They say that whatever you’re doing when the clock strikes midnight on New Years Day, that’s what will define the rest of your year. And, while I’m not extremely superstitious, when 2018 arrived for me, I was sitting on the bed in the lofted nook of a tiny house on the outskirts of Chapel Hill, NC, computer open, journal out, my latest Jetfarer post pulled up on my screen. As I counted down and toasted quietly to 2018 with my boyfriend over some bubbly San Pellegrino with lime, I smiled at the possibility that this upcoming year will bring.
Thinking back to last year, I was getting ready for bed in a New Orleans Airbnb with a few of my closest college friends. I’d forgotten my ID at home and, for some odd reason, most NOLA bars won’t take a Global Entry card. So, I fell asleep that night lamenting the missed opportunity of having fun on the town, slightly buzzed from the few cocktails we were able to sip on earlier in the night.
And that’s kind of how 2017 was. A wonderful year, but one marked by many missed opportunities, lack of foresight on my part, and ultimately, a lot of sitting around while fun and awesome things were going on in the world around me. I knew 2018 couldn’t be like that again.
When I first drafted this post, it was going to be titled “18 Goals for 2018,” listing a bunch of small, disparate goals I’d brainstormed in a cell phone note on a recent flight to Houston. However, I quickly realized that this title – and line of thinking – totally missed the point. In fact, all of the goals I mentioned boil down to just one goal for this year – FREEDOM. Yes, I’m talking about the type of freedom where I can pack a bag, hop on the cheapest flight, and explore somewhere new (without feeling guilty about it). Even if it’s just for a weekend.
For me, personal freedom has to come before anything else, because if I’m bogged down in my own head, then I can’t function properly in other areas of my life. In summary, personal freedom constitutes good health (mental and physical), a solid environment (including clear living spaces), and a foundation to inspire me to keep moving forward. I’m hoping to put myself in a really good position personally so that I can set all of the other areas of my life up for success.
2018 Goals for Personal Freedom:
- PR on Half Marathon (current PR is 1:57:19 – last year my focus was on finishing my first marathon)
- Do one month of a fitness challenge (and finish it!)
- Read 24 books (2 per month)
- Get rid of over 50% of my current material belongings
- Write a letter/email/note to one person each week who inspires me
I’ve alluded to this a few times before, but I’d eventually like to leave the corporate world in lieu of something a bit more entrepreneurial. So, in 2018, I’m planning on taking a few steps to make me better suited for one day running my own business (including growing the one I currently have!).
2018 Goals for Professional Freedom:
- Grow Jetfarer (in readers and audiences, as well as in usefulness)
- Learn SQL, HTML/CSS, and other coding as applicable
- Determine a feasible plan for making non-corporate (side hustle) income by the end of the year
Working in the corporate world is challenging, but it means I rarely ever get to be creative. This year, I’m going to change that by actively trying to do something creative every single day. I’m hoping that by achieving creative freedom, I can gain the momentum I need to streamline my posts and create great resources for you with ease.
2018 Goals for Creative Freedom:
- Photograph SOMETHING every day of 2018
- Learn how to edit/produce videos and launch them on social media (stay tuned, people!)
- Look for opportunities to contribute creatively at my full-time job (I do work for a media company after all)
- Journal every day
Because I make a full-time income, I feel pretty secure. However, Washington DC is an expensive place to live and I still want to save money for long-term (and short-term) travel. Last year, I was paying FOUR-FIGURES in rent (a huge leap from my cheap apartment in Houston) but didn’t get an increase in salary. Needless to say, it was painful on my wallet. This year, I’m going to learn how to build even more financial freedom, one baby step at a time.
2018 Goals for Financial Freedom:
- Learn how to invest my money (including figuring out what the heck cryptocurrency is, and determining where I should be keeping my investments)
- Move home to my parents’ house to save money
- Finish saving for a year of travel (I’m about 80% there)
Remember how I said my ideal lifestyle is one with location independence? It’s a gold standard that I strive for every day, in every decision that I make. Whenever I think about being able to work remotely, from wherever in the world, without having to worry about being micro-managed or bear the brunt of office politics, my heart melts a little.
I’m not sure where in the world this year will take me, but I’m aspiring to be even more mobile than last year, exploring new places each week near and far, and saying YES to any adventure that might come my way. And, by the end of this year, I want to be even closer to that optimal life of being completely location independent.
2018 Goals for Location Freedom:
- Move home to my parents’ house to be more mobile
- Begin planning long term travel
So, How Will I Get There?
Setting goals is practically useless unless there’s a plan to go with it. That’s why I’ve decided that one of the best ways I can achieve the kind of freedom I aspire to is to put everything I can into this site, right here. Yes, I’ll be pouring every last ounce of love, passion, and effort into Jetfarer this year, and I’ll be documenting the journey every step of the way. So get excited, it’s about to be a wild ride.
Why do I think Jetfarer is my ticket to freedom? Well, to be honest, I’m not sure it will be. But I do think that by building this site from the ground up and giving it the attention it needs, I’ll be able to help more and more people achieve the freedom that I so desperately covet.
The bottom line: Nothing wonderful in this world is worth half-assing. Hopefully this first post of 2018 will help you think about setting goals for yourself that work toward a common aspiration.
Go out and chase those dreams this year, fellow Jetfarers. I have a feeling 2018 will be a good one.
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What are some of your goals for 2018? Share your thoughts with us in the Jetfarer Facebook group.