My Secret SMART Goals Revealed

August 24, 2012

It’s no surprise that I share almost everything about my life here. Treating this blog more like a diary, at times, there’s almost nothing you all don’t know about me. But I have a secret object in my apartment that nobody has seen… it’s almost too dorky to admit to… but here goes: I have somewhat of a vision board. *Covers eyes to avoid your judging stares*

In all seriousness, I have always thought vision boards were lame. But, after piecing together this financial vision board for LearnVest, and writing a post about SMART goals, I decided to try coming up with a few goals for myself. At first, I wrote down things that read more like bucket list items. While I’d love to travel to Ireland and volunteer with elephants in Thailand, neither of those were going to happen in 2012.

The difference between my “vision” board and a typical one is there are no pictures on it. First, I wrote out 10 specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound goals on post-it notes and pinned them onto a cork board. Then, I surrounded my goals with a few of my favourite quotes (including “Have Less Debt. Do More. Be More.”). It’s not pretty but it is a great reminder of what I’m working towards.

Want to know which goals made the board?

  1. Pay Off All Credit Card Debt – Done! It was interesting re-reading my original post about SMART goals because, back then, I didn’t think I was going to accomplish this until August 31st of this year. But I kicked my credit card debt’s butt to the curb in April!
  2. Pay Off Another $10,000 of Debt – In Progress. In 2011, I paid off just over $10,000 of my original debt. My goal for 2012 was to do that again and, since I’m already at ~$8,500, there is no doubt I will reach this goal before the end of this year.
  3. Save $1,300 in RRSPs – In Progress. So far this year, I’ve gone from putting $50 monthly to $100 bi-weekly into my RRSPs. Not only will I reach this goal, I will surpass it before the end of the year.
  4. Save $1,600 in Emergency Fund – In Progress. I’ve been putting $50 into a savings account, every two weeks since October. While $1,600 may not sound like a lot of money, it’s important for me to have a least a little something set aside throughout my debt repayment progress.
  5. Save/Buy a New Bed – In Progress. I have $500 saved so far and am planning on buying a new bed in either January or February.
  6. Start Dog Walking Again – Fail. Before going back to school, I volunteered as a dog walker at the Victoria BC SPCA at least a couple times each week. I still plan on going back this year but not until I’m home from Toronto.
  7. Weigh 175 lbs. – In Progress. I’m still 12 lbs. away from making this goal a reality but, with a couple extra pushes, I’m sure I will get there.
  8. #FinCon12 – Booked! I’ll be in Denver September 5-9.
  9. New York City – Fail. This goal is mostly led by the fact that I’m dying to meet everyone at LearnVest but is unfortunately not something I can budget for this year. Maybe in 2013!
  10. Toronto – Booked! I’ll be in Toronto September 13-24.

Wow. None are those were huge secrets, eh? ;)

What are some goals you’re still working towards this year?

  • Rob August 24, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Like yourself, all my life I’ve always tended to write down my goals (social, career, financial, spiritual, etc.) and that way as I completed each one – big or small – I would log them off when completed. Completing the small easy goals encouraged me to strive to tackle the bigger harder ones. By writing them down (and not just keeping them in my head) it gave them more visibility. Having worked with computers for over 45 years this year my goal is to now soon retire and start working on my (ahem) “bucket list” – see, one never runs out of goals to aim for ! :-)

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:50 am

      You deserve to work on that bucket list, Rob! Just pick one and make it happen :)

  • Canadianbudgetbinder August 24, 2012 at 5:02 am

    What a brilliant idea! I’m all about goals, heck that’s how I started my blog. Writing down what you want long-term and short-term and now is so important. I think if we don’t make SMART goals that we have nothing to challenge ourselves against. That is why I created the grocery game challenge as I wanted to get our grocery budget down and challenge ourselves (that’s our long-term goal for this year. I think the idea of using the pictures is brilliant because sometimes words are not enough. They do say that a blog post is recognized or read more than a blog post that has no pictures. Humans are lovers of all things visual as we, even for a moment put ourselves in the picture and imagine….. Great goals Cait.. keep at it! Cheers Mr.CBB :-)

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

      I do think human beings are visual by nature; we are attracted to inviting-looking environments, smiling faces, etc. So why not create a visual representation of our goals? Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life August 24, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I’ve reached all of my goals except to run 350km this year. I’m about five KM away from this goal, but it’s taken me about 4 months to run the last 25 km of this goal, having motivation problems! Other than that, I’m on track with my goals.

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

      You’ve reached it now! Woo woo!

  • bogofdebt August 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I’m all about goals as you know. I do need to revisit my year goals because I don’t think they will be completed-too much has changed since I made them. I do need to start adding pictures to my blogs again. I was doing so well!

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

      It’s good to revisit and adjust your goals. What you want to accomplish usually stays the same but dates that it could happen by may have to change. As long as you are still happily working towards what you want to achieve, it’s all good in my books! Now get back to your blog and add a pic to your next post ;)

  • Pamela @ FabulousSavings.ca August 24, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Good for you for reaching so many of your goals. I tend to keep those things in my head, so it’s easy to lost track of how the progress is going. You’ve inspired me to make a vision board of my own!

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Yay! Do it, Pamela!

  • Mike August 25, 2012 at 7:58 am

    It’s great to see people reach their goals! Keep it up!

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Thanks, Mike!

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  • Savvy Scot August 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    LOVE the idea of a Vision board! I am primarily working towards saving an emergency fund, various fitness goals and to take over the UK blogging world with Savvyscot :D

    • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Do you want to know a secret? There are a couple pics of “fit” women on my board ;)

  • Cait August 29, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Woo hoo! Can’t wait to see you make it happen :) xo

  • Andrea (@nickelbynickel) August 30, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I always have a million goals on the go, I have this 5 year lifelist plan I keep as a draft in my email, I make daily lists in my planner, I set financial goals on my blog, I set personal goals in my journal. I’m like drowning in goals. I love this idea of a vision board! I’ve been thinking of putting together a binder with photos of houses and interiors and stuff I would like to have/like to do to remind myself not to willynilly spend but save for the awesome stuff.

    Can’t wait to meet you at fincon!

    • Cait September 4, 2012 at 5:25 am

      Definitely put together a binder! And I’m excited to meet you too (finally)!

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