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New Year, New Hope, New Promises

Happy New Year!

It’s that time of the year – New resolutions, promises and dreams. I had a lot of them in 2012, but the entire year went by in a blur with a lot of fear, uncertainty, negative feelings and failures. I can make excuses and justify how nothing was my fault, but I want to move on to bigger and better things instead of lingering on what went wrong.  That doesn’t mean I can’t learn from my failures right?

What can I learn from 2012?

  • Hope for the best and plan for the worst, but also accept that there are certain things beyond my control. I am a control freak and if something doesn’t go according to my plan, I freak out and paralyze. I should change that and start thinking about how I can make the best of any situation.
  • Learn from my failures instead of obsessing and self-recrimination. I take my failures personally, but instead of working to fix them I go into a self-recrimination and self-pity mode. Negative thoughts lead to depression, not to success.
  • Perfect is the enemy of good. I have to really, really keep saying this to myself. I strive for perfection, which means, I am extremely unhappy if everything doesn’t turn out the perfect. I miss out on a lot of “good enough”s by looking for a perfect solution. I should learn to prioritize, shoot for perfection in stuff that really matters and settle for good enough in the rest.
  • What you do matters, but how you do it matters even more. I always thought successful people have some unique characteristics. Well, they do, but what really sets them apart is their approach on how they use those skills. I can be a brilliant person but if I chose to not use it right, I can’t expect any results.
  • Take one day at a time. I dream big. Unfortunately, that means if something doesn’t go according to my plan, even a simple thing, my disappointments are big too. At this point in my life, I know it is too painful to plan for long term. I have had some misfortunes that I have to overcome. I should take it one day at a time.

If there is one lesson I could learn from 2012 it is this (adapted from the Serenity Prayer)I should have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

What I hope to achieve in 2013?

I am a planner. That’s what I do best, but this time I am also armed with knowledge on how to overcome some of my major barriers to success. So unless something totally out of my control goes wrong, I am hoping 2013 will be an awesome year.

My major plan for this year is to –

Be consistent: With sleeping at the right time, with eating healthy food, exercising and writing.  I do all of these but I don’t do it at the same time, every single day. This will be my first change of the year. To kick start the writing part of my habit, I will be starting a 30 day series tomorrow – Save $1000 in 30 days. My health bills and other unexpected expenses have drained quite a bit of our emergency funds and I would like to bring them back up. With me quitting, I have limited resources to work with. So I am embarking a journey to save/make $1000 in January to put in the emergency fund pot. I will be sharing one tip a day and the amount I saved with that tip. I hope you will follow along and take it as a challenge to save $1000 in the next 30 days.

Translated into a SMART goal : 1. Write one post everyday for 30 days. Save $1000 in those 30 days.

My other personal goals are-

  • Move to a new place by the end of March: As I don’t have a job nailing me to Southern California, there is no need for us to stay in such an expensive place. Our single income will go a long way in a cheaper place. So that is what we want to do – move to a cheaper place. Which city is this? We have narrowed down our choices but at this point, we are not sure.

Translated into a SMART goal : 2. Move to a new city by March 2013.

  • Buy a house: Yes, we want to move and start looking for a house. We will be renting first of course, but we want to buy by the end of this year. I will start writing about what I have learned about buying our first home and post updates throughout our journey to home ownership.

Translated into a SMART goal: 3. Figure out how much house we can afford by Feb 2013, save 23% for down payment + closing costs by May 2013, buy a house by the end of 2013. 

  • Get life insurance: We don’t have life insurance. I didn’t see the need to get any before having a child or a mortgage. Both of us were earning and we are capable to handling the financial part of our lives in case something happens to one of us. Now that we are a single income family and planning to get a mortgage, I want to start researching life insurance and hopefully get adequate coverage by the end of the year.

Translated into a SMART goal: 4. Get life insurance for both of us by end of 2013.

  • Earn more: I want to start contributing to our finances again by making more money. I didn’t get a chance to explore any possibilities in 2012, but I want to do that in full force in 2013.  I want to make 25% of my last salary from my business this year.

Translated into a SMART goal: 5. Earn 25% of the last employment salary from my business.

I will do post an update every month on how I am doing with these goals. I am counting on my readers to keep me accountable.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow – Albert Einstein.

Here’s to a great 2013!

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