Identity Based Habits for 2021

Identity Based Habits for 2021

Identity Based Habits are something that not everyone have heard of. Every year, I will set SMART goals (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – attainable, R – relevant, T – time-based). Having read the book Atomic Habits written by James Clear last year, I decided to tweak my approach slightly this year.

What do I mean? When we set our goals, most of our goals are focused on outcome. For example, last year, I set a goal of contributing at least S$600 to each of my child OCBC Young Savers Account. Another example is to run a total of 300KM in 2020. These are goals that are focused on outcome.

This year, in 2021, I wanted to focus on building identity based habits. Why? This is because once you build a habit, it becomes long lasting. Identity based habits focuses on who I wish to become.

“If you want better results then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead – James Clear”

Identity Based Habits for 2021

#1 I want to be stronger

Identity: Become the type of person who exercises every week.

Small wins: Run every week and do some heavy weights.

#2 I want to improve my knowledge

Identity: Become the type of person who read books and watch self improvement videos.

Small wins: Watch at least 1 Udemy video once a month, read at least 1 book per month, take at least 1 certification course per year.

#3 I want to be financially free

Identity: Become the type of person who invest regularly

Small wins: Invest 15% of your monthly salary into dividend paying stocks.

#4 I want to be a better parent

Identity: Become the type of person who plans for the children’s future

Small wins: Contribute monthly to my children’s saving account to build up their savings.

#5 I want to be a minimalist

Identity: Become the type of person who own less things

Small wins: Declutter my home and workplace. Refrain from buying unnecessary things.

I have set my identity. Now, what kind of person do you want to be in 2021 and beyond?

Score Card on SMART Goals for 2020

Score Card on SMART Goals for 2020

Here is the score card on my SMART goals for 2020 (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – attainable, R – relevant, T – time-based) that I have set for myself. With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting everyone lives, how did I fare this year?

Let us recap the question “Who do I want to be?”

I want to be a better parent, a better leader at work, a healthy and fit person and to have less financial stress from daily necessities of life.

How do I want to show up?

1. A Better Parent

1a) Do at least 1 activity together per month

1b) Contribute at least S$600 to each of my child OCBC Young Savers Account

2. A Better Leader

2a) Read 12 Self Improvement Books

2b) Watch 12 Courses From Udemy

3. A Healthier and Fitter Me

3a) Run 300KM

3b) Workout at Gym 36 Times

4. Less Financial Stress

4a) Achieve 11.5K of Passive Income

4b) Purchase 8K Worth of Singapore Savings Bonds

How Did I Fare? Score Card on SMART Goals for 2020

1. A Better Parent

With the COVID-19 virus still lurking around, I get to work from home on certain days since government policy says that only 50% are allowed to be in the office at any time. As such, I get to spend more time with my children at home.

With the availability of the vaccine, certain workplace restrictions may be lifted as we enter phase 3.

We are still avoiding parks and sport facilities as those places tend to be very crowded and there is also limited capacity such as swimming pools. Our usual activities for the weekends are eating out at shopping malls where we hunt for good restaurants to enjoy a good meal together.

Regarding the contribution of at least S$600 to each of my child OCBC Young Savers Account, I am glad to declare that I have met that goal. I have been discipline to transfer S$50 to each of my child’s savings account each month. My hope is that their savings account will not be so empty when they reach their teenage days.

2. A Better Leader

I failed badly at trying to make myself read 12 self improvement books this year. I read only 5 books this year.

April 2020

  • Goodbye Things – Fumio Sasaki
  • Make Space – Regina Wong

August 2020

  • The More of Less – Joshua Becker
  • 100 Side Hustles – Chris Guillebeau
  • Atomic Habits – James Clear

On a positive note, I watch a lot more than the target of 12 courses from Udemy that I have set for myself. Finding content on Udemy is easier than hunting for books to read.

April 2020

  • 7 Scientifically Proven Steps to Increase Your Influence
  • Self-Confidence: 40 minute Confidence and Self Esteem Guide
  • Radiate Confidence: How to Create a 1000 Watt Presence
  • How to be Successful: Create A Growth Mindset For Success
  • Time Management Mastery: Do More, Stress Less
  • Stress Management: 40+ easy ways to deal with stress
  • Time Management Secrets For Busy People

August 2020

  • Modern Productivity – Superhuman Focus In A Distracted World
  • Leadership: Practical Leadership Skills
  • Best Practices for Working Remotely
  • Work From Home: Where to Start and How to Succeed
  • Agile PM 101 – Learn the Truth about Agile versus Waterfall
  • How to Manage and Influence Your Virtual Team
  • 30 Day Challenge to a More Productive and Much Happier You!
  • 20 Free Life Hacks to Inspire You to Excel in Business and Life

September 2020

  • 101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You In Business School

3. A Healthier and Fitter Me

Forget about the gym, there are simply too many restrictions due to COVID-19. Instead, I opt for spending more time jogging outdoors. I ran a total of 487.7KM this year averaging 2 runs a week.

4. Less Financial Stress

I have collected a total of S$15,532.60 worth of dividends in 2020. This is far above my target of 11.5K of dividends. The reason? All thanks to the special dividend announced by Convenience Retail Asia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasis the importance of having a diversified portfolio. While REITs in retail sectors fell, REITs in industrial and logistics held up well.

Last, I have stopped my regular purchase of Singapore Savings Bonds since March 2020 as the interest rates are simply too low. Instead, I have stashed 10K into Singlife Account since it pays out 2% return per annum. On top of that, I am also topping up my Dash EasyEarn Account regularly since Dash EasyEarn also pays out 2% return per annum.

Below, I end off with what I learnt on goal setting in 2020.

Instead of setting goals, we should make it into a habit. The reason is that once we reached the goal, it ends there. But if we make it into a habit, this becomes part of our live, and it follows you forever.