The Magic of Setting Goals
So, like many of you at this time of year, I’m going over my vision and goals for 2018. I’m setting up my bullet journal so I can SEE my goals and plan for them. I am a very visual person. I was going through the process of brainstorming all the things I want to include in my journal. It helps me to have inspiring quotes and positive affirmations surrounding me, to lift up my spirits when I’m feeling down. I’ll write those down. For example, I know I can keep a handle on my grocery spending if I meal prep beforehand- which requires meal planning- so I wrote that down. I also really want to keep track of my budget next year.
I created a masterpiece of a budget for next year- a beautiful excel spreadsheet estimating the amount I would make per month, including all my expenses, fixed and variable. This was very exciting, for a budget nerd like me. Most exciting was to see that it CAN be done. With the amount of money that I usually make per month (independent contractor pay varies wildly), I know that I can keep paying down my debt, saving for my emergency fund, and creating sinking funds for expenses that I know are coming. This planning and goals thing feels like a SUPERPOWER!
Envisioning myself DEBT FREE
Here’s what I came up with: **ONLY** 3 more years of student loan debt if I can hold strong at $1525 per month for 3 years. I’ll be 46!!! What will life be like when I’m 46? I’ll still be young! I’ll still be me! How absurd is it that I feel like I’ll be so significantly different in the distant future, like at 60 or 70, that I kind of think I won’t really know who I’ll be or how I’ll feel then? I’m sure I’ll still be me at 50, 60 probably even 80! It’s akin to how hard it is to envision myself without debt. Almost like an impossibility. But no. It is not an impossibility, neither becoming debt-free nor aging.
How will my life change with the thought of being debt-free? Can I envision myself at 46 with NO DEBT???!! Can I envision myself *at any age* with NO DEBT. Will I want to stop working? Or will I love my job so much I won’t want to stop? Here’s what I know, I’ll keep working because I’ll be wanting to save at that point. And here’s the cool thing. Once I started to envision this future self, with future needs and concerns, I started to brainstorm what those needs would be. I’ll want to be financially independent, so first thing will be to plan for that. Investing… I’ll also want to be location independent, which is something I’m already getting started working on. Perhaps real estate? Perhaps something international in some tourist destination? There are so many options! Which then makes me even more on FIRE for FIRE! And then after I’m financially independent? What is in store for me then? Well for now I’m still working on the vision of myself as debt-free. I’ll keep you posted about what comes next.