I just want to be good at what I do. I want to be a good engineer. A good wife. A good mama. A good writer/blogger. I want to be a good friend. A good child of God. A good daughter. A good sister. Cousin. I want to earn a decent income.
But “good” is so vague. What does it really mean? I’ve decided that this year is for certainty. I’m looking at my Life Audit and distilling concrete goals I can realize this year. Yes, this is probably the euphoria of seeing a new year talking. But hey, why discount emotions when you can use them to fuel action, right? Rah! (pep-talk-to-self complete).
My goals are roughly split under:
Budget/Finance: This goal comes from the Life-Audit aspiration to have a certain amount of money saved/invested by a particular age. For instance, let’s say I’m 30 and I want to have N5M in savings/assets by the time I’m 35 so I can either start my business or complete a course at Lagos Business School. Then I should save/invest N1M a year from now on *gulp*. If I earn N3M a year (N250k per month), that means I have to save/invest at least 33% of my monthly income. That comes to N82,500 per month. So my monthly expenditure cannot exceed N167,500. Considering that I need to have an emergency fund (let’s say I put N50k away per month for emergencies), then I can’t spend more than N117,500. If I look at my recurring expenditure and they exceed N117,500 a month, then I need to make sacrifices to reach my goal, or reduce the goal. You get the idea.
Beyond meeting my goals, being this deliberate about my finances is helping me “adult”. Adults save. Adults invest. Adults are in control of their money. Adults plan how much they’ll save, how much they’ll invest. If they don’t know, they learn. They find other adults who are more successful at adulting to teach them how to invest and what assets to buy and what assets to sell. Adults know that in this recession, this is the only way to not go broke. I’m so ready to be an adult! Recommended Reading: Arese Ugwu’s Smart Money Woman.
Career: To #LeanIn this year or na? I’m choosing to lean in but I also totally understand if a mom wants to lean out just a little bit. The important thing is to make the choice as a player not a victim. To actively choose and not let circumstances or others dictate. *climbs off soapbox*
What to learn this year? What to do? Which jobs to apply for? When to update one’s CV? How to contribute to the bottom-line? Who to mentor/coach? Recommended Reading: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.
Family: Has anyone done this before? Set goals for their family? This is still uncharted waters for me, I’ve never done anything like it before not even in my parents’ home. We pretty much live(d?) day to day. But in the past few months, I’ve attended a parenting class that opened my eyes to the fact that I need to be deliberate about being a mom. Nothing can be left to chance. I plan to read Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families and work on a family mission statement and budget with Big K. How it works; I read, I summarize and paraphrase for him, and then we discuss. It’s working so far! Some ideas I’ve seen for family goals include scheduling time to be together (playing indoor games, watching movies, dinner) and enrolling in an activity/class together. Hey, maybe even go for Maltina Dance All! 😀
Faith: How many spiritual books will we read this year? 10 minutes of reading everyday and we could read as many as 8 books in 2017! When will we read these books? Can we listen to audio versions as well? On our daily commute? In traffic? What sacrifices will we make for the good of our souls? Less internet, more prayer? Less gossip blogs, more faith-based blogs? How many friends will we pray with and invite to mass/service with us? How many will we pray for? Not every time slay together, sometimes pray together 🙂 What new practice will we take up? Rosary? Meditation? Frequent confession? Free tip: Schedule time using Google Calendar and you’ll get a reminder. Recommended Reading: You decide.
Give Back: There’s a huge list of wants and needs in society. It’s daunting sometimes, isn’t it? One practical tip I got on giving money is deciding what percentage of my income would be for charity/donations. And then once I’d hit that target for the month, to defer all donations to the next month. But we can also give time. We can give expertise. We can give free advice to people doing the actual work.
Hobbies/Creative Pursuits: I’m a firm believer in feeding my soul. Can’t give what I don’t have. Can’t be a paragon of light and joy when my soul is weighed down. So yes to hobbies! Dance classes. Blogging. Photography. Gardening. What enablers do you need so you can get some me-time? A nanny? A creche? A housekeeper (or two)? Will the husband watch the kids for an hour or two a week? What trade-offs do you need to make? Make it happen, mama. Let’s do this.
What other goals are you making this year? Do you have concrete plans for making them reality? What tips would help? Let’s talk in the comments!