Level 1: My Commitment to Achieving Financial Independence

Step 1_ Commit to your mission to Financial Independence

Once I had decided I wanted to become Financially Independent, so that I could regain more control over my time and future, I was aware I had to make the following step: a commitment to my journey, a first advance towards the next level on my way to my ultimate goal of financial freedom.

In order to move from level 0 – my starting point – to level 1, I had to take full responsibility for my progress and dedication to that journey, to make sure I wouldn’t give up on it halfway through.

Following the 100 steps that I have laid out previously on this website, Step 1 is making a commitment to your mission. With the various ideas suggested in step 1 in mind, I have decided to do the following:

1. A sticky note

I’ve put a sticky note on my bathroom mirror. In this way I can see it several times a day, and especially in the morning, to remind myself of my mission. It currently says: “On a mission to Financial Independence.” but I might change the wording with time. You can find a picture of it here on my Instagram account.

2. An accountability partner

I have in fact found several accountability partners: myself and 5 others have formed an accountability group in which we have set ourselves a big as well as five small targets we’d like to achieve over the course of a year. We meet once a month to give updates and ask each other critical questions to provoke honest answers and make sure we live up to the targets we have set and to help each other remain motivated and on the right track. I’ve also got a weekly check in meeting with my partner to discuss progress on some of our targets, including my goal of achieving financial independence.

3. Use of social media

With the upcoming launch of my 100 Steps Mission to Financial Independence book (around June 2018), I decided I’d probably need some social media presence anyway, so I am currently using my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts to put together interesting articles and images to do with Financial Independence and Money Wisdom. In that way I am not only letting others know about my journey, I also hope to inspire people to aim for more financial freedom.

4. My bullet journal tracker and diary

This is the one I am most excited about, as I really believe in the power of a tracker to keep your progress visual. I also find my bullet journal really helpful and motivating to use, so I have decided to get a new bullet journal that I use specifically to keep a log of my steps towards financial independence. I have started with a tracker for step 1, which is an overview of 100 steps, with each step represented by a square, that I will fill or colour in every time I have successfully implemented or completed a step. You can again find a picture of it here on my Instagram account. If you would like to get a free copy of this tracker, leave your email below and I’ll send you an email with a free download that you can print and instantly use!

5. My cat

I can’t finish the list without also including a special mention to my cat, Monkey, who ever since I started working on putting together my 100 steps, has always been faithfully sitting next to me, in front of me, right on top of my laptop, sprawled along all of my papers or in any other way close to me…. You can see her here “supervising” me writing this current blog post here. Whenever I work on the 100 steps she is there with me, keeping me accountable I guess!

And there you have my 4 (or 5) ways of committing to my goal of becoming Financially Independent. For more ideas or if you’d like to read more about the very first step of the 100 steps mission, check out this description of step 1. Remember also to leave your email below to get a free copy of the 100 steps tracker sent to your email.

I’d love to hear about your commitment or ways of making sure you will stick to your goal, so please let me know in the comments below or by posting a photo on your favourite social media.

Win/Win and believing in a third way

Winwin and the third way (1)

Think “Win-Win” isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration. – Stephen Covey

All great managers aim to get the best out of negotiations for all parties, to get what Covey famously called a win/win. A win/win is when both sides walk away from situation having gained, when both sides are happy enough with the outcome. The importance of striving to get a win/win is applicable to almost any scenario at work, be it: negotiations with a supplier, feedback with a staff member or disciplining a student as a teacher. For each scenario to work well, both parties needs a win. However the key thing to understand about win/win is the “win” isn’t about both sides getting what they wanted, it is rather about them getting what they needed. Continue reading “Win/Win and believing in a third way”

Understanding Emotional Triggers

 

Emotional Triggers (1)

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else: you are the one who gets burned.” — Buddha

Great leaders very often have high EQ as a key part of leading people is understanding how they think and feel and having the capacity to use this knowledge to achieve goals. Managers who can do this well nearly always understand how emotions are formed and what triggers them. They also understand how they relate alongside reason. In general it is important for managers to understand that whereas reason might be the explanation applied to a decision, it invariable was the emotion which actually triggered making the decision, at least in the first stages, which is why when resolving conflict, great leaders address the emotional source of problems as well as the logical reasoning given. Continue reading “Understanding Emotional Triggers”

Level 0: The start of my mission to FI

The beginning of my journey to create more freedom.

More freedom

Over 2 years ago I decided I wanted to have more freedom. Freedom to choose what I wanted to do with my time. Not having to get up super early day in day out to go to work, spend all my productive time in an office, work extra hours whenever this was needed (and working in education means there are ALWAYS extra hours needed!), to then come home being too tired to do stuff I actually enjoyed.

It’s not that I didn’t like my job, quite the opposite: I got (and still get) great please out of it and am able to shape my role in many ways. But whether I enjoy my job or not is not relevant: I decided I didn’t want to spend my entire working days for the next 35 year of my life in an office.

I wanted to be able to be more in control when it comes to my time. Being able to decide every day how long for, what to work on or whether to take a day off and go for a hike or a swim or a snooze or a picnic in the park or…. there are so many other things to do..!

Once I had determined this, an obvious problem arose:

“HOW TO CREATE MORE FREEDOM?” 

As I started reading more about my desire to create more freedom, I quickly found out that the best way to do so and get more control over your own time is by becoming Financially Independent. When you achieve Financial Independence, you have access to enough money coming in from passive income streams, that you no longer need to rely on your job’s income. Meaning you don’t need your job to pay your bills, which means that you can decide to do any job you want (or not) regardless of how much it pays. (There are in fact 8(!) stages of financial independence, you can read more about that in this article). Simply put, if you achieve financial independence, you no longer need to rely on working a full time job, which means you can free up a lot of extra time and freedom to do as you please!

Once I had the answer to the first question (how to become free) figured out, a second question emerged however:

“WHERE DO I START?”

This is where my search for a comprehensive guide began that would show me how to attain this freedom I dreamt about. As I learned with time, there are thousands of people out there who have the same aspirations to become financially independent and many others who have in fact already achieved this, yet the guide I wanted explaining how to do it all didn’t exist!

I looked everywhere on the web, Amazon, physical bookstores, podcast libraries… Nothing! No A-Z guide, 30 day challenge or 100 steps blueprint on how to become financially independent.

The 100 Steps Mission Book

Not wanting to give up my dream I decided that if that manual I was looking for didn’t exist, then I’d put it together myself. I wasn’t talking about WRITING a book, but about compiling ideas together that would be the substitute for what I was looking for.

Long story short… I DID end up writing a book. And as you might have guessed it became the 100 Steps Mission to Financial Independence. (I’m currently working with my editor to get it ready for publication.)

It’ll be out soon and I am convinced it can help many people looking for the same answers that I was looking for 2 years ago: how to get more freedom? More time to spend with my family? More time to travel? More time to do my hobbies? More time to volunteer or pursue a passion project? More time to…. to do anything you want really, without having to plan it around your busy work schedule and commitments! It will give you all the answers you are looking for and is a step-by-step guide you need in order to create that life you really want.

Until it’s out (around June 2018), I’ll be documenting my own experience implementing these 100 steps on my way to more freedom, so you can see how each little step has helped me get closer to my target of more freedom every day. Feel free to join me on this mission to start creating more time for you and your family too and let me know how you’re doing in the comments below.

High Aspirations: if you want 10, aim for 20.

Setting goals (3)

People who believe they can and people who believe they cannot are both usually right – Jo Owen

Great leaders must dream and aim high.  High aspirations push us forward and upward, low aspirations hold us back.  Staff follow managers who aspire to bring out the best in them; people follow leaders who have a dream and make them believe the improbable is possible. High aspirations come in many forms: quality of work, quantity of sales, teamwork achieved and also in personal development. Leaders must aspire big in the areas that matter in their work and the very best managers will create a team culture of aspiring to great things. Continue reading “High Aspirations: if you want 10, aim for 20.”

Dealing with conflict head on

Copy of Copy of Character versus personality.png

Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to manage conflict with peaceful means.- Ronald Reagan

Ask any new manager to rank what they fear or dislike most about man-management and you are likely to find “dealing with conflict” is high on their list. However, effective conflict management is probably one of the key abilities great managers must have. Some degree of conflict at work is inevitable. Indeed I would argue that a certain amount of conflict is healthy for an organization as each conflict moment – dealt with well – offers the individuals involved an opportunity to realign their feelings and find even greater understanding than before. Continue reading “Dealing with conflict head on”

The Health / Wealth Balance

How Investing in your health will also lead to more wealth
How Investing in your health will also lead to more wealth
The Health / Wealth Balance

Yesterday, on the last day of January (where did that first month of the year go??), I came across two interesting articles focussing on the link between health and wealth. I’m always super motivated to improve my health and in fact one of the main reasons to aspire FI is so I can hopefully enjoy more free time when still in great health.

Anyway, back to yesterday. What made these articles so interesting was that both focus on the importance of investing in your health and the compounding effects this can have long term on both your health as well as your wealth.

The first article: 30 Times and Then You’re Dead. Unless… How to Get Rich With Exercise, by FIIntrovert shows exactly how important it is to invest in your health if you are in fact  pursuing FI. If you are weary of spending too much money on your health, then I greatly recommend this article. FIIntrovert has made several calculations on how spending money on your health will over the long term not only benefit your health but also your finances. It’s really worth a read if you are needing a little extra motivation to look after your own well-being!

The second blog post was the announcement by Smart FI to join his February Plank Challenge: The idea being that you do a plank every day, starting with a minute and slowly increasing the amount of time each day. In his words: “The underlying theme of the challenge is that small incremental improvements over a month or a year lead to big changes.” I love how this of course applies to both your finances as well as your workouts. His post was also a call to other FI bloggers to join his challenge, so I decided to join too.

So here I am at the start of February with 28 days to do a plank a day ahead…! I’m very excited, as I have been wanting to focus on my health more anyway, so this will hopefully keep me motivated. As I write this post I have just done my first plank – unfortunately a minute was a bit too long for me, it ended up being 30 seconds… I hope to be able to increase this by a few seconds each day to 3 minutes at the end of February. I’ll keep you posted.

And if you are still interested in joining this challenge too, make sure to hop over to Smart FI’s post and let him know you are joining, as he’s got a blog roll / accountability listwith everybody participating.

Here’s to a good start of February and some new fresh goals to work towards!