A strange thing happened to me in 2010. My New Year started without a shiny New Year’s Vibe. This year I decided to do without a proper New Year’s Resolution.
You see, I’ve become quite the compulsive goal setter. I set goals on a regular basis. I have monthly goals taped to my monitor. I have quarterly and yearly targets — both personal and business — defined on a spreadsheet. But my New Year’s resolution is always separate from my Goals. My goals are concrete and measurable, with clearly defined deadlines. My resolutions are positive declarations of change.
It doesn’t bother me that I don’t actually keep most of my old resolutions. I think the buzz I get from looking forward to a change in lifestyle, a new way of thinking, invites me to start the year with a super positive outlook. Plus it’s a lot of fun. I usually start the year on a loud, hopeful note: “This is the year that *** happens!”
2010 came quietly, without much fanfare. It just feels that 2009 got an extension. That was a great year. But it’s time for something new.
What’s your resolutions for the new year?
When I’m presented with the question, “What would you like to do before you get too weak/retire/die?” I’ve always answered “travel around the world.”
Earlier this week I was spending some time setting goals for 2009. One of the things I did was to list out a few countries I’d like to visit next year. After I’ve done that I decided to expand this exercise by listing out all the countries I’d love to visit and realised that I don’t really want to go to every country of the world like what Chris is doing. I only really want to go to 30 (plus 20 more that would be “nice but are not must go’s at the moment”). What a revelation! I’ve always thought the number would be closer to 100 but 30 sounds very achievable. So I went on to list done the feasibility of visiting these 30 countries.
If I were to visit a country each year, I’d achieve my dream in 30 years. That’s alright, but that’s not very efficient. I could tackle the countries by regions, dividing them into the following: Western Europe, Scandinavia, Northern Africa, North America, Latin America and Eastern & Southern Asia. After working out a very rough estimate, I reckon I’d need about $6000 per one month trip to a region (it is possible to go on a much lower budget but I’m not planning to rough it out. Yet.). Quite a bit of money, but if I were to aim to cover a region say every three years, that would work out to less than $170 a month or under $6 a day.
Can I actually save $42 a week? Let’s see… My once a week cafe time costs $5. Our weekly movie date, $40. Magazines? $5. And I also have a habit of buying huge amounts of snacks each week – up to $25- worth. That’s a total of $75. If I were to save a little over half of that, I’d still have more than enough change to rent a film and get some popcorn. Of course the other question is, can I afford to take leave off work for a whole month? At this moment, the answer is no, but I think I’ll worry about that later. I realised that when you set a goal and work towards it, things have a way of working out in your favour unexpectedly and faster than you’d imagine so we’ll see. :)