A caution, this is really a long post.
We are in last month of the year. I am already thinking about things I want to achieve in next year. This year for the first time I am finding it difficult to find the goals, because from last 4-5 years my goals always revolved around money and I kind of do very well in that department without much of the effort. Hence, while setting last year's goal, I actually for the first time added some non-PF goals in my life.
This revealed one of my big weaknesses to me, something that I can exploit to improve me. I so much hate writing fail for any of the goal that I consciously started working on those things that I used to hate at one time. And I know this is a PF blog and I generally don't write about personal experiences here other than one’s related to money, but I think that my goals for next year will hardly be PF dominated.
Now I look at goal setting as the technique to improve those areas in my life that I really want to improve. So in my year end review, I want to visit not only how many pass vs. fail but also what was hidden motivation behind all my goals.
These are my goals for 2010:
1) Continue learning new dishes to cook. One new dish per week.
Result: 7 Pass vs. 5 Fail
I used to hate cooking. When I got married some 3 years back, I couldn't even prepare a decent tea. I am lucky enough that my in-laws and my husband in particular are OK with it. In NOIDA we had a cook since beginning and my husband will happily prepare breakfast and tea for me (and I am a tea addict).
What got to me to want to change it? LOVE. Yes honestly, I love my hubby and he loves food. He is a big big foodie. After 2 years of my marriage, I started getting those feelings that I want to cook for him, I want him to say good things about my food and so on. In fact, I tried doing this even in second year of marriage, but resolution never lasted more than 2 weeks.
Setting this goal helped me improve my cooking. And after moving to Hyderabad I realized that it’s very difficult to get a decent cook of our taste here. Now I cook dinner everyday which is a big achievement for a person like me.
2) Continue to be on budget.
Result: 8 Pass vs. 4 Fail
What can I say more than the fact that I love budget and personal finance else why will I have this blog. Plus I like to see my savings grow rather than expenses grow. I started with a set budget to spend per month and exceeded it by 10K as per the need (see I am flexible and not at all that rigid or was it like I hated idea of writing fail over here). But I stayed in budget for most part of the year.
3) Start saving for prepayment of mortgage. 2L should be saved for same.
Result: 9 Pass vs. 3 Fail
We survived a pay cut in 2009 and mortgage has been my first liability ever in life. So I realized the importance of reducing the mortgage amount by prepaying the same. This goal somewhere got modified as save 6 EMIs as emergency fund because my DH was not in favor of prepaying mortgage. I saved 9 EMIs as emergency fund, way more than my set goal.
4) Contribute to retirement as per the plan.
Result: 12 Pass vs. 0 Fail
Well, this part requires least of the effort as everything I do is automated. So I can hardly fail on it unless I don’t have funds in my accounts which have not happened even once in last year. Thanks Murphy and GOD for that.
5) Be less obsessive on daily tracking of things.
Result: 10 Pass vs. 2 Fail
I think I already confessed here that I was obsessed for tracking every penny spent. But then I realized that I should overcome my obsession or in fact was forced by my DH for same (he doesn’t like to be accountable for number of Pepsi’s he drinks in a day).
A confession, my life is stress free once I got rid of this habit. I still track how much we spend in a month but no need to know how much went for Pepsi and how much for other things.
And one last thing to mention on this point, I have started the tracking again because I want to get the idea of expenses we incur in new place and was suggested by DH himself but it is stress free so far.
6) Learn to swim.
Result: BIG FAIL
I love water and that’s why always wanted to learn to swim. And I have a sinusitis problem which once again made it impossible for me to swim. This will be in my list of things to do before I die.
7) Improve healthy eating.
Result: 8 Pass vs. 4 Fail
Though number shows another picture I can say that it is still close to failure. I need major improvement health wise. That’s one area of my life that I neglected till date (I was almost about to reveal my age. OMG). This area needs major focus next year.
8) Earning Rs 50250 (2010*25) extra in 2010
Result: 9 Pass vs. 3 Fail
I don’t do any extra work other then my full time job and house hold chores and I don’t pay myself for latter. This mainly comes from passive income, reward points and gifts. Yes I actually try to save all the cash gifts I receive and some amount corresponding to all the materialistic gifts as well from my budgeted amount. Did I hear insane? Well I’ll say it is just a mental technique to improve my savings.