New Years Action Plan

January 1, 2009

New Years resolutions are no good unless you take action on them.  Rather than make a long list of improvements I’d like to make this year, I’m going to make three specific resolutions and detail how I’ll achieve them.

Exercise Four Days a Week


Managing my career, spending family time, and running this site have taken up almost all of my time for the last two years; which hasn’t left much room for exercise. Some recent health issues reminded me I need to keep myself healthy so I can live longer and avoid big medical bills.


Every day after work I come home and spend time with my son until he goes to bed.  Starting next week, 1/5/2009, when I come home he and I will go down into our basement and have our bonding time down there. 

There is a big open area in the middle of the room that my wife and I are going to fill with all his extra toys this evening.  He can play his heart out with those while I get on the treadmill and workout for at least 30 minutes. When the weather gets nice sometimes we’ll head out in the jogging stroller for a change of pace.

Outsource 3 Major Tasks


As I alluded to earlier my life is short on extra time. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish but the end of the day always comes too soon leaving me with many things unfinished.

I’ve come to the realization that I can’t achieve my goals purely through my own effort so I’m going to outsource at least three major tasks this year to help me get more accomplished.


I’m working now on planning a tool that will help me find the right people for the things I decide to outsource.

The first thing I’m going to outsource is the creation of the tool.  I’m coming up with the requirements and the data model and I’ll hire someone to build it for me.  I already have someone in mind but if you’re a PHP programmer looking for a project, shoot me your info via my contact form.

I will have the tool built before our baby is born this Spring.   The second major task, still to be determined, will be outsourced by July and the third by October 2009.

Limit Myself to 3 Projects  & Complete One a Month


My wife says I have issues with closure, and I’m afraid I have to agree with her.  I’m great at starting projects but not stellar at completing them.  I have a Masters Degree in Project Management and successfully managed many simultaneous software projects at my old job, I should be able to do a better job of managing my personal projects.


My solution will help me with both focus and closure.

Focus – I’ll keep a list on the whiteboard next to my computer of all the projects I want to work on.  Each week I’ll pick three of those projects and only work on those projects that week – no other projects allowed. (And my wife is not allowed to add any projects to my list)

Closure – I will complete one project a month. That may mean I have to focus on the same 3 projects each week in order to get one done a month, I’ll just have to see how things go.

At the start of each month, beginning today, I’ll pick the project that I MUST finish by the end of the month.  The project will get a star next to it on the whiteboard and MUST be removed from the board by the end of the month.

Action Plan Virus

Okay so I have the New Years Action plan bug.  I’ll spread the virus around a little to my fellow Money Writers and to some other personal finance sites:

I double dog dare any of these gals or guys to help make next year more successful by writing their own New Years Action Plan! People say that girls are better planners than guys, let’s see whether more girls or guys come up with an action plan….


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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14 Responses to New Years Action Plan

  • SimplyForties

    Great idea to take your goals, turn them into problems and then come up with a solution. I’m sure that makes you much more likely to be successful!

  • DebtKid

    Thanks for the tag. I’ve been thinking about this and need to get a post out in the next day or so with my “action plan” for 2009.

    I’m going to try and be pretty ambitious.

    I’ve thought of outsourcing a few things as well (laundry, maybe even cooking…we’ll see. not very frugal, but when I look at my hourly rate…could be worth it). Do you feel any guilt about outsourcing? I struggle with that a bit.

    Happy new year!

  • The Happy Rock

    I like you number 1. Being actual ‘present’ with you children will probably be the most important thing you can do. They will appreciate Dad not having to check one thing on the computer while you play. I know I have problems with this one, especially since our computer is in our living and we don’t have another place for it.

    I am going to try going to bed with the family and getting up early. I may even leave the house to provide even more impetus for action. I am not a morning person, but I tried it a few months back and it was great. Accomplishing stuff in the morning left you feeling great and on top of things all day. Plus I was much more focused and energized before work than after a long day.

  • J. Money

    haha, nice bro…i’ll have to conjure something up here, although i’m afraid i may have to go the route of Lazy Man 😉 BUT, that can also be a good thing! lazy days here and there are great and helps you unwind from the crazy other parts of life…soo, instead of working 24-7 on stuff, i shall take more lazy days and re-energize!

    happy new year my man!

  • Lazy Man and Money

    I want to know a little more about this tool that you are going to have created. I don’t think I’m going to come out with an actual action plan… I’m just going to write about others can create their own. I’m going to continue to be Lazy.

  • marci

    I like the way you will be able to multi-task and spend the time with your child and get your exercise in. Multi-tasking is good!

    And the list thing works for me! I have the list posted on my kitchen cabinet – so it looks tacky – that is not an issue – It keeps me focused and that’s all that matters! I like to leave the items up for awhile once they are crossed off as that gives me the sense of accomplishment I need. But I think I’ll try the star also – might prioritize the focusing.

    Actually, I have a 2nd list on the kitchen cabinet also – one for my married sons when they have extra time to help their ‘old’ mom…. Things like hang a cabinet on the wall or move something too heavy for me to move, etc… They know where the list is and are good at helping me out with an item or two when they stop by 🙂


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