Wednesday Reads

Wednesday Reads: New Year, New You?

A round up of interesting or cool stuff I’ve read.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

New Year Goals

I’m rather late to the party, but a number of bloggers have been ruminating on new goals for 2021 over the past few weeks.

I haven’t set any new year’s resolutions, per se. I’ve learned, both from my own experiences and from reading others, that setting a big goal is not a recipe for success.

Instead, it’s better to think about what you might want to achieve, identify the steps you can implement to help you achieve it, and then make following those steps the goal, rather than the end point itself.

For example, you might decide that your 2021 goal is to run a half-marathon. If you’re fairly out of shape, then that is going to feel like a huge, insurmountable task. However, if you instead commit to just run for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a week, that is much more achievable and thus more likely to stick.

With that said, here are some of the habits I’d like to maintain this year. You’ll notice that most of them are actually pretty easy! I’m going with the logic that the hardest part is getting started. Once I’ve started the task in question, I find that I usually end up doing it for longer than planned.

  • Blog once per week
  • Read 25 pages, three evenings per week
  • Go for a 20 minute walk with Ms FIRE every day
  • Study for 30 minutes for three days per week
  • Save 20% of my income per month.
    This one may be tricky. As I’ve mentioned before, my contract is due to finish in a few months, and I’m then planning to take a few months off to study. Difficult to save anything with no income! Still, it’s something that I can do for the next few months at least.

Feel free to share your new goals/routines/habits for 2021 in the comments below.


Interesting links that caught my eye this week:


  • MonevatorWeekend reading: Opinions, like markets, will fluctuate
    Whilst Monevator is always a great read, I actually wanted to highlight this comment by The Investor. It’s interesting to see how much time and effort has gone into Monevator, and the different options he is considering to help make the site more sustainable.


The best way I’ve found to make progress on the things that are important to me is to focus on mastery instead.

Mastery is simply making sure you can answer yes to the question, “Are you better today than you were yesterday?”

You’re not concerned with outcomes…you only care about putting the time in and making sure that time is spent effectively.




  • My Quiet FI – Young FIRE Bloggers Remind Me Of Good Will Hunting

    Don’t pursue [Financial Independence] to the ends of the Earth like an obsession because your echo chamber is telling you this is what you must do.  Live the possibilities as they unfold and choose willingly and conscientiously the path that is right for you. 



  • Lesley Gregory, via Evidence Based Investor – Everything in one place
    Highlights the importance of having all your essential documents in one place, and how to go about that.


  • Wallet HacksWhat You Should Do With All the Financial Advice on the Internet

    The internet makes financial information accessible to a lot more people, which is great. But it also comes from generally unknown sources which means you have to do your homework. As they say, you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. 


  • Mantaro MoneyAutomation is king

    Building wealth involves good habits being performed consistently over time.We as humans are flawed, emotionally-driven creatures – which is great for some things and terrible for others.Unfortunately good habits can easily be derailed by our emotional state.


  • IndeedablySimplistic
    Indeedably takes on the common FI topic of compounding and puts his own unique spin on it.

    Compounding is a powerful tool in our financial toolbox. However, if we fail to minimise the fees and taxes that we incur, the effectiveness of that compounding will be greatly diminished. 


  • One Million Journey2020 Recap + New Habits & Goals For 2021
    Highlighting this for two reasons. First, Tony smashed almost all of his 2020 goals and that’s awesome. Second, some of the only goals that he failed to achieve were those that were out of his control (achieve a networth of £X, which relies on the stock market giving specific returns). A useful reminder that goals are better if they are dependent only on your own efforts. There’s a hint of Stoicism in this conclusion as well:

    There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
    —  Seneca




  • Can I Retire Yet?5 Lessons From 3 Years of Early Retirement

    Priorities Won’t Magically Change. […] If there’s anything that you think you will do in retirement that you’re not doing now, I’m going to be brutally honest. You probably won’t.






  • Sign up to Trading212 via this link and we both receive a free share.



  • Why it’s time to stop pursuing happinessGuardian

    Ultimately, you might adopt the old adage “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and be unsurprised by everything in between”. As my mother tried to teach me all those years ago, ease the pressure off yourself, and you may just find that contentment arrives when you’re least expecting it.


  • Sovereign Quest – A new personal finance curation site launched by Indeedably. It’s already off to a great start. Definitely worth checking out.


  • Amardeep Parmar20 Realistic Micro-Habits To Live Better Every Day.
    Easy habits for most people. Personally, I’ve adopted #5, “stand on one leg whilst you brush your teeth.” Sounds like a good way to maintain/improve your balance as you get older, and actually makes brushing my teeth kind of fun! (Simple pleasures for simple minds).




Thanks for reading. Hope you all have a great week!

5 replies on “Wednesday Reads: New Year, New You?”

Thanks for sharing, particularly the 20 micro habits – I already do 7 of them (including the brushing teeth while standing on one leg – I thought it was just me!!). Will look to adding a few more!

I didn’t count initially, but it looks like I do seven of them as well. Two of them are very recent additions after reading that list though, so we’ll see if they stick. I should follow the one about leaving your phone in another room when going to bed. It’s too easy to wake up, and just start scrolling through the phone, rather than getting out of bed (especially when it’s so cold outside!). First step, however, is finding a digital clock to act as a replacement alarm.

Hear what you’re saying but scrolling on my phone is a small luxury I allow myself when I have a lie in 🙂

My phone alarm wakes me up (to commence my scrolling…); my old school, held-together-with-sellotape digital alarm clock is the one which gets me out of bed haha!

Hey Doc thanks for highlighting my goals blog post. I like your observation about stoicism, you reminded me that I still got to read a book about the topic, 2021 seems like a good year to do so!

I share your goal setting mindset. The 20min goal with your wife is great! They say that in order to keep a healthy relationship, we should have 1 hour a day in which we spend quality time with our partners. It’s a shame the area where we live is very dark during the evenings, which makes it not so appealing to go for a walk.

All the best with your 2021 goals 🙂

No problem :). Rather than buying a book, blogs might be a good, free way to get an intro to Stoicism? e.g.

I think it’s too easy to settle into a routine and take your partner for granted. So the idea of going out for a walk, with no distractions, is a way to try to counteract that. We used to go for walks in the evening during the summer, but have started going before/during lunch now that the evenings are so dark. Easy enough for us to do at the moment, as we both work from home. Otherwise it would be much harder to motivate ourselves to get out!

Thanks Tony. Same to you, all the best for 2021!

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