I know that January is practically over, but I wanted to still post up my goals. I have been a pretty good goal setter and a pretty
bad mediocre goal-tracker. I will be working on this in 2012! I’ve been so inspired seeing bloggers like Krystal set her annual goals and monthly goals, and then does regular check ins to see how she is doing.
I am a huge believer in setting ambitious goals. Who cares if sometimes they are a bit crazy, right? Being the over-achiever that I am, it’s sometimes hard to accept that I (gasp!) fail, too. But, I also realize that it is only by failing a few times that I learn.
Besides, isn’t it better to aim for the moon and land on a star, than to aim for the trees and land on the ground? That’s what my grade 10 math teacher told me.
This year, I am going to set my annual goals here. Then, I am going to set monthly goals. My monthly goals will usually be baby steps to get me on track to meeting my annual goals, but they can also be something different.
Here we go!
Sometimes, I really struggle with balancing work with my personal life. I have been doing a better job of this in 2011, but there is always room for improvement.
Even though my job is important, the people in my life are more important. They are who I call when I have great news to share, and they are the ones I count on for support when things mess up. So, it only make sense to make time for them and prioritize them into my life.
- Friends: See my girlfriends once a month for dinner or spa date to catch up and unwind. I really tried to do this in 2011, and I really enjoyed it. Will also put it on the list for this year.
- Family: See my parents every other weekend. Call my parents at least once a week. This is also a carry over from last year.
I see money as a tool to reaching my life goals. Money does not happiness, but it can be a tool to reach my goals and find happiness. For me, spending time with loved ones, good health, lifelong learning, traveling, and owning a home are long term goals I want to achieve by using money as a tool.
This year, I want to be realistic and set goals that are simple and measurable.
- Net worth of $115,000
This goal assumes a 7% growth in my assets and how much I hope to save in 2012.
- Make more money – 10% raise and find a side hustle
Last year, I got a 6.75% raise and I was aiming for a 10% raise. I learned a powerful lesson in negotiation, standing up for myself and knowing my worth. I’m going to put that lesson into practice this year, again.
- Streamline my RRSPs: Move to TD E-series
I have my RRSPs in mutual funds (mostly index funds) in Manulife and ING. Since both these companies charge a higher fee than TD e-series, I will be moving my funds to save on fees.
- Investing money: 3 Dividend Paying Stocks in my TFSA
This is carried over from last year. 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, since I may also be investing outside my TFSA and RRSP.
- Saving money: Save >60% of my net income
Last year, I saved 53% of my net income, so I think this is totally do-able.
- Make a Shopping List and Sticking to It
Although I have come a long way from my impulse buying days, I want to take my planned purchases to the next level. I will only save and buy things from my Shopping List.
- Budget: $0 Budget and Track Monthly Expenses
Last year, I tracked all my expenses and it was a pretty exhilarating feeling. However, I only looked at the “savings” portion at the end of the year, since I automated most of my savings. This year, I am going to make it a $0 goal. Which means that I also must account for all savings and any “left over” money at the end of the month.
Career and Personal Development
Most of these were on my list last year and the year prior (how embarrassing). But they were good goals, so I am going to keep them.
- Professional Engineer License: I need to contact my previous employers regarding proof of previous work experience towards my license. I need to register by January so that I can write the exam in April. My friends have the study materials and I need to at least 3 weekends worth of studying to this. Must find out schedule of test and arrange accordingly.
- Update my Resume: I have not even touched my resume since I graduated more than 3 years ago! It’s time to un-bury my head and smarten up.
- Research the Job Market: I need to be aware of the job market and make sure that I am compensated fairly. I also want to know what opportunities are out there.
- Canadian Securities Course (maybe): 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.
- GMAT Test (maybe): Many schools and programs require GMAT scores for applications and entrance. I haven’t decided that I want to pursue graduate studies, at the moment. I first want to explore other jobs in my field before making such a drastic change.
I am not a huge exercise fanatic, although I do really enjoy playing volleyball and swimming. However, I really love the rush that exercising brings, so I want more of that!
I set a huge goal in 2010 to fun in a half marathon (that’s 21.1km or 13 miles), and then in May 2009, I accomplished it in 2h 30 minutes. I haven’t ran since. I learned that I didn’t really like running all that much. 10km is enjoyable but 21km is
torture no fun for me. So, the key to staying on any exercise regime is to do something I enjoy.
I have also been eating much better in 2011 by cutting out processed foods and making almost all my meals from scratch. Simple things like soaking my own beans really puts me in control of how much sodium goes into my food. I’d like to continue this in 2012.
- 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. This was carried over from last year.
- Food- Fruits: Incorporate fruit at least once a day in my meals. I find that if it’s there, I eat it. If I wonder if it’s too old, I won’t eat it. The key is to make sure I see it and eat it
- Offline Time: Must be off the computer by 9:30pm to 10:00pm. This is so that I can unwind a bit before bed, read a bit and get up early for exercise!
Just for FUN:
I set a lot of serious goals above, but it’s also important for me to just have fun goals. Goals that will make me laugh and bring out the creative side of me.
- Travel: I want to take a 2-week long trip with BF somewhere this year. I also want to go camping (I really missed it last year!), and visit my friend in Montreal.
- Read one book a month: I have forgotten how great it feels to finish a book which is pretty sad. I was quite the book worm back in the day! This should be pretty achievable.
- More Volleyball: Organize a volleyball weekend once a month with friends. Every time I do one of these, I always feel so good about it afterwards! Great friends just hanging out and having fun.
- Remix my wardrobe: I have been having so much fun mixing up my wardrobe with accessories. And I have so many stylish and beautiful ladies to draw my inspiration from!
- Play with Make-up: I’ve been a pretty basic make-up girl most of my life, but lately, I’ve been discovering how fun (and addicting) make-up can be.
- Wear bold red lipstick AND own it. Arianne, this one was inspired by you! I think this goal is a combination of being confident in my own skin and not afraid to show it. Which is pretty huge, being the shy person I am.
How are you goals for 2012 coming along? Am I the last one to write them down?