Many people start off with new years resolutions, I guess I do too and I also tend to set goals all year round and -- don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure I fail on average half the time most of the time. This year will be no different!
I shall set goals, and I shall succeed and fail… but honestly without goals I would be a complete failure with even less successes so I’ll keep making goals so I can sleep at night. This year I’m going to set more goals than just financial ones, and instead of just coming up with things as I go along I thought it might be nice to just set a few goals at the start of the year and see where I land… vs what I have done in previous years by setting goals and continually adding new ones and changing throughout the year.
For 2013 I didn’t set any goals, I just floundered along month to month to month and didn’t even attempt to plan anything in January. NO! Adapting to new situations is okay but for once, let’s set some 1 year goals and follow through shall we? Alright, here we go.
In May of 2013 I bought a Fitbit Flex. I had to wait two months for it to actually arrive and I have worn it every day except maybe two and when I’m charging it which is usually when sitting at my desk, like right now. It’s a fitnesstracker -- but a nifty one! It’s an armband I wear on my left wrist 24 hours a day that tracks every step I take and every move I make.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist adding that in. The Police is awesome.
Back to the Fitbit and why I’m talking about it in my 2014-goals post: I just think this gadget is supercool and has helped me work toward lasting changes with my ever yoyo-ing weight. Since I’ve become an adult I tend to have skinnyyears and fattieryears. I gain and lose the same pounds and I’ve made the resolution to never become obese, yet I struggle with eating patterns, cravings and just keeping my jeans fitting because sometimes my stomach’s full-meter is just broken. I’m 28, I don’t do fad-diets, I’m just trying to find a rhythm and some stability because I like feeling good and healthy and energized. I’ve done couch2-5k and really loved it, I’ve done some bodybuilding (obviously didn’t stick with it) and I’ve realized that I’m just not a sporty-gym type person.
I love swimming and fun activities and doing things like parasailing and going on adventures but I’ll never be a gymrat and I really like cheesecake. I would also probably look funny if I lost too much weight because I do have boobs and hips… it wouldn’t be flattering. I like curves but I don’t like being fat…. So, somehow I need to keep the balance in check… In comes my Fitbit.
I wear the armband with the Fitbit in it and I have a small plug that goes into my laptop that it syncs with automatically when I’m around and when my laptop is on. My sister owns a Nexus phone so her fitbit now syncs with her phone so she has real-time stats since she is never far away from her phone. I have 5 different colours of bands, I don’t feel that I’m wearing it 99% of the time. I can wear it in the shower or to the pool because it’s waterproof and it tracks every move I make and how shitty I sleep.
From this snapshot above you can see that from putting on the flex on May 29th until December 31st, 2013 I walked just over 1,200km’s, 1,800,000 steps and learned that I wake up/am quite restless on average at least ten times a night, while I spent 8-9 hours in bed I only sleep for 6. Well, that explains some things!
I already knew I suck at sleeping but combined with keeping a dreamjournal and tracking with the fitbit I’m learning more about why I actually suck at sleeping, so that someday… maybe I won’t be so bad at it. I will never be a morning person and I’m not ever going to attempt to be one, I’m just trying to find ways to improve my quality of sleep. Which this gadget is helping me with, a little. So healthwise this year I am setting three goals
[If you’d like to add me as a friend on fitbit, I would love that, here’s my profile]
1. Continue to track my sleeping patterns through the year and work at setting better sleep and wake times. 2. Increase my step average to average out to 9,000 steps per day over the course of the year. In 2013 I averaged roughly 8,500 so that is an increase of 500 steps per day. Being more active will help me feel better [I also would like to fiiiinally get the 25k steps in a day badge] and 3. Lose 5 lbs and keep them off by December 13th. No yoyo-ing.
My next area of goal setting involves…
While I don’t really want to talk Project Move that extensively in this post, I’ve already realized that with my other travel plans (Cuba, hopefully Ireland, the Netherlands [where I will stay alone in Utrecht for the first time, it’s the city I am considering to live for a while], possibly calgary, possibly Sweden and also a week of camping in New Brunswick… so many plans) and trying to finish my house for sale… I think it will be too much on my brain to try and attempt Project move: which was originally to live in Holland for 3-4 months THIS YEAR. I decided I would rather move that ahead in the future by 6 months than sacrifice my other plans but it continues to be something I have wanted to do for a long time and am saving/planning for to make it happen. I will continue to work towards it with the following goals:
1. Save a $10k emergency fund, this continues to be a work in progress that I would just really like to have done for peace of mind, while also keeping my barebones budget very low. (under $1,000 per month) I have my side-job lined up again in the summer which will contribute at least $2,000 to this, leaving me to gather about $4,000 throughout 2014 or roughly $330 per month… or; 2. Finish and sell my house by the end of the year, period, must get done, this will fill my emergency fund, pay off my mortgage/heloc and give me a nice additional buffer in my bankaccount [to fund Project Move?] and also add to my RSP as I don’t intend to buy another house yet, instead I will most likely move into a house my parents own to help them renovate it and 3. Finish digitizing all my files that are able to be digitized so I have access to them from anywhere in the world along with streamlining invoicing, payroll and scheduling processes so they are easier to complete without needing an entire office to complete them. Project Move primarily entails saving a bucket load of money, decreasing my monthly bills and streamlining things so I can leave for a sabbatical without too many headaches. There’s also a bit of minimalism involved. Less stuff, more experiences.
And a few other financial goals
1. RSP balance of $3,000. I started a $25.00 automatic contribution on the 14th of every month, I’ve added an automatic $35 contribution on the 25th of the month. This should bring me to a balance of $3,000 minimum. Not including any additions with any proceeds from selling my house.
2. Cuba/hot vacation/spring vacation, $1,200. As of today I’ve got about $420 for this, probably going to go in early March.
3. Short camping trip funded out of pocket in July. Longer world-trip in August/September funded through creative internetting, travelhacking and just plain being a cheapass and lastly;
4. A networth of $70,000. Perhaps the most ambitious goal of all my goals! However, every year I surpass my networth goal so hopefully this year will be no different. I have no specific plan to tackle this other than to achieve my other savings goals and spend less, keep to my monthly budgets and save like there’s no tomorrow -- when I can.
There you have it. 3 healthgoals. 3 project move-related goals and 4 financial goals. Ten goals for 2014. My process for 2013 was messy, I didn’t set yearly goals nor did I track throughout the year. I set goals my month and followed up the following month. This year I’ll track my yearly goals in my monthly networth updates.
Image source: here.