All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am no finance expert, so do not use the information presented on here as financial advice to be applied to your own situation. Please seek an expert if looking to make any financial decisions.
A rundown of my 2019 goals
So here we go again. New year, new you; make 2019 the best year ever, etc. etc. I get a bit cynical about New Years Resolutions and the belief that people can change their behaviour overnight just because we’ve rung in a new year.
That said, I do get excited about creating clear action-based goals that encourage us to develop better habits and new skills over the course of a year. Last year, defining my intentions for 2018 and following a clear plan for achieving my goals worked wonders. As I was writing my 2018 Annual Review, I was really chuffed to see how far I’d come from my initial hopes and dreams in January, and I could see the value of replicating the process again in 2019.
Formulating new goals for 2019
Over the Christmas break, I was happy to take a breather from discipline, routine, and forward planning, so I dragged my feet a little on defining my goals. But after New Year, I opened a fresh document on Word, and tentatively started defining what I want to achieve this year.
While doing this exercise, I envisioned the general outcomes I’d like by end of the year. I then drilled down and defined the actions I would need to take each day, week, or month in order to achieve it. Afterwards, I estimated how much time I would need to dedicate to it as a maximum, and whether I would schedule it for morning, afternoon, or evening. I also have a column for steps to take over the next week (this column will be updated on a daily/weekly basis).
The matrix I ended up creating for myself looks like this:
I feel blessed to not be chained to an office desk at the moment and have all the time in the world to dedicate to my goals, but this is also dangerous territory.
Unstructured time means I can spend a whole morning playing Spider Solitaire (yes I still play it, and yes that’s how I whiled away a few hours yesterday). On the other hand, it could mean working like crazy on side hustles without taking a breather to actually enjoy my time and freedom. I didn’t quit a relatively comfy job just to be a slave to my laptop.
So that’s why I’m getting quite specific on how much time I would ideally spend on each goal, leaving enough time for other fun stuff. It also means that I’m using my time in a way that matches my concentration and energy levels. I’m much better at being focused and creative in the morning, so I’ll use mornings for writing, for example.
Also, you’ll notice my goals aren’t anchored around specific targets I can’t control. I can certainly wish to make a certain amount in side hustle income, or attain a certain number of blog hits, but I can’t control those results. What I can control are actions that might lead to that outcome.
My goals for 2019
This is what I will be working on over the next year:
Side hustles and blogging
- I haven’t written about it on here yet, but yes I started an Etsy store! I’ll give it some time before writing about my experience.
- I’ve been playing around with Matched Betting. It’s been giving me a bit of a headache, hence why “familiar and comfortable” is part of the goal…
- I’m going to be remain passive on the freelancing front – I’m not actively looking for more opportunities for now.
- I’m going to keep blogging once a week – I found it helps to keep me disciplined, gives me new skills, and keeps me accountable. I also really like being part of the blogging community.
- For someone quite obsessed with tracking my expenses and updating my financial spreadsheet, this goal is quite wishy-washy. I don’t have a savings goal, because I will have a tiny/irregular income until I get a new job, and I’m not setting a net worth goal because the markets will do whatever they do.
- In December I did have a vague goal of keeping my expenses to £1,000 month but that’s already been blown out of the water after a couple of trips to Boots Opticians!
- I have already re-started regular savings into my stocks and shares ISA (I stopped while in Thailand because I was non-resident).
- I need to figure out what to do with future pension contributions.
- Although my existing pension is invested in a so-called “ethical fund”, I want to explore other ethical options.
- I plan to make room for more travel in 2019. Since I’ll be back in Europe most of the year, I’d like to see more countries in this region, and ideally go to at least two countries I haven’t been to yet.
- This is not so much a goal but an aspiration (and somewhat undermined by the goal above): I want to be more environmentally-friendly. I used to be so militant about waste and preserving energy, but in Thailand where plastic is king and recycling doesn’t really exist, my usual green lifestyle was really hard to maintain. I’m starting off the year with Veganuary, which will at least minimise the impact of my food choices on the environment.
That’s a wrap on my goals for the year! They will no doubt evolve slightly throughout the year, but I’ll be updating you on my progress every month.
Do you have goals you’re excited about this year? Comment below!