I can’t believe we’re just 6 months away from Christmas again! I hope you’ve taken advantage of the first half of 2019. Please share your wins and opportunities for improvement in the comments.
Check out what I’ve accomplished so far and read about the exciting things coming up soon. Also, download the Ultimate Goal-Setting Checklist for guidance on your goals.
What are my 2019 goals?
The big goals are:
- Complete Operation: Sock Away $10K by April 30. Having a huge Sunny Day Fund, or emergency fund, will give me peace of mind.
- Visit 2-4 new places in China (e.g. Yangshuo, Xian, etc.). It would be a shame to live here so long and not explore its beauty.
- Pay off $19K in ’19. This goal will help me pay off my penultimate grad school loan and break even on net worth. How amazing!
- Read everything on the Life-Changing Books List and apply 1 thing from each book (20 books in 2019). Will you join the reading challenge?
- Complete the Happiness Planner (100 days). This goal will help record my emotions and reflect on the highs and lows of each week.
- Attend 1 social event each month. I gotta do something besides each brunch with friends. This year, I plan to branch out and meet more people.
How have I done with my 2019 goals so far?
Through dedication and the universe working in my favor, I’ve already checked off 3 goals.
- Complete Operation: Sock Away $10K by April 30. DONE! I completed this goal in mid-May thanks to hard work, budgeting and prioritizing needs over wants. A travel stipend from work in April capped everything off. I decided to keep $8,500 in the Sunny Day Fund and use the remaining $1,500 for travel expenses.
- Visit 2-4 new places in China (e.g. Yangshuo, Xian, etc.). DONE! I’ve visited a couple villages I hadn’t been to for Chinese New Year and the Dragon Boat Festival. One trip was on my birthday, so the organizers and host family surprised me with longevity noodles. It’s a traditional bowl of Ramen noodles that promises you’ll have a long life. I had the trip of all trips when I visited Yangshuo in late June. Oh em gee! Those mountains are breathtaking. It took hours to hike to the peak, but that view was well worth the sweat and slight knee pain. The next day, we toured the main streets of Yangshuo City and biked through the mountains. It rained all day, but we didn’t care. We ate well throughout the weekend and shared so many laughs. This trip is one for the books!
- Pay off $19K in ’19. I started working on this goal in May after meeting the savings goal. With careful planning, side gigs and the expected raise next school year, I should meet this goal.
- Read everything on the Life-Changing Books List and apply 1 thing from each book (20 books in 2019). So far so good! I’ve read 10 of the 20 books I need to complete the list. My favorites include Outliers, The One Thing and The Millionaire Fastlane and The Power of Now. I might not have read these gems without coming across this list.
- Complete the Happiness Planner (100 days). DONE! From January 1 to early April, I planned my days and recorded every high, low, meal and exercise. It was an excellent exercise in prioritizing and reflection. I loved journaling so much that I bought a second 100-day Happiness Planner. When I’m done with that, I’ll start another. I’ll plan to uphold this daily habit for the rest of my life.
- Attend 1 social event each month. So far so good! Sip & Paint. Go-karting. Visiting Chinese temples and participating in Chinese traditions. Hiking. Attending seminars on money management. Rooftop yoga. I’ve definitely gotten out of my comfort zone this year and branched out from brunch. I’ve met some awesome people along the way and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds.
AND THERE’S MORE!
What else happened?
- I got a great side hustle! Bankrate.com approached me to write for them and help boost their social media following. I started writing for them in May and have 4 published posts to show for it. It’s such a blessing to be able to share my tips and tricks while getting paid. I’ve already applied some of that side hustle money to my student loans. Those dollars will help me crush $19,000 in debt in 2019. #19Kin19
- Wise Woman Wallet has been included in more “Best of…” lists. The Smart Wallet listed me as one of the top Instagram accounts to follow in June. My Money Souq included me in their top 10 list of personal finance accounts to follow. It’s always humbling to be included among lists with awesome personal finance bloggers I admire.
- The #debtfreecommunity on Instagram continues to be amazing and has provided over 52,800 followers now. I’m humbled and grateful because @wisewomanwallet had 12,800 followers this time last year. That’s a difference of 40,000 followers in one year! It’s hard to believe.
What didn’t go so well the first of 2019?
My maternal grandmother passed away 6 weeks after I visited home for Christmas. While I’m saddened she’s no longer with us, I’m more glad she’s no longer suffering.
Unfortunately, she didn’t have all of her affairs together, so my mom and uncle had to pay the remainder of her funeral expenses. That meant my mom had to ask me for money a few weeks later. I’ve had to give money to my mom and brother because times are hard for them.
I don’t want this to become a trend. I hope we can all be self-sufficient because money sent to them is money I don’t send to my student loans.
What did I learn from the first half of 2019?
Think more about making money than saving money.
I’ve kept a secret from you guys. Well, two secrets. The first one is I chose words for the year: People and Profit. I am to serve people better and collaborate with more people this year. I also aim to use my talent and Instagram popularity to increase my income.
What’s the second secret? I embarked on Money May and challenged myself to do something every day that month that focused on creating more income. The list of activities included:
- writing, researching outlining ideas for digital products I could sell
- watching online courses about creating and selling digital products
- reading books about improving my mindset and making sales
- completing my onboarding with Bankrate to start writing for them
- listing ideas for Bankrate and submitting assignments promptly to Bankrate
- listening to money affirmations
- tutoring after work
In May, three posts were published on Bankrate. On May 31, I got approved to write two more pieces. May showers have turned into June flowers because those paychecks are starting to roll in.
During Money May, I also received an offer to tutor a child 1-on-1 during the summer. I eventually turned it down so I could enjoy my downtime after teaching summer school. All money ain’t good money. I honestly believe that my thoughts brought that opportunity to me.
Money May helped my mind get attuned to all of the opportunities around me. My brain is wired on a new frequency. I’m no longer afraid of entrepreneurship. I realize that my services have a monetary value. I wasn’t put on this Earth to squander my gifts of teaching and organization.
It’s OK to collaborate.
As I mentioned before, my words for the year were People and Profit. I like dealing with the latter more than the former. I’m an introvert and a bit of a control freak. I often want to keep to myself and stay low-key. Plus, it’s hard for me to ask for help and delegate tasks. I want to do everything myself. I also want to protect my brand and make sure partnerships satisfy my ethics and mission for Wise Woman Wallet.
And to be honest, I feel unworthy to collaborate with some folks. Some influences who’ve reached out to me are my sheroes. I feel like I haven’t done enough yet to be on their platforms, but I realize I’m short-changing myself. We should all believe in our abilities and wake up every day, saying “I’m dope!”
Toni Vincent asked me to share my thoughts on living in China for her blog, Love Daring Greatly. I’m currently collaborating with Leo Jean-Louis to help promote his book and my ebook. They both give tips on crushing debt. In early July, I’ll be recording an episode of the Journey to Launch podcast with Jamila Soufrant. I’ll also be joining a group chat with Naseema McElroy’s Financially Intentional subscribers.
It’s so exciting to work with incredible people! They motivate me and encourage me to move on and branch out of my comfort zone.
Do you want to do your own mid-year review?
If you haven’t already, consider making a date to ask yourself a few questions about the first half of 2018:
- What goals did I have at the beginning of the year?
- What have I accomplished so far?
- What specific things helped me achieve those goals? What works for me? (habit tracking, affirmations)
- What has held me back from reaching some goals?
- How I can I overcome those obstacles in the next 6 months?
- What can I do specifically in the next 6 months to get closer to my goals? (daily, weekly, monthly)
- How will I measure success? (the amount of debt paid off, number of times I exercised per week)