The Christmas and New Year period often leaves me reflecting on the year that has been. I seem to have a higher level of clarity on what went well, what didn’t and what I want to change in the year ahead. Perhaps it’s the multiple public holidays and the chance to disconnect from work that frees up mental space to ponder these things.
As a result, I’ve decided to implement a number of changes to my lifestyle to chase a happier and better existence in the year ahead.
I want more meaningful time with my family, more time to dedicate to the things I am passionate about (this website) and the mental head space to achieve great things, win at life and create a business that makes me financially secure and progressing towards a debt free existence.
Here are my thoughts and tips if you are interested.
Got credit card debt? Pay it off faster LIMITED TIME ONLYMove your existing credit card balance to a new card and pay no interest for up to 18 months.
I deleted Facebook from my phone and now limit my consumption
I watched an incredible interview of Simon Sinek, a public speaker and leader in the field of combining biology and human psychology to achieve great things. His interview was heavily focused on ‘millennials’ – those born after 1984, however the interview really rings true for just about any generation.
He points out that social media, namely Facebook, gives the human brain a hit of dopamine (the happy chemical our brain produces) and is in turn is highly addictive. Given the addictiveness, we turn to Facebook first thing in the morning, when we go to bed, just about any moment we have a free second – as it gives us an addictive hit of adrenaline to peer into the one sided world of our friends and their doings.
It’s the same chemical we produce when drinking alcohol or smoking. Both alcohol and smoking have age restrictions to protect the young, yet social media does not (and is just as addictive).
He ponders what this is doing to our relationships and happiness and how the time could be better spent elsewhere in life, which would actually make us happier.
What I took from this: I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Instead of aimlessly browsing Facebook every moment I have, I am reinvesting my time into this website to write more, help others and grow the business. I did some quick sums, and it appears I spend around 1 hour a day on Facebook – that’s nearly 365 hours a year I am wasting (or 15 full days I spend on Facebook, achieving very little).
Further to this, I have decided the only time I will check Facebook is for 30 minutes on a Sunday. I will use the newly found time to DO MORE GOOD instead.
I will be turning my phone off when meeting with friends, family and work people
After the Facebook realisation, I noted that I seem to forever check my phone for new messages, calls or emails; even when I am sitting with my best friends and family, enjoying their presence.
This year I am going to turn my phone off and mercilessly aim to not let a mobile device interfere with moments in life that are precious and could be helping me network and build strong relationships.
I will use the morning to structure my day and achieve more
An article over at Lifehacker about structuring your workday around your brain and human psychology made me realise something; I tend to start each day trying to put out other peoples fires, instead of achieving my own goals and priorities.
I’ve discovered that I am most productive, creative and willing to hustle in the mornings; I wake up with a desire to achieve something (after I have a coffee of course). In turn, the first three hours of my day are sacred – I will use them to pursue my own goals and ambitions to create – rather than to help solve other peoples problems (this is particularly relevant if you work 9-5 and wake up to a bunch of emails from people).
I will invest my money and create an engine that fuels my wealth growth
I read something rather profound; something like 50% of people who invest money, often quickly retrieve it within the first few months. This completely defies the point of investing money as before it can even work for you, you are retrieving it for use.
My new mantra is to invest and do not touch. Let the power of compounding returns and time do it’s thing. I view my investments as an engine; it fuels the vehicle of life and generates forward momentum. If I have no engine, I cannot financially go forward.
Before I buy anything, I will ask myself what I am willing to pay for it
I tend to be impulsive and love buying things that will help me productive and spend less time on the things I hate. This means I often do a quick ratio calculation of the incremental benefit VS the cost of such an item. While this can be effective, I often over exaggerate the incremental benefit and what it will do to help me to justify the purchase.
This year I am going to ask myself “what price am I willing to pay for this?” before I look at the price tag. If the price is under the number I had in mind, I can buy it. If it’s more – I won’t.
What does this all mean for me?
It means I am going to structure my time more effectively, to focus on things that bring me happiness and wealth, while protecting my time and using it to save money, grow my wealth and DO MORE.
As Steve Jobs once said; “It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time”.
Did you like this post?
Tell me in the comments, I fear it was a little too “pie in the sky” and rushed, however I really wanted to share with you some of my motivation for the year ahead and what I’ve learnt recently. Drop me a comment if you want more or less like this.