2013: Keep It Simple, Have Fun and Grow
Time is relative. In elementary school, a two-week Christmas vacation was a lifetime. At 19, I figured I would never be 21. Now, time is doing laps around me, picking up the pace at an ever-increasing clip and the days, weeks and months can become a blur far too easily. 2012 was the first year that I made public goals, tracked them and actually met some of them. I’ll do a really quick recap just in case we’re keeping score:
Goals and Resolutions for 2012
- Develop my relationships and spend time with the people I love. WORD. As in YES!
- Reduce waste: Energy, water, food, consumer items and paper goods. YES!
- Get to know more people in LA and elsewhere. YES!
- Pay off $20,000 in debt to bring my debt total to under $15,000. NO: Will be around $17,900 by 12/31.
- Wake up 1 hour before I have to get ready for work, Monday through Thursday and write, do errands or work out. NO.
- Exercise 6 days a week. shhhmYES? That’s a kind of. I averaged 4-5 most weeks.
- Successfully complete the Yakezie challenge. YES!
- Develop American Debt Project and my two other online properties into income-generating websites. NO. Only 1/3.
- Buy my first place. NO. Pre-qualified and looking.
- Contribute 10% of everything I make to savings. YES!
- Start an herb garden in the patio! NO.
- Become a better photographer. NO. Can’t afford it!
- Writing goals: Submit to Thought Catalog, brainstorm/start book ideas. NO. Many other non-writing projects going on.
- Make at least $5,000 in writing/freelance income. YES! Technically, not writing income, but my own business income definitely.
- Create monthly goals for each month, which I will announce on my blog. YES!
As you can see, my goals were not fully developed or in line with what I ended up focusing on for most of 2012. I had some really ambitious ones like photography and an herb garden that sounded great but I made zero effort on the entire year and only remembered when I looked back at my resolutions post. But I also had some ones that I didn’t think I would even come close to– and being $2,900 shy of $20,000 in debt payoff was more than I thought was going to happen. I also worked out as part of my regular routine, improved my blog (but not nearly enough) and focused on the monthly goals, which helped a lot in getting things done each month. So for 2013, I propose to keep it simple. Clean. Intuitive. Things that I know matter most, and things that I want to make sure are an absolute focus of the coming year.
American Debt Project’s Goals for 2013
- Life: Be present in my own life and live with integrity, humor, love and fun.
- Family: Be present and giving to my boyfriend, family and friends, including blogging friends.
- Money: Pay off my remaining ~$18,000 in debt by mid-2013 and incur no more consumer debt.
- Investing: Buy my first property-one that is a good value and well below what I can afford.
- Investing: Read The Intelligent Investor. Invest prudently and carefully.
- Business: Sell 1,000 units of something.
- Body: Weigh 120 pounds and get toned.
- Travel: Take one trip out of the country.
That’s it! Eight is even more than I was originally going for. But it helps to add some feel-good ones like Body and Travel because it’s easy to become singularly focused and very unhealthy and also forget to call or see your friends and family. 2013 is not about documenting the minutiae of what I can get done, but whether I can focus on a few key goals while still enjoying life and learning as much as possible and remaining humble and in awe of the possibilities that await. My debt weighed me down for years, and I am ready to say goodbye to it and say hello to a new outlook and approach to life.
I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring. Happy New Year to All!