Last year was the first year 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.
I love the beginning of a new year because it is full of possibilities. Sometimes, I can get carried away with this sense of potential that I set many ambitious goals. Sometimes, too many. Sometimes too many. As mentioned in my 2010 Goal Recap 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.
I see money as a tool to reaching my life goals. Money is not happiness, but it can be a tool to find happiness. For me, traveling, returning to school, and owning a home 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- $1,000 monthly budget: I will track my expenses every month and aim to stick to my monthly budget of $1,000.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Graduate School Application: I want to apply to programs in the 2012 school year. Must check deadlines and pre-requisites and start preparing.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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!”
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
How are you goals for 2011 coming along?