I’ve been blogging about how I’m working my way out of a 6-figure debt for the past three years. You’d think that by now I’m an expert at every money making and debt avoidance trick in the book, but quite honestly, I’m not. It’s been a long journey filled with ups and downs and I’ll keep going until my balance hits zero.
At this time of the year it’s not unusual for people to begin reflecting on the past year and deciding how to make this New Year even better. We like to call them resolutions. For many years I avoided making resolutions because, honestly, haven’t we all promised to lose ten pounds for years now and somehow end every year with those same ten pounds?
But at some point I realized that every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year, was a new opportunity to be better than the one that came before. Every single day is an opportunity for improvement…it’s just easier to track if we make a nice list at the beginning of the year. Here are my top resolutions for the year 2012:
- Reduce My Debt By 15%
Considering that my debtis hovering over 6 figures, this is a pretty aggressive goal. I find that putting a concrete number on this is better than just saying, “I want to reduce my debt.” Of course you do, but by how much? Don’t be afraid to aggressively aim high.
- Make 10% of My Income Through a Side Gig
I talk a lot about increasing your income and this year I am going to practice what I preach. We are all too often too dependent on our jobs as the sole source of our income. I find this to be dangerous, since most of us are employed at will – meaning that your job can let you go at any point in time with no reason. I’m thinking of how much my salary is, and I want to make 10% of that outside of my job. It’ll be hard, but it can be done. What’s more, an additional 10% is additional cash I can save and invest for my future.
- Learn A New Skill
I’m a big believer in constant learning. You are never too old or too young to learn something new. The best case scenario for me would be for this to be a marketable skill – something that I can add to my resume. What would be perfect is if I can do this for free, either by having the company pay for it, or by finding a free seminar or book somewhere. The more you learn, the more you earn!
- Enjoy Life More
I created a bucket list at 29 because I realized that in working so hard to reduce my debt, I was letting life pass me by, and I was doing it sitting behind a desk and computer with no real life experiences. This year, I resolve to strike at least two things off the bucket list and take a vacation. I haven’t taken one in a few years and I think that it is well deserved. Vacations do not have to be expensive. Something as simple as a road trip to the next state over will suffice. New experiences make life interesting.
Those are my resolutions for the year. I’m skipping the usual suspects: lose weight, get promoted, win the lottery. These resolutions will take some hard work to accomplish, but nothing worth it was ever easy.
What are your top resolutions for the year?