Saturday, January 10, 2015

Setting intentions for the year - 2014 review and 2015 goals

I set big goals. I thoroughly enjoy working towards something, even if I don't always make it or life throws curveballs. I am in quite a different position to what I was expecting this time last year and while I cannot disclose my exact financial position at this time and I am not sure I will ever be able to, I have managed to create a life I love, doing what I love with a lot of flexibility.

2014 review
November 2013 I set some HUGE goals for 2014, based on my life at the time, the flexibility I had (meaning more time to work). January 2014 my life was flipped and changed drastically. A lot of my free time was ripped away and I suddenly had a very time consuming, high priority event/project/task. I can't describe it as I will not disclose what it is. Needless to say, it took a lot of time and energy, it still does. It changed everything for me. I didn't get to double my share portfolio, help set up a life skills centre in Ainslie Village, finish our furniture, commit to training properly or stick to a proper eating plan. There were quite a few times in 2014 I was pretty low or struggling but I had great support.

Despite that, 2014 was an amazing and my life better than I ever could have imagined and I did manage to do a lot.

I set out to do 104 speaking gigs and had quite a few lined up. In the first part of last year I had to pull out of a bunch of them and put public speaking out of my mind for a while. In the last few months I did a lot of speaking, but it was not about blogging or finances, it was about homelessness and domestic violence. I spoke at the Canberra Community Sleepout (the link is to a Facebook video of some of my speech), at numerous events for Anti Poverty Week and honestly, this meant so much more to me than any speaking I have ever done before.

I was to publish 2 more books. I have the contracts, but the emotional toll of the January events and the ongoing impact that had in my life meant this didn't get done and my publisher is kind of breathing down my neck at me now. They will be out this year.

Buy a house (and save $70k for a house deposit). Last year my landlord decided she wanted to move back in so I had to move earlier than I planned and a few other disruptions, some more legal fees and other issues saw savings slow right down, but we are now in a house we can be long term and I have the option of buying. We have not felt this settled in a very, very long time.

What did I do?
I did get to FinCon14 thanks to the wonderful community. The gorgeous Crystal happened to email me one day and it was clear in my response I wasn't ok. She asked a couple of questions and I blurted everything out. Clearly I needed to get it off my chest. What she did next and how people reacted shocked me and I was so touched. She wrote this post and got me to FinCon with the help of other friends. I cannot thank them enough. New Orleans was on my bucket list and I had the best time. FinCon is my absolute favourite conference. I presented 2 Plutus Awards there this year too and was ecstatic my friend Maria won Best International Personal Finance Blog.

I did do The Color Run, I did buy 2 more sites to expand my income. I set up a company and family trust. We took a couple of family holidays and have more booked this year, I did the CEO Sleepout and Community Sleepout, I outsourced more and focused on being the best mum I can be.

I also got to be part of Human Brochure, a social media tourism campaign. Because of it I got to hold one of the Australian Flags to fly above Parliament House, get set on fire at Questacon, go on exclusive tours and events, took my daughters to the ballet for the first time (which they LOVED) and the best bit, I met so many wonderful people who have been a great support and there's a great group of us that hang out a fair bit and have helped each other move homes, get through break ups and more. The friends I have made are the best part.

Extra achievements/experiences
2014 saw quite a few other changes and events.
- Finalist for Rising Woman Of Spirit 2014
- Finalist for Young Australian Of The Year 2015, (ACT)
- I became a member of the board for the Early Morning Centre which is a homeless centre here in Canberra where people can get meals and help anonymously
- I now manage Hands Across Canberra (another charity) part time and had the opportunity to be involved in their annual lunch.
- The Community Sleepout I was involved with things like their TV ad (I am at the 6 second mark), flyers, speaking at it, promoting it across my platforms and my team raised a few thousand which was great. There's more on these achievements here.
- July 4th at The U.S. Embassy here in Canberra. I have always wanted to go so it was pretty awesome to not only be invited but to be media and go behind the scenes so to speak, meet the chef they flew in from New Orleans etc.

With my parents - Joanne and Mark Travers, at the Australian Of The Year Awards in November. Photo credit Canebrra Times and more on the winners here. Patty Mills won Young Australian for ACT.

Random bonus
I finally got a boarder. Something I have ummed and aahhhed about for ages. I am in a 4 bedroom home again which is designed almost like 2 x 2bedroom homes joined by a kitchen, perfect for each of us to have our own space and my girls not to be too intrusive in someones life. My friends unit flooded while he was overseas. He needed to get all his gear out and the place had to be gutted. My family and a few friends moved all his stuff to my place for him and I said he could stay here while things got sorted. We had previously discussed him renting a room and it made more sense for him to just stay living here instead of moving all his gear again, so he has. It has been an adjustment having another adult in my space after being on my own for so long but he is one of the best people I have ever shared a house with, only equalled by my bestie when I was 18/19.

HUGE announcement
After much deliberation, at the end of 2014 I finally decided to change my name back to Travers. I posted about why here. In a nutshell, I am not an Ofiu, I am a Travers. I won't keep his name. I held myself back because of it.

This was a candid snap from Ladina Photography. We were both part of Human Brochure. I just sat on the lounge here and she happened to get this pic. This is not the high res version, it wasn't a photo shoot. We were checking out the Presidential Suite at The Hyatt. 

I am literally in awe of the outstanding year I had. I cannot even fit all of it in a post and this only scrapes the surface.

2015 Goals

Sitting here, looking back on 2014, I am in a bit of shock. I knew it was a rollercoaster year of ups and downs (I have only really shared the positive here), but it also felt like a 'set up' year. By that I mean that 2014 was a year many things were set up or put in place for 2015 and beyond. I am absolutely buzzing with excitement over 2015. 

My 2015 started off perfectly. I went to a NYE party and not long after I got home (about 2 am), this happened.

My 5 year old daughter woke up, rushed out to me, gave me a huge hug and fell asleep in my arms. This was the most perfect moment and exactly what 2015 is about to me - my family.

I decided instead of setting big goals this year, as I am pretty content with my life, I am setting intentions and a guide. I picked some words to guide me for the year and I know what direction I want to head in.

Family first, no matter what. My daughters are the most important part of my life and this year we are taking more family holidays, doing a new family sport, spending a lot of time together and I am focused on their interests. 
On top of this they are learning more about cooking, sewing and other life skills. We are also establishing ourselves in our new home, painting rooms and making this a type of sanctuary for us to relax in.

Abundance in everything - family, time, wealth, spirituality, life. You may have noticed I have a few staff writers across my sites now. I am outsourcing more to give me more time with my family, but still allow me to grow my business and maintain an income. This year is about having an abundant mindset, not an "I want to be rich" or "I want $xxxxxxxxxxx". Instead it is appreciation for what we have and an open mind to accept more to enable us to give more.

I love the work I have been able to do to help the community. I reviewed my life, my skills, my passions and how I can combine it all. The last 3 months where I was heavily involved in the not for profit community sector here in Canberra, speaking, fundraising, raising awareness and things like that made me feel more like me, more passionate, satisfied and it truly felt like that is what I should be doing. So I am. I am actively looking at ways to incorporate more of that in my life. 

So instead of my usual hard and fast, SMART goals, I am easing back, going with the flow and following my heart more this year. I've learnt goals are crucial to get you where you want to be and I still have daily to do tasks, mini goals for each week, projects I am working on, but I am also aware you need to be flexible.

What are your goals, intentions or guides this year?

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