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Day 23: Follow Up to Lifestyle Design

Today's Prompt:

Revisit Day 13’s prompt – “Consider the Big Picture” – and your answers to the questions presented in the prompt’s exercise. Use these answers to create actions for yourself going forward – it’ll make it easier to hold yourself accountable.

What are your goals, and how are they intrinsically motivated? Share with us in our online community at www.30dod.com!

During Day 13’s prompt, “Consider the Big Picture”, we answered the following questions:

  1. What are the roles that are important to you in your life, and how will you prioritize them?
  2. What are your personal financial goals?
  3. Where would you like to spend your time?
  4. Do you want to be an employer, managing other people, or do you want your business to remain a solo gig, where you outsource occasional tasks as needed?
  5. Do you want to save a certain amount of money by a certain age and have a proper retirement? Or are you comfortable with the idea of mini-retirements?

While these were all valuable questions, they focused on the big picture. Now, we need to take this type of thinking, ask ourselves more specific questions, and create actionable tasks to achieve our ideal lifestyle.

First, let’s think about the reason you answered Day 13’s questions the way that you did. Recently, I read an article[1] by Paula Pant of Afford Anything (a personal finance blog) about the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Intrinsic goals are motivated by enjoyment and deep-rooted desire to do something (e.g., one of our original participants, Karin, wants to become a skilled videographer so that she can make documentaries about holistic medicine, share her passion for holistic approaches to health with others). Extrinsic goals are motivated by a specific outcome (e.g., if Karin were becoming a film maker solely to make X amount of money from X production company).

Now, using this understanding of intrinsic vs. extrinsic goals, let’s consider more questions related to lifestyle design.

How much money do you want your business to generate per year (hopefully, you answered similar questions in Day 7: Pricing Your Product and Valuing Your Time)?

Instead of answering this question to set a basic financial goal, answer it by starting backwards and thinking about the why.

How will you allocate that profit?

Do you want all of it to go towards paying your personal expenses and funding your ideal lifestyle?

Will some of it be put back into the business to drive growth?

Are there local or global causes related to your business that a small portion of your profits could be donated to?

If you answered yes to several or all of these questions, then you can decide how much money is required for each answer and put that together for your annual revenue and profit goals.

Do you want this business to be full time or part time? If part time, what will you do with the rest of your time? 

Your business may make enough money for you to work only part time (i.e., if you have an online business with low to no overhead, and you’re living in an area with a cheap cost of living). You may not be extremely passionate about this particular part-time business, but the beauty of it being part time is that it frees you up to do other things you’re passionate about. Having some goals in mind for how you will spend your free time valuably will help you achieve your financial goals, because they’re intrinsically motivated. Even if your business will be full time, is it possible that you can build in mentoring, collaborating with likeminded individuals, or volunteering into your schedule?

Now that we have answers to our questions from Day 13 and today, we need to start holding ourselves accountable to our answers.

If, in the original exercise, you wrote that you envisioned yourself living a semi-nomadic lifestyle with your business, find someone in our 30 Days community, someone you aspire to be but only know online, or someone in your personal life who achieves this already. Reach out to them, and ask if you can buy them a coffee, or email them some questions if they don’t live near you, about how they achieved this lifestyle.

If you prioritize your role as a wife/husband/significant other/mother/father, but you certainly want to be dedicated to your business as well, reach out to other working moms or fathers you know or admire. Create a connection with them. As them for advice about how they juggle the roles in their lives.

Hearing other people’s personal stories about how they achieved their goals is always motivating and keeps us on track to achieve our own. Additionally, sharing our goals with likeminded people will help us hold ourselves accountable.

After my husband and I went away on our “Lifestyle Design Retreat,” we emailed the friends we mentioned with the goals we came away with from the retreat. This helped us to formulate the goals out loud, beyond our little bubble of just each other. Now, these friends are always encouraging us, spurring us along to achieve the things that we said we would do.

[1] Pant, Paula. What If We Quit Setting Goals? (Seriously?). http://affordanything.com/2017/01/24/goal-free-existence/. 21 Feb 2017.