Sunday, 17 January 2021

2021 - Personal Goals

Most people would be ready & geared up with their new year's resolution and goals before the new year starts. I needed more time to consolidate my thoughts and think through what I really want to do/achieve, and how can I get there, and hence the late new year's goals post. But hey, better late than never! 

My goals for the year 2021 are definitely a follow up from my learning/growth from 2020I have broken down my goals into three major aspects of my personal life I want to work on, that is: Finances, Personal Growth/Learnings & Relationship


I have three personal finance goals I'd like to work on & stick through this year. 

1) Save at least 40% of my income every month 

How I plan to achieve this goal is to ensure that I:

- Only buy items listed on my long and short term shopping list 

Having a long and short term shopping list helps me plan ahead of what I want to buy, which has helped me to shop wisely, especially during sales period (those 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 sales!).

I categorise my shopping wishlist into essentials & wants, and the timeline I need it (immediate/short term/ medium term)

I have installed Chrome extension, AliPrice (Both for Shopee and Lazada), that tracks the historical price of an item up to 9 months! This is helpful for me to gauge if a "sale" is truly worth it. And would help me make decisions if I want to stock up on non-perishable essentials such as shampoos when it is on sale. You can also save the item to your watchlist and the extension will send you a push notification when it goes on sale :) 

I really do recommend you check it out :D But of course with this extension, when you're buying something you need there and then and you see that the items were once upon a time might feel quite sakit hati.

- Adopt the bucket system/sinking fund for big purchases 

Before this, there are months where I don't save much as there are big tickets spending such as car servicing, renewal or my car insurance, and so on. 

Thanks to the bucket system/sinking fund method, I don't get a big blow on months where I expect to incur huge expenses, and I can treat myself to something I've been eyeing a while by saving using this bucket system/sinking fund.

Check out the video below to learn more about this system :) 

I have sinking funds to save for travel, splurge on something I really want (keyword: want), car servicing, renewal of car insurance and so on. 

- Drink AT MOST once a week

I used to (and still do, albeit a lot lesser nowadays) spend a lot on socials. Going out. Going out = spending money. Because once you step out of your house, you will be incurring costs such as petrol, tool, parking, food...etc etc. Unless say you're going out for a run. That one's free. 

ANYHOW back to the topic. I don't want to restrict myself from going out just because I want to hit my savings target. While my wallet will be happy, I don't think my mental wellbeing would appreciate this. 

Which is why...I've decided that I should really cap my weekly drinking.

Random photo I took during one of my recent night cap. I really do appreciate drinks with friends

I know, some of you might think that even drinking once a week is a lot. But hey, a goal has got to be realistic! 

- Stick to my personal style personal policy

What a mouthful

Only buy clothes I can try on. Constantly pay attention to my personal style. Long-term plan my wardrobe and clothes shopping list. 
Not part of my long term plan, but found this dress a few days ago and instantly took a liking to it. It was RM25

Have got to admit time to time I will still feel like getting clothes...that are not on my long-term shopping list. But by trying it on first BEFORE buying, I will ensure that I buy clothes that I truly like, and will keep wearing them. Maxing out the average cost per wear. Minimise impulsive purchases of clothes. Or further buying more clothes because I have nothing in my closet that can match the clothes I just bought. 

2) Establish a side income stream

I spend a lot of time, money and effort on my hobbies, especially in gardening and baking, I figure I should try to start establishing a side income. 

I fall into this trap of always feeling "I'm not good enough", "I need more planning" and I strongly believe this is me giving myself excuses and procrastinating. 

My Carousell listing - shameless self-promo teehee

I was selling some of my self-propagated plants on Carousell, though my income from this aspect is pretty negligible but hey, a little is better than nothing at all! 

Stay tuned for more. I have NO PLANS as of now. But A THING BEGUN IS HALF DONE.

2) Invest at least 20% of my income

I have set up an auto-debit every month using Stashaway to ensure this goal is met :) so this is more of a passive goal, 

Personal Growth / Learnings

1) Listen to at least one podcast every day

Since the whole WFH situation started, I am trying to stick to a morning routine/'comunte" before I start work as a "commute" transition to start work. After all, we all used to have a commute to work where we can mentally prep ourselves for work, so why not recreate that even when you're working from home? My morning routine/"commute" comprise of taking care of my plants, listening to podcasts, scrolling through social media (it's how I keep abreast with the news), and also doing some mindless scrolling. 

Listening to podcasts allows me to learn something new, or even open up my mind to different perspectives :) 

I listen to podcasts using Google Podcasts. I love it as it allows me to play on x1.3 speed (tee-hee), and it gives me recommendation based on what I subscribe + topics I might be interested in :) 

My personal favourites podcasts are NPR Planet Money, NPR Hidden Brain, The Indicator by Planet Money, and of course, TED Talks :) 

To ensure I am learning, I want to consolidate my learnings, and share newly acquired knowledge I find useful/interesting on this blog on a bi-weekly/monthly basis, depending on my capacity :) 

2) Read at least one paragraph of non-fiction/fiction every day

Most of the time I know I can manage more than one paragraph, but I want to set it at one paragraph because I want to be realistic, and there are days where I might be swamped, and I want this goal to still be attainable!

Current reads: Night by Elie Wiesel and Anxious People by Fredrik Backman!

3) Participate in at least one online events and/or online courses every month

This is to ensure that I

- always learn of new and different ways people run thing

- keep myself updated with new knowledge 

With the shift of online/hybrid events due to the pandemic, it is worth checking out how others run their online event and try to learn their best practices as much as I can :) 

Online courses that I'm currently taking: The Science of Wellbeing by Yale University on Coursera!

4) Cook/Bake at least one dish per week

Yes recycling my goals from last year, but I really want to keep the momentum going. I'd like to challenge myself to incorporate more local ingredients in my cooking/baking, to try out different flavour palette. 

One of my most recent bakes -Rye Sourdough

Baking/Cooking has been a wonderful outlet when I'm stressed, and also it makes me curious about the science behind it :) 


1) To be present with people (ie put away phone when hanging out) and actively engage with people I know 

I know this goal isn't measurable. But I'm not tooooo sure how to make it a SMART goal at this point but let me just make my point here. But essentially, I'd want to be more intentional in maintaining my relationship with friends and family. To be present when around them, be it in a virtual or face to face setting. 

At the start of MCO, I felt as though I was drowned in work. I spent whatever free time I have indulging in my hobbies. Which isn't a bad thing. But I have forgotten to socialise. To reach out to people. To talk to people. I've felt extremely distant from people. I've always been the initiator, asking people out for hikes, meals and etc. And I was afraid of who I was going to become.

Sounds funny but I probably interacted most with my dog during MCO. Which. Is not a bad thing either butttt.

And hence, this goal. Which serves as a reminder to be intentional in maintaining and building relationships. Maintaining a relationship takes time and effort. And with the pandemic and social distancing measure in place, this is I feel, more crucial than ever.


Similar to last year, I believe my goals will be adjusted/modified as time passes. For now, these are what I feel are needed and achievable :) 

What are your goals for the year? 

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