December 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
This may be laughable to those who know me well, but 2010 was a year of Maturity for me. For the first time in my life I made conscious decisions with the future in mind, AND followed up with the appropriate actions. For a long time I have been somewhat split between the idea of succeeding within society and the contrary view of completely leaving that society. I would often bounce between the ideas of moving my career forward and just selling all my shit and walking across China (or something similar).
I think a significant contributing factor to my decision to make financially-sound choices is witnessing friends and family who are struggling later on in life, and seeing just how limiting the lack of money can be. Fear not, I am not developing a "Greed is Good" Wall Street mentality. I still have inexpensive tastes and consider myself anti-materialistic. As money never really mattered much to me, it was easy for me to spend it. Buying rounds of drinks for friends, eating out whenever I was too lazy to cook, and other wasteful purchases kept me merely breaking even, even as my income went up. This year I began contributing to my retirement savings again, saved up a solid emergency fund, and started an account for a down payment on a home. If things continue as they are, I will be completely debt-free at the end of the 1st quarter 2011.
This has made a huge difference in my stress levels. If something needs to be repaired on my car, I can just go do it instead of hoping things dont get worse while I save up the money. Better yet, I can get it fixed properly rather doing whatever is cheapest (and most likely to cause more problems).
I believe I have matured in my personal relationships as well. I have always been a selfish person in past relationships. My interests, goals and plans were priority #1, and it was usually time and attention to friends/ family/significant other that would suffer for it. Really thinking about what I want out of life has helped me focus more on the people in my life, and my relationships are stronger for that. It has allowed me to start a relationship with an incredible woman who challenges me and helps me grow, and I am not shooting myself in the foot by ignoring her for boxing practice or personal reading or whatever else. My interests and fitness are all major priorities for me, but it is good to have a proper
2011 promises to be a pivotal year. I have started my own company, a sales and marketing consultation business for overseas