You may be thinking, “But January is almost over, why are you doing your goals now?” Well, because I wanted to take a few weeks to reflect on what I want for myself, and why. I didn’t want to rush setting yearly goals when I hadn’t had a chance to properly think about it, so…here I am, on January 24th (finally) putting my yearly goals for 2014 on paper.
I got really detailed and specific last year, setting goals for both work, my side income, and my life. This year, I am being a bit broader in terms of scope, but also tying measurable and quantifiable objectives to my goals, so I can better accomplish them. (For those of you who are familiar with the strategic planning software company that I work for, you will find that last sentence very funny.) So, without further ado:
LBMT Goals for 2014
Make 30,000 in side income for the year.
2013 was the first full year I was actively making money from my blog, and this number includes both advertising, and freelance writing “gigs” I take on as part of my side hustle efforts. I made close to 15k in 2013, and I’d like to double that number for 2014. Breaking that down incrementally over 12 months means I need $2500 in side income each month. I am already on track for this in February, and if it holds fast for the rest of the year I am positive I can get there.
Increase Net Worth to $40,000
I have started publishing quarterly “net worth” updates (here, and here) which I have found to be a great way to track my financial progress. I’d like to be worth $100k by the time I am 30, so for 2014 I’d like to increase my net worth from around 13k to 40. Sounds ambitious, I know, but if I could just get around to paying down all of my debt, I’d already be halfway to that number. Coupled with the increasing equity in my home, this means I’d only need to save an additional 10k this year to hit that mark.
Start saving down payment for second property
After I pay off the cards, the loan, and bulk up my EF, I’d like to at least begin saving for a second income property. Ideally I’d like to make this happen before my 30th birthday, but since it is my second property I’ll definitely have to put down the full 20%, so I’m giving myself some time to accomplish this goal. I know, after the difficulties of this last renovation, you probably think I’m crazy to want to do that again, but I know things now and think I’ll have a much better handle on the process.
Make LBMT/Beehive Content my primary focus
A lot went down in 2013, and it makes me cringe to think what else I could have accomplished if I’d been focusing on my own career rather than someone else’s. With that in mind, 2014 is definitely going to be the year of LBMT. I’ve already been making some smashing changes around the site, which I will detail for you next week! I plan on revamping the Starter Home Diaries and setting up the website for my LLC, Beehive Content as well.
Again, because I was saving for a house and a
wedding , I didn’t go anywhere except St. Louis for FinCon in 2013. That is so sad! Now that things are finally back under control financially (well, except for the MASSIVE power bill for my house……) I want to travel and nurture those relationships with my old and long distance friends. I just returned from a trip to the Portland/Seattle area that really reaffirmed this for me, and so I am making it a priority.
500 800 Words on My Feelings
My number #1 Goal for 2014- Put my emotional baggage behind me
Oooofh. This one is a doozy. Not to brag, but when my engagement ended, I handled it like a champ. My ex and I parted on civil terms. Now, I did have a good two weeks there where I would cry in my car at particular moments, or whenever this song came on, but I would say for the most part that I did very well. Better than expected. I threw a nice housewarming party in December and everyone commented on how great I looked, how well I appeared to be doing, and for the most part… I was. I met someone. I threw another dinner party at my house on NYE and had one of the best New Year’s of my life.
I got through the holidays and our one year anniversary in December without even thinking about it. I thought I had closed the door on that chapter in 2013 and I was glad to welcome a new year. Between finishing up renovations on the house, doing my first show in over two years, and trying to keep my head above water at work I was running around like normal and telling everyone, “I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.”
Turns out, I am not fine, and that has become very apparent these first few weeks of 2014.
Sometimes, I scare people with how I handle things. Maybe it is a holdover from my emotionally repressed youth, but I like to be very present with my feelings. When I am upset, I cry very hard for however long it takes, write something neurotic and sad, then write something angry, and then move on. Again, it scares people, but it works for me and usually I can move on from things very quickly and with relative ease because I’ve allowed myself to be unafraid to fully process my feelings. Yet, this particular situation, unlike any other I have ever encountered, has been very difficult for me, and for whatever reason, I handled it differently than I have any other problem in my life. This was a mistake.
I took zero personal days when it first happened because I was afraid to sit alone with my feelings. I wrote a small something about it on my blog, but nothing too personal. I drove myself crazy with projects around the house to keep my hands and mind occupied. I went to FinCon and pretended everything was OK, and while I don’t regret that decision, it was just easier to keep pretending upon my return home. I am paying for this now, three months later, when I should be close to fully healed and I’m still hurt and angry, because I was too busy in October/November assuring myself that everything was alright.
Normally when I haven’t liked something about my life, I rebooted it. I moved to Atlanta, then I moved to New York, then I moved back again, but I can’t do that this time. I bought a house, have a job I actually like, and adore the friends I’ve made here (I had 40 people come to my housewarming, and I felt really loved and popular. seriously!) I have to stay here and mine through my feelings and make things work, not only because I should, but because I want to. I’m still a long way from where I want to be when it comes to coping with this overwhelming grief.
This is all a very long and winded way of saying that in 2014, I really want to focus on putting my emotional baggage behind me. Not in the fake, “Look how fucking fantastic I am!” way,” but in a real one, where I can spend a full day without a moment of misplaced anger or sadness (lets be real, it is pretty much all anger at this point.) I’m close. It is always in those wonderful moments, when I actively feel as if I am moving on when all of it comes back to haunt me, and then I beat myself up for a number of things: how it happened, why it happened, and why I’m still holding onto those feelings. I tell people on my site all the time to be good to themselves, but I’m really not bringing that home or practicing what I preach.
Well…that stops today.
I found this great quote on NYE by T.S Eliot and it really resonated with me, and after I read it I just knew that I had to include this one personal goal for myself among the other financial ones I set for myself this year.
“Let last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.”
I read it every time I need to remind myself to let go and move on once and for all.