I’m not one of those people that go crazy on their New Year’s resolutions then forget about them by the end of February. I do, however, believe in setting measurable goals to help to create good daily habits. Since 2013 I have set annual goals and review my accomplishments at end of the year. Like most people, each year, I accomplish some goals, and I fail some goals.
Over the number of years, I have seen many fellow bloggers publishing their annual goals and providing monthly or quarterly updates throughout the year. I’ve always thought this is a great way to keep yourself honest and accountable.
The other day I asked the following question on Twitter
I was surprised that a high percentage of people were interested in reading goals (mind you, the sample size was not huge, but still). So with that in mind, I decided to share my 2019 goals and provide updates throughout the year.
Some of my previous annual goals
In case you’re wondering, here were some of the goals I set for myself in previous years.
- Receive over $6,000 in dividend
- Relaunch my photography business
- Receive over $8,000 in dividend
- Read 15 personal finance books
- Receive over $12,000 in dividend
- Do at least 5 portrait photo shoots
- Receive $13,000 in dividend
- Go to the gym at least twice a week
- Receive $15,000 in dividend
- Read 10 books
- Receive $18,000 in dividend
- Weigh ~70 kg
Some of these goals were more challenging, some were pretty easy to accomplish. For 2019, I decided to be more ambitious and set more challenging goals. I might not be able to accomplish all of them, but I’ve found that shooting for the moon works better for me.
I quite liked Joe’s idea of tracking goals with a spreadsheet, so I’m going to copy his idea.
Some of these goals are
Save for 2020 TFSAs and RESPs ($17,000 total)
We have already maxed out our 2019 TFSAs and RESPs, therefore, we want to start saving for next year. Since TFSA contribution limit was just increased from $5,500 to $6,000 in 2019, I am assuming the limit will stay at $6,000 for 2020. For RESP, we can contribute $2,500 per kid. Totalling all the contribution limits means we are aiming to save $17,000 in 2019.
Dividend Income over $23,000
This goal is pretty self-explanatory as I’ve always set a dividend goal for the past 6 years. We received $18,734.29 in dividend income in 2018. The $23,000 dividend income goal means fresh capital of over $106k is required, at 4% dividend yield. Thanks to organic growth and DRIP, we won’t have to invest that much money. However, it’s not going to be an easy feat to get from $18,734.29 to $23,000, considering this corresponds to a 22.8% YOY growth.
But I like a challenge. 🙂
Max out RRSP contributions
I am aiming to max out our RRSP contributions by end of Feb (deadline is Mar 1). Once we max out our RRSP contribution for the 2017 tax year, we’ll continue to make RRSP contributions throughout the year.
Travel Hack 100,000 Marriott rewards points
After travel hacking our way to Maui and saved over $10,000, we would love to do something similar again. If we time our credit card applications before planned big expenses like car and house insurance, we should be able to receive the 100,000 Marriot points quite easily.
Dividend Income/Annual Expenses ratio 50%
In 2018 our dividend income to annual expenses ratio was 32.7%. I would like to see a 50% or more ratio for 2019. To accomplish this would require us to increase our dividend income and reduce our annual expenses.
Publish 6 high quality articles every month
In the second half of 2018 I certainly slacked off a bit when it comes to publishing articles on this blog. I want to challenge myself by setting up this goal. The idea is to publish an article every Monday and 2 or more articles on Thursdays here and there.
The biggest challenge with this goal is to make sure I publish quality articles rather than just spitballing. Quality over quantity right?
I attended FinCon’17 and had a blast. It was great to meet other like-minded folks in person and talk about personal finance, FIRE, travels, sports, and everything in between. Last year I didn’t go to FinCon and felt that I missed out. I have already purchased a pass and booked a hotel room, I just need to commit the conference by booking flights.
I attended CPFC in 2016 and met many fellow Canadian personal finance bloggers. Back then I was blogging anonymously so it was strange meeting people in person for the first time and introduce myself (Barry gave me a blank look when I introduced myself as Bob. I had to re-introduce myself as Tawcan). Now I have revealed my identity for a few years and have connected with more Canadian personal finance bloggers, I think it would be interesting to attend CPFC again.
Organize a meet up in Vancouver
I’ve tried to organize a meet up with other Vancouver-based personal finance bloggers a couple of times in the past but never could get something organized. Therefore, I would love to set up a
Eat better & healthier, avoid snacks at night. Weigh 70kg by end of 2019
Go swimming at least once each week. Swim for 100km in 2019
Since late September, I have been waking up before 6 AM at least once a week to go swimming. I have to admit, turning off the alarm at 5:45 AM was tough sometimes. Getting out of the car when it was pouring and pitch dark outside was also tough. But once I got in the pool and started swimming, it felt good.
I usually swim for 1 km each time for about 30 minutes. Since I wanted to push myself, I decided to set an ambitious goal of swim for 100 km in 2019.
Go to gym at least twice each week
There’s a gym at work and I have been going quite regularly to do cardio and lift weights, usually a couple times a week. When I’m traveling on the road, I usually try to hit the hotel gym too. I want to maintain this regular attendance and keep myself active.
Read 15 books
I will be the first one to admit that I spent a bit too much time on my phone in 2018. This resulted not reading as many books as I had planned. In previous years I focused on reading personal finance/investment books. Lately, however, I am not gaining as much valuable knowledge when reading PF/investment books. So in 2019 I will broaden the scope and set a goal of reading 15 books on any topics.
Go camping 3 times
We bought some camping gear like a new tent and sleeping bags and pads for the kids last year with the goal to go out camping more in 2019. When I used to be more outdoorsy, I went on a lot of backcountry camping trips where I’d camp in the middle of nowhere after hiking or skiing for half the day. But backcountry camping isn’t as practical with two little kids. So by camping, I really mean
1 staycation with Mrs. T
Last year Mrs. T and I went on a couple of staycations and we enjoyed the staycations tremendously. For one of the staycations, we stayed at JW Marriott Vancouver and got an upgrade to a 1 bedroom suite. Thanks to my Marriott status, we were able to take advantage of the free food at the lounge and also check out at 4 PM. I think another staycation around the middle of the year would be a great idea.
A Challenging 2019
Outside of the fun goals, I think all the other goals are quite challenging, some goals like $23,000 in dividend, swim for 100 km, 50% dividend income/expenses ratio, and publish 6 quality articles per month are quite ambitious. I am up for a challenge though.
I am not quite 100% sure decided on whether I will provide an update every month or every quarter. Part of me think monthly updates are too much; part of me think monthly updates would allow me to stay focused.
Dear readers, what would you prefer? Monthly or quarterly updates? Have you set up any 2019 goals & resolutions for yourself?