What a year these first six months have been.
I already admitted that the goals I set in January feel like an April Fool’s joke, and then I spent some time thinking about how smaller goals might serve me better.
It’s hard to focus on the future when it feels like all you’re doing is treading water to get through the day.
I finally took the time to sit down and iron out some goals for the second half of the year. Despite having never felt more uncertain about the future, here’s what I’m looking to tackle over the coming months.
1. Organize our accounts.
I have been putting this off for actual years. Well, I’ve been putting it off and laughing about it. My husband always jokes that he’s going to lose the house if I die first because he won’t know how to pay our mortgage. (An aside – If I die before our mortgage is paid off, I am haunting US Bank! Mark my words!)
My husband and I are both very involved in looking at what we intend to spend each month. Then, we talk through how the month went as we update our spreadsheet. But I’m the actual button clicker when it comes to our accounts. No more! I’m going to find a way to get everything organized and then put in all in one place with some kind of password manager system.
2. Put some of our money to work for us in new ways.
We have a very comfy emergency fund and a healthy savings balance overall. While I’m still not paying off our mortgage yet, I would like to take a slice of our savings and put it somewhere more productive. Because both of our school districts’ plans for the fall are completely undecided (and tentatively opposite from one another!), we want to make sure that we have a healthy buffer. The act of moving the money will be simple. It’s a worthy goal because striking the right balance between savings, debt pay off, and investing in the middle of a pandemic is, well, hard.
3. Finalize a will.
Heyo! Good morning to you too! How many times am I going to mention dying in a post this short?!
This is another thing that’s been on our to-do list for far too long. We have a handful of excuses as to why this task hasn’t already been completed. But if ::waves arms:: all this isn’t enough to move this up our list of priorities, I don’t know what is.
4. Maintain multiple income streams.
Are you sensing a theme yet? The second of this year is an attempt for me to reclaim control after having next to none. If I’m going to build castles in the sky, might as well go for broke, right?
While I know my other income streams won’t replace my income from teaching, they’re my best security blanket right now. Yes, having an e-fund is very comforting. Knowing that I can and do earn money in other capacities is also reassuring when faced with an all-but-certain need for some serious sick time this school year. (Hopefully, this is quarantining out of precaution and nothing else.)
5. Support others more.
“We aren’t a community. We are individuals living in close proximity.” I actually said this in conversation about our country, and I hate that it came out of my mouth. I truly believe that people are better together (yes, even if you’re an introvert!). What I’ve noticed is that as people become more fatigued with the pandemic and social reform, we tend to retreat to our own lives. It makes perfect sense.
But I want to make sure that I’m continuing to push past that. As time has crawled on this year, I’ve noticed that as my mindset becomes more scarcity-based. Now, I tend to focus on giving later in the month. When the pandemic first started, I was blowing past the giving line in our budget in the first few days.
(Psst. It’s also worth noting that there are many ways to be more supportive. Donating is just easiest for me to quantify and check off a list.)
Final Thoughts on Goal Setting in a Pandemic
How many bonus points do I get for not saying the phrases “unprecedented times” or “give myself grace”? Do I have to forfeit said points now?
The reason why we keep hearing these two platitudes over and over again is because navigating the unknown is really trying. And this year? We’re all being catapulted through it simultaneously. Some of us our enduring the ride better than others, but I don’t think anyone truly enjoys being shuttled through the plot of one dystopian novel after another.
I say this to myself as much as I would say it to anyone else. The act of setting goals is important. If the end of the year rolls around and I haven’t checked all these boxes, I haven’t failed. I’ve just uncovered my next starting point.
So Tell Me…What are you working on for the rest of the year? Can I cheer you on in any way?