Now that we’ve turned the calendar to another year, another decade, it’s time to figure what goals we would like to set.
Specifically, in this post, I’m going to go over the goals that I’m setting for myself, why I’m setting that goal, and how I’m going to put a system in place to achieve that goal.
What are my goals for 2020?
- Get out of debt – Bought a house in 2019 and bit off more than I could chew. The divorce also threw a wrench in my financial planning.
- Save for retirement – I’ve put my savings on hold for the time being due to poor financial decisions that led to the debt, etc.
- Incorporate a meditation practice – I’ve harped on it and studies show how much it helps. I need to do this.
- Journal every day – When I remember to journal, those are generally good days. I need to do this consistently.
- Read every day – Reading can only help me, so why wouldn’t I do it more? I’ll learn something new and it’s shown to provide some meditative benefits.
- Spend more dedicated time with my son – I’ve found myself over the last month or so having my phone out more than normal. I mean, I’ve had quite a lot going on with work and mentally, but that’s no excuse. He deserves better.
- Exercise regularly – it’s good for my body and my mind. It’s a must.
Typically, when you’re setting goals, you should be very specific. You’ll notice, that I wasn’t. I get more granular with my goals in the systems section.
Getting out of debt and saving for retirement we can lump into one system, as they both revolve around finances and me reigning in my spending.
Until April, this will be incredibly challenging, as I am currently paying my mortgage on my house and the rent for my apartment.
So until I get my house rented (I have tenants set to move in, in April), I’m kind of stuck. Once that happens, however, I’ll have the debt repayment pedal down to the floor.
Simultaneously, I’ll contribute $20 per month to my retirement account, just to get in the habit of doing it again. Start small, enforce the habit, then increase the dollar amount.
Of my goals, incorporating meditation practice should be relatively easy. I know my preferred style – I’m not one to sit pretzel-legged on a cushion. I lay down on the floor, on my back, which some relaxing music playing.
The hard part is a) making the time for it and b) doing it consistently. To start, I’m going to set my alarm for 5 minutes earlier than normal.
5 minutes might not seem like a lot, but if I wake up 5 minutes earlier, that gives me 5 minutes to meditate. If I do that consistently for the next, say three weeks, those extra 5 minutes won’t seem that, and I can scale it to 10 minutes.
As I noted in last week’s article, when forming a habit, you have to start small and then scale up.
Reading every day. This is a must-do for me. It’s good for my mind, it’s good for my soul, it’s good for everything. I have a great many books on my list, but they will all fall into a specific genre – finance, philosophy, religion, or biographies.
The first one will help with work. The last three will help with life.
Every day, before bed, I’m going to read for 15 minutes. That’s my starting point. Once I get into the habit, the amount of time I read will increase.
Spending time with my son
Spend more dedicated time with my son. This is an easy one. Just stay off my gosh darn phone.
Keep it in my room or in the kitchen. Not in my pocket, where I can easily access it. Put the ringer on and leave it alone.
If it’s an emergency, someone will call and I will hear it.
This will also eliminate a distraction, so if he goes to bed for the night, I can immediately pick up a book without getting sucked into the social media black hole.
Exercising every day. I read recently in a book about the Dalai Lama that exercising your mind is more important than exercising your body, so I’ve put that on the back burner.
I have a pull-up bar in the doorway to my bathroom and I do 5 pull-ups every time I go in, but that’s not enough dedicated, consistent time for exercise.
I think doing it in the morning makes the most sense. I’m too tired in the evenings to exercise. The question is, do I do this before or after meditation?
Probably after, as I need my mind at ease when I meditate.
So instead of waking up 5 minutes earlier, I’ll start by waking up 20 minutes earlier. Dedicated 15 of those minutes to exercise and the remaining 5 for meditation.