2013 Annual Goals: Recap
Well, 2013 has been a weird year for me. It was an emotional year, and in many ways I didn’t think I’d be where I am today. I never thought I would spend the majority of the year single, and I didn’t think I’d ever see myself in this line of work. But I consider myself to be pretty fortunate to have found a great job immediately after coming back from Germany. That provided me the stability I needed after an up-and-down year as a freelancer in 2012. I got to travel internationally, made new friends, took up running, ended a relationship, had a bunch of ridiculous dating adventures (I swear I could start up a second blog just based on dating stories!), started a new relationship, and have a more focused mindset going into 2014.
I also learned a lot about work-life balance this year. I miss the income I was generating when I was working 60-70 hours/week, but having an extra 10-20 hours each week to do the things that make my life fulfilling is worth the extra money I would have earned. And honestly, my income hasn’t dropped that much. I am working smarter, not harder, and that’s been paying off. Plus, my personal relationships have improved tremendously, and I feel really grateful for everyone in my life right now.
This has also been a year of fitness for me. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m also more fit than I’ve been in years. Being able to run 20+ km without getting super tired? That’s a pretty great feeling. Running in races is something I’m really enjoying, and I hope to continue that into 2014. My immediate goal is a few more half marathons, then a marathon, and then… who knows. I’m fascinated with ultra marathons, but I realize how selfish they can be. Aside from running, field hockey is something I have always been passionate about. And this season has been the first time in many, many years that I can feel myself getting better. It’s been frustrating to play, knowing exactly what I need to do, but physically (or psychologically) not being able to do it. Because of my increased fitness level, and the coaching I’ve been getting this year, I wonder if I can recover more skills that I’ve lost over the years. :)
I’m a little sad that 2013 went by so quickly. I’m not quite ready to let the year go yet, so I guess it’s a good thing there are still a few days left. :) I really am looking forward to everything that 2014 represents, and I want to prove to myself that I have what it takes to become better.
Anyway, here is how I did this year with my goals:
- Earn $85,000 to $90,000. FAIL. This was a stretch for me, and I failed because I didn’t have a plan to get me to this goal. I just threw out an arbitrary salary range, and hoped that I would get there. Not the way to achieve a goal, Krystal. I ended up making approximately $77,000 this year – which is good, but pretty far off the mark of where I wanted to be. Still, to be honest, I’m pleased.
- Put an extra $2,500 onto the mortgage. CHECK! I ended up putting just over $2,600 extra onto my mortgage.
- Save $16,000 in my Retirement Portfolio. FAIL. I just increased my auto deductions, and am looking to ramp them up again for next year… but because I was so far off my income target, this was the one category that suffered. I ended up saving about $7,500.
- Diversify my investments. CHECK! I put about $1,300 into my Questrade account.
- Start contributing to charity. CHECK! I’ve decided to contribute monthly to WaterCan.
- Go on one big trip. CHECK! I went to Morocco at the end of November for about 2 weeks, and ended up spending $2,500 for the trip (which included a 10-day tour with Intrepid Travel). It was an amazing experience, and I’m already trying to figure out where my next trip is going to be. :)
- Run in a half marathon and two 10km races. CHECK! I ran in two 10km races, and two half marathons. My best times were 49:59 for the 10km, and 1:53:52 for the half marathon. I’m looking forward to improving on those times in 2014.
- Take a French language class. FAIL. Since Nic and I broke up, I became less interested in learning French. But that being said, I do still think it’s a valuable skill to have – especially in the industry that I’m in. There are so many jobs that require a second language. Maybe French isn’t the language I should be learning, but I think it’s something I’m going to have to put some real effort into.
- Invest in a grown-up wardrobe. CHECK! About half way through the year, I ended up calculating how much I had already spent on my wardrobe. It was a shocking amount, and I actually ended up spending a grand total of $1,854.13. But that includes a suit, bridesmaid dress (including shoes and alterations), a couple of pairs of running shoes, running gear, and a significant upgrade to my professional wardrobe. I’m satisfied with how much I’ve spent, and that I got the best deals possible on good quality clothing.
- Read 6 marketing books. PASS. Okay, technically I only read two books. But I watched a TON of marketing and business documentaries, so that has to count for something, right? Right. So I’m giving myself a pass.
- Scale back my freelancing. CHECK! I love how one of my goals for this year was to do less. :) Near the end of the year, I realized I needed to step up my game and get back into freelancing, and I think I’ve come to a healthy balance.
So, there you have it. My 2013 goals. Any questions? Comments?
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.