2019: Bucket Lists & Tangible Goals

  • Location: Cancun, Mexico
  • Currently Eating/Breakfast: Mexican Doritos with cilantro guacamole and a light coke (weight watchers fail)
  • Smokes: Zero (but it is still early)

It is actually really nice in Cancun today. It is 27C but the sun isn’t shinning bright and it doesn’t really feel like a beach day for me today. I am not overly sad about that but mostly because I am exhausted. After a few drinks last night I literally slept for 13 hours. I absolutely had to have the melatonin to sleep because my anxiety has been so bad that I literally cant get more than 3 or 4 hours at a time lately.  My body clock is off and I am ready for a few days off.

This week I actually got into a conversation with someone about top 10 bucket list items. I literally rattled off a few things that have been on my bucket list for YEARS … like I am talking a decade – that I have actually never done and always thought – one day, one day I will do that. I wrote down a list in my bullet journal of bucket list stuff and realized that I needed to make some tangible goals about actually achieving some of the items.  I mean it is a bucket list so there are lots of items on there that are massive undertakings and require a certain about of money to make happen. This time I actually added to the list things that I never had before like … PAY OFF MY STUDENT LOANS  … things like that are seriously a slow progression and not happening without hard work and a whole lot of budgeting.

In the spirit of “its the end of the year and I should makes goals for 2019” – I actually thought it would be fun to list out some of my bucket list items and to actually try and accomplish one of them in 2019. I haven’t decided completely but honestly if you don’t take a dream, analyze it to death and start with small steps to the bigger goal it’ll never get done.

So here is my top 10ish list as of today:

  1. Take the train from Beijing to Moscow via Mongolia

  2. Stay in an ashram in India/travel India

  3. Travel through the ‘Stans – but mostly Uzbekistan 

  4. go to Rythmia healing centre in Costa Rica

  5. Write & Publish a novel

  6. Become a successful content creator on youtube or a blog or podcast or some combination of all of the above

  7. Open a vegan coffee shop/café/ sustainable food place

  8. Make a vegan cook book

  9. Pay off my loans and have a moment to understand what debt free feels like

  10. Buy a Sprinter Van (or something similar) and convert it into a living space – tiny house life

 

Now that is a list Friends – The thing that I have learned over the years is that if I set myself unrealistic goals then I will surely never accomplish them. But if I am truthful to myself about things I can actually accomplish I am more likely to see success and keep going.

Lets break down the things I think I want to work on in 2019:

Goal 1: Paying down my debts. This has been something I have been working on for while now but I actually made a practical debt repayment plan in the spring of 2018 that I am still following and if all goes to plan I will be completely debt free in 2.5 years. All the hard work I have been doing with actually start to slowly show its efforts this year but I do owe a chunk of money to student loans and when you compare that to my annual income  – it is a lot for me. So I guess without going into to much detail on that bucket list item  – just know I am working on it and I won’t see the end of that for a couple more years.

Goal 2: I would like to do one of my travel bucket list items this year. If I am being truthful the train trip is gonna be super expensive and I just don’t have the money for that right now  (see goal one) …  And I don’t actually want to take that much time off of work just yet – so that leaves me with Uzbekistan and Costa Rica – both on the list, both take less time. So I will spend the next couple of weeks researching and seeing what I actually need to make those trips happen, look into cost and visas and all the things and start planning that for one of my holidays this year. Small goal, easily accomplished.

Goal 3: The vegan eBook. I get people asking me all the time for recipes and if they can come over for food I have prepared. I love cooking. I have a vegan Instagram right now that I have been building followers on. I just think it would be super fun to figure out how to actually put together and ebook or cookbook of all my favourite recipes.  Maybe just one recipe a week for the year and get it published for Christmas. We will see – also something that needs to be planned out and researched and photographed and edited and all the things.

So here I am, December 30th, in Cancun I have a few more hours to soak up the warm weather and then off to Vancouver.  What is on your bucket list? Have you been trying to break down some of that list into things you can actually accomplish? Leave me a note below sharing your top 2019 must do!!

All the Love,

C

 

 

 

 

 

SO This Is Now

okay … here is the T:

It is almost 11 am as I start to write this, I got woken up this morning by crew scheduling asking me about wanting to work a one day out of a city I no longer live in and then it took forever for me to fall back asleep. I finally did – and had a natural progression of a wake up some time around 830am.

I go down and make myself a coffee – but I spend a lot of mornings alone in hotel rooms drinking coffee in bed flipping through social media and now that is exactly how I want to drink my coffee every day … in silence – but you all know how fucking anti social that is … so I chat for a while only to be eventually head back to my room to start working on some creative stuff.

Things accomplished this AM – making new channel art for my youtube channel that I literally never post on, but doing it anyway – realizing that I just need to write this out and hit publish – doing that … but also plotting my daily domination of meal prep, packing, laundry, grocery shopping, birthday party, computer repair shop and all the other things …. just 2 days of getting it done and trying not to be crazy in the process. My back hurts so bad I can hardly move and honestly my massage yesterday wrecked me something fierce …  I am totally sure being hunched over in my bed while I type this drinking coffee is not going to help either. I woke up this morning feeling like I need to flex my creative muscles so here I am doing that.

I NEED A CREATIVE OUTLET.

I have realized very recently that I thrive in an environment that lets me have a creative outlet and the truth is that no one is going to allow me to focus on that but me. I need to find the time in my not so busy, busy schedule to get it done. Because we make time for the stuff we want to make time for and for a long time I just didn’t make time … but friends … it is time.

I literally signed back into my old blog, reopened my youtube and started looking at ideas for podcasting because why not?

So here I am, end of 2018 and start of year 39 and I am just going to say I have no idea what this is going to look like, I have no idea what I will be focusing on but I do know that I think one of my biggest goals and challenges for 2019 will be to finally get myself into a regular schedule of posting creative content. I guess that means actually sitting down and making a plan – like some sort of goal setting kind of stuff. So you can probably expect something about goal setting for 2019 to come out soon. This post was mostly me just wanting to pop in and say “Hi, I’m here … lets do this!”

So take your day and kill it with productivity and fun – see you on the other side –

xoxo,

C

 

Money Diaries. #1

Sometimes money runs through my fingers like sand in a sieve … you know how it goes – it’s like all your shoes wear out in the same month. You need new (or new to you) clothing and everything (perceptions, glasses, shirts, bras – life stuff) all at the same impossible time. It is incredible frustrating. I read all sorts of how to handle your money but sometimes I think those articles are meant for people that maintain a certain level of affluence. I think it is called the latte something something

It has been awhile since we talked about money. The reality for me is that money sucks. Actually gracefully accepting my place in the financial scale makes it easier for me to figure out what I need to do to move forward. As you might know I took a few weeks off of Starbucks in April because I needed a break. I needed to push pause for a minute and catch my breath; align my expectations of myself and figure out what I want to do next.

Taking time off means less money – my budget has gone to shit. I stopped tracking my money. It is the same concept as weight watchers – you gotta track your bites or you don’t lose the weight. I need to track my spending or shit goes crazy.  And, Friends, shit has gone crazy. I need to plan my spending or things get out of control right quick. Some days I wonder if I will ever see the end to my student loan nightmare. The truth is I got tired of it and got distracted because it’s hard to build a life on no dollars.

So in financial news aka pending expenses: I got hit with an amount owing on my income tax. A couple of traffic violations and I need to update my address on my license and insurance. My wisdom teeth will be costing anything my insurance doesn’t cover. I need new glasses, contacts and an eye exam and last but not least I am getting another laser treatment this week on my tattoo. I am mega excited for getting a new tattoo for my birthday this coming December that will cover the spot I am lasering. So I will not make any of my targets for paying off my Alberta student loan any time soon. Gah. I step forward – 3 steps back. I have been good with my no buy with the exceptions of things I really needed.

My 3 big lessons are:

  1. Budget like a motherfucker.
  2. Track your Gawddamn Spending.
  3. Take Control.

In other news that affects my finances. I am trying to brush up on my English grammar because I am thinking about taking my CELTA so I can teach English in Canada.  And then replace Starbucks with teaching. This will cost money but likely make me more money in the long run (also allow me to consider a bit of a Bali teaching situation that has been on the bucket list for years). I am looking for higher paying full time jobs – albeit not that hard. August is my two year work-aversary … so perfect timing. Change is in the air but sadly this time not in my hair.

Anyway – the reason I write this out is in the hopes that you will take a step back  from your financial situation and realize that we all struggle with finances. It’s expensive as fuck to live in the Western world. People have debt and the truth is – none of it is good and the only way out is to plan it out, pay it off and show yourself some love. I have thought about selling everything and moving abroad again but I’m not there yet.

So with that friends, happy saving, happy spending and thankfully it is almost nice enough for picnics and strolls in the parks.

Good vibes,

C

When you up & decided your goals aren’t working …

Guys, I was on a March Madness roll – but then I got really, really tired and had to take a break. I was feeling depleted of creative thought and really just wanted to sleep. Last night was night two of go to work, come home, eat a snack and pretty much lose focus on any form of human connection and get lost in a binge watching mess of CraveTV, Netflix and YouTube.

My anxiety got so bad that my back started seizing up, my gums started to burn and I couldn’t do anything but shower, throw on my sweatpants and lounge in my bed. If I am being honest I didn’t even attempt the couches – I was just to fucking tired.

I have been feeling lonely and unmotivated lately.  You know you want to do all these crazy adventurous things but you stand in your own way. Anyway – this reality got me thinking about the choices we make creating our own reality. Because while there are a lot of things that are out of our control – there are plenty of things that we can control.

Everything is a choice.  Sometimes in life we attached stories to justify things that happened. Instead of just being brutally honest about the facts. No excuses. Just reality.


 Lets take a look at this: I chose to attend university, I chose my major. I chose to live my life with reckless abandon. Trust in everyone, and live my life as if I didn’t have 30K of debt hanging over my shoulders. I moved to Korea thinking I would pay my loans off. After I got there, that reality got lost in travel around Asia. After traveling awhile and working contract jobs. I decided I needed to retrain. More loans, More education. More things that weren’t actually my dream. I chose it all.  Now as I settle into adult life – the debt scale is larger, I am killing myself to pay for the last 10 years and I have deemed myself unworthy of friendships, relationships and life because I have gained weight and I am in debt. I project those feelings on other people. I created it all.

 

I am hard on myself. I feel like I am unworthy of a lot of things. I have let other people project their realities on me.  When in fact I am completely capable of something more.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to be debt free because that will make me feel free, I put a lot of pressure on myself to wake up tomorrow lighter, thinner, more vegan. I put a lot of pressure on myself to go on dates and try and meet people – when the reality is I really need to do a better job of loving myself.

Today I decided to think more clearly about my goals, my motivation and my drive. What does success look like? How can I make choices for Edmonton that make me less exhausted, more connected to source, to nature and to humans?

So as we roll out to the end of march – I am re-budgeting, reformulating goals, and getting ready to set myself up for a successful summer. Because Friends, that is the thing with goals, and life … some times you need to reevaluate, stop making excuses and move forward.

How have you combated the harsh realities of adulting?

xoxo,

C

Goal Setting.

This last little while I have been extremely interested in the age old classic of goal setting.  I have been reading articles online, watching You-tubers and all around just asking people how they go about achieving their goals. Most of the goal setting strategies encourage people to write things down. The theory being that once you have a goal to work towards you can actually work towards it. Most of the top gurus of goal setting make implications that sharing these things with friends and family  are actually supposed to help you achieve your goals because you are being reinforced by your friends etc etc …  this all seems good right?!

This last few months I have actually wondered if the opposite is true. I find sometimes when sharing goals with people the truth is – in the moment I share my goal  – I activate it to no longer happen. Say what?!  Yes. This in fact has happened to me.  I read an article in psychology today discussing the reality of sharing your goals. It was saying that sharing your goals can be damaging to goal setting itself.

When you vocalize your goals – you then make yourself think that it has already happened therefore making it less likely to be achieved.

I am absolutely an ambition setter. I am a dreamer. I am a sharer of my wildest dreams of adventure. I am also someone that fails to meet a lot of their goals because once I share my process – the desire dwindles. And I am onto a new adventure, new topic, new life.

Typically what happens is I think I want to do something. So I plot it out in my mind. I plot it out on paper. I plot it out into the reality of what it would look like if I decided to do it. I start working towards those goals.  I see a small amount of success. I get excited. I share my dreams with other people, they get on board. Then I start telling everyone. And then that is when shit goes whack. That is the moment I lose momentum in my goals. Once I have shared the desire – it is like it has already happened. And poof! it’s gone.

There are quite a few things in my life recently that have fallen into this trap. So while I what to be transparent and share my goals – I also want to achieve them. So here we have it – the crossroads of drive to achieve success and social acceptance in goals setting. Do I share my goals with friends and family or not?

I have noticed the less I share the more likely it is to happen. So with that – I am going to run an experiment on goal setting and sharing of knowledge. I have a few goals that I want to achieve this year. I am going to actively not share those goals with people then just work away at them. And see what happens. They are not written down anywhere. This is just an evasive way of planning things out and sharing with you that in fact that it is a thing. My goal setting experiment.

I will run this experiment privately while I also try to publicly achieve my financial goals and we will see which goals yield more success.  If I am being honestly – while I have been paying my minimum payments on loans I am currently behind 500$ of extra AB loan payments and that I am hoping I can make up in April and still achieve my first goal of paying off my Alberta student loans at the end of May.

So with that I wonder – which way do you typically have the most success in goal setting?

Lets discuss – leave me some love down below!

xoxo,

C

 

 

DO COOL SH*T

Yes the book. Yes Miki. Yes getting out there and creating a life. Yes creating a business. Actually today I wanted to give you a book review of this novel about getting out their as a young entrepreneur and creating a business.

But in light of almost getting canned from BOTH my jobs in one day. I thought I would not talk about entrepreneurial stuff but actually commit to doing some cool shit, right here, right now.

17 cool things I want to do in the rest of 2017:

  • Grow a salad in my apartment (kale or lettuce, green onion, herbs, tomatoes, and aloe or some other low maintenance plant)
  • Build a YouTube channel
  • Paint my wall pistachio and get my vintage inspired couch
  • Dye my hair like a Peacock
  • Join the rowing club in Edmonton
  • Fully commit to Vegan and not be 90% Vegan
  • Finish my tattoo removal and get my ankle tattoo to cover it
  • Get my arm tattoo-ed
  • Pierce my nose … for the 8th time
  • Travel in India or Indonesia – just go on a vacation
  • Hit up as many of the Provincial Parks in Alberta as I can this summer.
  • Buy a Bicycle
  • Become a Thrift Queen
  • Read all the books on my bookshelf
  • Mediate once a day
  • Learning to be happy just the way I fucking am ❤
  • Make some solid Edmonton Friends

 

In the craziness of life, paying off my debt and doing all sort of things – sometimes I forget to just be and have fun and to love myself. So I decided I needed to make a list and do just that.

What is on your 2017 list that is fun stuff, not about debt or work etc

Leave me some Love,

XOXO,

C

Mo’Money #1

Okay since my initial (but actually I bitch about this all the time) post I have realized I want to be one of those crazy fools that power through paying of my loans. It might happen, it might not – but right now I am feeling hopefully as fuck.

This is an update of things that I am doing to propel myself forward:

  1. Bitch about it social media hoping a Sugar Daddy will pay for my student loans – JK’s but actually I just wanted to see if anybody had any suggestions for things they did in order to pay off their own personal loans.  Some suggestions were obvious, some were not, some just not even a thing – but I appreciated some input. (comment below with more ideas!)
  2. Call student Loan and get real with some numbers. How much do I actually fucking owe? What are the hard numbers? What do I think could be a realistic paying off goal for 2017? Can I get any sort of interest relief or paying off of loans in 2017? You guys will be happy to know – I thought I owed 1000’s more than I do, I guess this is a good thing.
  3. Start logging everything I spend my money on. GUYS – THIS HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TERRIFYING BUT SO SO SO SO SO SO USEFUL. I successfully tracked everything I spent last week and kept all my receipts. I used one of my pretty lavender notebooks and started a weekly logging system. I broke it down into categories so I could see where I am spending. I need to do this for a few more weeks before I can start making some serious changes in my spending. But it was a scary eye opener,  a reality check, and something I plan on continuing because when you can’t account for a couple G’s a month – that is a problem.
  4. I fucking crunched some numbers. I looked at what my over-all coming in from both jobs, the mandatory going out and then realized I needed a vacation to India.
  5. Realized that I likely was not being successful at weight loss because of a Diet Coke addiction – it’s my last vice – but its got a death grip – this isn’t a thing but it is … because of a weekly spending habit of the drink it is costing in $100’s/month. Overall picture, People!
  6. Made a no-buy and a to-buy list – I think I have enough shower gels and soaps to last me until Christmas. Unreal, right?! A no-buy is needed to curb my spending and make use of that money in other areas – budgeting perhaps …
  7. Started listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts and instead of watching TV watching YouTube ’til debt do us part – to get some ideas on how budgeting, finances and over all how can I get better with my money
  8. Start reading other financial blogs on how people conquered their Canada Student Loans.
  9. Downloaded a spread sheet to track  debt repayment progress – still need to fill it out. But working on it. Cuz car loan also people
  10. Last but not least I have decided that it is okay to discuss numbers with people and instead of hiding behind my crippling student loan debt see what actually works for people.

 

With that guys –  I am unsure if I want to publish actual numbers on this blog for privacy reasons, that might change later on. But I will share that I currently have 3 student loans: Canada Loan (which is the largest), Nova Scotia Student Loans (Resolve) and Alberta Student Loan (the smallest and the loan I want to pay off first).

My very first debt repayment challenge is simple: Every time I spend money on Diet Coke for the month of February, I must then pay an equivalent payment onto my Alberta Student!

For example – I bought a medium diet coke from McDonald this AM – when I got back to the office I made a $2.40 payment to AB Student Loans. If I bought a diet coke everyday at an average of 30/month, that is $72.00/month and $864.00/year ( Just doing the math now has made me realize the 1000’s a spend a year on soda) – So February challenge launched. Which me luck!

 

And with that people – I will get an update to you next week with the progress of this journey. Till then I will be trying really hard to curb a Diet Coke habit and maybe start spending my free time in the gym.

So many 2017 goals!

All my Love,

C