In 2012 and 2013, I started each year by writing a long list of goals and I rocked at doing quarterly check-ins. This year, however, has been a little different. I think because my mantra for 2014 was to “do good, feel good”, I actually felt an aversion to checking in on a regularly basis; it felt too structured, and this year was supposed to be more about making continuous improvements, in order to try and become the best possible version of myself. I did mini self-check-ins from time-to-time, but I didn’t feel like writing any formal updates here – until now.
So, if you remember, my mantra was meant to do two things: guide me to become a more helpful person, all around, as well as to do a good job of everything I touched. I wasn’t aiming for greatness – I just wanted to do good and feel good about it. For the first few months of the year, I kept a mini Post-It note in my wallet which had my mantra written on it. While that helped me make a few good decisions for my finances (i.e. stopped me from making more than a few impulse purchases), it wasn’t in my face when I needed it at other times. Eventually, I wrote my mantra on a larger piece of paper and stuck it on my cork board.
I’m not a big believer in vision boards, or anything like that, but I can’t deny that seeing my mantra on an almost daily basis has helped shape a number of decisions I’ve made this year. In fact, I can honestly say I think I’ve already succeeded at “doing good” in all the areas of my life I had outlined. I’ve been successful in working smarter at my job and taking a few real vacations; I’ve continually changed my workouts so I’m focusing on healing my body and not pushing myself to reach any unattainable goals; I’ve also been listening to my body more, in terms of knowing when I need to rest (love me a good nap) and what foods I should or should not be eating; I’m always trying to be a better friend and family member; and I’ve given a little bit back to my community, too. In summary, the mantra has worked!
To go along with it, however, I also had a list of goals I wanted to accomplish this year. With just 108 days left in 2014, I think it’s finally time to see which ones I’ve achieved and which ones I still need to work on:
Boost my Emergency Fund to $10,000 – As of today, I’m sitting at close to $8,000. I don’t know that I’ll quite be able to hit $10,000 this year, but I’ll certainly try!
Contribute $5,000 to my RRSP – I’m way off track here and will be lucky if I put $3,000 in my RRSP. However, I did have my pension transferred into it, which was a great boost for my net worth.
Travel wherever my budget allows (dreaming of New Orleans, Denver, and either the UK or Indonesia) – Obviously, travel has taken up a huge portion of my budget this year. So far, I’ve been to: Toronto and Victoria numerous times, the Dominican Republic, Tofino, Whistler, Edmonton and Portland. This week, I’m going to New Orleans. Next month, Denver. I think I’ll stay close to home, after that, so I can focus on some other financial goals… but 2014 has definitely been a year full of travel!
Purchase a new bed, as well as a desk and chair – A good friend gave me his old desk and chair, when he moved up north for work. I’m still without a new bed, though, and I’d like to change that before Christmas (hence wanting to cool it on all the travel expenses).
Start communicating offline more – This did happen, and in a big way! My original thought with this goal was that I wanted to chat with the media more, and I did a little of that (and may be chatting with CBC more soon!). However, I never imagined I would plan and host two meet-ups with readers in Vancouver and Toronto. I had no idea what to expect going into either one, and was blown away by the conversations we shared. We definitely need to have more of these!
Read 24 books (or more!) – I’ve probably started 24 books (no joke), but have only finished 11. At this rate, the shopping ban for books could last 4-5 years, before I’d finally finish all the ones I own.
Incorporate yoga into my workouts – Sites like Do Yoga With Me have made this so unbelievably easy – and I’m not just saying that because my friends’ brother is the founder and most of the backdrops are of my beautiful hometown. No, it’s because everything is free! My new fave workout: Rise and shine, baby.
Donate blood at least quarterly – I donated blood for the first time in January and immediately knew I wanted to make it a quarterly goal. Unfortunately, my body has had other plans. At the end of May, I tried to donate again, but failed to meet the iron requirements (by 4 freaking points). I’ve been taking iron supplements ever since, and am still not where I need to be. So… maybe I’ll just try to do this once/year!?
Give back whenever, wherever, however possible – I don’t know that I’ve done enough here yet. Yes, I took part in the YWCA’s high school mentorship program in 2013/14, but I decided not to do it again because of some plans I have for 2015. I’ve donated a minimum of $50/month to charity, which has felt good. And I also donated the nearly 400 items I’ve purged, so far, to my local library and various charities. But I want to do more. The project I’m starting with Sarah (Daisy’s real name, which she finally revealed!) will help, so I may just focus on that and not worry about other volunteer opportunities right now.
Despite not achieving some of my goals yet, I still feel like 2014 has been an incredible year, so far! Since I know some of my original goals are now out of reach, I’ve decided to cut a few, and write a new list of things I’d like to accomplish between now and the end of the year.
Goals for the next 108 days:
- Put $2,100 in my Emergency Fund
- Put $1,000 in my RRSP
- Travel to New Orleans and Denver, then chill out at home (seriously!)
- Buy a new bed
- Study CSC
- Read 5 books (let’s aim for 16 total)
- Work on a new project with Sarah
Have you checked in on your goals for 2014? What do you want to accomplish before the end of the year?