Personal Finance Apprentice

Making A New Year’s Plan

Making A New Year’s Plan

Happy New Year everyone!

The start of the year is such a wonderful time. Christmas vibes are still fresh. The weather is still great. And we haven’t broken our new year’s resolutions yet. 🙂

We’re all familiar with new year’s resolutions. We make them every year. Usually it’s to stop doing something or to do less of something (smoking? eating junk food? shopping? drinking?). Sometimes it’s proactive; like exercise more or spend more time with family and friends.

A few yeas ago, I was thinking of what a good new year’s resolution for me would be. Initially I thought about resolving to do my new year’s resolutions:D But then of course, that wouldn’t make sense until I had another resolution to accomplish.

So that got me thinking about all the life goals I had that I’ve never been able to focus on – from random and mundane stuff (like learning to use my left hand more, learn to drive better, learn to cook, learn to play the guitar) to more substantial goals (like finally accumulating a substantial amount in my savings account, visiting Palawan and Boracay, getting a promotion).

So instead of a new year’s resolution, I decided to make my first new year’s plan.

I listed all the things I ever thought of doing (it even included getting a tattoo and getting my ear pierced). I didn’t have a lot of wants, so it wasn’t too long a list.

After completing my list, I then thought how many goals I could allocate time for. After all, as an employee, weekdays are pretty much just for work. And at least half of the weekends each year are for activities with family and friends.

After deciding that I pretty much had just about 20 weekends to use, I then decided which goals would make sense this year. After all, I can’t decide to both save and visit Boracay, right? As an ordinary employee with an ordinary employee’s salary, one goal would cancel the other out.

So for that first year (2008) I decided to just concentrate on saving money (spending less on weekends, but still bonding with family and friends) and learning to use my left hand more (which fits into my daily activities and doesn’t cost anything).

(And if you’re curious, that left hand thing is just a
random, personal quirk. I think it would be cool to be able to write
with either hand. And even cooler to write with both hands at the same
time – though I still can’t do that yet.)

I started slowly, but the small success I had re-enforced my habit. And after just 4 years, 10 of the 19 items on my life list are now accomplished. 🙂 (And I haven’t gotten a tattoo or pierced my ears, as I’m not sure I want those anymore. So my “success rate” might be even higher.)

I even kept the same list all these years. And seeing all the things I’ve already done helps give me confidence that I can achieve my bigger goals.

But of course, as we grow old our needs and wants change. So for this year, I will be revisiting my list of life goals and add to them, and perhaps remove some as well.

In fact, why don’t you join me? Let’s all write down the things we’ve always wanted to have, do or be able to do and make our new year’s plan together.

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photo credit: Contando Estrelas via photopin cc
photo credit: Natesh Ramasamy via photopin cc

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