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?
27 thoughts on “2019 Goals and Resolutions”
2019 looks to be one heck of a year but remember it is just a list and that is all, Live your life and be happy.
I’ll be watching for the meetup details
That’s a nice collection of goals, and one that I hope you achieve is FinCon as I’ve also booked and will be attending for the first time. Maybe we can coordinate a dividend investor meetup at Fincon!
I think part of why people enjoy posts about goals is the general good will of this community to see and help people be successful. Maybe not in the personal finance space, but I also think that a lot of people are terrible at setting goals and like to see what other people do to trigger ideas.
Look forward to seeing your progress throughout the year!
Haha a dividend investors meetup would be awesome! Looking forward to meeting you at FinCon.
Great set of goals, Tawcan. All the best for 2019
These are great. I like New Year’s resolutions that have quantifiable numbers attached. They are much more effective than simply saying “I want to exercise more.”
I have some similar goals. I am an inch or two taller than you and just started pushing 190 lbs and am not happy about it! I don’t like weight goals because there are genetics at play that are not in my control, so I set a goal to “burn 3,000 calories on 200 days” which I can track on my FitBit, and it also gives me the flexibility to exercise in different ways. Of course I have the usual retirement fund max-out goals, and I aim to read 24 books. I always set the same spending goals ($30k non-debt spending and a 65% savings rate) which I never hit, but it’s good to have something to stretch for!
Thank you Norm. Burning 3000 calories on 200 days is an excellent goal. Looks like so far this year I’ve burned over 4000 calories on 8 days already.
Good luck with the goals. I really liked the spreadsheet to control the goals. Sometimes we just set the goals and without a proper track it get lost in the middle of other daily issues.
Looking forward for the updates.
All the best.
Exactly, goals need to be measurable or else you won’t be able to achieve them.
Good luck. Sounds like very trackable goals. I made sure that all of my goals were very trackable from a numeric perspective.
Thanks Money Beagle. I definitely like the idea of putting numeric progress for my goals.
I’ve written up some basic money and life goals for the year. I don’t usually touch on them in my monthly updates because they’re largely routine if I stick to the plan. I could see reporting on them could be useful.
I do like reading other people’s monthly and progress updates! 🙂
That’s true, most of these goals should be achievable if I just keep up with my routines. I do think the swimming goal is quite ambitious but I like a challenge. 🙂
Fantastic list of goals. I didn’t set any personal goals, but I did set financial goals. Among them, breaking two milestones; crossing $1K in dividends for a month and crossing the $10K mark in forward annual dividend income! This should be an exciting year. Best of luck with your goals! 🙂
Crossing $1k dividend in a month and $10k mark for annual dividend income are two great goals. Good luck!
Great list there, Bob. If you do try and set up another Vancouver meetup, I’d definitely be interested in attending.
I’ll definitely keep you in mind. 🙂
This is awesome Bob. I think quarterly updates are sufficient, but if you are actively reviewing your goals on a monthly basis that should help you achieve them. You could also consider posting something brief on social media about how you are doing with your goals. That way in case you are falling behind, we can give you a bit of a kick to keep you motivated! All the best in achieving your goals in 2019. I look forward to following along!
I like the idea of posting on social media. I guess I’ll have to figure out the frequency of the update to keep me motivated and accountable.
nice list Bob. Like the goals. 150 seems like a pretty cut weight.
Thats a big increase on the dividend front, would be great to see you achieve it.
I like tak’s idea of a little update on the bottom of a monthly post or something.
Winter camping? dam your hardcore. I showed my son that pic and he said thats crazy!
Would be interesting with the wife though, deifnately would promote that skin to skin contact =)
All the best on these goals man.
Yea winter camping was a lot of fun. It gets pretty old when camping at -17 degree C though.
Good luck on those challenging goals Bob! I think you’ll do great!
Personally, I think a good balance between keeping you motivated and ‘too much’ might be a mini-monthly update. Not a whole post on it.
Looking forward to see how you’re doing through the year!
Yea maybe a quick mini-monthly update that gets included in the monthly dividend income report? Then do a bigger post every quarter. We’ll see.
Excellent Bob. Seems like some really achievable goals there. I didn’t actually vote on your Twitter but I agree with the consensus. Financial goals = good quality reading.
Thanks man. Financial goals are good. 🙂
Thanks for the mention! I hope the spreadsheet helps. The key is to update it once a month so you know what to work on.
From the list, I think the toughest one would be losing weight. I highly recommend committing to intermittent fasting. That will help a ton. I used to snack at night too, but once I started fasting, that’s out. I was doing well until my 5 week trip to Thailand. Now, I need to get back to my regular schedule. Good luck!
No worries Joe, I’m a spreadsheet nerd so I think it’ll help. Yea I’ve given intermittent fasting a try for a week but had to give it up due to traveling too. Will have to get back to it. 🙂