2015 Goals: Work Hard & Be Nice to People

2015 Goals: Work Hard & Be Nice to People


Work hard and be nice to people
The foundation of my new year’s resolutions and how I generally want to live my life.

The foundation of my life values can be summed up in the quote Work Hard and be Nice to People. It’s difficult to know who the original source of this simple statement is. The picture above is actually of my cubicle at work; I want to be reminded of this daily.

I’ve written in the past about creating life goals based off of your life values. That is exactly what I have done this year, using this mantra as the foundation.

I have four life values that I want to focus on next year. Three of them involve working hard and the fourth involves being nice to people.

  • Knowledge/Skills/Continuing Education
  • Financial Stability & Independence
  • Physical/Mental Health & Fitness
  • Respect Others and Appreciate Friendships/Relationships

Within each life value, I have several goals/challenges that I am setting for myself. These aren’t new year’s resolutions as much as keeping myself on track for how I want to live my life.

Value: Knowledge/Skills/Continuing Education


  • Edit a NaNoWriMo story
  • Submit a story to a literary journal
  • Continue learning Spanish
  • Think more about chart blog
  • Think about signing up for a writing class


After writing four NaNoWriMo stories, I’d like to finally go back and edit one. I don’t know if I will ever do anything more with them. But I’ve already experienced the process of writing fiction and would like to know the experience of editing it. I’m challenging myself to complete a full re-read of my most recent story, editing it with pen, then hopefully putting those edits back into the story. It will be a lot of work but I would like to spend more time on writing this year. Which is why most of these goals are related to writing.

Typically, I only write fiction in November for NaNoWriMo so I definitely want to branch out from that. I love writing. And while I write for this site weekly, I want to write more fiction. Mainly to see if I really enjoy it, or if I just like the rushed feeling of NaNo. Also, to figure out if I am good at it. Or if it’s just something I like doing.

I’m not looking to make a career as a novelist or anything like that. But I am challenging myself next year to write a short story and make it polished enough to submit to a literary journal. That also means I need to read more literary journals. It was also suggested that I participate in some writing workshops, classes, or critique sessions. So that is something I will think about for next year as well.

Also, I started teaching myself Spanish late in 2014 and do want to keep that up. So in 2015, I’d like to focus on my writing skills and continuing to learn Spanish.

Value: Financial Stability & Independence


  • Continue paying off student loan
  • Continue using credit card responsibly
  • Have positive Net Worth
  • Earn extra income once a quarter
  • Spend money where I spend my time


There isn’t much to “check off” when it comes to my financial goals. These are mainly reminders that I stay on the right path. Although I should hit the positive mark on my net worth this year.

Recently I heard the phrase “Spend Your Money Where You Spend Your Time” and I love it. For me, this is a perfect way to spend money without feeling guilty. And to purchase things without worrying about it putting a damper on my minimalism. For example, I spend a lot of time running so I don’t need to feel guilty buying running clothes/shoes/etc. This also will help me to not go out and buy a lot of things for a new hobby until I actually start doing it.

Earning side income is something I always struggle with. I have no desire to be a freelancer or to take on any major freelance projects. I really treasure my free time. And plan to use my free time to meet some of the above goals in gaining new knowledge. I don’t need extra money but it is nice. Trying to earn extra income every month may be too much for me, so I wrote it down as quarterly. This can be anything from selling items on craigslist to cat sitting to a small writing gig. I do want to push myself a little bit in this area. Just so I can stop being so focused on penny pinching, as I get sometimes.

Value: Physical/Mental Health & Fitness


  • Leave the city once a month
  • Continue running 3 times a week
  • Run a half marathon
  • Try one new recipe a month
  • Think about creation vs consumption


Although I feel better about living in nyc now than I did in the past, I still like the breather to get out once in a while. For my mental health, it helps me feel less trapped and a reminder of what life is like outside the NY bubble.

For the past two months I have been very focused on running consistently. Instead of focusing on speed goals, I’m just focusing on consistently running three times a week. When I start focusing on speed, then I just get really discouraged because I’m progressing fast enough. So if I simply focus on just the act of running, then even a mile means success. In line with that, I do want to run a half marathon again this year. Probably the Brooklyn Half. And it may be more than one. But I at least want to do the one.

Also in the latter part of 2014, I began cooking at home a lot more. One struggle I have with that is eating the same things over and over and over because my recipe repertoire isn’t the biggest. I’d like to push myself to learn new recipes and expand my menu rotation. This is mainly to encourage me to eat at home as often as possible.

I have had many thoughts about consumption vs creation lately. This is also a benefit to my mental health to give myself a push to create more rather than merely consume, read, and lurk on the Internet. Many times this year I’ve thought about ending this blog, as I want to take it in a more personal direction, which can be pretty scary. However, this site is my largest form of creation outside of work and I really would miss that.

Respect Others and Appreciate Friendships/Relationships


  • Don’t get angry at others for behaving how I don’t want them to
  • Actively maintain friendships and show people I care about them
  • Continue celebrating friend’s birthdays
  • Spend energy being nice to people not being mad at people
  • Don’t blame others for how I choose to spend my time


Last year I decided to focus heavily on how I interact with others as I have many behavioral traits that I do not like in myself. Things such as losing patience, getting irritable quickly, blaming others for my mistakes, etc. I know my friends and family still love me despite that, but I don’t like treating people I care about like that. Or even strangers who also don’t deserve it.

These feelings became even stronger after my dad passed away last August. I want all my friends to know that I truly care about them. I want to treat everyone with respect. And show my full appreciation. I have done small things this past year including sending birthday cards to friends/family, exhibiting a lot more patience on the subway, and really focusing on not getting angry at someone just because they’re not behaving how I want them to. This has been really hard but I am making progress.

One behavior I have that I really do not like at all is when it comes to relationships. It really is something I want to work on before I enter my next serious romantic relationship. See, I will have a plan in my head to cook myself dinner and have a quiet night at home on a certain night. But then let’s say my SO is having a rough day and suggests we go out for dinner and drinks instead. I agree because it is easier than cooking dinner and I get to spend time with my SO. I go out and have a really nice time. A fun time. A good night. But then! I come home and realize I’ve spent $50 and get mad at my SO for making me go out and spend money and then they made me order three beers and now I’m kind of buzzed and will wake up with a headache in the morning. And since I didn’t cook I will have to buy lunch tomorrow so now my SO is making me spend even more money! Then I’ll take it out on them because I see it as they’re ruining my life!

Obviously no one is forcing me to do any of these things. I am choosing to spend the money, drink the beer, eat the food, then blaming someone else for my irresponsibility. And this ridiculous behavior has been the cause of so many fights. Really a waste of energy. Really not fair to anyone. And then no one feels good after.

I write all this out yet I still engage in this behavior. So, I hope to take better responsibility for my actions in the coming year and not blame others for things that are my fault. Of course my SO will still love me even during these outbursts but I shouldn’t rely on that.

As you begin to think about what you want in your life next year, take a minute to write down exactly what you value in life, then write goals for each value. This way you can ensure you are living the life you want.


12 Replies to “2015 Goals: Work Hard & Be Nice to People”

  1. Love your goals for 2015! Especially the last one. I think most of us set money and physical goals but forget about things like this. I totally need to make “Don’t get angry at others for behaving how I don’t want them to” one of my goals as well. I have trouble regulating my expectations with how I think people should act sometimes!

    1. This is something I really am faced with every single day walking around nyc and on the subway. I really have to be aware of when I am starting to get angry and do everything I can to remind myself that just because I don’t like it, doesn’t meant someone shouldn’t be doing it. Also, using distractions like a book or my phone has helped a lot. Hopefully I will get to the point where I’m not triggered at all.

  2. I do something similar with the SO-going-out-spending-money situation. I’ve learned to deal with it, by, uh, not dealing with it – she’s in charge of finances, and I just put it out of my head, because otherwise, she’d be upset with me because we’d stay in and eat crappy food I cooked six out of seven days. I’d rather have a happy SO than a few more bucks in the bank account.

    1. aaaah! I don’t know if I could do that. I’ve never lived with a SO so I’ve never had to have the money discussion. Giving up control of the finances seems really scary! Though I imagine it is the less stressful way to do things.

  3. I need to be more appreciative of my family and friends. I know that I take them for granted and I can’t stand that about myself. It will be a big personal goal of 2015 to change that.

    1. Make sure to come up with a short list of actual tasks you can do that would help show your appreciation for your friends!

  4. I love these goals and how you organized them. 2014 was not a year for goals for me, but I want 2015 to be. I really love thinking about my high level values and translating them into goals, but I can spend much more time in the “making a plan” stage. I have mostly learned to stop myself from making goals that aren’t important to me.

  5. These are great goals, though I would classify #3 as “be nice to people” – including yourself as people :) As an overarching philosophy, I’m not sure you could get much better than Work hard and be nice to people!

    1. That’s actually a good addition. There are definitely times I need to remember to respect and appreciate myself as well as others!

  6. I really like these.

    I think I’m probably going to buck tradition and set no goals. ‘Stay sane’ is probably my only goal. I don’t feel I can set any solid goals since life is so in flux right now and as a result my emotional state is not particularly … robust.

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