Every year I make resolutions or set goals in January. But to be honest, I have a 50/50 success rate. There have been a few years that I’ve absolutely stuck to what I’ve said I want to do (like that year I gave up bottled water).
And then there are others where I’ve given up on my goals by the time we hit the third week in January.
This year, I wanted to try something a little different. I pulled Jordan into it with me (though he’s never one to make New Year’s resolutions) and I’m going to use a monthly check in to help us stay honest with our progress. I’ll be sharing that monthly check in right here for everyone to see. I need accountability, people.
I struggled with setting goals this year because Jordan and I are expecting a little human to join us at the end of March. And as much as I pretend life will commence as normal, I realize I’m in a full-on state of denial.
Each month I’ll sit down and share the progress we’ve (hopefully) made and any mistakes or lessons.
Some of these goals include Jordan, which I’ve noted below. He’s a good sport to allow himself to get roped into this.
Big financial goals (both Erica & Jordan)
Our two big goals:
Money goals can sometimes be boring. But this year we have two really specific goals for our money that I think will make it more fun: we want to fund our freedom account and we want to save to buy this tiny house (read more about these goals and where to invest your money in the short term here).
They’re really stretch goals for us so I’m a little nervous to track these publicly each month. But I’m ready for that accountability.
Our goal for the new baby:
It’s also our goal to kick start a 529 plan with a windfall we have coming our way later this month, rather than make monthly contributions. I’ve done a decent amount of research and know what plan we’re going with (and why), which I’ll share once the account is funded at the end of the month.
This is an easy goal that I can check off early (winning!).
Make more goals (Erica only)
I work for myself. And while it’s great and I absolutely wouldn’t trade it, income can be inconsistent. I have two steady jobs that bring in roughly the same each month, but just cruising along with those is a recipe for disaster because if I lose one, I’ll be straight back to my corporate life.
My goal this year is to make more by picking up one new job each month (minus March & April because I’m trying to give myself a little bit of time to adjust to a baby. All tips welcome and appreciated).
These jobs can be writing or consulting, but I need to get out and pitch (groan).
As additional motivation, there’s no way we’ll reach our financial goals without me doing this, so it’s time to check my ego at the door and go look for more work.
Spend smarter & the happiness habit (both Erica & Jordan)
Sometimes I sound like a broken record, but we don’t really budget. But what we do instead is to adhere to buying only the things that make us the happiest, and cutting out the rest (need a refresher on that? Find it here.)
There are weeks where we’re great at this and there are other weeks where we’ll not even realize how much we’ve spent on stupid things until I look at our bank account and see that we have $10 left for the month.
This year, I think it would be fun for us to sit down and be honest about one purchase each month we’re thrilled we made, and one that was a downright bad decision. I can already feel myself cringing thinking back to my bad purchases of 2017.
The idea for this monthly reflection isn’t to feel bad about spending money but it’s to make sure we’re being mindful and seriously enjoying everything that we spend on. Expect total honesty each month about the good, the bad, and the ugly of our day to day spending.
Money have you feeling like a mess?
A simple spreadsheet solution that’ll take you from “wtf?” to “ah. money is simple.”
Live bigger (both Erica + Jordan)
While money goals are great, they’re not everything. Not even close. I’ve made health or lifestyle resolutions in the past, but this year, with a baby on the way, the healthy goals have morphed into the need for more mental health than physical health.
We’ve traveled pretty extensively in the 4 years we’ve been living in London, but there are still more places on our list (aren’t there always?). We’re prioritizing this year and the two places that we absolutely must make it to are Sweden (either Stockholm or a beach town where my family is from) and Amsterdam. And also a summer trip to somewhere sunny. Because it’s going to be a long winter.
At the end of 2017, I really put a morning routine into place (which I love). But I still struggle to do the yoga piece of it every single day. I can be so lazy even though once I do it I feel so good.
I want to make yoga a bigger part of my life this year as a way to help manage my stress and anxiety (and you know, be a happier, nicer person). So my goal is to do yoga 5 days per week – either on my own, with YouTube videos, or an app.
Last summer Jordan started going to Crossfit and has absolutely loved it. While it’s great for fitness, yes, I swear it’s also had a major impact on his happiness and patience. His goal is to continue going 3 times per week (minus a few weeks post-baby where we need to give ourselves a little slack).
The Worth Project
The more that I write here, the more excited I get about sharing great information. So it has to be said, that continuing to grow The Worth Project is a big 2018 goal for me. Like really big. Here’s what I hope to get done in this first quarter.
Double the number of people I reach each month: I get so enthused each time a new reader sends me a note asking a question or telling me that they’re happy to have found the site. It literally gives me fuel to keep writing. So a big goal for me is to figure out how to reach more people. I think this is going to have to involve social media, which tbh makes me cringe. But it’s for a worthy pursuit, right?
Create a (free) investing guide for the toolbox: I hate that investing can be confusing. I hate more that there are a lot of people taking advantage of that fear or confusion. Investing doesn’t need to be difficult. I want to break it all down. From the fees to the types of investments, to what investment services are both user-friendly and a smart financial move, I want to break it all down. I meant to have this done by end of 2017, but I’m now aiming for this to be a February goal.
Run a free workshop or challenge: it’s so easy to consume information without actually implementing anything. It’s also so easy for me to continue just writing articles and hope that someone takes action from them. To make sure we’re all in this together, I want to put together a free workshop or challenge that helps you make actionable steps toward feeling good about spending smarter, making more, and living bigger.
Take a writing class: I can write, but I’m not a great writer. It’s a challenge for me. But I know the better I write, the easier it will be for you to read and follow along. So it’s time to take a writing class.
If you set goals for the new year, share them with me! Let’s keep each other accountable this year.
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Money should be simple.