2016 Goals

The past few weeks, I have been in bliss! I finished my second to last semester at ASU and have been taking some much needed time off from life! I decided to spend my Christmas vacation ( two weeks, thanks teacher life!) in Pennsylvania at my boyfriend’s. We’ve spent some time in the city ( both New York City and Philly), I helped boyfriend organize his office, I read some amazing books and drank way too much coffee. I’ve also let my inner gluten come out and my comfy pants may or may not be a little tight.

I’ve also spent some time reflecting on myself and what I want in 2016. I decided what I really wanted was to stay on my path and flourish.  In 2014 I rocked the word mindfulness and this year I’d like to rock the word flourish. I want to focus on myself and my goals and not lose my way. Shonda Rhimes writes in her new book “Year Of Yes” that the people who are successful aren’t the dreamers, they are the doers. And I want to keep myself doing rather than sharing my dreams and then wondering what everyone else is up to.

2016 goals graphic

  1. Graduate from ASU. I am so close to finishing my degree this Spring and I am so excited. When I decided to go back in 2014, I knew it would be much harder this go around but I am so glad and happy that I did it. I’m almost there!
  2. Train for Warrior Dash. I let my friend talk me into signing up for the Warrior Dash this April. I remember I had wanted to a few years ago and then realized how much physical activity it would take and then decided against it. But you know what? Life is too short to doubt myself. I may not be in shape but I am going to train and do it. I’m hoping this gets me out of my lack of fitness and health rut while helping me drop some of the 30lbs I’ve gained since going back to school full time.
  3. Build up MSL Empire. I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming graduation and what that means for my work path and what I would happy doing. I currently love my job and make the most I’ve ever made in my life. But, I want to make more. I don’t know if that is possible in my field if I stay in Arizona. I don’t know if that means I have to move or change professions. But, I do know that I want to start building my business in the mean time. I want to have more money coming in and I want alternate sources of income besides my day job. I have a lot of ideas, including some surprises, and it’s going to require a ton of hard work on my part. But I want to help latinas with their finances and everybody else, myself included!
  4. Go to Hawaii. Since I am graduating and I turned 30 recently, I would love to take a trip to somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It was between this or Italy and I decided the beach and pina coladas wins out. I’ve invited some friends so we’ll see if anyone can make it work or if I’ll be drinking by myself but that could be fun.
  5. Save $10,000. This sounds and IS a ton of money on my income so this is going to require some creative budgeting, cutting expenses and my favorite, earning more money. I will be ear marking this amount through three different accounts, one is my Hawaii trip, another is my emergency fund and the other one is a possible moving fund. If moving isn’t something on the cards, it will go towards my emergency fund and student loans.
  6. Fix my car. My car isn’t broken but it does need some work to keep it running in prime condition. I’d rather put some money into keeping my current car running safely then a down payment towards a new one and then additional car payments.
  7. Finish up dental work. This just means finishing up my veneers and getting a deep cleaning plus any small fillings I need.
  8. Read 52 books. I was so close to this goal and since half the year I won’t be studying, I am going for it!
  9. Learn to crochet. My mom used to crochet all the time and it was something I had been meaning to learn. I decided there is no time like the present and really, I want to crochet Star Wars figures and scarves.

There you have it, all nine scary audacious goals I am throwing into the universe. I’m excited and I wish everyone the very best this year. What do you all have planned? Any goals I can help with?

2015 Goals Recap

2015 Goals

I would say that I can’t believe the last time I posted here was three months ago but in all honest, I totally can. Although I try to stay as involved as possible in the blogging community, through my work as a social media manager for the Plutus Awards or through the FinCon group, my own site suffers because I often put it last on my mile long list of things to do or accomplish.

2015 was a good year for me. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t shit that didn’t hit the fan, or I didn’t have some serious revelations, because that’s not true at all. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows guys but that’s life. Really good stuff happens then bad stuff then good stuff again. And as I sit here on my boyfriend’s couch while he cooks me dinner, I can say that bad stuff has to happen sometimes so you can appreciate the good things again. But God, that’s not a challenge, okay? I’m just acknowledging it so please bless me this year. 🙂

I will also be honest and say I completely forgot about my 2015 goals halfway through the year like the rest of America. But, I have looked over them and realized that I still wasn’t an utter failure. I also had found a handwritten list of things I wanted to accomplish and I actually did a lot of those too, which makes me happy. Sometimes, just writing out the intention may be enough to remind yourself to accomplish something. But, next year I am going to take a slightly different approach to goal accomplishing. I’m still contemplating what I want to accomplish in the next year ( besides my major goals, graduating from ASU and trying to grow my online business so I can travel more long term), but other than that, my mind is still up in the air with the possibilities.

So…how did 2015 go?

1. Regularly make $1,000 in side income. Sort of pass. My side income still averages around $500 per month. At $6,000 per year, that’s nothing to sneeze at for sure. I don’t put a lot of time into my side hustles either, which is nice since I am still currently going to school and working, both full time until May 2016. I haven’t scaled my online pursuits mainly because I wanted to keep my sanity but my mind shift towards the end of this year has changed slightly. I still want to keep my sanity but I do want to increase my income next year.

2. Save a $3,000 emergency fund. Pass! However, it’s no longer intact. Moving was expensive and living on my own was more expensive then I had imagined. And then I needed car repairs, dental work and you know, the usual adulting things. This will be a goal again in 2016.

3. Save + spend $2,000 in dental work. Pass! I actually put around around $1,000 into my dental work but will be finishing it up next year. I couldn’t have the final touches done to my pearly chompers because my teeth need to stabilize. I didn’t realize how loose your teeth were even after you had a retainer for months after.

4. Visit H four times. Fail. I didn’t get to see H nearly as much as I had wanted to for a variety of reasons. His apartment pipes burst which had him stuck on the east coast along with his prior commitments and I was given the opportunity to study abroad for several weeks which drained my finances for half the year while I was in aggressive savings mode ( The trip costed $10,000). I also had somethings to figure out towards the end of the year but I was able to come out for Christmas break.

5. Lose 30lbs. Fail. I actually gained 10 more lbs but I haven’t gained anything since March. My health definitely took a back seat while I was working and going to school full time and I have suffered for it. I have absolutely no energy ever and sleep all the time with my cat.

6. Pass all classes at ASU. Pass! I’ll give myself a pass here and I’ll actually be graduating in the spring!

7. Read 52 books. Fail. I’m currently at 43 books read on December 27th, 2015 and will probably end up with 44 by the 1st. 43 books is nothing to snuff at which makes me happy but still bummed. I had a lot of reading this year for classes, no doubt.

8. Move into my new apartment! Pass! Along with passing all my classes this year and getting ready to graduate, this is the goal I am most proud of. I have lived on my own by myself for almost a year now with my cat. I still don’t have everything I want on the walls but the place is mine, 100%. Between my trip to Israel and moving into my own place, this is where the majority of my cash flow went this year. I am okay with it.

Well, those are my 2014 goals. Stay tuned and I’ll be sharing a 2015 recap later this week!

August Wrap Up/ September Goals

August was expensive for me! Not only was I returning home from a study abroad trip and adjusting back to life, I was hit with a ton of expenses. I knew a lot of these were coming up ( like textbooks!), I just didn’t plan very well. I was also hit with unexpected expenses (car repairs!) and had to pay out of pocket for a work trip ( plane tickets!) but thank goodness for the emergency fund. I’ll be getting reimbursed soon, I need to build it back up because it’s getting way too low for my liking.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make too much of a debt until October. I still owe a friend money for Book Of Mormon tickets we purchased using his credit card and not only do I have FinCon this month, but I am also seeing the Foo Fighters and then I’m going camping. Hopefully these won’t be too much of a money drain, I already purchased my ticket for the show and plan to borrow as much gear as possible for camping since I myself don’t own anything. I’m not very outdoorsy. 🙂 Before we look at September, let’s check out August.

Chill & Simplify 
Done! I really chilled out this month although I didn’t get as much done in the decluttering process as I had hoped.

Continue Making My House A Home
I will say semi-done. I under estimated my time and only finished a bedroom purge. My apartment has been kept clean however so that’s nice.

Enjoy My Birthday 
Done! Had a great 30th!

Stay Organized With My Time 
Done! I am proud to say that for the first time since I can honestly remember, I’ve been doing really good at managing my time. I haven’t been feeling frazzled out and my anxiety has been really under control which is nice for me to say. Now, the tricky thing about anxiety and depression is it can absolutely show up out of the blue and that’s happened to me before. I can be fine and then have a panic attack in a matter of minutes. But I have felt really good lately with a combination of things including my meds, routine, eating well, making sure I take breaks, keep a running to do list with all items on it and taking time to be by myself.

Septembers Goals

1. Stay on top of or even ahead in homework.
With all of my travel and fun festivities, it’s easy to slack off on homework since I’m suffering from senioritis already. I want to stay not only on top of but ahead as much as possible so I can enjoy myself. It may not be that easy since a lot of the learning modules don’t open until the week their assigned but I can still try my hardest.

2. Continue to declutter & decorate my apartment.
I under estimated the time it would either take me or how much free time I actually have. I only got my bedroom done last month and that’s not even hanging things on the wall! Trying to make this a priority since my boyfriend is coming to stay for a few months ( exciting!) and he will need space for his things. He’s not entirely moving in but between his hobbies, work and needed items, I’m sure he’ll be bringing a lot! And I want him to feel at home. 🙂

3. Get back into working out.
In Israel I started eating clean and felt so much better that I continued my hardest to eat the same after coming back. I’ve been making all of my own meals with fresh ingredients, drinking tons of water and eating my fruits and veggies. I’m starting to finally feel a difference via my energy levels and would like to start regularly working out again. Last year I was stressed and ate my feelings, this year I’d like to take it out on the treadmill. I plan on doing yoga at home during the week and running during the weekend.

4. See the chiropractor.
My back gave out last week and I was bed ridden for two whole days. It was awful. I stopped my chiropractor treatment awhile ago because I was feeling a lot better and decided to cut corners but now I know I need to go back. I am thinking of seeing a new one closer to my house since my last one said something not very professional to me and it still bugs me. The one closer to my house is also more into pain management and I think that’s what I actually need.

Trying to keep it short and sweet so I don’t get overwhelmed! It’s always hard because I love setting goals. What do you have on the docket for September?

August Goals

July was a whirlwind that I still haven’t quite caught up from. In July, I was on summer vacation ( teacher life!) which allowed me to spend some time with friends and get my apartment before I headed to Israel for almost three weeks. My boyfriend came out for a week to spend time with me and celebrate my birthday early. The school where I teach full-time also went back into session so I resumed my 40-45 hour work weeks. Annnnnd, ASU starts in three weeks and I’ll be attending classes full-time so I’ll be back to my usual jam packed schedule in no time. I took a break from goals in July but I’d like to start up again because it helps keep me accountable! 🙂

Chill & Simplify 
I am totally stealing this from Tonya because I so can relate to her lately. Between not being home much during July, going on an international trip and and returning to teaching, I so need to find some balance. Reflecting abroad made me realize how much I love my routine when I’m able to stick to one and how much I have come to love and appreciate my own place. If you would have told me last year I’d love living alone, I’d say maybe, but it definitely does come with all of it’s perks.

My goal is to declutter my space and purge of unnecessary objects I’ve collected since moving in. I also hope to relax at home as often as possible, catch up on my library stack and play with my cat. I may or may not be also be watching X Files. I try to limit my tv consumption to less than an hour per day, even on the weekends, so Netflix binging is a little bit harder for me but I am addicted to the X Files lately.

Continue Making My House A Home
I already had a head start on this goal this weekend. I dragged my bf to Ikea and he helped me pick out some furniture and items I had been lacking since moving in six months ago. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown to hate stuff that’s useless and spending money on said stuff but even I can admit how much easier life has been in the less than 24 hour span I’ve owned a coffee table. I’d like to put pictures and prints in frames and hanging them on my wall along with reorganizing my bookshelves. My goal above should also help with this.

Stay Organized With My Time 
Since I will be returning to work and school both full-time, plus freelancing, it’s important to stay organized and on task with assignments, both educationally and professionally. I am known for taking too much on, procrastinating because I feel so overwhelmed and then scrambling to catch up before the deadline. I hate feeling frazzled all the time so I’ve been taking a more active approach to being actually done with projects. I’ve been waking up early ever since  returning to Israel and coming to work earlier because of carpooling with early birds. I’m still definitely not a morning person but getting to work earlier has helped.

Enjoy My Birthday 
My birthday is this month and it’s a big one! I will be doing a sit down dinner and then bar hopping downtown. My plan was something low key and fun for everyone. I know not everyone likes bar hopping but I wanted to include everyone I know and love, which is so many. Hopefully everyone can make it for one or the other!

I also need to think more about graduate school and purchase my FinCon ticket for next month. So much going on, such little time, as usual.

What do you have on the docket for August?

Setting Goals, Part Two

goals

Back in January, I shared how to set S.M.A.R.T goals and today I am here to share a few more of my goal setting tips!

Figure out your “big” thing
Between being a full time student at a major university and a full time employee, plus friend, girlfriend, blogger, etc. , my hands are pretty full with life. Without setting goals and breaking them down into steps every month, I wouldn’t be able to get as much done as I’d like and I’d feel like I was floating. Even though I do feel anxious and overwhelmed at times with life, I always can reflect on what my goals are and what needs to be done to accomplish them. How am I able to do this without being a hot mess most of the time?

I focus on the “big” thing that needs to be accomplished before anything else. My “big” thing at the moment is my education and trying my hardest to get good grades. So, whenever I feel overwhelmed with my huge list, I do what absolutely needs to be done to ensure my big thing is accomplished. Remember what is the most important to you and make sure you don’t lose focus on that. Sure, I’m not always fun when I lock myself in my room to study or take test but I know it’s my “big” thing and treasure it.

If goals are overwhelming, try a power word.
Last year, I was in a weird place. I had just broken up with my ex boyfriend at the time and moved in with a new roommate. I was in a city that although I had made friends, I only had two good ones which left me feeling isolated. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to work on or where to even start so I focused on a power word for the year, mindfulness. Everyday I tried to focus on the situation on hand and just be positive and open to new opportunities.

I can easily say 2014 was one of my greatest years. I went back to school, won a national award, saved up enough money to get my own apartment, traveled all over the U.S and met someone who has been pretty awesome for this season in my life.  I worked on myself and while working on myself is a continuous process, remembering my power word really helped me. Sometimes a big list of goals when we’re not sure what we want is fluff but focusing on a word you resonate with can help tremendously.

To Do List & Baby Steps Are Key
I get overwhelmed and anxious way more than the average person sometimes. When I feel this way, working on my goals is the last thing I can even imagine doing sometimes. Who wants to write a paper when their brain is fried after teaching all day? Instead of cracking out a full 5 page paper, I’ll start an outline or do research and then save the next step for another day. Instead of studying 5+ hours for a mid-term, I’ll do a chapter a night leading up to it for a week prior. It’s hard to do everything at once but by breaking it up and keeping a running to do list, it’s easier to accomplish and not as intimidating.

What do you do to accomplish your goals with ease?