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!?


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?

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30 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

    • Ooh explor­ing is a great theme! Nice­ly done! I hope to see you at some point in your explo­rations this year!

  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!

  11. Awe­some post! Love your list of goals, very inspi­ra­tional! Going to the Chi­ro­prac­tor can cer­tain­ly be very ben­e­fi­cial for your men­tal and phys­i­cal health. Thanks for shar­ing!

  12. Sounds like you have a great head on your shoul­ders. It’s good that your sav­ing mon­ey while your young. I wish I had did so! (I’m 44).. You save while your young, then you will sure­ly be a mil­lion­aire able be in the posi­tion to help so many peo­ple! I lis­ten to Dave Ram­sey a lot and he real­ly helps to inspire you to save.. “Live Like Noone Else Today (Beans and Rice) So You Can Live (and give) Like Noone Else Tomor­row!) Thanks for this great post.

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