Goals, not resolutions

Now that we’re well into the first month of the new year, I am taking a look at my goals — not resolutions — that I’ve set out for myself both personally and professionally.

I have never been good with new year’s resolutions. Like most people, these grandiose plans don’t seem to last and sooner than I know it, I am back to doing what I used to do. But I do like goals. I am good at goals. I can set them and achieve them. I know how to break down a goal into action items that are easily completed. Goals feel good. Goals are positive. Resolutions, on the other hand, seem to be based in correcting some behavior I don’t like. This negative approach just doesn’t work.

So I stick to goals. And a new year is a great time to get fired up about ambitious goals. Since I have a new job, I have been setting many goals for myself for the projects I want to complete, the metrics I want to track for accountability and the new skills I want to master. Those goals are easy. Each day, I get to devote a minimum of 8 hours to make them happen. The personal goals, on the other hand, get achieved on the fringe hours — the non-working, non-sleeping hours — that I can devote to myself.

My first money goal is to set an amount to increase in my monthly transfer to savings. This account is a holding account that I use to buy income-producing assets. It also doubles as an emergency fund as it is easily liquidated in about three to four days. To add more to the account each month, I need to only make a decision, even though it’s a tough one. But this week I’ll be making the call to the investment manager and setting a new number that is more ambitious than last year’s number. Last year, I expected the deduction in my “expendable” amount of money to really hurt. It hasn’t hurt at all. In fact, every time I make these savings increases, I adjust quickly and almost without thinking about it.

When I do think about money most days, it isn’t about how little I have to spend, it’s about how much I have saved and invested. I think about how it is earning and growing each day while I go about my business and live my wonderful life. My monthly statements, quarterly statements and tax returns tell a story about how going without a few restaurant dinners or luxuries has helped build a nest egg that will ensure I can retire on my terms. It feels completely worth it.

My second and final money goal is to continue to find ways to cut spending, increase my earnings and figure out how to contribute even more toward buying income-producing assets during 2016. It’s going to be a great year and I thank you for joining me on this journey.

NDQ

p.s. Check out the new NDQ Guide: 500 Tips the guide that will give you actionable steps to jump start your savings and investing immediately.

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