a groove with YNAB, and reasonable lifestyles, we should be able to hit this (slightly ambitious) goal this year. I say “Net Worth” instead of Cash+Investments because we plan on taking a serious stab at the mortgage on that rental home. (If all goes to plan, I’d love to pay off over 20K of it!)

Here’s my question: do cars count in your net worth? I know J$ includes it in his, but we’ve been wondering if we should. We have about $18K in cars, so this could be the difference between calling this a win or a loss at the end of the year.

We have:

  • two cars
  • one house with mortgage
  • two Roth IRAs, one traditional IRA
  • one Roth TSP, one traditional TSP
  • one emergency fund
  • one car replacement fund
  • one vacation fund
  • one checking account

Process steps: We plan on putting over 5K every months towards our financial goals (big chunk towards the mortgages, maxing out both Roth IRAs, big chunk towards vacation fund, topping off our E-fund, and what-would-have-been-a-car-payment going towards our car replacement fund), but things like our vacation fund won’t build our net worth, so we’ll just have to stick to the plan here because the plan will get us there.

Content Audit Project
Click the image to read the original Content Audit Post

Goal #4: Finish Content Audit

Why? I started this in 2018 and then ran out of steam. I think part of the problem is that I wanted this to be a sprint, but I’m realizing it’s really more of a marathon. Nothing about the steps here has changed, but now I’m carving out 2 hours per week to work on this.

Process Steps: I’ve already scheduled a recurring calendar appointment for two hours every week. I just have to stick to this.

Goals #5: Hit a 300 lb deadlift

Why? I’ve been saying this (albeit, aspirationally) for 3 years now and 2019 will really be the year. I believe that, with training, consistency, and dedication, this is a reasonably achievable goal. In his 2018 Annual Review, James Clear wrote:

The margin between your best performance and your average performance is less than you think. In 2017, I averaged 15.7 workouts per month. In 2018, I averaged 11.7 workouts per month. At first glance, I considered it a modest difference. Only 4 workouts less each month? That’s about one less per week. And I was still making it into the gym consistently.

But then I realized I didn’t set a personal record in any major lift in 2018. Conversely, I hit PRs in nearly every major lift in 2017. One workout per week doesn’t sound like much, but that was the difference between my average performance and my best performance.

It will take almost as much work to continue to be mediocre as it would to actually crush it. I should just crush it.

Process: I have to break it off with my gym. I will finish out my contract and then move on to something else. And then, I will never sign a gym contract again. I need to pick a training plan and just do it. I am to work out 20x/month every month. That should get me where I want to go.


  1. Read 32 books
  2. Stitch Savannah Ornament (Needlepoint) + One Baby Gift (Cross Stitch)
  3. Hit 100K Net Worth (Combined)
  4. Finish Content Audit
  5. Hit a 300 lb deadlift

In the past, I’ve typically set 10 goals. Setting only 5, though, seems more inline with my theme of No. It’s not about depravity; it’s about abundance- realizing that opportunities will be there when I’m ready for them and that I don’t have to try to seize them all right now.

Previous Yearly Goals:

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