I am planning to read 12 books around financial independence in 2022, 1 per month, and am going to host a book club to discuss the book of the month on the 4th Friday of each month. I am in California, USA, and planning to do this from 7-8:30pm PST. If you can make it, DM me your email address and I’ll add you to the google cal invite! The books I’ve chosen are in the next image. Hope everyone is ready to claim abundance in 2022! 💸
New Years Manifestations
About 5 years ago I changed my phrasing from “New Years Resolutions” to “New Years Goals”. This has served me incredibly well. It took the stigma off of “Resolutions” – popularly perceived as something you say but don’t do. This flip of terminology gave it a different meaning to be something more attainable based on personal goals that I was already working towards. It felt more achievable, and since that flip I tend to accomplish 90-95% of the goals I defined by the end of the calendar year.
I do a quick check in each quarter, and in June I do a full audit to see if I need to recalibrate or re-prioritize anything on the list to make sure each goal is still relevant and attainable. There is nothing wrong with pivoting if something you wished for is no longer serving you. Life is a continuous self-discovery and the only thing that is important is genuinely listening to yourself and overcoming any fear or anxiety that is keeping you from that level of authenticity in your outward life.
I have multiple sections, or categories, that each get their own short list of goals that I want to achieve. I try to keep it “realistic” in terms of quantity and attainability, but I am also a big believer, and proven experiencer, of Manifesting, Alchemy, and Law of Attraction. This has played a huge role in my achievements as I’ve dialed in on that over the past few years.
This year I am updating my language again, to encapsulate the Manifested life I want to achieve in the upcoming year. Some of the things I put on my list the past 2 years I considered “stretch goals”, and some of the things on my list I had no control over, like a specific credit score number that I wanted to hit. Not only did they come to fruition, they came forth even grander than I could’ve predicted. I know this was a bit of a combination from my manifestation practice, as well as a little naïveté or doubt of what I was capable of accomplishing, or perhaps, simply not dreaming big enough. So it felt more appropriate to upgrade this practice to New Years Manifestations. Huzzah! Let the magic unfold!
I started doing categories in 2018 and this has been a work in progress, but the intent was to simplify so it doesn’t become this endless unattainable list. With categories, I can pick 2-3 things per category and it isn’t overwhelming because they are usually related to the greater good of that category. In 2018 I called it Health, Hearth, Heart. If it didn’t fall under one of those categories then it wasn’t worth recording because those were the areas I wanted to focus my attention in 2018.
In 2019 I think I forgot about my categories in a way or maybe I just got really statistic focused because my list is shown as quarters: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4. I think this is where I started feeling the call to have regular check ins with myself so not to fall into the well known trap of going all in for January and then throwing it all out the window by February. I wanted to make sure I was holding myself accountable. This strategy is also great for breaking things up into bite sized chunks which can prevent overwhelm if you have a really big goal to hit by the end of the year.
I should mention, I start drafting the resolutions for the upcoming year in November and solidify in mid December. This gives me ample time to consider if it’s something I genuinely want or if it is fleeting. As my practice develops, my goals tend to compound over time so this process has been getting easier each year.
For 2020 I reverted to the category idea but I only had 2 main areas that I wanted to focus heavily on: finance and fitness. I also had a monthly travel plan that was adjunct to my goals, but did not make it onto the actual New Years Goals List because I decided to clump it into the finance section. You need money to travel right? Of course that was all squelched with the pandemic, however, it actually catapulted the financial goals I had on the list. It worked out in unexpected ways, particularly with improving my discipline around budgeting and cash flowing my adventures as opposed to going into debt for them. 2020 was also the year I became consumer debt free and I wouldn’t trade that accomplishment for anything.
In 2021 I really finessed the category concept and I may repeat this for 2022 because it still resonates with what I want to put my attention on: Finance, Wellness, Creative, Travel. I decided to make travel it’s own category because it is much more than a budget line. Travel gives me life. It is a spiritual experience for me in many ways. Immersing in other cultures and interacting with the incredible humans on this planet, especially where “old world values” still thrive and people aren’t inundated with commerce the way we are in the US, is affirming as a global citizen of this planet. To witness humanity at its finest, participate in genuine community, dance, break bread, and share laughter is everything. Simply put, I feel more human when I travel, and this is a huge relief to my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, among many, many other benefits.
Wellness will always be on my list moving forward. Historically my self care has been the last of my priorities but no longer. You can not fill from an empty well. I will give to myself first in order to better serve the world. This comes in many forms and will focus on all things mind, body, spirit. Run a race every quarter, practice meditation, optimize nutrition, keep a gratitude journal…these types of things are crucial for a life well lived.
On this blog you will see that the Finance section is under the Wellness category. This is by design. Financial wellness is a part of that larger equation. If you are stressed about money or your future, it is harder to care for your body and your mind. Financial stress can deplete everything, above and beyond what a spa day could give you. Sure, with meditation and affirmations you can rise above but that is easier said than done. Coming from the deep, dark poverty that I was raised in I can say first hand it is hard to even consider mediation when you are straining to put food on the table or keep shelter over your head. There is a difference between thriving and surviving, and surviving doesn’t leave room for much else. The pursuit of financial independence is a wellness practice as much as a self preservation practice. Since it is more tactile and nuanced, however, I give it its own category for a New Years reset.
Whether you call it New Years Resolutions, Goals, or Manifestations, it is a great practice for personal growth. If you miss and it’s still important you can try again. In 2015 I was in burnout, I was scatter brained, and I felt lost. I made a resolution for 2016 to “Simplify My Life”. That was it. That was my only resolution that year. I dove all in and you know what I found out? Things had gotten pretty complicated. In order to actually simplify my life, I had alot of things to close out and re-prioritize. I made the same resolution for 2 more years before I felt like I had accomplished my goal. And I have no shame in my time frame. Persistence is the key. It’s not about checking something off a list, it’s about growth. Pure and simple.
I hope seeing my process and structure is helpful and gives renewed hope that New Years Resolutions do not need to be flighty or fantastic. It’s just an aid for designing your life to be exactly as you wish it to be. I’ll be digging into my 2022 Manifestations soon so stay tuned. What are some resolutions, goals, manifestations you want to energize next year?
Wherever you are on your journey
even if it is day 1
or just starting to take your first step
whatever your journey entails
you are not too late
you are not too far behind
you are not inferior
you are deserving
you are amazing
you are love
you are a force
you can do anything
Girl On Film
The Girl on Film is me, on my birthday, at Silk City in Philly when I was young enough to not even dare go out before 10pm at the earliest. I was maybe 23 years old.
I met this cute nerdy photog that night and he snapped this instant of me, the flash blowing out my face in the dark bar. I immediately loved that it was me, but it wasn’t. Without a face I had no identity. At the height of my creative lifestyle, this was pure poetry in my mind. It made the gent even cuter.
I went to take a sip of my Yuengling lager and got bumped simultaneously by an anonymous passerby in the crowd, which so easily occured due to the tight shotgun shape of the retro diner redesigned into a nightclub. That little elbow bump thrust my arm and the bottle too quickly to my mouth, chipping my front tooth. Luckily it was so tiny it was unnoticeable, but I could feel it with my tongue, and proceeded to do so obsessively all night.
Years later I put the photo in a frame with this found metal honeycomb scrap to add an extra level of creativity. I never kissed the boy.
MINIMALIST DECLUTTER ROUND #?
INTERNATIONAL DEBUT: DLUX TATER BOWL
Lock me in a kitchen for a year and some interesting choices are bound to be made….
Introducing the DLUX TATER BOWL!
GIRL. Lemme just tell you. This bowl was 2 servings but I licked the damn thing clean. SUPÈRYUMZ
Vegan. Whole30. Paleo. Grain Free. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Organic. #allthethings
9 times out of 10 I’m eating a #YAM but once in a while girlfriend needs a white ass potato, mmkay?
Bake the baby in the #instapot. If you don’t have this GET IT NOW. My #1 minimalist friendly kitchen tool.
TBH, #1 is tied between IP, Immersion Blender, + Juicer, but you get what I’m laying down, right? I’m a #minimalist; I only have 3 tools; they are all #1.
While the #tater is baking, sauté: onion, garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli. Put big ole tater in a bowl a top with #nutritionalyeast, olive oil, salt + peppa. Then load on the sautéed veggies and top with #sauerkraut, #olives, & #avocado. Add Olive Oil Drizzle.
Yes. I said olives. OLIVES ON EVERYTHING.
Don’t challenge me. It’s dope. #saltfatacidheat
All of this from #PlanetEarth. How amazing is that?
Next, pretend you will save half for lunch tomorrow + devour every delicious morsel.
YW. 💕, DLUX
First order of business: You literally are a superhero. You have SO many powers to create your fate. Law of Attraction, Quantum Physics, Alchemy – whatever you want to call it, we have the power! Don’t talk yourself out of it – try it today! ✨❤️✨
Second, If you want a superhero collage with your face, I can do that for ya! Just let me know. Hang it on your mirror, on your fridge, make it part of your vision board – whatever you want to remind yourself and give yourself a little boost. YOU’RE AWESOME. Don’t let anyone make you feel any differently.
~ FIN ~
Credit Score Goals
As a goal oriented person, I always love setting New Year Resolutions, or New Year Goals, every year. I know alot of people that are adamantly against this. People say, “why bother if you’re just going to fail.” I see their point (kinda), but I have always followed the ideology of it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up. Fear of failure isn’t an option, but what’s more, it gives me something to work towards, as well as an opportunity to set an intention.
One of my New Year Goals for 2020 was to raise my credit score to 800. This one was tricky because I knew so much of this achievement would be out of my hands. First of all, there are 3 credit bureaus calling the shots and they don’t even agree with each other. Second, it’s a mystery to me how it even works. There is a lot of bait involved in this credit business. For example, my credit score would slowly tick up as I paid off debts and kept lower balances, but when I had a car emergency and had to take out a car loan, I was stunned to see that my credit score shot up several points after taking on this new large debt. Why? I didn’t feel I should be rewarded for that, but it’s some weird formula to encourage you to keep spending, and most people spend beyond their means when it comes to credit. Third, it took me years to get to 700 alone. I got my first credit card in college, along with the school loans, and promptly threw my score in the gutter for over a decade at just over 300 points. To say I was irresponsible with my credit is an understatement. I came from extreme poverty with a subzero financial IQ before I turned this ship around.
So, as you can see in the image, I did not achieve my goal of 800 points, BUT I did gain 89 points from the year before. In December 2019 before I made this goal I had just hit 700 even. Is this a failure? NOPE. This goal gave me mindfulness. Every month I recorded my updated score. I was encouraged because I was actively paying down debt, learning to live within a budget, and watching the score go up. I’ve been working on my budget for years but it takes a long time to master! Having this goal made me focused and vigilant to get the best results possible by persevering and course correcting as needed. I’d call this a win.
A credit score of 800 or higher is considered perfect and I was able to get so close that now I can definitely have it as an achievable goal for 2021. Even though it will take me a little longer to get there, I’m stoked to have stayed the course and to keep reaching higher.
What financial goals are you setting for yourself in 2021? Remember, it’s never too late to start anew. I re-evaluate my New Year Resolutions every quarter to make sure I’m on track and make updates if anything has shifted. It’s not written in stone, it’s your life novel to write and edit as you deem fit. You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you!