I love this time of year.
The short days and cold temps feel like nature’s permission for me to read more, sleep more, and allow more time for reflection.
It was 2016 when I was first exposed to the idea that success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. (Thanks Tony Robbins!)
It prompted me to look at my 2016 goals list and see what was truly fulfilling on that list.
Of the 17 goals (yes, I said 17), 4 were.
Just 4 were fulfilling.
Ever since then I put a lot more thought into goal setting. And honestly, I don’t even call them goals anymore. I call them intentions. That feels more like steady progress forward in a meaningful direction, rather than some kind of pass/fail achievement.
After some lovely contemplating in the dark of winter, here are the intentions that are most meaningful for me in this upcoming year.
1 – Aggressive saving while spending in a way that optimizes happiness.
Does that sound a little weird? Let me explain. My journey over the last two years to pay off all my debt helped me to truly realize what brings me the most happiness. I was very pleased that for the most part, those things are inexpensive or free. The only costly item on my list is time in person with Spencer since he lives 1,140 miles away from me.
I realized that some of the things I traditionally spend money on didn’t bring me much happiness at all, like big group dinners at restaurants, hitting up happy hours with people, concerts, shopping, and even group vacations.
Once I made a list of the ten things that bring me the most happiness on a monthly basis I used it as my roadmap and it became very easy to lower my spending, while still spending in intentional ways that I knew would add happiness to my life.
My savings target this year is to invest 15% into retirement and save $20,000 in a very well-stocked emergency fund on top of it. Normally the guidelines for an emergency fund are 3 – 6 months of expenses, so my target of $20,000 is a little high, but that’s a number I know I feel very comfortable with.
2 – Relationship investment.
This was one of my intentions last year too, and it may always be. As a woman in her early 40’s with a divorce and a couple other serious relationships under her belt, I know the importance of appreciating a good partner and choosing to show up consistently for that person.
This year will bring some changes in my relationship because we finally won’t be long-distance anymore! That will be a big change, and I want to be mindful of that, both in the space we create together, and how that impacts our dynamic.
3 – Find opportunities to lift other women up and support them.
This one was not on my radar until last weekend. I was out with two women that I knew back in my teenage years. We were catching up on 20 years worth of life, and I noticed a theme between the three of us. All of us admitted to periods in our lives where we made poor decisions because we didn’t feel like we were good enough.
That weighed heavy on my heart as I drove home that day. I view both of these women as amazing, loving, limitless people that can have any kind of life they want, and yet all three of us have felt the weight of not being ‘enough’.
Now, I can’t fix the world’s problems, but I can sure as hell be part of the solution. That is why I want to be more conscious of how I treat and talk about other women. That is why I want to take more time to send a message of encouragement to a woman I see trying to make positive changes in her life. That is why I want every woman in my life to know with absolute certainty that once she leaves the room, no one will be talking shit about her.
Life can be hard enough without cattiness and negativity from people that are struggling with the same insecurities.
This is not a groundbreaking list, but it is a very meaningful list. And I know that if I follow through on making progress on these three things, it will be a hell of a year.
Cheers to 2020 friends. If you are out there working on your own positive changes, know that I’m on your team. ❤