I previously shared why and how to reset and prepare for the new year. If you’re not familiar with this whole self-growth and self-development notion, you might find this an exaggeration or unnecessary. But I promise you it’s not. I did this whole resetting and preparation process for the first time ever last year in 2019, and throughout 2020, I can see things slowly fall into place.
THE FRAMEWORK I USE
There are many ways we can do this. Personally, I realised that my motivation to improve my life in 2020 came from my growing frustration in 2019 at how everything was all these years. I came from a place of frustration and worked my way out of that hole. That works for me, so I’m gonna do the same thing again for 2021 – figuring out my problems and frustration, and work towards tackling them.
Briefly, here’s my framework (that I picked up through the many books and articles I read and videos I watched):
- Step 1: Internal observation
To reflect and observe my life and my daily routine; what did I do right and should maintain, and what did I do wrong that requires improvement?
- Step 2: Critical analysis
To analyse and pinpoint the exact problem.
- Step 3: Setting goals
To figure out my exact goals – what do I want to achieve out of all the improvement work?
- Step 4: Building system
To determine or build a method or system that I can rely on to achieve my goals.
- Step 5: Planting seeds
To not wait for the new year to really work towards that goal, plant the seeds now. This is the most important part of the whole process!
Let me share my resetting process for 2021 here so that – first, you can keep me accountable, and second, anyone who wants to do this, we can do it together! I’ll just focus on the goals for my financial life.
STEP 1 – INTERNAL OBSERVATION
I’ve listed out in my previous post the positive little things that are going on in my life this year. While I’m grateful for all that, there are things that are always bothering me.
- My savings rate has been stagnant. I reached my first RM10k so early this year, I really thought I could save another RM10k before the end of the year but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
[Read more: The Day I Saved My First RM10,000]
- I have ideas but I don’t really work on them. The big reason why I still don’t have any side hustle.
- I feel like I’m trapped in that mentality of punching in punching out for work. While I enjoy my job, I’m just doing the bare minimum.
- I’m still blogging in Figuringgitout after a year but let’s admit it I’m the most non-consistent ‘blogger’ ever. Ew can’t even call myself that haha.
- I’ve been learning stock trading for 6 months now. My partner always questioned what’s stopping me from trading properly for real.
STEP 2 – CRITICAL ANALYSIS
Okay I’ve listed out things that I’m not happy with. Now, let’s see what are the underlying problems with each specific area:
Covid-19 forces me to take a pay cut. I’m grateful that I still have my job but oh man the pay cut really sucks. And as I don’t have any side income besides my 9-5 job, my savings category takes the hit.
Area to improve = Need diversification of income. To have side income. To consider jumping for a better salary.
2. Side hustle
I know I need to diversify my income and I have some ideas on how I can do that. Unfortunately, I don’t do that because… I procrastinate and I’m scared to do things that I never did.
Area to improve: Stop spending so much time in my head. Start realizing my ideas. Just do it.
The main issue here is I’m a person who is driven by goals but ironically, I don’t have any defined goal for my career. While I love my job, I still need solid career-related goals to hit to keep me going forward.
Area to improve: Find out what I want in my career. Work towards that.
I shared before my fears of blogging. I have this limiting belief that I’m a consumer (silently lurking in people’s blogs), not much of a producer. And blogging requires a lot of content production (haha what are the odds) and brainpower which I’ve exhausted for my 9-5 work.
Area to improve: Change that mindset. I can do this blogging thing. Just do it.
5. Stock trading
I love everything that I’ve learned, the financial market is so fascinating. I can see myself doing this trading thing for real. However for now I’m just paralyzed by the fear of losing money that I always put my foot on the brake pedal from really getting into trading properly.
Area to improve: Put what I’ve learned into practical tests. Just do it.
That’s it guys, I think I know what’s my main issue now. In 2019 (and all the years before), I was in a deep hole. This year in 2020, I managed to slowly crawl out of the hole and reach the ground. Once I’m on the ground, it feels safe and very comfortable. That’s the analogy to my main issue – I’M SO IN MY COMFORT ZONE AND GROWTH IS SCARY. IT IS INTIMIDATING. Time to get over this fear and JUST DO IT!
By the way, this personal analysis is what you do when you can’t afford a life coach haha.
STEP 3 – SETTING GOALS
Time to move forward! Having figuring out my problems and issues, what are my goals out of solving these issues?
As I can’t double up my RM10k this year, this is the aim next year.
Goal #1: To save RM20k by 31st December 2021 (start savings afresh, not on top of the RM10k from this year).
2. Side hustle
I will have my side hustle and side income next year! I will stop relying solely on my 9-5 job!
Goal #2: To have income from multiple sources.
First, there are certain areas of my current job that can use a bit of internal improvement work. I’ll keep this one private for the sake of not revealing my line of work ok. Second, I want to be paid better, more than what I earn this year.
Goal #3: To get at least 15% raise from my main job.
Figuringgitout started as an accountability method to keep me accountable throughout my no-buy year journey. This serves its goal this year, I share a little bit of everything but I don’t share enough. I wish to take it to another level next year, I really want to share my journey of figuringgitout, every sense of this (made-up) word and every step of the way.
Goal #4: To consistently blog once a week. By the end of next year, we will see at least 52 extra posts ok. Join me and let’s see where this will take us.
5. Stocks trading
I will trade seriously in 2021 and I will at least return the small capital AND investment that I’ve made on myself.
Goal #5: Get positive return in stocks trading.
It’s honestly scary to set goals like these, what more sharing them to the world. And let me tell you, to be in this position where you set yourself up for something that you’re unsure is achievable can be daunting and paralyzing.
STEP 4 – BUILDING SYSTEM
Reaching our goals involves figuring out and trying out things that may work or may not work. So that’s okay if we don’t have any clear defined system on how to reach those goals yet, this is something that we do along the way throughout the year.
I honestly don’t have solid system yet to achieve those goals but that’s fine, I’ll figure it out. For now, this is what I got:
This is easy, and also difficult. It’s easy in a way that I’ll just maintain the savings habits that I’ve built this year, i.e. pay myself first, don’t take out what I’ve saved, track and keep my expenses down, etc.
The difficult part is I would have to increase my income in order to save more than I did this year. This year has proved that my current salary (with a pay cut) is not enough to channel more money into savings. Increasing my income is the way to go.
2. Side hustle
Which brings me into this part. Honestly, this is the most difficult part for me. To have side hustles, I would have to get out of my comfort zone and do things that I never did before. I’ve decided that this will become my personal project next year. All thanks to Ringgit Oh Ringgit for putting this idea into my head.
Watch this space. We’re doing this! The same way I do my no-buy year and share it here, I’ll share my attempts in diversifying my income too. Let’s call it “Figuringgitout’s One Year Side Hustle Project”. Lol I’m so unoriginal, thanks again Suraya.
I’ll improve my productivity and effectiveness at work, so that next year I can have more time to work on my career-growth (and personal goals) instead of being constantly pulled down by endless work. I’ll apply what I’ve learned from The 4 Hour Work Week (the ideas explored by this book may seem extreme but there are many great takeaways).
With increased productivity, effectiveness and skills, I can leverage that for increased salary or jumping into another job with better pay.
I don’t want to overpromise but let me tell you now so I won’t chicken out, I will post here every Tuesday next year!
5. Stocks trading
I’ll JUST DO IT. I’ll continue learning and studying along the way too.
STEP 5 – PLANTING SEEDS
Most people will stop at setting new year goals and resolutions and then just wait for the new year to do them all. Well, that’s not the way to do it. We don’t have to wait till 1st January to start working on our goals. We can start NOW by taking small steps.
Personally, this whole year has been about me planting the seeds.
- I’ve worked hard this year to instil and maintain many good financial habits (yes, not buying anything is hard work sobs).
- I read more this year. The next level will be about applying what I’ve learned.
- I’ve been studying all about stocks trading and similarly, the next level would be about applying them (no worries, I’m not in the cepat kaya mindset. I know it’s risky for newcomers and that’s why I’m taking it slow, very slow in fact haha)
- I have a taste of what blogging is like throughout this year, and I love the experience. It’s uncomfortable to share my thoughts out there but I believe it’s giving me more clarity of thoughts.
- I’ve been exploring the ideas of having side income and what I can do. I even managed to get some extra money this year from doing them on a one-off basis.
- Oh, do you know that I’ve been posting new posts for 4 Tuesdays now? That’s planting the seeds haha.
ALL IN ALL
The key point that I’ve learned from taking the first step a year ago is that the first step is important! If I didn’t plan my way out of the hole I was in, I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere. Now that I’ve just gotten out of the hole, it’s time to explore the many more things that I can do.
To be honest though, the possibility that I won’t be able to reach the goals is scary and daunting! And the things that I have to do in order to reach them look super scary. Gulp.
Dejavu, this is the same way I felt last year.
Anyway I’m excited, let’s see where 2021 takes us! So, how about you? What are your goals for the new year? How do you prepare for them? Share your journey with me and let’s figuringgitout together.
(Please no Covid-19 in 2021, no Covid-19 in 2021, no Covid-19 ever).