Hey everyone, Happy New Year week! So 2021 was an interesting year… It felt like we took 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Personally, we did pretty well, but it seemed the world is inundated with problems. Well, what can you do? We focused on staying healthy – physically, emotionally, and financially. It worked and we ended 2021 in a good place. Now, I’m ready for 2022, though. We have big plans! Check them out below.
In previous years, I had moderate expectations and set goals accordingly. This worked well because I was able to accomplish most of the things on my list. I find that setting high expectations doesn’t work for me. I can’t achieve them and then I become discouraged. My style is to go slow and steady. Shooting for the moon is probably better for younger folks, though.
Here is my approach to New Year Goals.
- Set achievable goals – Don’t shoot for the moon unless you have a sterling record of high achievement. Most of us will become discouraged and give up.
- Make specific and measurable goals – New Year goals need to be very specific. Don’t make vague goals like saving more or losing weight. You can’t keep track of it and you’ll forget about them by April. A better goal would be maxing out your 401(k). That’s measurable. You also need to figure out a way to get there. Will you increase your 401(k) contribution right away? You need a plan or else it’ll be much harder to achieve these goals.
- Write them down and track your progress– Write down your goals and put them where you will see them. The refrigerator door is a good spot for many people. Personally, I put my goals here on Retire by 40 and update the status monthly. This worked very well over the last 10 years. I have a public audience and all of you give me the motivation to improve. I made tremendous progress with our finances and personal life since I started blogging. It’s been terrific. I recommend starting a blog if you don’t already have one. It really helped me and it might help you, too.
- Academic scale – These days, I grade my New Year goals on an academic scale. It works out really well. 90% is still an A-. It’s motivating and I feel good about the result. That’s better than getting 90% and still fails.
Ok, on to the goal sheet.
Check out my goal sheet below. It’s simple and helpful. I can see my progress at a glance and it’s easy to update every month.
Real Estate Crowdfunding $200,000
I want to increase our real estate crowdfunding investment at CrowdStreet to $200,000. I’ve been working on this one since 2019. Our investments are all doing pretty well so I have good confidence in CrowdStreet.
Currently, we have $124,698 invested. I plan to sell our rental condo and move some of the money to CrowdStreet soon. You can see how our investment is doing here – real estate crowdfunding monthly update.
FI Ratio > 110%
In 2021, our FI ratio was 107%! That’s a bit low than I’d like, but it still isn’t too bad. Hopefully, we’ll bring it back above 110% in 2022.
You can see how I’m doing with passive income here. The table below isn’t finalized because we have a few more days left in 2020. It should be pretty close, though.
*FI Ratio = passive income / expense
Sell Rental Condo
Once our tenant moves out in April, I’ll put our rental condo up for sale. I plan to travel a lot more in the future so I can’t be a landlord anymore. I’ll move the money to CrowdStreet so the income will be a lot more passive.
Speculate in crypto $10,000
I’m a bit late to the game, but I’d better jump in. Currently, I have $602 in crypto. This is completely speculative because I don’t know anything about cryptocurrency. I’ll have to research and see which one to invest in. But, I understand it’s basically gambling.
Reduce body fat to 22%
I got a new fitness tracker and the companion app can calculate body fat percentage through image modeling. It shows that my body fat percentage is 26.7%! That’s right on the cusp of obesity. Apparently, 27% is considered obese for my age range. It’s time to trim down.
The plan is to work out right after I drop RB40Jr off at school. This worked well in the past, but not in 2021. Mrs. RB40 was working from home and she needed it to be quiet. Next year, she’ll start going into the office again.
This goal will be very difficult to achieve. I’ll have to eat healthier and work out more. Unfortunately, this is in direct conflict with my other goal – to travel more. Usually, I eat less healthy when I travel because I want to try all the different delicious food. Anyway, you’ll have to check every month to see if I make any progress. It’ll probably take more than one year to do this one.
Improve sleep quality to Fair
The fitness tracker also tracks how well I sleep. Usually, I sleep poorly. I’d like to improve it to “fair” for most nights. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to sleep better so I’ll have to do some research.
The target is to get a “fair” rating for more than 50% of the month.
Travel for 6 months
I plan to travel for 6 months (180 days) in 2022. Originally, Mrs. RB40 was going to take 6 months off and we’d travel. However, we decided to travel together for only 3 months. RB40Jr will move up to middle school next year. He usually has difficulties adjusting to a new situation so we thought we’d better get him in at the beginning of the school year. Starting school late will make it harder for him to adjust. Even at his elementary school, he got in trouble at the beginning of every school year. When he starts 6th grade, I can only imagine how often we’ll hear from his new teachers, principal, and nurse. The new school year won’t be pleasant for anyone.
Anyway, I’m going to Thailand by myself for 3 months in Q1. Then we’ll travel together in the summer. We’ll also take short trips in the fall and winter.
- Q1 – 90 days in Thailand.
- Q3 – 70 days in Japan, Thailand, and maybe Indonesia.
- Q4 – 10 days in Maldives/Qatar. 10 days short trips in the US.
Hot air balloon ride and zipline
These activities are on my Christmas Bucket List. Let’s cross them off next year! RB40Jr is better with height now so I think we can do it.
Happiness level > 8
I started this goal in 2019 and it’s good for me. It confirmed that I’m a naturally happy person. My happiness baseline is pretty high, around 8. I think 2022 will be better than 2021. We’ll travel more and relax more. The last two years were somewhat stressful. Hopefully, Covid will be done with us by the end of 2022.
The dip in November 2021 was due to our 20 years old cat passing away. We still miss her.
On to 2022!
Alright! Those are my goals for 2022. I’ll update them monthly in my cash flow posts. This is the key. If you don’t track your progress, you’ll forget about your New Year goals by April. What are you waiting for? Make a goal sheet and start tracking your progress.
Do you have any New Year goals for 2022? Happy New Year and good luck!
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.