Way back in time, okay it was 2-days ago… The wife comes bouncing into our living room and wants to know what I have decided my “goals” will be for 2021? Blankly my eyelids move up and down blinking at her as I’ve not been thinking about this task and was not really considering it as I felt like I did a terrible job in 2020 keeping up with those “goals” and “aspirations” that were drafted waaaaaay back in December 2019 for all of 2020. Of course, like many of us that nigley little thing called COVID-19 got in the way of many of those best developed plans.
Abruptly stopping what I had intended to do that night I pulled a blue ballpoint pen and a newly received Christmas gift. A light blue 9×6″ spiral notebook with large gold capital letters:
“SUPER GREAT IDEAS”
Looking at the blank page before me, I pondered what really does one accomplish in their mid-forties? I starred at the page, it starred back and the pen twirled around between my forefinger and thumb. After sometime I paused and dropped the pen pointy end down onto the paper and wrote on the top line: Goals 2021 then underlined it. Next I moved the pen down skipping the first line and placed a square box at the far left of the page. Still nothing came to mind. So, I just skipped a line and drew another 9-boxes. There yeah go… 10 possible goals for 2021.
Now what the heck will they be?
Reaching out my left hand picked up the 16-ounce Coca-Cola glass sitting on the wood grained IKEA desk. Pulling it to my mouth I gulped down its watery contents to wet my whistle for which followed a brief hum along to the current DJ Showta Magic of the Sea Breeze playing in the background.
The pen levitated above the page… and I began to think back to when we had just arrived in Edmonton after our 18-month journey in South Korea, what were my goals when I came back to North America? Have I been able to obtain those goals? Have I failed? What has changed since coming to Central Alberta? What does the New Year hold for me? for us? for our family? and of course, our friends?
Sitting back, I spun around in my chair, reached back for the mug and headed for the kitchen. Standing before the faucet I opened the tap and let it run for a moment to cool off. The water streamed out behind the pressure and I slipped the mug beneath. The glass filled and I hungrily drank down its contents. Then watched it fill to the rim and fall off its edge. Still no answers.
Back at my desk… the pen began tapping to the beat of the DJ’s bass beats… and we continued not making any further progress as the wife entered into the room to inform she was getting ready for bed. “It sounds like a disco hall in here? What is this a midnight party?” she smiled laughing. I dropped the pen, spun around in the chair and we began dancing to the music for a good 15-minutes.
The wife disappeared into the bedroom and as I sat back down it hit me like a cold winters’ snowball to your torso. We are one-year three-months away from reaching our 10-year strategic plan!
Wow! Its been nearly 10-years since we’ve come back from our travels overseas. This made me really ponder what I had been up to for 8+ years and what 2021 should really be all about?
In our first year here in Edmonton I worked for several small newspapers as a reporter driving here and there, making just enough money to pay for the necessities. That Christmas I asked for a book called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Initially I read that book over 6-months and began implementing each strategy in his book by August 2012 and by the end of 2013 I had begun to reach the final steps in building an emergency fund and retirement portfolio.
I started off small adding $50 per pay cheque into an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). It wasn’t much by any standards except it was a place to start. This book taught the lessons I needed to understand about getting out of debt, building a financial plan, creating an emergency cash fund and planning for a financial future. Both for current living and for retirement. The ultimate goal of the book… living debt free!!!
Since reading his book, I went on to read several other investment strategy books about how to accumulate wealth and build a stronger portfolio to achieve life’s ultimate goal… retire early.
In this era there is an entire movement called Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE).
After realizing I’m nearly at the half-way point on our FIRE strategy and journey a GIGANTIC smile crossed my face! This is when I realized writing 12-months of goals for 2021 is a necessity!
Fingers pointed the pen onto the first line and within a few minutes I had scribbled in all 10-lines defining each goal, giving each one a specific due date and adding a reward for accomplishing each.