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Comments (101)

Dec 17, 2019 - 11:29pm

Professionally: solidify my position in the company, bring in 3-5 new deals, keep mentoring the younger guys
Personally: get back into shape, support my family, actively participate in my social clubs
Academically: Thinking about doing level 2, not sure what additional value it has post-MBA but I just feel like I should do it

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Dec 17, 2019 - 11:45pm

Professionally: Trying to prove my worth during my Spring IB internship to stay for the summer. Pass the SIE and try to get sponsored for the necessary series exams. Network my ass off.

Academically: Finish the spring semester with a 4.0. Join some more clubs. Make it to world's for the CFA IRC competition.

Personally: Don't have a heart attack and read more non-finance literature. Find creative outlets. Exercise more.

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Dec 18, 2019 - 12:09am

Get a FT offer. Try to enjoy my last semester (once done recruiting, hopefully). Get out of my mini depression and try to be happier

Stretch: Sell my dads business (for him).

Dec 18, 2019 - 12:20am

Transfer to a school sending kids to Wall Street

Gun rights activist
  • 3
Dec 18, 2019 - 10:42am

felt this

The best way to network is dealing addy
Dec 18, 2019 - 3:41pm

I'm envious of people who had knowledge about breaking into Wall Street before starting college

Gun rights activist
  • 8
  • 1
Dec 18, 2019 - 6:00am

I typically think about this over the holidays and then write down a list in my phone to track throughout the year. I encourage doing this - it definitely helps keep you on track.

I went 7/10 in 2019 - not bad, but I hope to do better in 2020.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 4
Dec 18, 2019 - 7:30am

I don't believe in doing this for the holidays or when the calendar changes as I've always believed in self introspection on a continuous basis.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
  • 1
Dec 18, 2019 - 9:49am

Self introspection is not the same thing as setting personal goals to achieve within a specific timeline

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
Dec 18, 2019 - 1:02pm

Self introspection is not the same thing as setting personal goals to achieve within a specific timeline

True, but it keeps the focus on continuously improving how things are done and how far you can achieve.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Dec 18, 2019 - 8:42am

I usually only list 1-2 goals for each year. For example, my 2 goals for the 2018-2019 personal season (kind of like an NBA season) was to pass CFA Level 1 and get a fairly good finance job in NYC --- I completed both, although fwiw I don't work at GS or Lazard, but I am happy with where I am and what I'm doing.

my goal for 2019 year end to 2020 is to pass CFA Level 2, get to the buyside or a big bank, and spend more time with my family.

Most Helpful
Dec 18, 2019 - 10:58am

goal setting is great, I just think you need to think long term as well especially for career, put the pieces in place for 5-10y out. where do you want to be? write out what you might want your resume to be when you're 25, 30, 35, and so on. what should it say? that will help you inform your year by year goals. this is an old concept some call goal laddering, where you have the real goal at the top of the ladder and each "rung" is a smaller step to get there.

I had a very close friend have a health scare and thankfully it got him to get in shape. his goal was to go from a couch potato to lose over 100lbs. doable? yes. in one year? not bloody likely. so what would his goals look like? first, it'd be eliminating some bad habits (stop buying candy, soda, etc.). others could be track calories, join a gym, go to said gym 3-4x/week, and so on. our brains don't work with abstract concepts all that well, so I'm a big believer in breaking things down to more bite sized chunks.

for me? I checked the 5y plan I wrote 3y ago and I'm very much on track (ahead in some areas, behind in others), so next year will be more of the same career wise, continue growth, hopefully get some recognition, stuff like that.

personally? stay married, be less of an asshole, spend less time on WSO and social media (it's an enormous time suck)

academically? no more school for me, but I do want to become fluent in another language and I'm close, but not there, so practice practice practice is important. to do this, I'm travelling, texting in this language, reading foreign language pubs, listening to their music, etc.

good luck monkeys

Dec 18, 2019 - 11:03am

goal setting is great, I just think you need to think long term as well especially for career, put the pieces in place for 5-10y out. where do you want to be? write out what you might want your resume to be when you're 25, 30, 35, and so on. what should it say? that will help you inform your year by year goals. this is an old concept some call goal laddering, where you have the real goal at the top of the ladder and each "rung" is a smaller step to get there.

Love this.

Going to do it this year.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 2
Dec 18, 2019 - 11:27am

What learning approach (outside of what you listed above) did you take for becoming fluent in another language? Rosetta Stone, Personal tutor, etc. Be interested in knowing how much time you spent working on it daily as well!

Dec 18, 2019 - 12:27pm

I minored in spanish in college and I'd also studied it in middle/high school so I had a solid base. I think the best way to learn a language is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations, try to order food from a foreign place, read news in the language, follow native speaking journalists on twitter, etc. in addition to this, I use tinycards by duolingo to keep vocabulary fresh while I'm travelling

but the best way? the absolute best way is to travel. struggling through a 45 minute cab ride from the airport to your airbnb when the driver doesn't have a GPS and all you know are landmarks, that's a great way.

if I was starting from scratch (another longer term goal is to be fluent not just in spanish but also portuguese and either french or italian), I'd buy rosetta stone for the vocabulary and at the same time book a vacation to that country, immerse myself in youtube videos, podcasts, stuff like that. you really need exposure more than you need grammar lessons. grammar's important, but how many people do you come across who speak 100% grammatically correct 100% of the time? it's rare, so it is with other languages.

Dec 24, 2019 - 10:22am

Ok but life shouldn't be too rigid. Like I know people who have plans for the next 20+ years (kids in college looking for good high schools to send their kids (when they have them) to, some even looking for retirement places already. If you plan too far in advance you will forget to enjoy the life you currently have.

Dec 26, 2019 - 8:15am

the two are not mutually exclusive sir. there's a reason I focused on the resume or a more medium term goal. these are things that are meant to not be followed rigidly, but to give you direction. the reason is this: big goals that are far away can seem out of reach (like saying you want to be a director, and you're 24). it will force you to think critically about what steps are really necessary to get there, because there are a lot of steps until you get to director. do you need to go to b school? do you need to switch industries? do you need to move? thinking about those things is not at odds with having fun. as a matter of fact, I insert a lot of fun related things in my 5-10 year plans (visit XX countries, go to XYZ sports in person), so it's not all work all the time, your friends with 20 year plans just sound boring

Dec 18, 2019 - 11:50am

Professionally - finish financial modeling courses. Switch career fields (undecided)

Personally- travel more with my family, eat healthier, invest more

Academically - not sure to go for MBA or CFA/CMA

It's been a hectic and life changing year for me. 2nd year of marriage, 1st year of being a father, started a new job. We all have to enjoy the moments and strive to be better everyday. Happy Holidays everyone!

Dec 18, 2019 - 1:00pm

Find cute gf....I moved to San Francisco and have been on the longest dry streak of my life....Miss NYC greatly.

Dec 18, 2019 - 2:09pm

It's been six years since the last time I totaled over 1000 lbs. I've convinced myself it was okay to move backwards and stagnate in order to put energy into other personal and professional pursuits.

Iron doesn't lie, my dudes. Time to spend some quality time under the bar again.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
  • 4
Dec 18, 2019 - 6:46pm

I'm a manlet - 82.5kg / 181 lb class

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
Dec 18, 2019 - 6:49pm

My shoulders are trash, and my bench sucks. So does my press. I have fairly narrow shoulders and wide hips for my height, so my anthropometry lends itself to lower body lifts.

Basically, I'm a pear.

"Son, life is hard. But it's harder if you're stupid." - my dad
Dec 18, 2019 - 3:42pm
  1. Have a healthy child
  2. Get a new job
  3. Pay off all household debt
  4. Complete the Simple & Sinister kettlebell program by Pavel Tsatsouline
  5. Stop eating out almost completely and become an expert at healthy meal prepping
  6. Get involved in more volunteer/charity opportunities and find a new church
  7. Buy a few acres out in the Texas hill country and begin site work for a future homestead
  8. Begin studying or prepare to take CAIA/CF
Dec 18, 2019 - 3:49pm

Broken down into categories:

Personal: Get married to my fiancee, lose some weight from 197 lbs to 185 lbs, read one book per month, remain (sort of) sane

Academic: Going back to school for a second BS in Computer Science, complete 50% of the degree, crush the GRE for Grad School

Professional: Quit my job (finally), switch to tech as a Software Engineer, have a clear career trajectory to work on the specific team I want to work on, learn C++ and Python (I am getting pretty good at JavaScript)

Every morning I wake up and look at myself in the mirror. I tell myself that I am a loser BUT it is within my control to change that. NOW is the only time to change that. It helps motivate me to do more.

β€œThe three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
  • 5
Dec 18, 2019 - 4:19pm

You are not a loser. Losers have no drive to do anything and fill their days with lazniess, substance abuse, and escapism. Losers do not have a fiance.

I struggle with this immensely but try not to define your identity by your career while recognizing career is a critical component of your self identity. I have been very frustrated by my new job due to things completely out of my control but wake up every day and think a) what am I grateful for today and b) how can I improve myself today. For example, wake up earlier in the morning do some pushups and stretch. Learn to cook new healthy food - YouTube has any instruction you need. Listen to podcasts during the day to learn, challenge yourself not to spend any more money on clothes or going out to eat. Challenge yourself to be a better partner, call your closest friends more often and get in touch with lost connections. When you get depressed, go on a long walk on a sunny Saturday through the park or city and breathe deeply soaking in your freedom and health.

Dec 18, 2019 - 4:25pm
Malta Monkey:
Every morning I wake up and look at myself in the mirror. I tell myself that I am a loser

That can't be a healthy approach to life there, boss.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 8
Dec 19, 2019 - 2:17am

I'm training to make the World Championships in Half Ironman distance in 2020. I've signed up for Augusta in September to qualify there. I earned a 4:48 in 2019 and am going to aim for a 4:25 in 2020 to try and get a slot to the 2021 70.3 World Championship in Utah.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 6
Dec 19, 2019 - 9:56am
  1. Promotion or lateral elsewhere, it's been about 2.5 years since the last promo so for me it's time to start seeing my options.
  2. Earn my Private Pilot's License. This is a $10K goal I think should be doable next year. I come from an aviation family so would love to get this notch under my belt.

Interested to see how others approach the entering our own roaring 20s.

Dec 19, 2019 - 1:18pm

Professional: Absolutely crush it at my Spring and Summer Internships in order to start my professional career on the right-track
Academic: Get a 3.8+ GPA and establish professional connections with my professors who have extensive industry experience
Personal: Get back to sub-10% body fat before starting my summer IB internship, getting back into music production, and enjoying some hint of a social life

Dec 19, 2019 - 7:52pm

Almost all my goals are laddered ( I have a 1st order, 2nd order, etc) so most of them fit into each other.

This year I went through a major break up in the summer, which lead to me having to revamp my goals (weekly, monthly, and long's weird being with someone for years who you plan to marry and then suddenly having the time and money to purely focus on your benefit).

I'll list some of the 1st order and 2nd order goals within the next 12-24 months

1st order

  • 30+ minutes of HIIT each day (on top of my regular weight routine) plus continuing to hike 2-3 routes a month on weekends.
  • One-on-ones with friends/colleagues to do review of our goals each week
  • Meet and reach out to 5 new people each month (or people I've worked with or networked with in the past)
  • Finishing one book per week

  • Avoid dopamine hits like the plague (i.e. fapping, opting for cigars/scotch when out with the client, watching entertainment when I'm in the hotel instead of working/learning/reading, etc)

2nd Order Goals

  • Getting my coaching business live at multiple locations by e.o. May 2020 and bringing on someone so I can begin delegating throughout 2021
  • Diversify my education so I can continue to deliver value as a consultant and get on a new engagement
  • Land a position on a non-profit's investment committee
  • Acquire all the rights to a company that went under in 2016 and have the product in Alpha stage by EoY 2020. Gather funding and implement test phases for Q1-Q2 2021.
  • Finding a new men's Bible study and go back to being active in small groups at my Church regardless if I now live 50+ minutes away
Dec 19, 2019 - 8:07pm

- Work hard @ Big 4 TAS/M&A
- Try my luck again with McKinsey + grind case interviews. Was rejected last summer during the final round, still a bit bitter about it

- Study for GMAT. If the McKinsey thing doesn't work out then I'll start shopping for a 1-year MFin. Hopefully I'll have GMAT results ready by the end of the year. MIT MFin seems nice
- (Optional) Study for CFA L1 Exam, purely for knowledge

- Marriage with long-term gf
- Start working out again. Just joined a gym last week and struggled to bench 135, although I was benching 225 for reps during college. Need to get in shape ASAP

Will be a hectic year for me for sure. Good luck to everyone ITT!

Dec 20, 2019 - 7:15am

Career: Get a full-time job. I'm currently interviewing with two firms. So, the goal is to impress in the interviews and get an offer. Then, put my head down and learn as much as possible in the first year.

Finance: Pass the CFA level I exam in June. Pass the derivatives trader certification in December.

GMAT: Get the quant score on the same level as my verbal score. Take the test between July and October.

Math: Mental math has been a lot of fun in 2019 and I made great improvements. However, I also spent a lot of time on it. So in 2020, practice mental math no more than for 30 minutes 3 days a week. Complete reviewing the math book on my desk instead. Also, throw in logic-based tests.

Coding: Practice coding in R, Python or VBA for 30 minutes 1-2 times a week so as not to forget my skills.

Reading: Get into a more consistent habit of reading every week. Keep the number of books the same as in 2019.

Exercising: Get into a more consistent habit of doing body weight exercises 3 times a week and cardio 2 times a week. Keep the fitness level attained in 2019.

Relationship: Put effort into the relationship, don't slack off. Buy a ring in November or December to propose in January.

Projects: Get two of the projects running I am always thinking of starting.


  • 3
Jan 3, 2020 - 5:45am

Not as yet. I read a comment on WSO earlier last year that recommended to first get comfortable doing mental math the conventional way before getting into any techniques or systems. That is what I have been doing since July. I practiced with the websites,, and By now I think I'm fairly comfortable with mental math. So, for the new year I looked up some mental math books. I found three books available as pdf with a Google search:

  • Secrets of Mental Math
  • The Trachtenburg Speed System of Basic Mathematics
  • Speed Mathematics Simplified

There is also a more up-to-date book that I haven't checked out yet (The Mental Calculator's Handbook). Hope that helps.


  • 3
Dec 20, 2019 - 11:23am

Get promoted at work.
Sit the GMAT exam.
Launch my startup.
Apply for an MBA this summer.

Dec 21, 2019 - 7:17pm

Get into a top med school.

Interested in health tech, consulting, and entrepreneurship.

Dec 31, 2019 - 12:42pm
  1. DonΒ΄t get fired from job and make good impressions on boss - also get another job until Autumn

  2. Get into program (preferably one not sucking humongous dongles)

  3. Network like a mother pleaser

  4. Learn coding and other stuff via MOOCs

  5. Write more and begin to actually dedicate myself to it

  6. Take shrooms and learn more about the Universe

And yeah, if I also could find a nice girl (or girls or... anyone, really) to spend some time with, thatΒ΄d be choice.
Happy New Year, fellas. WeΒ΄re all gonna make it!

  • 1
Jan 2, 2020 - 2:05pm
  1. Professional - Try to build something worthwhile at the job. Study some models and prepare for an MSCF/MSF/MSQF. Complete my FRM L2. Give GMAT for lulz. Give GRE again, get better quant.

  2. Personal - Study and get proficient in coding and probability. Finally get a girlfriend. Been jacking off for far too long. Break 125 kg 5*5 deadlift with commensurate progress in bench.
    Read 20 books in 2020. Finally get the jaw in shipshape, whatever it may cost.

Stretch: Become an associate by the end of year, Learn some music production.

Jan 2, 2020 - 9:55pm

Quit smoking. Lose another 15 lbs to get to my recommended medical weight (I'm down 45 in 5 months) and find a new job. Seven years in the same place is long enough.

Jan 2, 2020 - 11:54pm

Learn to draw straight lines and basic shapes. Its a silly but true goal.
I cant draw straight lines for the life of me. My squares, circles, and triangles are always lop-sided.

Go, Go, Excel

Jan 3, 2020 - 1:00pm

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"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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