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
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:
- February will be a Whole30 month. After overindulging through
last yearthe 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
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?
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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