A few weeks ago someone asked what my goals were for 2020, my answer was a combination of I don’t know and I’m not going to worry about it. It was somewhat of a knee jerk reaction in the moment. At the time I was exhausted from my work schedule in Q4 and overwhelmed thinking about having a baby in a little over a month. The truth is, I’m thinking about goals all the time (I’ve also realized the importance of recognizing accomplishments and not just dwelling on how something can/should be better). My goals tend to evolve and change over the course of a year, but I find it helpful to put them in writing at the beginning. When I recently looked back at my goals for 2019 I was pleasantly surprised by what I had achieved. I typically check in on my goals every few months, but this year took some unexpected turns and a lot of my normal routine went out the window.
Taking some time off over the holiday gave me some space to reflect and think about my goals for this year. Some of them are an extension or a next step from a 2019 goal and a few are new. If you’re thinking about your goals for the year, one tip I have is to attach actions to them. If you can come up with realistic everyday actions to get you closer to your goals you’re more likely to achieve them. For example, if you want to exercise more, think about how you will do that. Maybe it’s signing up for an at home workout class and scheduling those times in your calendar. Do you want to save more money? Creating an actual budget and making a specific financial savings goal every week or month will help get you there. As much as I used to HATE doing this exercise at my old job (had more to do with the job than the method), using the SMART goals approach is actually really helpful. SMART goals help you set them in a way that’s achievable, measurable, and trackable. Here are my goals for 2020 and if you’re willing, I’d love to hear yours in the comments too.
Personal and Business Finances
Every year I get a little bit better about my/our finances but with a baby on the way I have a new sense of urgency to get laser focused about how we spend and save money. I handle most of the finances in our household because a) I’m a control freak and b) I actually really enjoy it. I think one of the key success factors in our relationship is that Craig and I recognize our strengths and weaknesses and we respect and leverage those differences. All that said, I also grew up believing I was not good at math and never would be. I could go on for too long about why (let’s just say one high school math teacher in particular played a big role).
I’m saying all of this because often times it’s our own belief of what we can or can’t do that gets in the way of achieving our goals.
If something doesn’t come naturally or easily it doesn’t mean you can’t find the right tools and people to help you understand. Over the last few years I’ve hired people I trust (an accountant and a financial advisor) to help set me up for success, and now that a lot of the pieces are in place, I’m ready to take a deeper dive into our finances.
I’ve never been great about keeping track of a budget or paying close attention to our spending. While neither of us are big spenders, we could benefit from being more aware of how we’re spending money. Last year we focused on saving and did pretty well. We also ended up starting a renovation towards the end of the year which kept us from putting away as much as we could have, but we’re putting sweat equity into our home so it’s something we were willing to do.
My goal is to put more money away for retirement, set aside enough money to purchase a fixer upper, and track our personal and business finances weekly so I know exactly how and where we’re spending money. I have a meeting next week with our financial advisor to discuss retirement savings (check out this interview I did with him last year it has a lot of great information).
I’ve organized my Freshbooks account (where I track all business finances) and have a weekly reminder to go in and allocate all income and expenses. And I’ve set up an account with YNAB where I created a monthly budget, set savings goals and I can track our personal finances weekly (will do a review of this soon). Also, I created a Personal Capital account (this is more for retirement/wealth management). It’s free so I’ll likely check in on it from time to time as it gives a nice overall picture of your finances, but I’ll be using the other two platforms for actual tracking and budgeting.
Meditation & Movement
I’ve been putting meditation in my goals for years now and up until a few weeks ago I’ve never done it. I think the word meditation just made me overwhelmed because of what I envisioned it to be. So I started using Headspace about a month ago as part of my partnership with them and I love it. It makes meditation so accessible and enjoyable, it even has a specific course for pregnancy which is what I’ve been doing. My goal is to meditate for at least 10 minutes everyday.
It’s been a struggle since getting pregnant but I also want to prioritize movement, whether it’s a walk outside, a 30 minute workout or some stretching. Working from home I sometimes realize I’ve barely gotten up from my computer all day. I’m setting aside 30 minutes a day for movement. The obe fitness app has worked really well for me because it’s easy to do at home, takes 30 minutes and there’s such a huge variety of class offerings (including pre and post natal). Use code JESS30 for 30% off your first month.
Read 5 Books
I am here to say I am not great about reading books. I read a lot, especially for work, but rarely do I take the time to just sit down and read a book. My goal is to read 5 books this year and a benefit of achieving that goal will be less time on my phone mindlessly scrolling. I ordered two books to get started, Calypso and Where the Crawdads Sing. I also purchased Mindset which I’ve skimmed through but plan to read that as well.
Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
Craig and I both worked really hard on this last year and want to continue our momentum. I drastically reduced my shopping (which in turn reduced the need for me to constantly get rid of things), we ate mostly plant based and shopped local whenever possible for food, we grew a vegetable garden, started a compost, didn’t buy a single plastic water bottle, and made other small daily changes. This year we want to continue and expand on reducing our carbon footprint (which will be interesting with a baby). I am excited to share the ways in which we do this here on the blog and I’ve already made some swaps that have drastically reduced waste including swapping out our Nespresso machine for pour over coffee with a reusable cotton filter, making our own juice, and making our own almond and oat milk.
Purchase Another Fixer Upper
This was a goal last year and it was a bit naive because we really weren’t ready. That said, we instead focused on saving last year which has put us in a much better position to achieve this. At the same time, this isn’t something you can rush, and we want to make sure it’s the perfect fit for us and our plans for the property, so while purchasing another fixer upper is a goal for this year we know it’s something that has a lot of moving parts.
Document and Share More Renovation Projects
We’ve done so many projects in this house it’s honestly hard to keep track. Craig works so quickly sometimes he’s done before I’ve even had a chance to take a before photo. I know one thing you guys often ask for is more of the process throughout a project, not just a before and after, so we’re going to be sharing the full process behind a project or renovation this year. Of course the biggest project is our master bedroom/bathroom addition and that is already in full swing so we’ll be sharing some videos on our YouTube channel soon as we go through that process.
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