2018 Non-Financial Goals (and 2017 recap)

2018 Non-Financial Goals (and 2017 recap)

I like to also set non-financial goals here at Northern Expenditure because life is worth living for more than just money!

2017 Goal Recap:

  • Research – As you know (unless you’ve been ignoring me), I launched a large-scale survey. Goal: Get 1000 responses. Verdict: FAIL! This ended up on the back-burner. But we did manage to get 688 responses and they are AWESOME. I really hope to do something awesome with this someday.
  • Health – This includes consistent exercise, but it also includes figuring out all my issues. I’ve been struggling with anemia and some gastrointestinal issues. I think they’re related. It’s time to figure it out once and for all and work on feeling good more of the time (whatever management plan this means. Figuring that out will be part of the goal). Verdict: WIN! With my supercolon diagnosis, my health has been much more manageable this year. I still have rough days, but nothing close to what it used to be. I also took a weight training class at the university and learned how to create a home exercise program. Overall, I feel pretty good about my health strides in 2017.
  • Learn Khmer – My weekly lessons will continue into the New Year. I’m hoping to finish working through the current book before year end. Lessons won’t end when the book ends, but that’s a good actionable goal that means by the end of the year, I have a good, foundation knowledge of beginning spoken Cambodian. Then I can start learning the written language and improve my listening comprehension. Verdict: WIN! Though we didn’t finish the book this year (we’re 1 chapter away!), we did take a break from the book to learn vocabulary from several children’s stories, so I’m considering it a win. I’ve also recently made a breakthrough in listening comprehension. I still can’t understand half of what she says, but understanding half is better than none at all!
  • Document Memories – As parents, we’re pretty darn good at making memories with our children and taking pictures of those events, but terrible at putting them in usable formats. We used to make annual books of our memories and pictures, but we’re quite behind (I just finished 2012) This is also where I admit Lui’s baby book is still sealed (and he’s nearly 3) and I’m behind on the girls’ as well. So, in this year, I would like to get all 3 of the kids’ books up to date and make annual books for 2013-2015 (I’ll try to catch up completely in 2018). Verdict: FAIL! This goal was much too large. It seemed way too overwhelming, so I didn’t even start it! I’ll make smaller goals for 2018. 🙂
  • Add 5 More Things to My Fill-the-Bucket List – Each year is full of opportunity and unexpected events. It’s always worth celebrating these and I’m excited to see what I can add in 2017! Verdict: WIN! FinCon 2017 was definitely one of them! For others, see my 2017 recap.

2018 Goals:

  • Health – I would like to build muscle and try Yoga. I’ve been doing Cosmic Kids with my children every weekday this month and that makes me feel better than nothing. “Exercise consistently” is a vague goal, but it’s part of what I would like to see in 2018. Based on my weight training knowledge, I’ll start a home program for myself and do Yoga in between (if that doesn’t work out, at least walking).
  • Khmer – Start reading or writing by the end of the year. Again, the vague goal is “keep taking lessons” and since I have no idea how many lessons there are until we start learning to read or write Cambodian, maybe this is stretching it. But we’ll see. Also, it’s not a goal to “be able to read and write” – it’s START. Cambodian has 27 vowels…
  • Document Memories – Finish 2013’s memory book and start 2014. See? Small goals.

Most of our other goals for the year involve our big Europe trip and our t-shirt selling, but we covered both of those in the financial goals.

What’s on your list of non-financial goals for the year? Thoughts/suggestions on mine? Add your thoughts in the comments!


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  1. JP

    Doing the baby book is on my list this year, too. 🙂 Also to do a kid-free weekend vacation, run 300 miles, and possibly complete a half marathon (we’ll see how the year goes). I signed up for a weights class at our work gym and it started this week, really liking it so far!

    I used to do yoga a lot…can’t really get to the studio much any more, but can sometimes squeeze in the class they offer at work. I really enjoy it though!

    • MaggieBanks

      Those sounds like great goals! I’m a very nascent yogi. I’m not sure I’m ready for more than kids yoga yet. 🙂

  2. steveark

    I feel you on the anemia issue. I was running two marathons and well over 1000 miles a year when I got hit by severe anemia a few years ago. I went from marathons being fairly easy to not being able to even run the straight part of one lap on the track. The doctors never found a cause and I ended up on megadoses of iron pills. I since recovered a good bit of my stamina but my blood doesn’t work as well as it used to. My brother, a strong cyclist had the same issue and while he recovered also he isn’t as fast as he used to be either. I’m not complaining, I’m no spring chicken and I’ll be up before 5 AM tomorrow morning running eight miles with my wife. I’ll be going wide open to stay with her but at least I’m still a runner and for awhile that was in serious doubt! Good luck with your health issues, I enjoy your blog!

    • MaggieBanks

      That anemia stuff is NO JOKE. I’m so sorry! Health problems are the worst kinds of obstacles in my opinion, but really make us grateful for what our bodies still CAN do!

  3. Nice job with your goals. I think photos organization is so hard nowadays because there are so many daily photos. Back in my day (breaking out the walker) you only took photos here and there and printed them out, making scrapbooking a LOT more manageable. One of my goals this year is to lose the 5 pound I gained since starting my new job and tone up. Doing OK with it!

    • MaggieBanks

      Agreed on the photo organization. So hard to pick just a few. 🙂 And 5 pounds?! I fluctuate that much in a day! #Supercolon 😛

  4. Photos – uggh. Even the digital ones are a pain to organize. But I know how much I appreciate seeing real photos that my mom managed to preserve of my brother and me, and our cousins growing up.

    We’re still walking daily but I could use a good health goal like doing a toning/stretching video a few times a week.

    I may have mentioned to you — I know I did on a post of Tonya’s — but you might like Ellen Barrett on YouTube. She has several free full length routines and she incorporates a lot of core and yoga-type movement. Browse through a few and see what you think.

  5. I’m very impressed that your trying to learn Khmer. And your other non-financial goals aren’t too shabby either. Best of luck in 2018.

  6. Health: *clapping* I’m so glad you’re making progress here!

    I’m pretty whiny about my own health stuff and that might be because I can’t really set goals around it so I always feel like it’s like fighting quicksand.

    Kids: I’ve never been ambitious enough to do a baby book but I’m trying to write in a journal for JB at least once a month now instead of every 6-8 months. I add pictures to it from time to time. The daycare prints photos for them, so they’re not great quality but they exist at least!

    Khmer: good job! Learning languages can be so slow sometimes, I wish we could absorb language like little kids again.

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