Ringing in a New Year with Goals to Improve Myself

At the end of last week, Vero posted her goals for 2014. Like her, I like to keep my resolutions few in number, relatively simple, and aimed at improving my life.

In the past, it was common for me to create a whole list of goals — many of them impossible — and then fret as I didn’t complete them. Now, I am more thoughtful in my goal-setting. Resolutions are aimed at actually helping me improve as a person and improve my life.

Reflection and New Year’s Resolutions

Rather than just listing a bunch of things I’d like to do and qualities I’d like to develop, I reflect on what I want to accomplish. I think about the most important things I can do to improve my life and to improve myself as a person.

Usually, this comes down to identifying one main goal in about four areas of my life. The idea is to work on that goal throughout the year, moving forward when I falter. After thinking about it for the last couple of months (yes, I put that much thought into the coming year), here are the resolutions/goals I have for 2014:

  1. Financial: Get serious about starting an income portfolio. I invest. I have money in a Roth IRA, and I contribute every month. I also contribute monthly to the taxable investment account that serves as the bulk of our emergency fund. However, I’ve long wanted to start an income portfolio composed of dividend stocks, REITs, and other income investments. I’m using a fun investing contest as a way to get started and push me to learn more about building an income portfolio.
  2. Work: As a freelance writer, I can’t exactly set a career goal to get a promotion. But I do have a work goal. It’s to work less in 2014. I plan to raise rates on new clients, say no to gigs more, and make time to do the kind of writing I want to do, rather than always putting others’ work first.
  3. Health: The struggle to continue to maintain my weight continues. But instead of setting weight goals, I’m changing up my schedule so that I exercise doing what I want (swimming) at a time of day when it makes the most sense for me. This means that I might not get dressed until 2 p.m., but I’m doing what works for me, rather than conforming to society’s idea that I shouldn’t spend most of my day in my pajamas.
  4. Self: I plan to work to learn a new language and sign up for voice lessons. I think this will be fun, and taking voice lessons will lend itself to practicing the piano and guitar more so that my skills don’t get rusty — I can accompany myself!

I think this will be a great year. I feel more enthusiastic about a new year than I have in very long time. I’ve got a good attitude, goals I care about, and a whole year in which to make my life more satisfying.

What are your goals for the new year?

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.