At the beginning of this year, I posted This New Year, Don’t Make a Resolution, Make a Plan! Now as 2017 comes to a close it is time to look at how I did on my plan for the year. I always aim high so I at least end up in the general direction of where I am going. Like every year unexpected things happen and there are areas I did better in than others.
Also, New Year’s resolutions are still silly!
Start your goals whenever you want to.
Modify, don’t eliminate, whenever you feel the need.
Work for the life you want, but love the one your in!
here is the 2017 Goals/Plan recap:
Licensed Real Estate Agent. I passed all tests, paid all dues, chose my broker, and have been an active agent for a year now. I have been a buyers agent and a listing agent and overall I am pleased with my progress here. This year I need to amp it up a little bit though!
Real Estate/Finances. We made progress on everything, and are close to finishing the renovations, but still not done. I managed to get one financial thing sorted but not another. We just put up one of our rental properties for sale, which means when we sell we will need to shuffle around our money and hopefully buy a different property. All in all, we did good but are just going slower than I hoped for.
Italian Citizenship. We decided to delay getting our passports until February 2018 so my youngest child will be three at time of the appointment so he can get a five-year duration passport instead of three. However, I have all the paperwork and appointments ready to go for the passports and my husband’s citizenship so should be good to go!
Coaching/Blog/Website. I was a quickly burning bright fire on this one. I went super intense on the blogging and website in the beginning of the year and by May was a bit burned out as other things came to the forefront. If I had stretched out everything that I did for this across the year it would be a big green checkmark. Part of this goal was moderation throughout the year, and I flat out failed that part.
I did, however, grow this business substantially so it does not feel like a failure, also if you looked at that post from a year ago I’m sure you can see the growth! One of my main problems is I did not monetize my blog, currently, I have no way to make any money off of it. I loathe sponsored posts and ads being slipped into every possible crevice, so that makes it more difficult. What you do not see, behind the curtain, I have been working on a real estate e-course, that is close to being finished.
Wellness Goals. Again another long-term moderation goal that I did not do great on. I did really great half the year and then went to the exact opposite on the spectrum for the other half. I struggle with consistency and taking care of myself. Some accomplishments for the year in the area was doing several 3 day and one 6 day water fast.
Overall, I am happy with the progress of my plans in 2017; despite some things out of my control that slowed me down and which led to some big lessons learned.
Some main takeaways from 2017:
When choosing properties to buy and hold, remember to have contingency plans for future versions of yourself. While it may be perfect for you now, it may not be perfect for you in 5 or 10 years.
Do not rely too heavily on any one person of your real estate team.
Appraisals are very random and appraisers are not created equal, try to buy boring properties for ease of financing.
Remember to live for today not tomorrow!
So how is 2018 looking? Bring on the new action plan:
We have an overarching goal of getting my husband out of his 9-5 job by the end of July. Which at this point is possible but not probable, just due to the timeline of how long some of the tasks that we need to do beforehand will take.
This year also needs to have a bit of minimalism and discarding and selling of things if I am going to achieve of my goals of selling one of our properties, renting our current residence and eventually traveling with little to no material possessions. I am naturally a minimalist but it is amazing the amount of stuff you can accumulate with three properties!
Where we are going and what we are going to do is still in flux as we measure our choices with how this year goes.
One of my ‘hopefully’ big changes this year is trying to shift into being a morning person. I am a night owl, I get the most done then, I have a tough time getting up. However, occasionally it feels like the world is giving me a nudge towards something, and this happens to be it. I keep reading about productive morning routines. Today is my first day of this experiment and as it seems I am almost to the end of this blog post I would call that successful, so that seems like a good sign.
Here is the video that finally put me over the edge into trying to change my night owl ways. Granted, it was also after to reading several articles and podcasts about it, Tim Ferriss played a big part. Don’t mind the buxom lady clickbait.
The main reason I am starting to focus on this is to help with my consistency, as you can see from my 2017 achievements is something I struggle with. I feel setting my intentions for the day could boost my already pretty productive self into a better space.
How about you? Did you make your goals? Do you even have them? What are your keys to staying on task?
My family of five are on the road to financial freedom. What that means to us is Mr. and Mrs. JessicaCoaches will no longer have to work time for money jobs! Our goal is to get $2500 in cash flow and a nice cash buffer so we feel safe to say goodbye to the 9 to 5 and hello to more freedom and traveling! This does not mean we will not be working, just that we get to choose what we do and where we do it. We have done this on a very modest income, clawing our way forward, buying fixer upper properties, living in them, fixing them up ourselves, and then renting them out.
Rental A: 890/month average cash flow
Pros: Very hands-off income, fully managed, vacation rental allows us to stay there too.
Cons: Income is very variable and sporadic, get left holding a lot of bills while waiting to get paid. Home is fully paid for and at peak earning capacity for us as we do not self-manage it, equity could be better spent elsewhere. We likely over improved this rental.
Plans: Sell, possible owner financing, or finance to place equity elsewhere.
Rental B: 140/month cash flow
Pros: Very hands-off income, fully managed. 60k from being fully paid off and at that point will be looking at 1000/month cash flow unoptimized. No vacancies in 5 years, rents a little low due to this.
Cons: Looking at some renovations when current occupants leave. Could be making higher returns on money invested in another place. Needs some improvements in order to refinance or sell.
Rental C: 995/month rent no cash flow as we are living and finishing up renovation in main unit.
Pros: Best returns on investment, potential 82% cash on cash return. Looking at 550/month cash flow when both units rented out and managed. 200k to payoff and 1750/month cash flow.
Cons: Still needs some more work, need to be careful not to over improve.
Plans: Hold and rent fully when we leave.
Blog: No Cash Flow, in negatives I do not wish to calculate out yet! ( I think I made $0.27 cents on my sidebar ad.)
Pros: Great growth potential, really learning a lot.
Cons: Quite a bit of time for no upfront rewards yet as I am new.
Plans: Work into affiliate marketing without being sleazy, finish book and market.
Pros: I enjoy it, location independent.
Cons: Can be emotionally exhausting.
Plans: Take on 2 more clients.
Negative Cash flow!
550/month 4% interest, 3.5 years remaining, 20k balance.
Pros: Low interest.
Cons: Could hold back our financial freedom date.
Plans: Payoff with change in rental A.
$1230 cash flow if traveling now and renting out our current residence. We are close to half way there. Potential goals/plans to get us there!
1. Refinance out negative 550 debt.
2. Buy another rental property.
3. Get better returns on Rental A through sale or finance.
2017 is here and with that there is a surge of energy in many places, new gym memberships, traffic to personal growth sites, people putting off what they want or should be doing. Last night I sat with a few friends, my eldest son staying up for his first midnight ball drop, and the subject of New Year’s resolutions arose. The consensus was goals are good, the habit of waiting to achieve your goals till the new year and ultimately letting them die is bad.
Goals: Help you to be a better person today then you are yesterday. Get oriented. They are for all holidays, all seasons, a continual path. What help you obtain this growth. Need to be well defined so you can track your progress and you know exactly what you must achieve. Need to realistic, start low and ramp them up if you are doing very well. Are not written in stone. Life changes, adjust, but make new goals don’t just abandon them.
I always have several irons in the fire at any given moment as my family is working hard now for our overarching goal of early financial freedom. We are doing this primarily through base income growth, building passive income through real estate, and giving ourselves flexibility and more options.
So here are my Preliminary 2017 Goals. What are yours? What do you think of resolutions?
People struggle with different things in life, for me, the thing just so happens to be weight loss and maintenance. This article could also be called how to do anything when you suck at it.
Because it is all pretty much the same.
Everyone has things we suck at, the things that no matter how bad we want it, take a back seat to other priorities. The challenges, that when we fail, we decide to flail around in the mud instead of getting back up. These tend to be the things on the opposite end of our personalities. The things that not only do we not enjoy all that much but in addition cause us to reduce or eliminate things that we do enjoy. See: Whose life are you living? Is it time for a Priority Inventory?
On the flip side, we all have things that are easy for us. Some of us have no problems getting out and being active, or not eating some random indulgence. That, unfortunately, is not me. However, I am great at staying ahead of financial goals and nurturing my close relationships. Those are easy for me. It is not a chore to put effort into it constantly and they constantly rank high in my priorities.
When you are just naturally good at something, and you make the inevitable mistake, you have no problem getting back up and getting back to it. It is easy. When I impulse spend, I have no problems recovering, I don’t just slip into financial carelessness. I have a plan that I don’t even really think about. I minimize the damage, either with returns, sales, or cancellations and just continue on with my plans.
Abstaining from buying things is not hard either because I am always thinking about my goals. When I see something I want like a new couch, I think well I would rather retire earlier, sitting on a beach, not in my house on that nice couch.
With all this wonderful restraint, why can’t I just put down the cake!
So how do you do something you are just not good at?
Don’t take on to much to soon.
You cannot change your entire lifestyle overnight. Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise, and my suggestion would be to get control of diet and gradually incorporate exercise as you feel confident enough to stay on track with diet. Exercise can make you very hungry and hurt weight loss, it is, however, very important for overall health. Gradually increasing workouts also helps with not injuring yourself. Here is a great talk from the doctor Michael Mosely.
Integrate your problem area with something you enjoy or are good at.
When you are choosing what diet to go on or what exercises to do, remember what is sustainable for you. If you decide to go on a juice fast, remember this is a drastic diet and not a sustainable lifestyle. So unless you already love drinking vegetable juice instead of a meal, it is even more difficult to transition to a whole other lifestyle once you are done with your fast. I would choose something else. The same goes for exercise, find what you enjoy physically and do more of it. If you like the social aspect join a sports league or go to group classes.
Accountability, Accountability, Accountability.
You can know exactly what you want to do, and you can even have great success at it. But you will stumble. Having someone there on the same path as you will not only make it easier to keep to your goals it will also help you to get back up again if you are struggling. I currently have three people each on a different journey with me (Diet, Fitness, and Motivation), and one professional (a life coach and consultant for health and wellness) I hold myself accountable to. A new trend in accountability is electronics, there are social communities online, programs to help you with your journey (I use the free version of myfitnesspal.com), and devices to track you and remind you to get up and get going.
Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.
Set up a vision board. Keep a journal. Follow blogs that will fill your email and feeds with things that will keep you on track with your goals. Hint. Hint.
Weight Loss and Maintenance is a lifestyle change.
It will be something that will have to be something you keep in the back of your mind all the time. The longer you work at it, the easier it will get. Just like everything else the more you do it, the more skill you get, eventually, it can be one of those things that are easy for you. You now enjoy things related to it, and have the tools to keep going. Your brain will now have the ability to quickly analyze the costs and benefits of an action and choose the right way to go.
Know the risks.
There is a massive industry of people our there making money off of diet and fitness. There are new workouts and diets popping up constantly. New gadgets to buy. Fancy gym memberships. When in fact, you likely need nothing that costs extra money to accomplish your goals. Make sure to do your research, find unsponsored reviews, consult a licensed personal trainer and/or a registered dietician. See: How to be Smart: When Everyone Wants Your Money!
These tips are set up to be used in conjunction with goal setting:
This is the camp I am currently in. Sadly, I have had more yo-yo weight losses then, I can count on one hand. Something always happens which knocks my health off my top priorities and because I’m not great at it, I’m just back in the mud. So I’ve decided to seek the fringes and am trying some not so typical things now. Link coming soon, I’ve been up to some interesting stuff!
Do you like your life or are you just passing the time? Are you doing what you want to be doing right now or do you find yourself jealous at other people’s highlight reels on Facebook? Are you working towards doing what you want or are you waiting for life to happen to you?
Many people feel like their life has gotten off track, or maybe that they have been going the wrong place the entire time. If this strikes a chord, it might be time to suss out why you are living the life you currently are if it is not what you want.
What is a priority? Priorities are the most important things in your life, what you deem most important to yourself. Whatever you make a priority in your life has a higher chance of flourishing as it is getting more attention. Priorities show themselves in the amount of time you dedicate to something and the amount of money(which is ultimately the value placed on your time) you spend on the things important to you.
I will use traveling as an example of goal achievement and priorities because I know many people claim travel as one of the things they would like to do more of and are not doing anything to fulfill that goal. Many people who claim to want to travel, never actually do, they like travel pages on Facebook, they have dreams of lounging on the beach or partying away in a foreign country. They do not work towards it; they do no research to find out how they could do it now, and when they do get a chance to take a vacation they visit relatives. Clearly, travel is not at the top of their priorities. People give excuses well I if I just had more money. False, you could travel now you just have to adjust your expectations and make it happen. Or maybe you should just own it, and know that traveling really isn’t that important to you and stop being wistful about it because truly you would rather see your family or play basketball with your friends.
1. Write a list of your top 5 priorities. Examples: Friendships, Spouse, Children, Security, Health, Success, Pleasure, Nature, Status, and Adventure. 2. Write a list of 5 goals you are working on. 3. Take your average week and tally up the hours you spend doing things. You will quickly see where your current priorities are. If you dislike your job and you are spending the majority of your week doing it and no time applying for different jobs or doing research or education on what you would rather be doing it might be time to reevaluate that. 4. Evaluate your monthly statements, where is your money going? Whatever you are spending it on is where you are placing your priorities.Do you have a new car payment, saying appearances is important to you? Do you have money going into savings every paycheck, showing security is a value you place importance on? 5. Compare and Contrast 1&2 with 3&4. Are you working towards your goals? Are you putting your energies into where you want them? Try to figure out why things might not line up, and adjust your life accordingly.