2011 Goals Recap

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This will be the second that I wrote down my goals and was able to find them at the end of the year to review how I did.  Thank you, internet. :)

Even though I set goals in 2011, I haven’t been checking in and making sure that I am on track to achieving them.  In fact, I set my goals in January 2011, kinda checked in half-way through and then searched for my goals to see how I did (today).  This is sure way of setting up my goals for failure.

Having seen so many bloggers set goals and then do monthly check-ins, has really inspired me to do the same.  I find that I set great goals at the beginning of the new year because it is full of possibilities.  Sometimes, I can get carried away with this sense of potential that I set too many ambitious goals – which is okay.  I love being ambitious.

The problem is that I don’t check if I am on track throughout the year, then I kinda avoid it after a few months have passed when I know that I’ve missed a few things.  I had “failing” so I kinda ignore it and I hope for the best when I get to the end of the year.  Pretty silly.

What I need to do is re-visit my goals on a regular basis (Krystal does an amazing job at this!) and make sure I am on track, or if there is something I need to change/adjust my goal to make it more realistic.

As mentioned in my 2011 Goal post, I really liked the S-M-A-R-T acronym for goals I read from Young and Thrifty’s blog.  Simplify.  Measurable.  Attainable.  Realistic.  Timely.

Now onto my embarrassing 2011 goal recap.

Personal Finance

I see money as a tool to reaching my life goals.  Money does not bring me happiness, but it is a tool to find happiness.  For me, traveling, lifelong education, owning a home and financial freedom are long term goals I want to achieve by using money.  But this year, I’d like to accomplish the following.

  • Making more money: I am aiming to get a 10% raise this year, and would like to boost my annual income to gross $60,000.  So far, I do not have any side income.  I’d like to explore possibilities and opportunities for a side hustle.
    PASS- I got a 6.75% raise including RRSP matching from my employer.  Last year, I got a 6.75% raise and I was aiming for a 10% raise.  When I discussed this with my manager, I expressed that I thought a 7-9% raise was fair, based on my contribution to the team and my research.

    It didn’t change my salary, but now he knows that I value myself more than he does.  I think the more important lesson here I learned was that I can and need to stand up for myself.I have not looked into any side hustle gigs.

  • Investing money: I have most of my investments in Index Funds, and few stocks.  I’d like to start investing in dividend paying stocks.  I’d also like to learn how the tax benefits work for dividend income.
    FAIL – I have not invested in any new stocks this year.  This will have to move to 2012 goals.
  • Saving money: I am still aiming to save at least 50% of my income.  Savings include contribution to my RRSP’s, TFSA, Emergency Fund, Travel, General Savings, and Investments.
    CHECK!! – My expenses totaled ~$26,278 (eeks!) but my savings totaled $29,950 (53%). Yippee!
  • Shopping ban 2011: In short, no shopping for clothes, jewelery or new make-up this year.  I have allowed myself 3 freebies of planned purchases.  More details to follow in a separate post.
    FAIL – I broke my ban in September after going strong for 9 straight months.  I think something like a Shopping Detox (a la Annabelle) would work better for me. More on this in 2012 goals.
  • $1,000 monthly budget: I will track my expenses every month and aim to stick to my monthly budget of $1,000.
    FAIL - I think I reached my $1,000 budget once in 2011. It’s not super realistic.

Personal Development

This may seem lengthy, but they were on my list last year, and I haven’t accomplished them.  I really think this is doable, I just need to be organized.  Will be sharing my schedule once I get this all written down on a calender.

  • Professional Engineer License: I need to contact my previous employers regarding proof of previous work experience towards my license.  I also need to study and write the test.  My friends have the study materials and I need to devote 1 week worth of studying to this. Must find out schedule of test and arrange accordingly.
    FAIL – Applying in January 2012 and writing test in April 2012.
  • Canadian Securities Course: This course covers basics that will help me in my understanding of personal finance on a larger scale, and help in graduate school program applications where a business background is an asset.  My BF has the study materials.  Must find out schedule of the tests and arrange accordingly.
    FAIL – Have not done this.  Might still want to… I kinda forgot about this goal.  Oops.
  • GMAT Test: I want to apply to a  Masters in Public Administration or Public Policy.   Many schools and programs require GMAT scores for applications and entrance.  I need to write the GMAT this year before the test format changes.  I have study materials from friends, as well as practice tests.
    FAIL – I haven’t really decided on going back to school yet, and so I haven’t written the test.
  • Graduate School Application: I want to apply to programs in the 2012 school year.  Must check deadlines and pre-requisites and start preparing.
    FAIL – I’ve decided to that going back to school might be more than I want to commit to right now.  I may just try looking for another job in the industry, first.

Minimalism

Minimalism is about more than just de-cluttering, it’s about adopting the mindset that I have enough.  In fact, I have way more than enough.  I am not aiming to get to a certain number of items, but I am aiming to rid myself of excess stuff I do not need.

  • 500 Things Challenge: I was inspired by this challenge from Fabulissime.  I aim to de-clutter 500 things from my home and donate them to charity.  Depending on how this challenge goes, it may become the 1,000 Things Challenge.  More details to follow in  a separate post.
    PASS? – I have been decluttering all year, but I gave up trying to keep track of everything. I am always adding to my “donation” pile.
  • Document de-clutter: I want to de-clutter every room in my apartment and document what is in each room.  Explaining why I must keep something usually gives me a good idea of whether I really need it or not.
    FAIL – I have decluttered every room so far.  It is still a work in progress, but I completely forgot about wanting to document this.  Not sure if I want to… I am not a 100-item kinda gal! ;)
  • Remixing my Wardrobe: I want to re-discover my wardrobe and re-mix all my items.  Of course, this is an extension of my shopping ban.
    CHECK!! – I have cleaned out my closet and all my jewelry in organized it all.  I am putting together new outfits and am really looking forward to more remixing in 2012.

Life and Health:

  • Fitness: Exercise 2-3 times a week in the mornings.  I find exercise most efficient in the mornings, and gives me more energy all day.
    FAIL!!! I have only been playing volleyball once – twice a week.
  • Fruits: Incorporate fruit at least once a day in my meals.  I’m really bad with eating my fruits, so I’m getting a Magic Bullet to help me with it.  I’ve tried just bringing fruit to work.  It just sits on my desk.  Yummy smoothies scream  “drink me!”
    FAIL – I was good at this, end then fell off the bandwagon in halfway through the year.
  • Friends: See my girlfriends at least once a month for dinner or spa date to catch up and unwind.  Too often I get caught up with work that my personal life takes a back seat.  Here’s to making plans and keeping them!
    CHECK!! Of course, I would love to see my girls more, but I have made an effort to see them at least every 1 – 2 months.
  • Family: See my parents every other weekend.  Call my parents at least once a week.  Too often I take for granted that my parents know that I care and love them.  Just checking in with them once a week to see how they are doing is nice.  It also let’s me know how I can help them and what they need.
    PASS – I was very good with this until November (before our vacation together).  This will have to stay in my 2012 goals.
  • Travel: I want to take a 2-week long trip somewhere this year.  I’m not sure where, yet.  Possibilities are: Peru (Machi Piccu) & Chili or Greece.  I’ve taken several shorter trips in 2010 to Vancouver, Boston and Venezuela, but I miss the unwinding of a long trip.
    CHECK!! – I took 2 long trips this year. A 10-day trip to the East Coast of Canada and a 2-week trip with my family to Hong Kong.

Summary

I see a lot of reds and it is a bit of a bummer since I am usually an over achiever.  le sigh.

I think that I made these goals and kinda stuck my head in the ground, hoping they would transpire somehow.  Silly, right?  So, in 2012, I am taking a new approach.  I will be checking in every month, as well as making smaller monthly goals to help me stay on track.

Stay tuned for my 2012 Goals!

How did you do for your 2011 goals?

Cheers,

10 Comments

Filed under Finance, Goals, Personal, Shopping Ban

10 responses to “2011 Goals Recap

  1. wow you set really ambitous goals. congrats on accomplishing a lot of them, especially the asking for a raise part, which I myself find challenging, but it is so important!

    to be honest i haven’t taken the time to reevaluate myself against my 2011 goals. there’s been a lot of changes in my circumstances and in what I want, so some of the goals are no longer applicable. But i’m happy on the finace front, as I put at least 50% of my net income toward debt repayment and savings.

    good luck on the licensing test, let us know it goes!

  2. You managed to save 1/2 your income!?! You are a rock star!!

  3. Wow, you sure did set a lot of goals last year. I think you did pretty good though. Good luck with your upcoming licensing exam!

  4. Ugh, I am looking at the GMAT for PhD programs – it’s not on my goal list for 2012 (-still need to get through that whole Masters thing, first!) but it’s on the horizon. I’m still weighing the difference between the GMAT and the GRE. Scores are good for up to 5 years, maybe I will take the plunge…? Good luck this year, looking forward to reading goal updates :)!

    • I think it depends on what you want to apply for. I think that the GRE is more general that a GMAT. A GMAT is best if you want to apply to do a MBA, or another type of Master of Management abroad – esp. the USA.

  5. This is an awesome recap!

    Why do you want to invest in dividend paying stocks? How are your index funds doing? If I were you, I would be happy with the index funds. :) Have you read “The Millionaire teacher”? He sold all his stocks for index funds just because he didn’t want the stress and the “roller coaster ride”.

    Also, If you had $60K gross, how come your expenses and your savings also add up teh $60K ish. Do you include the taxes in the expenses? :)

    • Good catch! It’s kinda complicated… :S

      The easy explanation is that I include my RRSP contributions through my employer (which is not taxed), and I also include mileage and other reimbursement as part of my income. I also traveled a lot this year, and I used up travel money saved from last year, as well. So the numbers don’t exactly balance out.

      I guess I kinda wanted to explore dividend paying stocks as a way for passive income. But, after reading The Wealthy Barber Returns, I may be re-visiting this goal shortly…

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