Everyone’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.
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?