What's It All About?

What’s it all about?

There is a web of themes that will weave through this blog: Financial Independence, Personal Finance and Real Estate Investing, Building Habits, “Optimalism”, Positive Parenting. Diverse, yes, but all linked together, radiating out of my family’s Goal for our Future.

The Goal:

Build enough passive income to become financially independent within three years.
It is a big Goal, with a short timeline. Why the urgency, you might ask? Well, why not?

Setting a big, difficult goal is more motivating than setting a small, easy-to-achieve goal. Set a “10X Goal”, get excited enough and uncomfortable enough to push past perceived limitations. The risks are greater, but so are the rewards. Don’t get me wrong: the Goal hasn’t just appeared, fully formed, out of thin air, the work of a moment. It has been building up, growing in intensity and urgency over the course of a decade (at least, if not more).

The Goal has emerged from years and years of wishing: wishing things were different, wishing we had more money, wishing we had more time. What’s the difference between a Goal and wish? They are certainly related, and a wish can often be mistaken for a goal. For example, “I want to learn to speak Spanish.” Learning another language is a great goal, but how are you going to get there? “A goal without a plan is just a wish,” said an anonymous quotster. Wishes mistaken for goals become distractions and keep us wearing down the same old grooves of our perfectly-adequate lives.

In years past, G and I had deep conversations filled with sighs and “if onlys.” We wished together and continued on our merry way, with nothing changing. This year, we sat down armed with coffee and notebooks and wrote down our plans. We have a roadmap to get from where we are to where we want to be, and that road is paved with action. This year, I will choose to act toward our goal, rather than sitting back in the comfortable seat of who I was yesterday.

The Vision:

To de-couple work and money, and focus our life energy on living to our fullest potential, and guiding our children to live up to their fullest potential.

Central to a Goal like ours is our Vision, our “why?” To achieve a big goal, we need to ignite a fire under our comfortable seats. Just as a big, difficult goal is more motivating than a small, easy-to-achieve goal, the “why” has to be meaningful enough to generate the energy necessary for change. Our children really are the driving force behind everything I do: they have to be. My goal as a parent is to support my children as they grow to be their best selves. And in order to do that, I must grow to be my best self. How will they learn without a model? And really, this blog is for them: M, and S. All of my learning, in some way, supports their lives and their learning.

The Themes:

Financial Independence means building passive income through investing, to de-couple work and money.

Personal Finance is essential to financial independence: Spend less than you earn and invest the rest! How do we know we’re spending less than we earn? We keep track! We use YNAB (You Need a Budget!) to track our spending and give “jobs” to our money.

Real Estate Investing will be one of our strategies to build our passive income streams. This isn’t the only way, or even the best way to invest or build passive income. I’m not an expert, a CPA, an attorney, or an advisor. So, *Disclaimer*: none of the information presented in this blog should be considered advice!

Optimalism is the term I use to describe finding that internal state of “enough.”

In order to reach a big Goal like ours, I have to be focused enough to take action each and every day to meet that goal. My theme for the year, “Optimalism,” is my way of focusing my energy to create an environment that is OPTIMAL for taking action! Optimalism is about engineering my environment so that I can be intentional about how my life progresses.

Habits take the decision-making out of routine parts of life, (think: brushing your teeth every night before bedtime) to leave willpower and decision making to the bigger, more important things. Making tiny, positive changes, one step at a time, can lead to large improvements (think: using alever to move a giant boulder, rather than trying to just PICK IT UP).

Parenting is central to my each-and-every day.The “Why” of the Vision has to do with making space to live up to my full potential, so I can guide my children to live up to their full potential. But I can’t start guiding my children in three years -- I have to guide them now!

What are the themes that run through your life? How to you make room for them each and every day?


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