I have always been a future focused gal. Always looking forward to winning an Oscar (when I was an actress), always wondering what new adventure was around the corner, always trying to figure out how to earn more money next month or next year.
I used to have a ritual with one of my friends where we would send each other our goals at the turn of the year. This would include immediate goals for that year, mid-term goals of about five years and long term goals of ten years.
Here are my goals from my list of 2005. I’m posting them here for fun, because it’s fascinating looking back on what I thought was important to me at the time, and how things have played out in the last 12 years!
One of the things that was an insight for me recently was how I DO forget to look at what I have achieved. I know that I haven’t won an Oscar (there’s still time for that) but there are certain things that have happened recently that I never had goals for but when I reflect on what I’ve done or achieved, it fills me with gratitude that I have accomplished them.
This reflection comes from my post last week after reflecting on the Story20 challenge I set for myself and I also remember reading one of Rebecca Tracey’s posts about the Reverse Bucket List that also speaks to this idea of looking back.
My most recent insight comes from my assessment of my financial situation. Since aligning myself with my work as a genius online business manager and letting go of what I thought I wanted (coaching) – and by the way I have no issues saying how great I am at what I do, even with my British sensibilities – my financial situation has turned around.
Six months ago, I was at a point where I had invested in A LOT of online courses and programmes, which had left a dent in the credit cards, but I had inconsistent income and every thing felt like I was dragging myself through business rather than enjoying the process. We also had debt from several others sources, which was still a drain on our monthly resources.
One aspect of buying courses was I thought needed to know more. I bought, learned and then didn’t implement. I know why now – I wasn’t aligned – I was pushing forward on a path that just didn’t fit me. I also spent money on courses that I didn’t finish or even start, but that’s a subject for another article – about why we do this and the ethics of selling.
Do I regret investing in these courses? Some I do, but I don’t spend my days picking apart my decision or wallowing in self pity of ‘what a waste of money’. It is what it is and yet I have made some great connections through some of these courses – some that have led to creating clients in my new business. So, perhaps I think on it as a BIG learning experience, but it has also positioned me perfectly to take the path I am now on.
But back to the point of this article. I just realised this week – as I had a reminder pop up on my phone- that I am now debt free. Credit cards are paid off, loans paid back, repayments complete from overpaid benefits from the early days when I just had my babies. All of it is now gone and it feels so freeing.
One other thing that makes me feel on top of the world is that I also now have some savings and I have a plan in place that will start contributing towards retirement – even though I don’t consider myself as fitting in with the usual retirement trajectory, it’s something that has been hanging over me for some time.
We do still have our mortgage and although this is the biggest debt you can have, it’s not something I consider as part of the accumulated debt I’m reflecting on here. However, I’m going to be bold and state that I have intentions of paying off our mortgage as soon as possible. That could mean anything, since we are scheduled to pay it off by 2039, but my goal is something more along the lines of 2019. Yes, that is a very bold goal, and I have no idea how that will happen but I’m plotting away behind the scenes of how I (we) can do this.
So tell me, how future focused are you? What things do you need to reflect on to see how far you’ve come?
Next week I’m going to write about the biggest thing that contributed to this debt-free position, so look out for that.