My 2019 Goal Planning
A word to the wise:
At this point, I’m sure all of you have heard of a New Years goals “new year, new me!”. Unfortunately, most of these goals last only a few weeks before everyone goes back to their regular habits. This year I decided that instead of having a new plan for myself, starting January 1st, I would spend a few months thinking about what is important in my life and what isn’t. My goal is simple, and it’s the same goal as 2018 and the year before. Aim for 1% better each day. Be more consistent with the positive things in my life and begin eliminating what is not.
The idea of 1% better isn’t anything new. Check out these articles I wrote about using incremental progress for your study habits and finances [LINK].
- Get 1% Better Every Day with Incremental Progress – Part 1
- Retain Information with Incremental Studying – Part 2
- Incremental Finances – Part 3
This year I am going take that concept and apply it to specific aspects of my life.
“The man who moves a mountain, begins by carrying away small stones.” – Confucius
Under 5-minute rule:
If something takes less than 5 minutes to complete, just do it.
I’m not actually sure where I heard this rule, but it definitely resonated with me. The idea is simple, if it takes less that 5 minutes, just do it. My 2019 goal planning includes being more efficient with my time so that I can spend more time on the things I love.
The list could go on and on, but you get the point. More often than not, it is a situational task. Something comes up and instead of dealing with it immediately we make it our future selves’ problem. Instead, take 5 minutes and get it done so that your future self can relax!
Do something, even if it’s just a little bit!
I have recently started using a habit tracking app again to keep track of everything I would like to do on a daily/weekly basis. The idea is that even if I don’t have time to spend an hour on each item, I still make incremental progress on each task or goal. Here is the basic list:
Some of these items require less than 5 minutes, while others would be better suited for an hour or two of attention. But guess what? There isn’t enough hours in the day for all these items! Because of that, I have for a long time let my hobbies slide and slacked on my fitness goals due to not having enough time or simply forgetting.
My solution to this is simple, do something even if it’s small. For example, if I’m about to go to bed and realize I forget to play the guitar, I will pick it up and spend 1-2 minutes practicing a simple scale or chord progression. That’s it. Nothing more.
You might be thinking to yourself that 1-2 minutes isn’t enough time to learn anything on the guitar. And you are probably right if I did that everyday. But by picking up the guitar for 1-2 minutes I am maintaining the habit of playing guitar daily. This will make it easier to pick up the guitar again the next day.
Without consistency it is easy to start missing more and more daily practices. The compounding effect of poor consistency will not be beneficial for me. On the flip side, the compounding effect of good consistency will benefit me in the long run. So, my 2019 goal planning includes a list of daily activities that I believe will be beneficial for me and bring me happiness!
There’s a podcast I listen to called The Ground Up Show, by Matt D’Avella. He is the best known for his Netflix documentary “Minimalism”. Matts podcast is very well done with great visual and audio. He interviews creators as well as minimalists in an hour-long segment.
Needless to say, being a fan of his show has made me ponder the idea of minimalism and how it could benefit my life. I pondered this idea for about 5 minutes before admitting the lifestyle is not for me!
But that isn’t to say the concept and ideas of minimalism can’t be adapted to my lifestyle. I have started to minimize the aspects of my life that I consider to be ‘clutter’ or wasteful; such as extra/old clothes, all the stuff in my junk drawer, old books that I never enjoyed or did not plan to read, old unused dishes, old school work and etc.
I actually began this process last year, but it is a long process. My girlfriend Jillian has also found some youtuber minimalists that have inspired her to start doing the same, so between the two of us our apartment is slowly becoming much clean and less cluttered!
The aspect of minimalism that I am trying to capture in my life is more accurately define as essentialism or intentionalism. What this means to me is to get rid of things that are not essential to your life, and in the future only add things into your life intentionally. It’s so easy to unintentionally build up a mountain of junk that is not essential to your life. Being intentional allows me to really enjoy who is in my life, my surroundings and my belongings.
More Money, Less Problems.
In the words of The Notorious B.I.G. – Mo Money Mo Problems. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have access to so much money that it’s begun to be a problem! In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Having debt and not enough money on hand can be quite a problem. I have personally experienced the negative aspects of debt. So my goal in 2019 is to make an impact on my finances that will propel me into a future with more money, less problems!
Pay Down My Debt:
- Utilize the Snow Ball Method.
- Crush at least one debt completely.
- Use my Credit Card less. Think of it as a Debt Card, not Credit.
- Increase my emergency fund to 2 months worth of living expenses.
- Create extra emergency fund for our new puppy!
Maintain my retirement savings plan:
- I can’t save a lot because of my debt, but I am consistent and seeing some fantastic results.
- Help my girlfriend with her finances so that our goals are aligned.
- Ask for employer RRSP matching.
Reduce excess spending:
- Try to eliminate excess spending on unnecessary things.
- Make the hard decision to miss out on events and occasions that will set me back financially. FOMO is real, try not to let it put you in a financial hole.
- Prepare a gift budget and stick to budget to keep control of finances throughout holidays and birthdays.
Goal planning can be fun, but following the plan can be very hard. It may seem like my 2019 goal planning is complicated, but really, I am just aiming to make small improvements while eliminating waste. Make your goals inspiring and beneficial to your life, but make them simple in execution.
I have been offline for quite awhile now! This year my girlfriend and I decided to get a puppy. We now have a little pug puppy named Winston, who is a wonderfully good boy, but also quite a bit of work! Because I wanted to focus on adjusting to the new member of our little tribe, I tried to spend more of my free time training and taking care of Winston. Luckily, we have no found a rhythm to the madness and have a much easier daily schedule. This will allow me to get back to writing and posting. Hope everyone’s 2019 is going as great as my own.
What is your 2019 goal planning look like? Do you have big milestone goals you want to crush or are you leaning towards small incremental improvements throughout the year?