Accept the Challenge

As I put together my Goal Sheet for 2017, I was trying to think about what I wanted to accomplish in the coming year. There are many things that will be changing in my life (like moving to a new place and getting married), which will require a focus all their own, but in reality, I know what I want to see happen.

I want to work on my health: physical, mental, and spiritual. I want to continue to grow in my faith. I want to travel the country, a baseball trip, going out west, and a honeymoon to Maine being destinations of choice. I want to make more time for fun, doing things like taking more weekend trips, going on more walks, and trying new things. I want to work on my intellect, which will involve reading more books and continuing to write. I want to become more independent, which involves leaving the nest, getting my own place, paying all my own bills, and saving up for a house. Lastly, I want to find peace in my work life. I want to continue working on and growing my business, which I want to be full-time someday, but I also want to find a solid job and enjoy showing up to work every day.

When looking at my goals and all the areas of focus, I felt like I had a strong list and many attainable options. I felt good about everything and really looked forward to seeing how I would get to each destination. I decided to post my list to Instagram (because that is just what we do nowadays) not only to show people what I was up to, but also to encourage people to do so themselves. “Maybe people will be inspired”, I thought to myself. I went on with the rest of my night not thinking too much about the post, besides checking to see who “liked” it when my phone lit up. I shut it down for the night and headed to bed, as I had to wake up early the next day for work.

After waking up, I turned my phone on and proceeded to get ready for the day ahead. Upon looking at my phone, I noticed I had a comment on my Goal Sheet post from the day before. The commenter was someone who I graduated college with and was in the same business program as me. She is a real go-getter and is experiencing an awesome, successful start to her professional career. She has always been someone who has both challenged and encouraged me in all aspects of life. I have a lot of respect for her and always take time to deeply think about what she has to say. Her comment had to do with one of the goals I had for myself, a goal in my Job/Career section.

Chasm Lake; Rocky Mountain National Park (Photo Credit: Trey Williams)
Chasm Lake; Rocky Mountain National Park (Photo Credit: Trey Williams)

When I was making my goals, I was pretty realistic based on how life is going to look for me month by month. I set my “Salary Goals” at 40K for the year and did so based on what I know right now. The first five months of this year (January through May), my income will be based on what I make from each day I substitute teach, a lump-sum from coaching, my 2016 tax return, and anything I make from my business. From June on, my business and whatever job I am hired for will add to this. Do I want to make more than this? Of course I do. I think I have a lot to offer a company and people in general, and it is my goal to get to a place where I can provide for a family financially based on what I bring home. 40K seemed like it would get the job done for now and I was okay with it. My friend, however, thought differently. She was not okay with my okay.

She challenged me. “Your goal should be double that”, “You are worth more”, “you are too good for 40K or even 60K”, were some of the things she mentioned. After defending my case and telling her that this is what I thought was realistic for the stage of life I am in, she left me with something that has been consuming my thoughts for every second since. “You are going to make whatever you tell yourself you are going to make”, she wrote with a smiley face at the end. Wow. I was speechless and a little taken back. I just got a double dose of tough love, but in the kindest and most respectful way. What she said got me thinking. I thought about why I set the number where I did, why I let my current circumstances be so influential in my estimate, and why I kept making excuses. She is right. I will make whatever I think I am going to make and if I get out there and work harder, I will go to places I have never been before.

Money has always been a source of insecurity for me. I have always had everything I needed, but I did not grow up rich. We have lived month to month most of the time and I have not had much financial security in the jobs I have taken since I graduated. Part of the reason has to do with my love of coaching baseball. I have not had a lot of success finding decent-paying jobs that align with a high school coaching schedule, so I have always tried to find jobs that would get me through seasons rather than make me a ton of money. My passions have always been more important. It is hard to imagine what financial success looks like when you have never been there before, but why have I let this stop me? I have learned what it takes to succeed in every other aspect of my life. If I can do it elsewhere, I can do it in finance too.

The next year is going to be filled with a number of different activities and events. Some of these things  will be known, others unknown. What I do know is that I will have to work harder than I ever have if I want to get to where I need to be. I cannot let being “okay” with anything dictate how I live my life. I know what my worth is and I need to continue to living in a way in which fear takes a back seat. I have no clue what tomorrow is going to bring. Heck, I do not even know what the rest of this evening will look like. What I do know is that I can continue to push myself and reach higher. If you are reading this and feel the same way about some aspect(s) of your life, I am going to challenge you. Stop being “okay” with your life. It is fine to be truly content, but it is another to be stagnant and not reach. Get moving.





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