Where in the heck did 2017 go? Do you remember how slow time used to pass by when you were ten years old?
I didn’t believe adults when they told me that time speeds up as you get older. As kids, we wish time would go faster and then the switch flips around high school graduation and we start wishing time would just slow down.
Why do we perceive time differently as kids then we do as adults? I tend to believe that as a ten-year-old kid, a year feels longer because it makes up a much more significant percentage of our life. A year to a ten-year-old is 10% of that kid’s life. On the flip side, a year to me as an adult at 31 is only 3% of my life. I also think time slows down when you are surrounded by so many new experiences and learnings.
I know time doesn’t actually speed up or slow down. It is our perception that controls the speed at which we experience time. That said, as adults, we can all appreciate how fleeting time can be, which is why it is so important to use the power of goal setting to make sure you have a solid chance at achieving the things you want in the time you have on this earth.
The Power of Goal Setting
I haven’t always been a goal-oriented person, but now I know no other way. I have been AMBITIOUS for as long as I can remember but I haven’t always given myself a clear path to success. It wasn’t until I read the Slight Edge for the first time in 2011, that I became OBSESSED with SETTING GOALS and ACHIEVING them. It’s pretty amazing what you can accomplish when you set SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE goals.
As humans, we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, a week, and a month. But we also tend to underestimate what can be accomplished in a quarter, a year, and five years.
Writing (or typing) out your goals and then reviewing them on a regular basis, keeps them top of mind. It is not just the mere act of writing them down that makes setting goals so powerful. It’s the daily review that keeps you in achievement mode. This daily practice is the first step in success. You start to visualize yourself accomplishing your goals, and your subconscious continues to work around the clock to find a way to ensure success with enough repetitions. Some people call this the law of attraction, and if that is a little too hokey for you, I tell people that your focus goes where your energy flows.
The things we think about most tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. The mind is one of the most powerful assets we have, and if fully leveraged can find a way to get just about anything we desire. This is not meant to offend anyone, but I don’t believe that any of our fulfilled desires are a result of any magical force or god. None of us are so special that we get special treatment; that is just ridiculous. We are in control of our own destiny.
We are the most intelligent being on earth. Most of us take that intelligence for granted, while others go on to change the world and live the life they first dreamed and then manifested. Think about the world we live in for a moment. 99% of the things in our daily lives did not exist a mere 100 years ago. Everything we see started as an idea. At some point, ideas are transformed into goals, which are then transformed into reality.
How powerful are we? (seriously, think about that question)
We have been blessed with a gift to turn ideas into reality. We are only limited by our own limiting beliefs.
“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” – Les Brown
Let’s break through the imaginary ceiling we have placed on our potential and start setting goals that get us out of our comfort zone. When you set your goals, make yourself uncomfortable by setting goals that will require you to stretch. Goals that you’re not sure exactly how you’re going to accomplish based on the person you are today.
Jim Rohn used to say “if you want more, you must become more.” The most powerful thing about setting goals and accomplishing them isn’t the result, but who you have become in the process.
You begin to realize that the mind can ACHIEVE anything YOU can BELIEVE.
My 2018 Goals
One thing that I should point out (if it isn’t already obvious), is that I march to the beat of my own drum. I like to break away from the herd and do things with my own spin. That’s why I set my goals at Thanksgiving time and start on them immediately. This way I already have a nice head start on the rest of the world come the new year.
(1) Strengthen my relationship with Mrs. GYFG
a. I’m going to schedule two date nights per month. We are both very busy working professionals and have a very active social life with friends and family. It has gotten to the point that we need to make sure we carve out time for just the two of us.
b. Convert our bonus room into a movie/game room. Our bonus room has been empty for nearly four years, and Mrs. GYFG has wanted to set this room up for a while, but she wants to do it together. I usually pass on home projects, but I know it’s important to her, so I am going to be actively involved. We have already ordered the 75″ TV and wrap around couch that will be the foundation of the room.
c. Tackle a home office project. One of the rooms in our house is dedicated as an office, library, and craft room. We want to convert the closet into floor to ceiling bookshelves to organize and display our growing collection of books (around 300 volumes currently). We also want to build in a custom u-shaped desk so that we both have our own work areas. Again, I have never been big on DIY projects, but this will be a way for me to spend some quality time with Mrs. GYFG doing things she enjoys.
d. Plan an international vacation together. We have several locations in mind for 2018, and we would like to take two weeks, which will be our longest vacation yet.
(2) Dress the part. Since getting promoted to the C-Suite earlier this year, I have been slowly making a transition to level up with my professional appearance.
a. Continue getting a haircut bi-weekly. I spend about double what I used to on haircuts, but my hair always looks on point these days.
b. Order custom fitting clothes through the M-Tailor app. I just ordered my first custom shirt and jeans last week to give this service a try. My goal is to slowly build up my wardrobe with enough custom shirts and pants for two weeks without doing laundry (or dry-cleaning).
c. I am slowly working my way to a nicer more professional wardrobe.
(3) Increase net worth to $825,000.
a. I estimate that our net worth for 2017 will end around $655,000. Therefore, I am aiming to increase our net worth by $170,000 in 2018. We should be able to accomplish this through pure savings and before accounting for any gains from investments. The wildcard will be if we go into recession.
b. Based on the original $10M net worth blueprint I published in 2015, we only need to reach $744,457 by the end of 2018, so we are still comfortably on track to that 20-year goal.
(4) Weigh 203 lbs (I currently weigh 233 lbs and need to lose 30 lbs). I have failed my fitness goals the past two years.
a. I have hired a personal trainer for two sessions per week.
b. Mrs. GYFG and I are using a meal prep service to eat healthier and proportioned meals. I know that reaching your health and fitness goals is 85% nutrition. There’s a reason they say abs are made in the kitchen.
c. My goal is to make it to the gym 4-5 days per week (including personal training sessions).
(5) Negotiate $25,000 to $75,000 pay raise.
a. I am currently in negotiations around setting my compensation for 2018. I am fairly confident that I will end up with at least a $25,000 raise, but do think I have a better than 50% chance at $75,000. Only time will tell.
b. In July of 2015, I negotiated a $60,000 increase in comp.
c. In December of 2016, I negotiated a $50,000 increase in comp.
d. Since I first started earning money “on the books” (money reported and taxed) I have managed to grow my income at a compounded 35% for the past 14 years, so I have a solid track record. Even if you only look at the past four years, I have still managed to compound my income at nearly 27%.
That’s it! Those are my BIG five goals for 2018. I used to set a lot more goals but found that less is more.
REMINDER: THOSE THAT FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL!
What are your goals for 2018?
– Gen Y Finance Guy