2023 New Year Goals & Resolutions
Happy New Year! Boy, am I glad 2022 is over. It was a tough year for me and I’m happy for a fresh start. Unfortunately, 2023 probably will be a tough year financially as well. The economy is uncertain and we don’t know if there will be a recession. Fortunately, Mrs. RB40 decided to go back to work after her sabbatical. Her income will help us get through the bear market. We will be able to keep investing while she works. Once she retires, we won’t be able to save much.
Anyway, external factors are beyond our control. The best we can do is control how we react to them. We just need to keep saving and try to stay happy and healthy through these difficult days. Eventually, the market will recover and we’ll be on top again.
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.
- (*New*) Identify barriers – Figure out the barriers to accomplishing your goals. Can they be overcome? Are they controllable?
- 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 spreadsheet 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 amazing. 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 achieving 90% of your goal and still fail.
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.
Invest in Real Estate Crowdfunding
Over the last few years, my goal was to increase our investment in RE crowdfunding to $200,000. However, we didn’t have enough extra income to accomplish it. So for 2023, I modified this goal. This year I want to invest in 1 real estate crowdfunding project. We should be able to accomplish this. The barrier to accomplishing this goal is saving $30,000 to invest.
FI ratio > 120%
Last year, our FI ratio was 146%. It was our all-time high! For 2023, our passive income might decrease a bit. However, I think our spending will also decrease. It should work out. The biggest barrier to achieving this goal is to keep our spending under control. That shouldn’t be too difficult.
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
Net worth back to ATH (all-time high)
This one will be tough. Our net worth decreased by 12.5% last year. Actually, we don’t have a lot of control over this goal. Our income won’t be enough to make up for the loss. We’ll have to wait for the stock market and real estate market to recover. All we can do is stay the course and hope for the best.
7,500 steps per day
I got a new fitness tracker for Christmas! My goal is pretty modest – 7,500 steps per day. This is actually harder than I thought. I’m in Thailand and I have been walking around quite a bit. In December, my average was about 7,000 steps per day. It will be more challenging when I get home. I’ll have to schedule a walk into my day. The barrier to this goal is me…
Cook 1 vegetarian or pescatarian meal per week
We need to eat healthier as we get older. For 2023, I want to cook at least 1 vegetarian or pescatarian (seafood) meal per week. The barrier to achieving this goal is my cooking. I don’t know many vegetarian recipes. I need to learn some new recipes this year.
Disneyland, zipline, or hot air balloon
These activities have been on my bucket list for a long time. For 2023, I want to cross one of them off the list. The barrier to this goal is just scheduling.
Happiness level > 8
2022 was a rough year for me. I had a happy year overall, but it was up and down. For 2023, I want to have a smoother ride. The barrier to achieving this goal is my emotion. I need to be able to remain calm when uncontrollable external events occur. Maybe I need to take up meditation again.
Get rid of Aweber
Aweber is the service that sends new posts from Retire by 40 out via email. They are expensive and I need to remove that expense from my book. I’ll hire someone to move the email service over to AWS or something like that. The barrier here is inertia.
On to 2023!
Alright! Those are my goals for 2023. I’ll update them monthly in my FIRE update posts. This is the key. If you don’t track your progress, you’ll forget about your New Year goals by spring. What are you waiting for? Make a goal sheet and start tracking your progress.
Do you have any goals for 2023? Happy New Year and good luck!
*Passive income is the key to early retirement. These days, I’m investing in commercial properties with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the United States. It’s been working so well that I’m planning to sell our rental condo so I can invest more. Go check them out!
Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you signup for a service through the links on this page.
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.
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