2014: The Year Without Resolutions

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsEveryone’s been asking me about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. As most of you have experienced, New Year’s Resolutions are hard to keep.

Spend less. Make more money. Lose weight. Get in shape. Workout. Eat healthy. Be Patient. Smile.

These vague resolutions quickly get pushed to the back of our mind and we fall back into our old habits. So this year I am going to try something different. I’m going to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for myself: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive goals. I hope that this will lead to greater accountability on my part and will lead to better results in the long-term.

New Year

Yup, that pretty much sums it up!

Here are my S.M.A.R.T goals for 2014, all due by the end of the year.

1. Visit two countries that I’ve never travelled to before.

This one is kind of a freebie for me, since I already have my flights booked to Peru and will be spending 5 weeks in South America this winter. That gives me plenty of time to visit at least two new countries since I have never been to the continent before. I include this mostly because it was a goal that I had in mind throughout 2013, and I think I deserve credit for achieving this one.

2. Actively search for a work transfer to gain international work experience by contacting at least three hiring managers in locations abroad.

I’ve always wanted to move abroad. I always regretted never taking any of the opportunities to study abroad in university. So B and I have decided that we want to relocate for a couple years and experience working internationally. Our first choice is Australia, but I’d be willing to look at opportunities elsewhere as well. Our plan is to secure a position starting in 2015, but in order to achieve this goal I will need to actively start searching.

3. Save 60% of my net income.

This one is fairly straight-forward. I already track my savings rate so it’s just a matter of keeping the income up and the expenses down. This is actually a little bit lower than my savings rate for 2013 since I have to account for a 10% decrease in income due to an unpaid leave of absence I will be taking to travel.

4. Use my gym membership 100 times.

Gym memberships are expensive, and so I want to get the most use out of mine. Of course I also want to stay in shape and get fit but for now I’m still just trying to establish the habit of going to the gym regularly and working up a sweat. 100 times this year equates to about 8 or 9 times a month, but I’ll need to go more than that to make up for travel and the summer time when I am frequently away for work.

5. Learn one new creative hobby and create something tangible.

This goal is a little open-ended, and it could lead to many different things. The idea is just to learn a new skill and to have something to show for it. Right now I’m thinking I would like to learn to crochet, but if you have any suggestions, please let me know!


All right that’s it for me! Five goals for 2014. This may be a bit ambitious but we’ll see how it goes and adjust as necessary. The key now will be to regularly check in on these goals and measure their progress!


What are your goals for the new year? How often do you revisit your goals to see your progress? Does goal-setting work better than New Year’s resolutions for you?



4 Comments on 2014: The Year Without Resolutions

  1. donebyforty
    January 8, 2014 at 9:13 AM (8 months ago)

    I had just five goals this year, and tried to follow the same path you did: something specific and measurable with a timetable. Good stuff! I hope you have a great time in South America this year, and all the best in finding some hiring managers, too!

    • ThisLifeOnPurpose
      January 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM (8 months ago)

      Thanks! Setting goals seems like a better plan than making the typical resolutions, so I’m hoping this will lead to more improvement.

  2. Rebecca Fraser-Thill
    January 8, 2014 at 10:04 AM (8 months ago)

    I love how you quantified your gym membership goal. That’s a great way to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth – and to feel healthier in the process. Best wishes with all of these!

    • ThisLifeOnPurpose
      January 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM (8 months ago)

      Thanks Rebecca! I think setting a yearly number for my gym visits will work better for me than the usual 3 times/week, since I get really discouraged when I fail for the week, which happens a lot with out-of-town work and such.


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