You’d think as a personal finance blogger my goal this year would be money-related, but truth be told I feel like a schlub always putting money/blogging/entrepreneurship first. I tell people, and myself, that family and friends are priority #1, but my actions often say otherwise :( And it’s not something I want to see continuing, especially now that I’m blessed with two beautiful boys in my life.
It’s very much akin to one of my favorite sayings in financial management:
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are” – James W. Frick
Only in this case, swap in “time” for money. So this year’s goal is all about living more while still tending to those financial and career-related goals in the background. And for those who like to hate on new years resolutions, not to fret – I’ve already started mine on December 1st ;)
(People like to say resolutions are lame because people wait so long to start them rather than acting right away, which may be true, but still – since when is working on a goal at anytime bad? If anything, you magically have MORE motivation around the 1st of Jan than any other day of the year! So why not use that to your advantage?)
Now, what exactly does “living more” mean? Well, for starters paying attention to my family more. But even more so than that, doing anything not involving a computer. I don’t care if that’s folding laundry, traveling, binging on skittles, skipping, dancing, collecting coins, or organizing my closet from top to bottom then moving down to the basement to do the same (that actually sounds fun!). The more time spent away from an electronic device – and specifically computers and cell phones – the better.
And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve already started implementing a few tricks to get me going:
- I no longer look at my cell phone during meals – particularly dinner
- I do my best to not look at my cell phone in the company of other humans (and usually I succeed – only to get annoyed at watching these humans then get on theirs! Hah!)
- I’ve been taking at least one night off a week from work (it’s not every night, but it’s a start)
- I’ve been working fewer hours over the weekend
- I no longer check email/twitter/my blog before going to bed
- And I’ve been making a conscious effort to *not think about work* as best I can when I’m not sitting down to actually do it. That’s the hardest one of them all since you hardly have any control of your thoughts (at least at this stage of the process… I imagine over time you get better at switching gears and forming a habit)
So pretty much it’s all about cutting out face time with electronics, and then filling that time with more substantial things in “real life.” That is, outside of what’s necessary to keep a thriving business or career going of course. I very much want to continue blogging to you lovely folks every day, it’s just that it need not consume me anymore. I’ve heard people call this “balancing?” ;)
That’s the goal for the new year anyways, and 1 month in I’m feeling pretty hopeful. Looking through my past resolutions, however, it seems those more focused on “life” don’t stand nearly as good a chance as those revolving around “money,” haha…
My Past Resolutions:
- 2000: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2001: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2002: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2003: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2004: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2005: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2006: Have better handwriting (F+)
- 2007: Have better handwriting (F)
- 2008: Start a budget and learn more about money in general (A+)
- 2009: Pay off car loans, blog better, write more hand written letters (B)
- 2010: Max out retirement accounts? (A+)
- 2011: Work for myself for 12 months without applying to a job (A+)
- 2012: Work 50% less, but make 50% more (C)
- 2013: Keep stuff simple (A)
- 2014: Start acting like an “adult” (A+ until baby #2 came, then D+)
Lots of green (just like money!), but plenty of red too. Still, if you don’t have a life what’s the point?
Now, pray tell, what are your goals for the new year? And more importantly, who wants to have a closet organizing party tonight?? ;)
[Photo cred: youngthousands]
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