Every year I’m surprised by how quickly the year has gone.
And every year I’m surprised at my surprise. Of course the year will fly by with two small humans to keep us busy. It’s par for the course.
We didn’t have many goals for 2017 — 2017 revolved around having a baby. And boy, he’s rather lovely.
But 2018? No new baby, no new distractions. It’s our first full year as a completed family of four; it’s time to refresh our goals and start building towards the future we want. I’m not 100% what that will look like but I know it involves less work and more family time. It involves no consumer debt and optimised finances. However, this is a long-term goal. It’s not going to happen overnight and I’m well aware it might mean a few years of heavy workloads in order to get there. But I’d rather do that when the kids are small and we can work in the evenings after bedtime.
I’m a bit of a goal convert. I’ve used them at work since… well, since I started working. But it’s only recently that I’ve started utilising them at home too. I think they’re important to keep things on track and to eliminate that ‘ugh, what am I doing with my life?!’ feeling that hits all of us every so often (the quarter life crisis is REAL).
But it’s also important to acknowledge that goals are just goals. They’re not set in stone. You can change them. Life changes, after all. You might suddenly discover a love for piano playing and decide you want to travel the world playing Mozart. Hey, be my guest.
Use goals to focus your work, but don’t feel like you’ve committed 100% to them. You haven’t. Sure, you’ll give them 100%. But if you have to change or move the goal posts later in the year, as long as you can justify why — that’s okay. Be honest with yourself and you’ll succeed.
Money: Implement a Zero-Based Budget
Usually, seeing a £0 balance in my bank account would freak me out. But now it’s something I’m aiming for. I’m planning to make every penny count. I’m rounding up all my bills — as they can vary slightly monthly — and then transferring anything leftover at the end of the month into our short-term savings. The aim? No leftover money, and a bank balance of nothing.
KPI: A bank balance of £0 at the end of the month
Life: Continue #ProjectYOLO
Due to unforeseen circumstances, this Project has slipped. Our expenditure is still as minimal as possible — but due to launching a new business and Mr Thrifty Fox starting a new job, there have been numerous things that we’ve had to shell out on. New suits, new insurance, new equipment. But, they’re all with excellent intentions.
KPI: Personal spending below £50 pcm from Jan-Sept
Family: Block Time
So, it might not sound like the most family-orientated goal. But it’s meant to cut to the core of what our family needs — more quality time together. I’ve always blocked my time when at work, so why not do it at home too? It seems like a good way to switch from juggling freelancing/work/motherhood to balancing freelancing/work/motherhood.
KPI: Blocked hours for freelance work/blog in evenings and weekends
Work: Launch Business
Part of the reason for #ProjectYOLO becoming more of a challenge is that I’ve been working on launching a small craft business. In order to do that, I’ve had to buy things. Many, many, many, many things.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some posts about the various craft fairs I attended late last year. Whilst I’m going to be sticking to mostly online selling in 2018, I’m aiming to do 3-4 larger craft fairs across the year. I don’t expect it to be profitable (yet) but I’m hoping I can grow it into something that provides a reliable income stream.
KPI: 3-4 craft fairs + £3k in sales by end of year
Do you have any 2018 goals yet?
I’ve also launched a Facebook group for goal sharing and motivation; come and join us so we can smash our goals together.