For life to be meaningful one needs to have something to look forward to. This is why people set goals or new year’s resolutions.
Unfortunately, if you are like me, then your resolutions only apply for the first two to three months of the year as they are soon forgotten.
Which is a shame as we end up living aimlessly or only thinking of the here and now.
No person, nation, or organization can prosper without having a vision or goals. As the good book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Below is a list of goals to set for yourself or resolutions for this year 2020
1. Learn A New Language
In this age of globalization, knowledge of languages is a big plus. It can open doors for you for most multinational companies or international organizations.
Besides this knowing a language can help a lot on vacations. Equipped with the local language you will be able to board buses and ask for directions easily. You will not need a translator to move around.
Further knowing a new language can help you find new friends from other countries. And as the late Nelson Mandela said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
So as part of your new year resolutions work towards learning a new language. There are so many apps that can help with that goal.
If you want a free app, then I would recommend Duolingo. I have used this app and it is an amazing app and I cannot understand why it is free.
However, if you have money I would recommend downloading the Babble. It is the slickest app out there and I have used to learn Spanish.
However, if you want a one on one language lesson then you need to head to italki. This to me is the best way to learn a language. It is not enough to learn the theory of a language you need to have the confidence to speak it. And there is no better way to learn how to speak than through being taught by a fellow human face to face whether online or otherwise. The other apps such as Babble and Duolingo have their place but when it comes to speaking then you need one to one lessons on italki.Learn Spanish On italki !
2. Learn How To Blog
I have been blogging for 15 years now and I can say without regret that it is a wonderful opportunity to share your ideas with the world. Most do it for money but you can do it just to share your ideas with others as well for free.
There are so many platforms that you can use to blog. I started out using Blogger by Google which is free before moving to paid hosting with WordPress. I have a post that discusses the pros and cons of using WordPress or Blogger.
One of the big advantages of learning how to blog is that it has the potential of being a full-time job where you can earn a full-time income.
There are so many bloggers out there that are doing it full time. It however requires patience and time to reach that goal.
According to the Income School, it takes two years to be able to earn a full-time income blogging. This however depends on the effort that you put in. You need to consistently be posting content over that period.
If you are interested in learning more about blogging I would like to invite you to join the Income School.
You can however start blogging today by subscribing with Bluehost hosting company for less than $4 a month.
3. Starting Preparing a Budget
As an Accountant, I cannot imagine a company or any organization operating without a budget. It is a must in a world of limited resources.
If we had unlimited resources there would be no need for a budget. And because as individuals our resources are limited too we need to start budgeting our income and expenses if we are to meet our goals in life.
I would, therefore, urge anyone who for whatever reason doesn’t budget their income to start doing so now.
Through a budget, you will be able to create sinking funds for some major expenses such as car purchases or even house purchases. You cannot achieve much when you don’t budget your income.
Creating a budget will also help you to control your expenses and thereby be able to save enough money for your emergencies and investments.
Just to make your day today, I refer you to some funny and inspiring budget quotes that you need to read.
4. To Start Eating Healthy Meals
The leading causes of death in the western world are lifestyle diseases. These are diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, which are sometimes caused by our unbalanced diets.
It is therefore very important that you decided to start eating healthy meals from now on. It will not only save your life but will also have a healthy and active body. And your children will have the chance to see you live a long life.
You therefore owe it to yourself and to your family start living a healthy life.
This goal might also mean that from now onwards you will start bringing lunch to work.
5. Start Exercising Your Body
In our busy lifestyles, it is sometimes difficult to find time to exercise, and yet this is one of the most important things you should do. One cannot expect to live a healthy life without exercising his body.
We, therefore, need to set a goal of exercising our bodies at least twice a week. If that is not possible then do it once a week but never allow a whole week to pass without exercising.
Exercise can take many forms. It can be going to the gym if your resources permit.
It can also mean cycling or jogging in the morning or evening. In some cases, it might mean just having a walk.
Actually there have been studies that have shown that walking helps. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent or manage conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
6. Pay off Your Credit Card Debt
Another goal that you can set would be to pay off your credit card debt. Depending on how much you owe, this can be done in one year or two.
Credit card debt is one of the most expensive ways of borrowing money and should be avoided at all costs. If you pay through your credit card, make sure that you pay it off before interest kicks in.
Otherwise, if you are in financial problems and you need cash as soon as possible then go for other cheaper ways of borrowing. For example, you can ask your bank to borrow you some money.
I am not a big fan of debt but I also realize that there may be times when you have not a choice but to borrow some money.
In such cases, your bank could be the best option available or you can borrow from friends. But never through your credit card or worse through payday loans.
7. Start Saving Towards Buying Your First Home
Almost everybody in the United States and the United Kingdom wants to own their own houses. It is a bit different in mainland Europe where rent is much much cheaper.
I am not a big fan of buying a home as it affects the mobility of labor. it forces people to only for job opportunities closer to home.
Once you have your own home, it is difficult to leave for another city and have to find a house for rent.
I however recognize that most people prefer buying their own homes. If this is your dream it is important to include this in your new year resolutions.
You can either start saving for the deposit or you can commence saving for the whole amount in 10 or 20 years’ time.
I have met many young people who want to own their own homes but somehow can’t force themselves to start saving towards that. As a result years go by without any action.
I have a post that provides tips for buying your first home.
8. Start A Family
If you are not married and are ready for it then you can set a goal to start a family. Despite the high divorce rates having a family is still popular. I guess this is because man is a social being who craves for company.
While it is important to have a family you still need to prepare for it. This could mean moving to a bigger house, an increase in family expenses, etc.
Starting a family has its own challenges as already pointed out but it can also have a lot of positives too.
Once you are married you will have someone you can confide in. Someone who can support you in your tough times.
9. Learn Something New
Deep down in our hearts is an inquisitive spirit that enjoys new challenges and opportunities. The beginning of a new year can, therefore, be a time to consider learning a new skill, etc.
There are so many things you can learn. For example, you can choose to learn Excel, Powerpoint, Motor vehicle maintenance, computer programming, etc. The list is endless.
All these would enrich your life. For example, learning more about MS Excel and MS Powerpoint can help improve your productivity at work.
Others such as programming can open new doors for you int these days where there is no job security worth talking about. In this digital world, one cannot afford to not know to code.
10. Find Another Job
If you are getting bored with your work or are not appreciated that much then maybe this is the right time to find another job.
Working in a toxic environment is not good for you and your health. Work must be enjoyable
You need a job where you are appreciated and where you are happy and fulfilled.
11. Buy Some Stocks or Bonds
There is no better way to prepare for the future than investing your excess cash in stocks or bonds.
Most of us are spending our money on all sorts of luxuries that we can ill afford but don’t invest at all.
We need to remember that at a certain point in life we will retire and will have to depend on our pension or investments. It, therefore, makes sense to prepare for that future by making some wise investment decisions.
Studies have consistently shown that in the long run stocks will perform most investments. While in the past it was a bit difficult to get into the stock market, nowadays it is very easy.
There are all sorts of investment apps out there that you can use to buy expensive stocks even for as low as $5. You, therefore, have no excuse.
If you have no excess cash think of areas in your budget that you need to cut drastically if possible to find the money. For example, if you struggling and yet you are paying a $100 for cable tv then maybe it is time to get rid of this.
Like any investments, there are risks that you may lose your money. To protect yourself from this I would advise that you spread your investments.
For example you can invest 50-50 between stocks and bonds. In that way if the stock market is struggling you can rely on the bond market.
And when it comes to stocks you need to spread your investments too. Don’t put all your money in one company or sector, spread it around.
If you are risk-averse you can for instance put most of your investments in the big banks. This is in the hope that the state will in most cases bail out banks if they mess up but won’t bail out a mining company for example.
We all have things lying around the house that we don’t use and we don’t need. Maybe this time you need to plan to dispose of these things.
All you need is to set up a time to go through all your things and get rid of anything that needs to be disposed of.
In my case, I am thinking of all my old phones, laptops that are just lying there with no hope of being used any time soon.
How about plates, cups, and other kitchen utensils that we no longer use. You could even think of electrical gadgets in your kitchen such as microwave ovens. That microwave oven that you no longer use after buying a modern one.
All these items may be useless to us but could be gold to a newly graduated student just starting out in life.
You can dispose through a garage sale or even at your nearest flea market. You could easily make money at the flea market with small things like plates, used furniture like stools, chairs, etc even books.
There is therefore benefits in decluttering beyond making your house look tidy.
13. Read One Book Every Month
Not long ago before people started binging on television entertainment series we used to read quite a lot. Almost all my friends at the time were reading all sorts of novels out there.
Unfortunately with the advent of the television that culture is now in decline. Books can help inspire us to better our lives.
I like reading biographies of people I admire as I always learn one thing or two that helps me to excel in my life.
It is therefore important that as you prepare for a new year or even now that you consider reading at least a book every month.
There are so many types of books out there that you will be spoilt for choice. If you enjoy adventure then go for novels. If you are into history get one on history.
The good thing nowadays is that you don’t have to worry about space as you can use apps such as kindle that allow you to download ebooks. And with all these apps you can have access to your books anywhere you are.
As such you can read your books while on the train, bus, etc.
If you are not into books I invite you to read some cool wealth quotes from famous people to inspire you.
14. Ask Your Boss For A Pay Raise
If you feel that you are being underpaid, then maybe it is time to set a goal to ask your boss for a pay raise.
You may feel that your boss knows you deserve a raise but that won’t happen until you start pushing. In these difficult times, most companies will try to keep costs as low as possible and that includes your salary.
But if you are hardworking and seen as indispensable, then you can use that leverage to ask for more money.
However, if you are considered lazy and a poor worker then that might not work. No boss wants to reward laziness. It demotivates the hard workers in your team.
You, therefore, need to start showing that you are indispensable by working hard and making suggestions for improvements.
No company would want to part with a star performer. They will move heaven and earth to keep you.
15. Donate To Causes You Care About
We all have things and cause that we care about. These may range from, nature conservation, animal welfare, global warming.
Whatever it is maybe it is now time to start donating to organizations that work towards those causes.
Caring about the environment is nothing if you take no action. This could be through material donations or donating your time.
There are too many people who care about things but have never take any action. As a result, not much gets done as only a few people are actually taking action.
This world would be a better place if people of goodwill took action.
16. Have a No Spend Month
We live at a time when people like to spend and spend and in most cases end up piling up debt. If you are to break this habit you may need to consider having a no-spend month.
This is a time when you only shop for the bare necessities of life for a whole month. During this time luxuries such as going to the cinema, going out for a meal, etc are dispensed with.
It is a wonderful way to get rid of bad shopping habits as the discipline you impose yourself may persist even after the no spend month is gone.
Besides this no-spend month can help you to save money for more important things later on in the years. Think of all the money that we spend on things we don’t need.
The money we spend buying clothes that we rarely use. The money we spend on unhealthy foods in restaurants when we can prepare healthy meals at home.
A no spend month will get rid of all this enabling us to save money.
I would, therefore, urge you to seriously consider going for this no spend month challenge.
17. Get Rid of Cable TV and Watch Less Television
Another goal that you might set might be to cancel your cable tv subscription and watch less television.
I know this could be a very difficult decision for most people but its something that needs to be done. The time we spend watching television could best be spent with your family.
Most family experts have pointed to the silver screen as one of the causes of a lack of communication in families.
Therefore if we are to improve this situation we need to find a way to reduce the time we watch television.
The family is the most important unit in any country. It is the family that shapes the next generation. Even the government recognizes that and provides support to parents and their children.
Further, the money we spend on cable tv could be best be invested in stocks, bonds, or put in a savings account.
Over time this money could add up to thousands of dollars that will fund your retirement or used during emergencies.
18. Go to Bed Early
I must confess that I am guilty of going to bed late. I know it is bad but somehow I always find myself going to be late.
I have therefore decided that from now onwards I will make sure that I go to bed by 9 pm every day. It is simply not healthy to be going to bed late.
According to Healthline, the lack of enough sleep can weaken your immune system, weight gain, and cause thinking issues, etc. It is therefore important that we have enough sleep if we are to be at our optimum best.
The idea that we can achieve more by having less sleep is a fantasy and dangerous to our own health.
What benefit will you gain by making a lot of money and not be well enough to enjoy it?
19. Go on a Vacation of a Lifetime
Last but not least plan to go on a vacation of a lifetime. I am an advocate of a simple life but I recognize that once in a while you need to enjoy life.
As long as you don’t have to borrow to meet the vacation expenses then it should be fine.
Our life on this planet is short let’s make the best of it by working hard and using part of what we earn to spoil ourselves once in a while.
It is only when we spoil ourselves regularly and forget to plan for the future that that is bad.
Before you depart this stage you need to at least have visited one of the most exotic destinations on earth.
It is my hope that this post has given some ideas on the goals to set this year. Once you make your new year’s resolution, work hard to meet the targets you have set.