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Revisiting My 6 Personal, Professional, and Financial Goals for the New Year

I am a huge fan of goal setting. And I would say that I’ve generally been pretty good at setting short and long terms goals in my life. However, last year, I realized that while I’m very good at writing down short term goals, I’m not great at writing down long term goals. So, I sat down with Selenid and came up with a list of goals for the New Year and shared them with you. What I’d like to do now is review how I did!

The importance of goals

I think most people would agree that goals are important to have. But then why is it that we, in general, are not great at identifying them, working towards them, and reaching them?

goals for the new year

There are many reasons of course and I’m sure that I don’t know them all.

But I think a really the big two are:

  • We don’t spend enough time sitting with ourselves (and loved ones) thinking about what we actually want out of life and
  • We don’t record and measure our goals

This leads to us going through life without a cohesive, well-defined purpose. I’m not saying that we don’t have purpose. But it is much less well defined. And I know how that can feel as I’m sure many of you can.

So what’s the solution?

Step 1 – Think about your goals

Take some real time to think about what you want. Sit in silence and just think. It can be a bit uncomfortable but it’s so important.

Ask yourself questions like, “Where do I want to be in a year? 5 years? 10 years?”

Also reflect on the things that you have accomplished and appreciate them.

If you’re like me, you will also likely find yourself having these thoughts randomly throughout the day. And that’s ok too.

This is not something that will take you 15 minutes to think about. Be patient.

Step 2 – Record your goals

goals for the new year
Short-term goals galore!

Write your goals down.

Again, I was really good at doing this for short term things. Just take a look at this photo of my computer desktop. It’s filled with short terms goals and timelines to complete them. All of these short terms goals add up to accomplish long term goals.

But the truth is that until this year, I never really recorded my long term goals directly. They were floating around me head. And while that did work well for me, being intentional with my long term goals has been way more productive for me.

Step 3 – Measure your goals

If you don’t measure something, you can never really achieve it. Goals are no different. So, every so often, maybe once a month, take a look at your written list of long term goals.

Assess how you are doing. We are never going to be perfect. SO we won’t always be advancing seamlessly to all of our goals. But by measuring, we can redirect and reorient ourselves.

I keep copies of my written goals for the new year all over the place. In my office. At home. In my OR locker.

This helps me to keep these goals in mind and adjust when I need to. That way, my actions can align themselves with my goals as much as possible.

So, with all of that said…

My 6 personal, professional, and financial goals for the New Year

First, a couple ground rules…any writing in italics like this is present Jordan. Anything not in italics was past Jordan. Ok…go!

I tried to keep my goals as overarching and not overly narrow. This is just how I wanted to do it and what I know works best for me.

But you should do whatever works best for you!

1. Health

  • Reach and maintain my goal weight (175 pounds) by weighing myself daily and snacking less
  • Exercise once each week

I have to admit that I’ve gotten a little above my fighting weight over the past year or so. Some of it I attribute to the fact that I’m not walking everywhere so much after leaving New York City. I also like to snack A LOT. So, I’ve decided to work my way back to the weight that I feel comfortable at.

Also, I know exercising once a week doesn’t sound that ambitious. But I purposefully made this very attainable. Nothing worse than setting an impossible goal that just discourages you.

I’m going to be honest. I did not meet my goals here. I’ve always been the person that could eat whatever I wanted and not particularly exercise and stay the same weight. I think I also got spoiled during my time in NYC because I had to walk everywhere. And that was more exercise than I realized. So now, moving to a less walkable city like Buffalo, I’m getting less exercise.

Regardless, I now seem to be stuck at 185-190 pounds. Not horrible. But I feel it. I’m getting much more intentional this year with diet and exercise and this goal stands for 2024!

2. Personal

  • Be more patient with kids and family
  • Stay in the GAIN as much as possible
  • Record in my gratitude and goal journal every morning
  • Read each night

Many of these are more vague by nature. But my big overarching goal personally is to be more patient. By this, I mean that my attention can shift very frequently. This has helped me in many ways. But it is not something I want my kids or Selenid to feel when we spend time together. So that is my big goal.

I also want to keep improving my mindset. And if you are unfamiliar with the GAIN, check this out!

I met my goals here. Am I perfectly patient? Was I always in the GAIN? Far from it. But there were noticeable improvements that I intend to keep working on. And I did record my gratitude and goals every day as well as read near every night.

3. Professional

  • Provide detailed, patient centered pre-, intra-, and post-operative care to my patients

I admit this is super vague. But every decision I make around patient care is focused on being the best for that particular patient. This is so important to me.

So my overarching goal is to constantly be improving in this!

I am always looking to become the best doctor that I can be and provide the best care for my patients. That’s even why I am on this path to financial freedom. I truly believe that financially free doctors are better doctors.

And I believe that I continued to do this in 2023!

4. Blog

  • Transparently share my financial journey, not from the sidelines or the finish line, but in the actual journey with all of you so that we can all learn and reach financial freedom, changing healthcare in ways we cannot even imagine!
  • Increase content frequency and quality

The first bullet point is my mission. That statement guides everything that I do here. Because I truly believe that it matters.

I started the PPS because I saw too much physician finance advice being given by those who were not actually in the arena with the rest of us. And I wanted to change that!

Throughout the year, I also plan to continuing to increase the quality and frequency of content. This has already started with 3 original long form posts being published each week now compared to 2. And there will be more to come!

The blog-related goal that I was most excited to reach this year was the release of my book, Money Matters in Medicine! But seeing the blog continue to grow and getting chances to speak in front of live audiences at PIMDCON23, ASPS, and NESPS were amazing experiences.

And I want to thank all of you for helping me with this as well!

5. Real estate

Real estate is a big part of Selenid and my life. We enjoy it and really love how it has advanced our progress towards financial freedom.

By purchasing 2 more properties, we will continue to increase our cash flow with also increasing equity, hedging against inflation, and forcing appreciation. We also will be able to harness the tax benefits of these properties.

Well, I don’t know if you heard but 2023 was a tough year for real estate. With rising interest rates and stubborn home values, deals were tougher to find. But they are still out there. Selenid and I ended up buying just one property this year to make a total of 8.

It is a great property and has been cash flowing nicely for us as you can see in my full analysis here!

The moral of the story here is to keep looking, be patient, and stick to your real estate investing criteria

6. Financial

Now, all of our financial goals are spelled out in detail in our written financial plan, which I also reference with these goals.

But, I wanted to get even more specific. After aggressively paying off my refinanced private loans, I have about $80,000 left (from $170,000 a year ago!). Selenid has about $30,000 in federal loans meanwhile. We want these to be fine at the end of the year. Then we will just have my federal loans left.

And note that this plan is irrespective of any continuance or lifting of the federal loan forbearance…

We did not reach these goals. My private loans are down to about $10,000 while Selenid’s are at around $25,000. We ended up contributing to Roth IRAs as well as my 457 this year and as a result paid off less of this debt.

This decision was ultimately in line with our written financial plan which is why we made the adjustment after meeting and reviewing our financial plan together. In the end, that is why you have one!

So, our goal this year is to get rid of this debt completely as well as work towards forgiveness of my federal loans…

Now it’s your turn!

I would like to challenge all of you to now create your own list of long term goals for the New Year!

Remember, the enemy of good is great. Don’t try to make it perfect. Think about what’s important to you and set meaningful and intentional goals.

Then place them in places were you can review and measure them every once in awhile.

Do this and I can all but guarantee that your goal reaching prowess will reach an all time high!

In fact, a great way to further accelerate your progress towards your goals is with accountability partners. And we have thousands of like-minded accountability partners in our private Facebook group, so consider joining us!

But don’t forget…your goals and ideals are like the horizon. They guide you but do not define you. Always measure backwards while expanding forwards and stay in the GAIN.

And if you are looking for more habits to foster to grow your financial well-being, this post is for you!

What do you think? How do you set your goals? What are your big long term goals for this year? Let me know in the comments!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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