02 January 2020

Welcome to 2020! A Fresh Start and Some Goals Too

Hi Everyone! It's time for a cliché New Year’s Post! No, but really. I am not a big fan of New Year’s but I have always been a fan of goal setting and I like that entering a new year gives you the feeling of wiping the slate clean, like you have a fresh whiteboard waiting to be written on! Although this blog has seen some major neglect in the past year, safe to say I was kicking goals in some other areas. And today I'm back and sharing my plans with you for 2020!

1. Improve finances + start saving for a house

This is a major one for me this year. I have typically always been quite bad with my money. I've always spent money as fast as I made it. I don't really know WHY I have always been like this, since my parents did try to teach me about valuing money and saving, but I think I just have a personality that lends itself well to the YOLO attitudes of millennials today. That being said, this year I am determined to change that. I have already made a concerted effort to make small, positive changes around money throughout the past year. I read the Barefoot Investor and finally started to educate myself more about money.

I have a goal of paying off my credit card, as well as paying off my car loan by the end of this year which can happen with some extra payments. I have also deleted my Afterpay account and have vowed to stop thinking I need the same things as everyone else on Instagram, which is part of the reason I have made a lot of unnecessary and stupid purchases in 2019.

I am getting serious about saving up for my emergency fund and a travel fund so all my trips can be completely cash-flowed from now on. Our big goal for the next 5 years is to save up enough for a house deposit and own our own home. At the moment, I have a lot of debt between car loans, credit cards and my student loan but I am going to work my butt off to get that debt down and help make my money work for me. I have downloaded some awesome podcasts and I'm ready for being financially savvy in 2020!

2. Increase the positivity and productivity in my life

This is really a no brainer, but for the better part of last year I felt like I spent a lot of time reading things or doing things that made me feel worse about myself. This year I have a few challenges I am trying including:

  • 1 month with no social media 
  • 1.5 hrs on my phone or less per day
  • unfollowing people on Facebook or Instagram that don't serve me or who are negative
  • doing a mindfulness exercise 4 x per week through Calm app
  • reading 12 books for the year (or hopefully more)
  • no phone after 9pm and use that time to read or write in gratitude journal
  • skype my family more
  • join an online meetup for one of the groups I am a part of to meet new people
  • get up earlier on saturdays and sundays to enjoy more of the day

3. Live a more minimalistic life

This one sounds scary but I have been interested in minimalism for a while now. One of my fave instagram accounts is from Annie @thelaminimalist who shares some amazing ideas for reducing the "noise" in your life and doing more activities instead of collecting and hoarding "things". Minimalism has so many different benefits, including improving finances and forcing people to care less about what others think and no longer feeling the need to keep up with their lifestyles. I love this idea. It helps my finance goal, my positivity goal and also my goal to be more eco-friendly.

To help get started with the idea behind minimalism, I am doing the 60 day minimalism challenge from Rachel Aust here. It has one task a day for 60 days, and I will just extend this out if I don't get something done each day until it's completed. Some examples include 'unsubscribe from all e-mail marketing' and 'sort the files and folders on your computer'. Through the 60 day challenge I hope to do some major decluttering, so everything has a place/purpose and to live more intentionally.

Some other things in line with this goal include:

  • to focus less on consumerism - avoid 'buying' culture
  • stop mindless scrolling of online stores
  • keeping a list of gaps in my wardrobe/things I run out of and only shopping for things from this list. 
  • any things I “need” to buy can be kept in a list on my phone and reviewed to make sure I actually need that item (wait a few days, see if this item might be lying around in the back of a cupboard somewhere, can I borrow this from a friend? Can I make it myself?)
  • if in need of an item of clothing, try to avoid shopping malls. Try a marketplace or op shop. This supports goal #4 and also avoids getting caught up in 'fast fashion' trends.
  • continue makeup no-buy. I have already started the concept of a makeup “no buy” where I can’t buy any new items of makeup, unless it is replacing something essential (mascara, foundation, etc) and I have to use up everything that is already in my collection. 
    • It has helped me to learn that I have way too much makeup and would never use up everything I have before it expires. I have started decluttering my collection and giving items away or selling them in order to downsize my collection. 
    • over the past year, I have also unfollowed Instagram accounts or beauty accounts that made me feel like I need the latest products and now I don’t miss what I don’t know about.
  • try a one week no-buy. The day before it starts, I will fill up my car, make sure there is money on my bus card and ensure I have a fridge full of groceries. I will try to go a whole week without spending any money! Direct debits/bills don't count.

4. Reduce my carbon footprint

This resolution has also been a slow burn for me, trying to incorporate more eco-friendly products in my household over the past year or so. This year I am hoping to overall produce less waste, have less food wastage, continue recycling, using my keep cup, saying no to straws, etc.

My challenge in this area is to go vegetarian for one month and see how it goes. It may extend beyond one month, and if not I intend to have 1-3 vegetarian meals every week regardless to help reduce my carbon footprint and make a difference in some way. I also recently started a new job where I can take the bus to work. If I am extended beyond my current contract, I plan on selling one of our vehicles as I will no longer need it.

5. Work on self-love

Overall, I feel like I have improved a lot in this area but it's something that is important to me and I want to continue to focus on this in 2020. I have caught myself several times in 2019, scrutinizing myself, whether it's my appearance or just negative thoughts about myself and not being as good as someone else, not doing enough of this or that, or wishing I had someone else's life. Part of this will be solved with goal #2 around increasing positivity in my life and reducing social media and comparing myself to others.

To help with some self-care and self-love activities, I am setting a date with myself every week to do something for just me. Whether it is watching a fave movie, journaling, planning, calligraphy, a DIY activity, a walk outside, crafting, or blogging - I will do something for me and remind myself that it's not only okay to take time out for yourself, but necessary to maintain positive mental health!

6. Continue my fitness journey

I was very consistent with my fitness last year, attending bootcamps 3-4 times a week every week, even over the holidays. I completed a 10-week fitness challenge, lost 2 kg and gained a massive amount of cardio fitness. I completed over 20 five-kilometre pakruns and did a 10km fun run as well. For someone who does not consider herself a runner at all, these were some awesome accomplishments! 

This year, I want to lose some more weight (around 10 kg) and continue to feel better in my clothes.  I have toned up a lot but am still not 100% confident in my own body. I have set some small goals like eating out for lunch only once a week and packing my breakfast to eat at work. I have also set a goal for a parkrun time I would like to achieve and a new 10km fun run I want to complete in July.

Well, that's it for my goals for 2020! I have ensured all the above areas have SMART goals attached to them but I’m not sharing that level of detail with you today. I have written them down for myself and have created small goals in each area per month so I know I have small things I can work towards to make these happen by the end of the year.

Thanks to Alex from I like my red wine cold for the idea for this post! Check her goals for 2020 out here.

 I hope you liked learning about my goals for 2020! If you write them down and share them, you are way more likely to achieve them. 

What are you hoping to do in 2020?


  1. wishin you all the best for 2020.
    love reading your posts :)
    franzi from powder brows

  2. I love these goals, Sarah! We love the barefoot investor too, and use a mix of his and Dave Ramsay's principles for our money. You know I've been trying not to buy any new beauty products unless they are replacements for something I've run out of. I've gone almost a year without buying anything (will be in April with re-buying the sweet peach palette haha). I've gone back down to Beauty Loop level 2!!

    Always here for a supportive word, us low-buyers have to stick together!