In less than three months, it’s going to be 2020.
I don’t actually care about the year, but based on Internet memes, I needed to point that out, right?
Whether it’s 2020, 2021, 2022, or any other flip of the calendar year, I think there’s something really inspiring about the time of year leading up to a new year. It’s one more opportunity to make the current year count.
That’s right. I’m not a believer in waiting for the perfect time to start your goals.
Of course, a post in the second week of October on what I hope to get out of this last quarter encapsulates that perfectly.
When I reflected on last quarter, I realized that I was making a lot of smart financial moves. The pieces are coming together for me as an individual, for my husband and I as a couple, and for us as a little family.
Despite that (or perhaps because of that), I’ve been neglecting myself and my health. Even though I declared 2019 to be The Year of Me. I have failed time and time again at putting myself first even some of the time.
Rather than wait until next year, though, I’m going to try to right that now. I’m still setting other goals, but they’re going to be goals that I can accomplish in a single sitting. That way, I can spend the bulk of this quarter focused on myself and my health.
Here’s my game plan for Q4 2019:
Why, oh why, do I not drink water? I drink plain tea, but I mostly spend time downing Diet Coke and sugar-laden lattes. I’d like to cut back on all of this, but first…water.
And I’m committing to staying in motion every day because it inspires me to do other things, like stretching, yoga, and even the occasional super-short workout.
Goal 1 – Drink more water daily.
Goal 2 – Move at least 10,500 steps each day.
Our mortgage number is under six figures, and quite frankly, I’m tired of obsessing about it. Instead of dedicating my time, efforts, and side hustle money to my mortgage, I’m going to–brace yourself!–spend some money and try not to think too much about money in general this quarter.
I said to brace yourself, didn’t I?
I’m setting two goals that I can tackle in one or two sittings and will pay off for years to come.
Goal 1 – Increase my 403b contributions by at least $100 a month.
Goal 2 – Help my husband open his 403b.
I want to continue keeping clutter at bay. Part of that means calling myself out when I’m doing things like trying to buy my son $300 worth of things he doesn’t need in a single weekend. My plan is to declutter preemptively with the holidays on the horizon and to sell a bit of it for cash.
Goal 1 – Declutter 30 more items.
Goal 2 – Make at least $25 selling.
I’m really pleased that we made some swaps from plastic to glass, and I want to try to keep it up. It turns out that not only does this sit better with me from an environmental standpoint, it has other benefits too. For instance, peanut butter in glass > peanut butter in plastic. The same also holds true for jam and applesauce. I’m excited to see what other swaps we can make.
Plus, I’m shooting for 5 or less disposable cups again. If I can hit this goal, I’ll have used less than 30 disposable cups this year. That’s still a lot of waste, but it’s so much less than it could be. When I first started this teaching job years and years ago, I was so excited to work in a school that had a water cooler with hot and cold water. I cringe at the number of disposable cups I must have grabbed!
Goal 1 – Swap out a routine plastic purchase.
Goal 2 – Use 5 or less disposable cups.
Last quarter, I wanted to freelance more. Side income streams make me feel really confident financially, so I’m glad that I made that a priority. I really believe that earning and saving money can be a form of self care.
But I also don’t like how this goal made money even more of a focal point in my life.
Instead of focusing on more ways to make money, save money, or invest money, I want to try something different. I am going to work really hard to alleviate some of the guilt that I feel surrounding spending. To do that, I’m going to make room in my budget and in my calendar to continue to meet up with friends and to spoil myself a little bit, too. Hopefully, it’ll be guilt free!
Goal 1 – Continue to meet up with friends regularly.
Goal 2 – Get a pedicure (and maybe some other treats).
Final Thoughts on Q4 2019 Goals
What a weird place to, huh?
We are catapulting toward what virtually every carefully curated Instagram pages promises to be a milestone year, and here I am pulling my focus away from money.
Of course, it speaks to the previous heaping of hard work and privilege in our lives. If the financial puzzle pieces weren’t coming together, I wouldn’t have the ability to divert my focus from money.
But it also underscores something else that’s been nibbling at the edges of my mind all year. There has to be more to life than numbers. Of course there is. Money is just a tool. But if that’s really the case, why devote so much time to it?
I don’t know the answer, and I’m not even sure I’m asking the right question. What I do know, though, is that for the rest of the year, I want to explore something beyond money. I want to focus on my health, and I want to focus on me. 2019 might be The Year of Me just yet.
So Tell Me…What are you working on this quarter?