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Amanda asks why more people aren't goal setting for 2013 reveals her own plan

Amanda asks why more people aren't goal setting for 2013 reveals her own plan

By Amanda Morrall

Okay people, I know you're a cynical, disillusioned bunch (well our regular commentators anyway) but I have to ask: "What's the story for 2013?"

The reason I ask is that so far the majority of the readers who have taken part in the latest poll I put up, have more or less poo-pooed the very idea of setting some financial goals for 2013. When I last checked 87 or 60% of voters ticked the box that said New Year's Resolutions were for fools. What's even more curious is that the poll, which is trending at the top of our most read list with almost 900 viewers, has had relatively low participation rates. The answer I expected to be the most popular is trending dead last; that was the resolve to review one's finance's more regularly, lift your game and prepare retirement ready.

Based on the facts at hand I have to assume one of the following: a) people are clicking this link because they are expecting to see me spill the beans about my own personal goals for 2013 b) Google robots are artificially inflating the page impressions for some odd reason or c) that the high number of viewers and low number of voters reflects some weird kind of voyeurism or curiosity about what others are planning on doing because you haven't given it a second thought yourself.

Perhaps it's just a combination of all of the above?

In any event, I'd like you now to extend your left hand in front of you, or right hand if you are left handed, and with the other hand give it a firm slap.

Yes, I know New Year's Resolutions can be false, phony starts for many but goal setting, regardless of what time of the year, is hugely important. Yes, it is good to just go with the flow sometimes but having a goal or plan, personally, professionally, financially, helps you to chart a course.

So enough with the lecture. I'm going to fill you in on some goals I set for myself last year with a progress report so you can judge for yourself whether you think having goals is lame or not.

Through my work with a mentor (don't laugh even bank CEOs do this), I came up with some key words that were meant to be stakes for personal, professional and aspirational goals.

#1 Engaged, connectivity and vibrant. 

#2 Opportunities explored: Now Let’s begin.

#3 Nourished by being inspired and by inspiring others.

How did I go with those?

I had my goals written up with more notes and specific targets on my laptop and I'd revisit every so often to keep them fresh in mind.

#1: No I'm not wearing an engagement ring, but that wasn't my purpose anyhow. By engagement I meant embedding myself more actively within the community, nurturing friendships and relationships and getting more involved.  On pretty much every level, I feel that I have achieved that goal; connecting with readers, getting to know my neighbours, making friends with my children's mates parents, and getting to know my extensive network of contacts a bit better. In reviewing my notes just now I can see that I had volunteering on my list. I didn't do so well in that department but I'll blame it on the book project.

#2: For as long as I can remember, and I have a memory like an elephant, being a journalist has never been enough for me. Owing to the nature of the business, (never ending deadlines, trying to prise information from people, battling obstructive communications people, waiting for people to return phone calls which invariably come at 5 pm. when you're trying to get home for 6), I've been grumpy. One thing that has made me less grumpy, more balanced and even tempered and amplified by 10 my abilities to juggle being a mum, a full-time employee and someone who aspired to achieve the goals laid out #1 was yoga. The trouble is, working 9-5 in an office, fighting traffic both ways to get there, and having responsibilities on the home front, got in the way of being doing more of it. My reasons for striking out on my own  in the New Year, are so that I can spend more time on my personal practise as well as more time teaching. Teaching yoga never feels like work to me and seeing students shed truck loads of stress and anxiety and walk out the door looking serene, centred and happy is the highly rewarding. 

#3. It took me a bit of time to come up with those three words but in formulating them and writing them down, something magical occurred. Last year I crossed paths with the most remarkable and inspirational individuals including Sir Ray Avery, whose success story and triumphs are nothing short of miraculous given his miserable childhood and early disadvantages. Over the year I also received numerous email from appreciative readers thanking me for my work and sharing with me some of their personal financial successes, crediting my daily column as an inspiration.

I won't bore with you with the details short of saying that with the exception of a few things on my list, I pretty much accomplished all the goals that I set for myself.

The hardest part was taking the time to articulate them, having patience with my progress and reminding myself that dreams and goals are neither foolish nor lame. Without them, we are lost.

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Good on you achieving your goals!
I often don't see (the links to) your surveys unless you refer to them in the Take Five.
I personally think New Year resolutions are daft. Most are made when people are drunk, depressed, about to do something stupid, currently doing something stupid, ... Studies seem to show almost all are not done. I think reflecting on your birthday is a much better time if only doing once a year as it is much more personal and engaging.

The problem with birthday planning MiniMe is that some of are so depressed on our birthdays at the realisation that another year separates us from the wonderful days of our youth, that planning anything more than just getting out of bed to face the world is too hard...

New Years Resolutions are for fools. Well planned and executed goals are something altogether different.

Perhaps a goal for 2013 Amanda could be to ensure your Amanda's Take 5 actually has five points in it. Today seems to have fallen short somewhat...


Merry Christmas Amanda, I rarely comment on your columns but I promise you that I read them daily. 
Thank you for being a welcome part of my day throughout 2012.
May 2013 deliver everything you realistically plan for.

Some possible 2013 goals:  (Incremental)
1. Start a small business on the side (keep day job)
2. Pay off the car loan
3. Cancel Sky  = at least $600 a year
4. Make 1 phone call every week to save money , e.g. increase insurance excess, decrease life cover, fix mortgage, balance transfer a credit card.
5. Do the paperwork at work and apply for the promotion/salary scale increase  - its for the rest of your career there e.g. in place for every year.
6. Start an automatic payment to an online saving account. Pretend it doesnt exist.
7. Sell 1 car. Bike to work.
8. Cancel the paper-based newspaper subscription. Read online.
9. Join Kiwisaver. Get free money.   If have consumer debt then take a KS 'holiday' & use those payments to decrease debt while on the KS holiday.
10. Sell 2 items each week on trademe. $50 x 52 = $2500
11. Do some contracting in your field. Use your expertise. Also doubles as professional devt.
12. Start a postgrad qualification  =  higher earning potential.
13. Increase your mortgage repayments by $20 per fortnight
14. Spend time just thinking quietly. What is the most strategic valuable use of your time & resources.
15. Turn a hobby into something that adds value.  E.g landscaping increases your property value. Golf/Cycling etc sucks up money.
Incremental, incremental + incremental over Time =   combined net effect 
Send me a donation for all these wonderful ideas....

“Unfortunately people watch the gardening presenters on TV and don’t really see how they have a paid team working seven days a week on their plot. When they realise they have to do all the work themselves, it’s a lot and you have to be able to put the time in".
Poor body mentioned weeds....I thought the unemployed and unemployable had heaps of time....must be busy, gorking at the box and eating fush and chups.

Spoilsport Wolly. 
No. 15 Change your words, Change your life

A garden symbolises investment philosophy. Sowing & reaping. Tending. Watering. Harvest.
And .... no tax on the Sun.  Or horticultural growth (although today 150 Kiwis in east coast found that the arm of the law halted their hort enterprises!)

Life is packed to it's rafters with possibilities.
Next year will be another challenge to keep business ships on track in exciting times.
Opportunities are there for new ventures already.
Volatile markets offer movements so large as to be a traders delight.
Travel and gardening also beckon.
Having a very little memory I remain commited mostly to the present and cast worry aside as a worthless mill stone.  My goal is to keep my eye on the people in all the excitement.
I love my wife, I love my life - I wish you my kind of success.  Dickie Fox.

You're onto it  Ralphie : 2013 is a brand new opportunity to get stuck in , to have a go - damn the gloomsterisers and the Hickeyophiles - the future belongs to the optimists !!!
....... " business is the salt of life " .....
....Those who forget that capitalism provides all goods , services , and innovation ...... are destined to remain in the NZ Labour party & the Greens forever and ever , amen !

Haha ture. I usually don't care about my bday and so am pleased and surprised by a few random presents and well wishes :).
P.s. Merry Christmas to Amanda and all the commenters with too much time on their hands :)