The beginning of a new year is a natural reset so I thought it would be a good time to establish goals for 2018. It’s always easy to feel a sense of re-commitment to goals early in the New Year. The test will be to hold on to that feeling for the entire year!
Goal: Establish a Fitness Routine
Outside of walking everywhere because I don’t own a car, I honestly don’t make time for exercise as I should. I know once I get over the hump of establishing a habit of regular exercise I will love having that apart of my routine.
How to Make it Happen: 1) Establish Accountability Buddies 2) Establish a weekly exercise Goal and once I exceed it, increase it. 3) Choose a Yoga Studio and Become a Regular 4) Do Exercise Routines from YouTube at Home 5) Experiment with Exercise in Mornings Before Work.
Goal: Study a Language
As a lover of travel, I really want to be able to communicate better in another language (or more than one!). I’d like to dedicate more time to learning a language this year.
How to Make it Happen: 1) Start with a App like DuoLingo 2) After I Meet Some Savings Goals in 1st Half of 2018, Sign up for Language Class (Spanish 101 or Continue French) in 2nd Half of 2018.
Goal: Carve Out Time for My Interests Outside of Work
It’s become easier to just scroll through my IG feed or watch a Netflix show in my downtime rather than prioritize my hobbies and interests outside of my job which isn’t ideal for work/life balance.
How to Make It Happen: This year, I’d like to 1) Schedule time for my hobbies like I do any other appointment I don’t want to miss – Like blogging, making products, photography, etc. 2) Go to creative meet-ups like Walk with Locals, Cocktails and Craft, and Lemonbowl Collective classes 3) Take a look at my neglected craft-focused Pinterest boards and actually make some of the things I’ve bookmarked – Pick one thing each month.
Goal: Focus Attention on Friendships and Building Community
It’s easy to get tunnel vision and busy with your own life and not nurture your friendships and community. But friendships are important and I’d like to be more consistent with making more time for my friendships and connecting with more like minded folks in my city (and in other places).
How to Make it Happen: 1) Pick a Friend or Family Member to Call each Week (and try to rely less on texting as a way to keep in touch) 2) Invite people to visit/entertain 3) Pick a cause to volunteer for and invite new and long-standing friends to participate with me. 3) Look into planning more trips with friends and visiting friends more often in other cities.
Goal: Get Serious About Managing My Money
In order to meet my long term life goals, I need to buckle down and dedicate time and energy into managing my money in a smarter way. When I get to retirement, I want to make sure I’m in the best financial position I can be which is why I’m already looking into things like equity release on my home – click here to learn more about equity release if you’re serious about making sure you can provide for yourself and your family in retirement.
How to Make it Happen: 1) Meet with a Money Professional (Goal or Advisor) by June 2018 – work with this person to set some goals for things like investing for retirement and saving for a house down payment 2) Check my credit on a regular basis, address any errors by June 2018 3) Pick one financial task I’ve been dreading and set a Sunday each month to tackle – (i.e. call my credit card companies to try to lower my rates, work on my taxes, schedule automatic transfers for specific goals, evaluate which monthly payments I can eliminate, etc.) 4) Incrementally increase my extra payments on my remaining student loans. The best place for me to start could be to potentially compare electricity plans for my home so I have a better chance of being able to save more on my utility bills. And the money that I do save can go towards my extra payments on my student loans, (this will also make me look more energy efficient). 5) Establish a side hustle/secondary source of income to fast track my savings and student loan repayment goals.
You can use this student loan calculator so you can keep on top of your repayments. I refuse to be tempted by the scams that disguise themselves as relief solutions; I have a friend who fell for one once but luckily she was able to find a good student loan lawyer to help her.
Here’s to making 2018 the most positive, productive ever!