Who Are Your Leaders?

We’ve been talking about what someone should focus on in the beginning of the year, and, now that I’m about to be 35, Memphis Blues said I should look to be when I’m 50. I wanted a pie in the sky, but, thanks, you did the math. I need to back down what I’m aiming toward, or I’m going to set myself up for failure. I think one of the main problems with BSing, or saying you’re going to do something and then not doing it, is setting goals that aren’t realistic. I want that balance between dreamy and doable.

Financially, going to South America to write for a bit should about equal to what I pay in Seattle. The flights are the expensive bit, but once I get there I can find a room in a hostel for about $20. When I’m in Colombia, for example, I’m staying a full month in a place where they’re feeding me and housing me for $655. That is less than half of what it costs me to live in Seattle.

Long-term, living in a cheaper country for four months out of the year could become part of my financial strategy. Other than that, I have to admit it’s a bit of a shit show. My income is erratic and unpredictable, and so is my spending.

For the long-term, I’m willing to adjust my vision. I can just do the tiny house and some land. The important part of the vision for myself at 50 is that balance of freedom and connection.

My dream tiny house. Images © Abel Zyl

Benjamin Sledge wrote me about how “Resistance is the true north,” a statement to which I gave one of my mom’s Oprah “Hmmmmms.”

For example, over the last week I went apeshit buying things for my trip. Flights, AirBnB reservations, quick-dry travel unders, and hiking shoes. I recognized the manic nature of my behavior, but I also recognized a change in how I reacted to it. In my first stage of adult life, I would just be consumed by it (see: eBay addiction, 2001–2002). Then I would see it, and hate myself for it, berating myself in my head, “Why are you like this???” Now I can see it, accept it and say, “Wow, I can really see that I’m getting caught up in this swirl.” And then, when I’m so afraid to face it, I paused and let myself see what I was actually doing. I went to Mint.com and calculated how much I had spent in the last week. That broke the spell.

I’ve come to realize that I need not just a Monthly Money Check In but a daily money check in. I’m going to calculate how much my fixed costs are and what I need to earn every day to cover them. And every morning, I’m going to see how much money I have in checking, how much I spent the day before, and how much I earned the day before. I need to go with numbers and data, not the excitement of clicking Order.

Also, Benjamin Sledge, we need to know the name of your planning software!

So, with the top goals of writing a valuable writer’s book, pitching the financial book I want to write, and setting myself up for success at 50, here are my five daily must-do’s for this year:

  1. Work on the current book (first the writing book, then the finance book) for two hours every day.
  2. Do a Daily Money Check-in
  3. Meditate 30 minutes
  4. Read at least 10 pages
  5. Exercise at least 30 minutes

I’m going to do what Nir Eyal calls Burn or Burn. He has $100 and a lighter attached to his calendar. His choice, every day, is to burn in the gym or burn the money. I’m going to have five 20s. If I miss one of these, I have to burn a 20. Yipes!

Getting Help

I want to pick three coaches for the year. In the same way that I listened to Dave Ramsey every day when I was getting out of debt, I want to follow a few voices to teach me to be disciplined this year. This is the next thing that is standing between me and the career, financial life, and health I really desire for myself.

Question 4:

Who are the people who have most influenced you to find discipline in working toward that which you want most?

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