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November Goals Update

November is ending in a couple days and I am exhausted… plus here we are moving into the last month of 2011.  When did that happen??

  1. Read 5 books
    Peace Corps : The Great Adventure November Goals Update on 11/2
    Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History November Goals Update on 11/9
    The Art Thief November Goals Update on 11/13
    The Lost Painting November Goals Update on 11/14
    Love Virtually November Goals Update on 11/23
    (Best news is that I’m right on track for my 52 in 52!)
  2. Reduce credit cards by 10%
    Reduced by 28.8% total
  3. Get rid of 25 items
    I don’t know exactly how many I got rid of, but I definitely passed this with a massive purge the first weekend of November
  4. Volunteer at least 3 times
    Southside Community Center on 11/3
    Southside Community Center on 11/30

How was your month?  Any small (or vast) improvements over October?  What are you looking forward to focusing on in December?

To Be Thankful

Just a quick post-Thanksgiving Day post.  I wanted to give a huge thanks to my family, who loves and supports me through all of my decisions (including quitting my full-time job without another lined up).

Additionally, I’m so thankful that I’m in the situation to be able to make decisions and live the life I want to.  So belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading, I hope you were able to spend time with friends and family if you wanted to!

Credit Report Checkup

creditreportgraphic1 Credit Report CheckupLike many other out there in the personal finance blogosphere, I like to check my credit report once every 4 months from each of the credit reporting agencies (through Annual Credit Report).  Transunion popped up this month so I dutifully logged on to check it out…  Everything looks good.  Whew. Some things I noticed on the report:

  • My credit history is officially 6 years old!
  • I have one account inquiry that will drop off by the end of this year, leaving me with two.
  • My credit card with the highest limit was changed to a Flexible Spending Credit Card.  Meaning the high limit no longer applies to available credit, effectively dropping my score.  Luckily this is the account I’m actively paying off and closing.

 

Whenever I pull my credit report, I like to pull my credit report card from Credit.com as well.  I’ve watched as my credit worthiness increased from a B- to a B.  After checking my Transunion report, I pulled my report card and I am now considered an A!!  Placing me squarly in the 750-850 FICO score range.

I’m so happy to see that my debt reduction plan is paying off in more ways than one.  I know my score will be taking a hit when I close off several credit cards (once they’re paid off!), but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Here’s to ending 2011 on a healthy and positive financial note!

Goal Setting

4207563765 954cd508631 Goal Setting
It’s amazing to watch how your goals change and morph over time, often dependent on the circumstances that surround you.

In August 2009, I put together a list of 1, 5 and 10 year goals in personal, business and health.  One-year goals were things such as get a pet (check), get a promotion (check), pay off credit cards (in process) and practice yoga multiple times a week (fail).  Five-year goals were fairly obscure, such as live in city I want to live in, pay off student loans, find a position that challenges my abilities (?) and run a half marathon. Ten-year goals were things like be settled in ideal city,  be able to teach yoga, over $100k in my retirement accounts.

I look at myself from two years ago and see very little left.  Less than a month after writing those, while practicing yoga, I tore my Superior Labrum (SLAP tear) and rotator cuff.  Four months later, the guy I’d been dating broke it off.  My credit card debt went up.  And I’m still in the same city.  I feel so far removed from the twenty-three year old girl who wrote those that it’s hard to imagine actually fulfilling those now.

So I set new goals.

And I left a lot of blank spaces.    I know that if you write your goals down, they’re more likely to happen, but I look at my old goals and realize they’re not even goals I want anymore.  I don’t want to “settle down” in some TBD city.  I don’t want to stay on the same path I’ve been on.  I constantly struggle with doing things that make me happy and not what I think will make me happy, just as Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project constantly has to remind herself to “Be Gretchen.”

As of today, I have all of my one year goals completely filled in, my five years goals 85% filled in and my ten-year goals 30% filled in.  I want to figure out my goals, fill them in and strive for them, but for the time being, I’m happy knowing that I’m back on the right track.

(image via lululemon… particularly fitting since they inspired me to set goals in the first place 2+ years ago)

Making Decisions

greg hartle freedom1 Making Decisions
When I started writing this post, I was dreading it.  I knew that people would shake their heads and pass judgement on what I’ve done.  Then I read about how to put off making decisions over at the Art of Non-Conformity, and I saw the past year+ of my life all through it.  In fact, I’m currently guilty of the first one on his list: Apply for something.

Application aside, my life is off autopilot and it’s up to me to make things happen.  Why is that?  Today was my last day at my full-time job.

I’m not leaving with a Plan B.  Or Plan C.  Or Plan D.  There is no backup plan.  It’s sink or swim and I’m the only one who can make sure I get there.

Since I made the decision to leave, I’ve had the words of my high school history teacher resonating in my head… “How hard can it be?”

And I wonder… how hard can it be?

(image via Greg Hartle)