My 2020 Goals Review: 1st Quarter Edition

Q1 2020 Goal Header

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Wow! What a roller-coaster ride in the first quarter of 2020 has been. Coming into the new year, I’m pretty optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead and set big goals for myself.

To recap, things are going smooth in January but then 2-week political chaos in February wiped almost USD10 billion from Bursa Malaysia. In March, the oil price falls to a 20-year low and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic literally changes the world overnight.

Yes, that’s all happened within 3-months which makes me wonder what has happened to me during this period? In this post, I’m going to review my 2020 goals.

 

It’s Only Been 3 Months…Why Goals Review?

Yes, it’s only been 3 months so why do I need to review my new year’s goal now? Well, I look at my goals the same way I’m looking at my spending which is to periodically track and monitor each of them.

3 months is plenty of time for a quick review of how I am currently doing relative to my goals. Hey, even companies audit their finances in every quarter, why can’t we do the same for our goals?

 

My 2020 Goals So Far..

I bet most of us have a grand new year resolution back in January, myself included. After listing about a dozen or so goals that I want to achieve this year, I noticed that they can be grouped into several categories.

The categories are fitness, financial, blogging, reading, networking and learning new skills. Each of the categories has its own specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals. I will go through my six categories in this post.

 

1. Fitness

Fitness Goals Review

 

My fitness goal for 2020 is to run at least 21 km per month which translates into 5.25 km per week. I regularly did about 3 to 4 km per session so by having about 2 running sessions per week will roughly cover my target.

Why 21 km per month? Since 2018, I’ve been steadily increasing my total running target by 50 km per year. In 2018, I did 150 km and last year I  did about to 204 km. Following up to that trend, I am targeting about 250 km for this year which translates into approximately 21 km per month. I think they are pretty achievable.

So, How did I do? Well, as of 16th March, which was my last running session before MCO, I managed to run about 52 km. This is my cumulative distance from January until March 2020. Just 11 km shy from my 3-month target of 63 km.

I would probably reach my target if not for the MCO but hey, I’m not complaining since I have more time to focus on home workout instead.

Verdict: Not Achieved

 

2. Financial

Financial Goal

My financial goal for this year is quite ambitious, which is to increase my monthly income by 20%. Since my net cash-flow in 2019 was negative, I’m aiming to increase my monthly income to offset the “losses” incurred last year. My strategy to achieve this is via:

  1. Salary Increment.
  2. Changing Job.
  3. Side Income.

In January, I managed to increase my monthly income by 3% thanks to salary increment. Yes, a meagre 3% increment, which shows that sometimes, job-hopping is better than staying.

In February, I almost secured a new job which could potentially increase my monthly income by 20%. However, due to the current economic climate, the new company decided to freeze all new hiring. There goes my chance for an increase in salary. But hey, things happen and there will be plenty of opportunity in the future.

On the bright side, I managed to make an additional side income in February from selling my used shoes for RM 200 and another RM 200 in March from travelling reimbursements.

Verdict: Not Achieved

 

3. Blogging

Blogging Goals Review

Since the start of 2020, I am determined to be more consistent in posting at matkewangan. Consistently writing articles a few times a month are new to me and I set my target quite low, which is at least one post every two weeks.

In the past 12 weeks (January – March), I managed to put out 9 blog posts which are 3 posts more than my target. I felt pretty good about this and I am now getting the hang of it and enjoying the writing process day by day.

Verdict: Achieved

 

4. Networking

Inspired by Never Eat Alone, my goal for this year is to reconnect with the people within my network and to learn as much as possible from them preferably over a meal. That is one of the idea in Never Eat Alone which suggest reaching out to the people in your industries, take them to lunch and learn.

Instead of reaching out to the people in my industries, I decided to look into my existing connections such as friends and family. Within my network, there are property investors, business owners and salesperson whom I can learn from. My goal is to reconnect with one person per month.

 

Asking for Lunch Comic

 

This exercise serves two purposes. One, I can learn about their lives, the field which they are involved with and their experiences. Second, relationship building is like planting a seed in which you will only benefit in the long-term. Who knows, I might need help from one of my connection in the future. It’s better to start building the foundation now.

Anyway, in January, I met a friend who started doing property investment since 2017. The talking point was about his strategies, how he gets his tenants as well as the nitty-gritty details when purchasing his first investment property.

In February, I met with a friend who is transitioning from an engineering job into a full-time insurance agent. In March, I supposed to meet a friend who does online business but it was I cannot proceed with that due to this MCO.

I’m not aiming this session to become a super academic session but rather, an informal, chill and lepak mamak type of session but still very much informative.

Verdict: Achieved

 

5. Reading

Reading Goal Review

In the spirit of learning, I aim to finish at least one book per month. To be frank, I have loads of books which I wanted to read but did not manage to squeeze in the time. Note to self: Be more efficient!

In the past 3 months, I only managed to finish one book back in January. The book is “You Don’t Need to Be a Shark” by Robert Herjavec. Yes, the same Nice Guy Robert from Shark Tank! I will do a book summary-slash-review in my later post. Are you interested?

I am, however, trying to play catch up since time is all that I have during this MCO period.

Verdict: Not Achieved

 

6. Learning New Skills

Goal Review Learning

No, I didn’t learn to fence but I do believe in lifelong learning as a means to increase my value be it for personal or professional reasons. Therefore, in 2020, I aim to learn at least one new skills which I could apply in my daily life in each quarter.

In the past 3 months, I have learnt a few technical skills related to my day-job such as timeline planning and costing. These two skills are valuable in my industry but they are also applicable to any project-based endeavour.

Additionally, this MCO period proves to be a great opportunity for me to acquire new skills. For instance, I have learnt about WordPress and web development and re-did this whole blog layout.

What do you think of the new blog look and feel? I will appreciate your feedback in the comment section below!

Verdict: Achieved

 

Goals Review and Adjusting

Out of the six categories, I only managed to achieve half of them and come out a bit short for my fitness, financial and reading goals. Looking back, there are a few things which could be improved if I just pushed myself a little bit harder.

However, over the past three months, I have understood my habits a little bit better now. For fitness, I am still aiming to complete my 250 km running by the end of this year. I think they are doable as long as I overload the bulk of the remaining running distance after this MCO.

My financial goal seems a little bit difficult to achieve now given the current economic climate but on the flip side, I think there are opportunities to make additional income through freelancing.

On the other hand, I found that finishing one book per month is quite difficult for me. Going forward, I will be reducing my reading goals to about 1 book every 2 months. I believe they are more realistic and achievable.

In short, I’m still optimistic to complete my 2020 goals and I will review again my goals towards the end of the year.

 

Conclusions

New year goals and resolutions are not meant to be set in January and only revisited later in December. I believe a great goal setting includes constant tracking, reviewing and readjusting.

Well, this is me trying to be accountable for the goals that I set. I hope that I can help you to be responsible for the goals that you set.

 

ACTIONABLE TIPS: How are you doing on your 2020 Goals so far? Review your goals and readjust some if you need. Don’t let your new year resolution be just another futile attempt at greatness. Time to act!

What are your 2020 goals and how far along are you in achieving them? Do share them with me in the comment section below. Also, do share this post within your Twitter and Facebook circles so that they can start reviewing their 2020 goals.

End.

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matkewangan
Mat is your average Malaysian with the dream of being financially free. Deep down, he knows the journey towards independence is very tough and treacherous, which is why he blogs in Mat Kewangan as a way to keep him motivated and keep the dream alive.
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