Roger’s Resolutions for 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again, when we all sit down and try to come up with resolutions to make the coming year better for us than this past one.  Personally, while I have plenty to be happy about in how 2010 worked out (getting into grad school, starting my graduate research, being able to spend most of the year living with my fiancée rather than across the state from her), I also know that there are areas for improvement.  Given that it is that time of year, I though, why not make myself a few resolutions?

Granted, I understand the points made by Studenomics, about not waiting for a particular date to start your goals AND about the importance of having a plan for meeting your goals.  But, since it’s the last day of the year anyway, and since I’m working to build plans to accomplish all these goals, I figure, why not share some of my goals (if not the more detailed plans) with my readers?  I’ve broken up the list into a few different groups, covering my blogging, my finances, and my personal resolutions.

My Blogging Resolutions

-Write at least 1 article per day: Not necessarily publishing an article each day (I’m shooting for about 4-5 each week), but writing an article, which will allow me to build up a backlog so as to avoid situations where I can’t publish as soon as I’d like.  It’d be nice to reach the point where I have enough articles in reserve and scheduled for publication that if I can’t get online on a particular day, or have to go away for a week, that publication of new articles won’t just cease.  Plus, if I’m writing more articles than I post each week, that will make it easier to…

-Write at least 1 guest article a week: One of the areas of blogging where I’ve done the least amount of work is guest blogging.  While I’ve had some guest post here on the Amateur Financier, I haven’t written too many posts for other people’s blogs (and none in the past six months or so).  I will have to change this; it’s a good way to build camaraderie with my fellow bloggers, and possibly make them a bit more willing to return the favor.  It will also give me the opportunity to…

-Promote my blog in more places: I need to do a better job of getting the word about my blog.  I’ve managed to do a better job about sharing my existence this year than in 2009, but there’s still much room for improvement.  I need to do whatever I can to promote my blog, starting with being better about participating in the groups to which I belong (like the Yakezie).  I also need to…

-Read at least 50 blog articles a day…: As bad as I’ve been about writing and posting articles, I’ve managed to get even further behind on reading other blogger’s posts.  Besides the fact that I like to read personal finance blog entries (it’s how I got inspired to start my own blog), I do feel a bit hypocritical about expecting my audience to read my blog when I don’t return the favor.  Especially considering that, to go by the comments that I get, my readership is 90% personal finance bloggers.  So, I’m setting a high, but hopefully not too high, goal for how many blog entries I want to read each day, as well as…

-…And comment on at least 10 of them: Continuing on the same thought process, I am going to increase the number of comments I make on other blogs each day.  Besides being a natural extension of reading a sizable number of blog entries each day (and serving as a decent way to promote my blog, to boot), I also enjoy being able to encourage my fellow bloggers, and I know from my first days blogging that a few thoughtful comments can help spur you on when you’re first getting started and don’t have much in the way of money or other signs of appreciation.

My Financial Resolutions

-Pay down my credit card balances: It’s hard to start on financial resolutions without including cutting down my credit card balances.  I doubt that I’ll be able to pay off the total balance for both cards by the end of the year (although, that would be nice), but even getting my total credit debt back below $10,000 would be a good start, and getting it down to $8000 (or less) by next December would be wonderful.

-Create at least 3 more sources of income: While I have been having success with my blog, I could always use even more money (I think most of us could say the same).  One of my big goals for this year, then, is creating even more sources of income besides my job and my blog.  I have a few ideas currently knocking around in my head (writing for eHow and looking into a staff writing position at another website are a few of them), so I’ll have to see what works and what does not.

-Generate at least $1000 per month in alternative income: The goal of creating more sources of income is, of course, getting more money in my pocket.  While I’m not sure if I’ll be able to reach this point with my alternate income sources, I am going to make the effort.  An extra $12,000 or so in a year would go a long way toward knocking down my credit card debt and reaching my other financial goals.

My Personal Resolutions

-Go to the gym at least twice a week: I’ve been bad about keeping in shape.  The holidays combined with the end of the semester (and spending time with my fiancée, who feeds me very, very well) have left me fatter than I was prior to the holiday season.  I’m hoping I can go to the gym more than twice a week, but between work, studying, and research, it might be a stretch to even do twice a week.  Here’s hoping I’ll be back in excellent shape by this time next year.

-Reconnect with my old high school and college friends: Another area I’ve done bad on, I’ve all but lost track of most of the people I’ve gone to school with.  Given the advent of websites like LinkedIn and Facebook, there’s almost no excuse for not at least saying hello every now and again.  I’m going to do more of that this year.

There you have it; a total of ten different resolutions to improve myself (and my blog) in this coming year.  It will, I freely admit, be rather hard to keep up with all of them, but I think I’m up for the challenge, to say nothing of welcoming the opportunity to improve myself as best I can, even if I don’t meet all my goals.  Happy 2011, everyone!

So, what are your resolutions?  What plans do you have to bring them to fruition?  Are you trying to improve several different areas of your life, like me, or focusing on one or two big things?

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