2017: The Year of Caring

Y’all, the FI community is seriously one of the best communities I’ve ever been a part of. There are a ton of amazingly smart, kind, and welcoming people every where you look! Not to mention, they come up with thought-provoking and life changing posts.

One of the posts that made me stop and think recently was a post from Our Next Life titled “The Year of No”. This is their last year of work before they pull the plug, and that will lead to some changes in their work dynamic.

Sadly, I’m farrrrrrrrrrrrr from my last year of work. However, Ms. Our Next Life inspired me to come up with a theme for 2017 and the goals I hope to accomplish.

Welcome to 2017, the Year of Caring.

Caring is kind of a vague term so I’m going to specify exactly what I’m caring about (some more so, some less so) for the next 12 months.

More caring for others

Care more about this floof!

I have the tendency to be a bit self-absorbed at times. “What’s in it for me?” was a question I’ve asked myself many times in the last few years. While it’s worked out pretty well, I’ve also let some great opportunities pass me by because I couldn’t see any immediate obvious benefit for myself.

Not so much in 2017.

I will be doing more to help others this year. Help someone move? Sure. Copy edit writings for friends? Absolutely.

I will also do more to help others monetarily this year. I’ve been blessed so far and would like to share that with others who are a little less fortunate. More details are coming about that in a future post 🙂

Now, I’m not going to say yes to everything. I will have some limits set for myself so no one takes advantage of my goal. But, anything reasonable is fair game!

More caring for me

“Wait, Gwen…. didn’t you just say you wanted to be less self-absorbed this year?”

As a matter of fact, I did.

This is a different form of caring. This is about taking care of myself, something I’ve done half-heartedly at best in the last 36 months.

This will be a four-part goal:

  1. February will be a Whole30 month. After overindulging through last year the holidays, my body is telling me there’s an issue. Only problem is, I don’t know what it is so I will be doing the Whole30 to see if I can identify which foods (besides gluten, obviously) are causing the issues.
  2. Run a 5k this summer. My new town has a LOT of 5k runs through the year. I am terrible at forcing myself to work out for my health, so this gives me a goal to work towards. I want to beat my time from the ‘Invest in Yourself ‘ 5k I did at the Annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting last May.
    1. After I run the 5k, I will be working out to be in better shape for hanging out with people in swimming pools/saunas/hot tubs at FinCon. Maybe I’m the tiniest bit vain haha.
  3. Go to the chiropractor once a quarter, and massage therapist once a month. I have got some seriously tight muscles from stress and other activities (frisbee golf, soccer, softball, etc) that need to be worked out. I had my first massage after I got back from FinCon last year and I felt super great afterwards. I need more of that before I cause myself serious harm in the long run. Having my body be all out of whack cannot be good for me. I’d prefer to hit FI a bit later in exchange for being healthier!
  4. Take the stairs when possible. staying fit with no gym in sight. Obviously, this isn’t possible all the time. Like, when I’m at work moving the mobile video conferencing setup around. Every other time, I have no excuse. I can thank Mr. Money Mustache for this goal after I read his article on staying fit with no gym in sight. For someone lazy like me, that’s an easy way to get in some steps and raise my heart rate. Especially vital now that I’ve been in a sedentary office job for a few years.

Care more about the big picture

“ehhhh……. what?”

I’ve realized lately, after doing a very rough time tracking exercise, that I’m not very good at parceling out my free time. I waste a lot of time on meaningless activities, and don’t set aside enough time for the things that matter.

Therefore, before I do something, I’m going to ask myself if it furthers both my short and long-term goals.

  • Working out? Yes, do more of that.
  • Browsing for a multi-family rental property to buy? Yes, but be cognizant of using it wisely.
  • Watching NFL (or anything else for that matter) on TV? No.
  • Playing my favorite mobile game? Only when I have nothing else to do.
  • Working on the blog? Yes! (but also use time efficiently. Don’t fiddle fart around whilst doing so.)
  • Going on dates? Yes. Browsing POF/OKC/insert-other-dating-app-here? Maybe.

It’s the age old question. How do I juggle all the demands on my time? Why am I so busy when I’m not dating anyone, don’t have any kids to look after (the cat doesn’t count), and don’t really have any other family demands on my hands? How am I going to make time for forming a meaningful relationship with a special someone if I’m busy running around like my butt is on fire?

Care more about the scenery in 2017

I think, and I’m kind of sad about this answer, but a lot of things are going to have to give. Reading for fun, playing video games, and browsing social media are the big time wasters right now. Let me clarify that reading is never a waste of time, but reading my favorite series for the 18 millionth time might be better spent reading recommended real estate or personal finance books. I might also try creating a schedule in the future so I can plan in a few fun things here and there and not feel guilty for it.

Care less about money

“Wait, what? You’re a finance blogger! You HAVE to care about money!!!!”

Don’t fret, I still care deeply about money and my finances.

But I check my financial accounts multiple times a day. There’s not really anything that changes in that time span. Maybe once a day would be enough. Maybe I can check accounts every other day.

The point is, I’m expending a lot of energy and time (see above) on something I can’t/won’t change. What am I going to do if the markets drop? Nothing. So why bother fretting about it?

I also play around with financial spreadsheets more than is probably necessary. So, this year, I’m only going to update them at the beginning of the month when I have significant changes (ie I need to input budget stuff and write my monthly status report).

I do have a few other money related goals for 2017 that I can fit neatly into this part of the post. Just in case you thought I wasn’t going to set any 🙂

  • Spend under $30,000. Should be doable now that I drastically reduced my housing costs.
  • Hit $200k net worth. Only $69,790 to go!
  • Earn over $100,000. If I do nothing beyond going to my day job, I’ll earn $76k. That leaves $24k for me to earn elsewhere, which I plan to do with rental income, monetizing this blog (it’s almost time), and other side hustle/hobby income. It’s aggressive but why not push myself to see what I can do!?

Conclusion

Basically, I just want to be a better person overall in 2017. I believe I can do that with the goals set above with only a minimal amount of pain. Thanks for reading and helping to hold me accountable by doing so! I hope you have a blessed, happy, bountiful 2017!

Do you have any goals set for 2017? What would be your best and hardest goal to achieve?

27 thoughts on “2017: The Year of Caring

  1. Oh my gee, I can’t handle that floof!!!! Is your kitty a Maine Coon? That’s a whole lotta floof! Seriously, I keep staring at that picture, holy moly.

    You know, I actually met Mr. Picky Pincher on OKCupid, of all places. You never know who you might find. 🙂

    I think you hit the nail on the head with these 2017 goals. Overall I think it’s about being more mindful of how we spend our time. I fall prey to time-wasters when I could be doing something actually useful. You just have to get up and do it. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…How to Have Fun with Kids Without Busting the BudgetMy Profile

    • He’s a Siberian Forest Cat, which share a lot of the same traits. Except Siberians are hypoallergenic, which comes in handy when I moved into my allergic friend’s basement or have friends over to visit. Well worth getting him from a breeder! Also a huge snuggle bug <3 <3

      I'm definitely not opposed to using said dating services, as I've used them in the past. I'm trying something new this time around and working on meeting people organically. If that doesn't turn up any results...... back to the interwebs I'd go!

  2. That’s a good theme! I personally love themes for the year and mine is “exploring.” I think it can be hard to juggle so many things, so it’s good to do a time audit to see where you an free up your time for the most important things for you. And taking care of YOU and your health is not at all selfish! Remember the old oxygen mask story? 🙂 Hope it’s a great year!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…2017: The Exploring YearMy Profile

  3. Haha, good for you on monetizing FieryMillennials. What caused you to change your mind on all that?

    “Think less about $” is pretty much my 2017 goal.

    It was never the forefront on most of this journey, it was a hobby, but 2016 was definitely hardcore with all the extra time reading blogs, starting a blog, cutting expenses and all the rest. And I’m sure all of it increased my savings rate. Which is great.

    But most of it I think it was just an escape from the immense disappointment that I failed to keep around the “unicorn” that I was dating in early ’16. We’ll see how 2017 goes. I’m sure traveling will help distract me from money. We’ll see. 😀
    TJ recently posted…Invest Even When You’re Not Sure What to Invest In.My Profile

    • I’ll have a post where I go more into detail, but basically it’s because I can and have found a good way to do so without feeling spammy. I’ve also been encouraged to take business deductions for all the travel I do….. but i didn’t have a business. Now I do 🙂

      • That’s awesome, I can’t wait to read that post, I have similar hopes, not necessarily with blogging income per se, but with some sort of FI related self-employment…but I need to create revenue first. I’d prefer to create a product or service that people would actually want to buy vs. selling link leads , but I’m not entirely sure.
        TJ recently posted…Invest Even When You’re Not Sure What to Invest In.My Profile

  4. Great theme Gwen! I’m doing couch to 5k now to get in better shape and I’d be happy to run with you at camp this weekend if you like!

    My theme is the year of wellness: reducing the overwhelm.

  5. Look out 200k, here comes Gwen! Effective time management is a tricky one to nail, so good for you for recognizing the problem and coming up with a concrete plan to fix it.

    P.S. That floofy cat! I am a dog person, but floofy cat makes me feel like hugging him.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…To Buy Or Not to BuyMy Profile

    • If it helps any, people routinely tell me Bartholomew is really a dog that just happens to look like a cat. He’s very laid back, loves to cuddle, and even does tricks!

  6. Good ideas! A couple of weeks ago I ran into the same problems about time management. I had found that I spent more time focusing on the fact that I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted to instead of working towards what I wanted. My wife was super helpful in creating a daily schedule for me to follow in order to make sure I was using my time appropriately to obtain my goals.

    • I’d like to think I can manage my time better than that, but I’m fooling myself. I need to create a schedule for myself too :/ Glad to hear it worked for you! Thanks for commenting!

  7. Awesome post, Gwen. Better get ready, I sense a swimming competition shaping up for FinCon! Great ideas for your 2017 focus, and I applaud your courage in baring them all for the world to see. Now, the only thing left is to get ’em done. Wanna edit a few of my post drafts? (Tee hee).

    Great post, an encouragement to us all to focus on the things that matter (and that doesn’t include the NFL, sorry sports fans!)

  8. Awesome! Love the theme for 2017, Gwen!

    Mine is the year of giving. So far, so good. I’ve given away one $20 visa card so far. And will give away many more. But I also plan on extending kindness in non-monetary ways (opening doors, letting people cut in line, and helping when I get the opportunity).

    Love the Whole30. Maybe I’ll join you. And I can’t wait to follow along and hear about the 5K. Thanks for sharing!

    • Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to read all about your giving!

      ….Sure you don’t want to do the 5k with me? 😀

  9. Those are some great plans for the new year! Self care is extremely important and a lot of people (even self absorbed ones) forget about it. For the massage, you probably have a massage therapy school in your new town. I’d highly recommend giving that a shot as you get an awesome massage (they have an instructor on hand) and you’re usually paying less than half of a regular massage therapist. I got a deal on groupon this year and got a massage for half their regular price.. aka 1/4th of a regular massage therapist! Also investing in a foam roller and maybe doing some yoga could be good cheap ideas to supplement massages. I’m not much for chiropractors myself (once you start you have to keep going, feels un-frugal to me).

    • Foam roller is for sure a great idea. I don’t know where the local massage therapy college is, but my new town does have a large Chiropractic school. Not sure if cheap adjustments from students is the best idea though! Hah! Thanks for commenting!

  10. First, an admission… I’m a crazy cat person. (I only have 2 of my own right now, but I love them to pieces!) I read your post and was immediately drawn to the floof… but had every intention of not mentioning him in my comment… then I read some of your responses in the comments… And now I have to. So, his name is Bartholomew? That has got to be one of the best cat names ever! And he’s a Siberian forest cat? Growing up we had a cat that wasn’t from a breeder (I think his mom was a stray that wandered in to a family friend’s cabin), so no idea what his background actually was, but he was so much like a Maine Coon or a Norwegian forest cat (hadn’t heard of the Siberian version before) that we decided he was a Shawnigan forest cat (he came from a place called Shawnigan Lake). He was the coolest, chillest cat ever. I remember when I was babysitting a toddler, and she picked him up and hugged him around the middle and proceeded drag him around the house… He knew that they didn’t know any better and just took it… If I had done that… Different story…

    Anyway… Now that I’ve gone totally off topic… Love your theme for the year and your goals! I’m looking forward to your post on monetizing your blog without feeling spammy. I’ve always wondered if there was a way… Good luck in 2017!

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