Sunday, January 3, 2010

Firm Determinations

I use to make New Year’s Resolutions every year. I’ll run every day, read my bible more, get more sleep, lose weight, etc. Let me be honest. I never made it past January. I think the reason why I failed year after year is that resolutions were either impossible, or too vague.

One of the areas that I have experienced crazy results in the last two years is my finances. Looking back, I am confident that the reason for this success was setting goals. Mr. DFx40 and I sat down when he decided to go back to school. We made some very specific goals for the short term and long term (the ultimate goal of course is to be debt free by 40). I don’t like to be like everyone else so instead of making New Year’s Resolutions I’m going to make Firm Determinations. Here are my 2010 Firm Determinations broken into 4 categories:

Since this blog is largely to hold me accountable, I should probably start with my financial goals. These goals are really just for half the year because Mr. DFx40 will graduate in May. Yay!

Save $5000 towards student loan repayment by May
Increase Emergency Fund by one month’s living expenses by May
Open a Roth IRA with retirement money in Money Market Account
Reevaluate goals in May 2010

When I take care of myself my expenses are actually lower. Some of my friends argue that when they exercise they eat more. This may be true for them, but not for me. When I exercise regularly I pay closer attention to the food I eat, I plan out my meals, and actually spend less money on groceries. I also feel better and have more energy, which means I’m not sitting on the couch watching TV and snacking.

Run/log 600 miles
Ride my new bike to work 24 times
Do back exercises/stretches 3 times a week
Try one new meatless meal a month

I talked previously about why I want to be debt free by forty. I believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and I desire to live as he taught. However, I still get distracted with work and other things of this world. After being inspired by Matt at Becoming Last, I am determined to live missionally today instead of waiting until my financial goals are met.

Volunteer to lead college small group once a month
Spend time with children from bus ministry once a month 
Spend 3 hours a week reading and studying my bible

I am still new to the blogging world, and I know there are many ways I need to improve. I have a few things I would like to accomplish with and through this blog.
Post a new article once a week
Track all of my input/output and share it once a month
  • Income/Expenses
  • Food/Exercise
  • Spiritual Growth/Live Missionally
I am very optimistic about my Firm Determinations because they are all SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed). I am starting a few days behind on my resolutions, but I still hope to have a favorable report by the end of this month.

What about you…what Firm Determinations have you made for the new year?


  1. I alway say that the new year doesn't start until the following Monday. Who's going to implement a bunch of new changes on a weekend? I am a big fan of all of your firm determinations. My husband and I plan to have all of our non-student loan debt paid off this year which is exciting, and get back to school with cash. I want to run a 5k and be in the habit of reading my Bible 5 times a week by the end of 2010.

  2. The best decision we ever made was to pay for the second round of school with if we can just get rid of what the first round cost us.

    I look forward to reading your blog...I'm hoping to find a few ideas for my monthly meatless meals. I think that green smoothy might have to be my first attempt!

  3. I hope by now you are sticking to your goals. Writing them out is a great way to stick to them. I admire your goals. God bless.

  4. I appreciate the feedback Daddy Paul. :) It is about time to give a progress report, and I will be honest...I excelled in some areas and fell short in others.