Hello. I'm glad you clicked.
This guide will help you:
- Figure out what it is that you want
- Get your finances in order
- Build confidence
This guide works because it starts with the end in mind. If you know what the destination is, you'll be able to figure out what to do today, without needing to worry about what to do tomorrow.
It is the same principle that successful companies employ: Set a long-term goal and a short-term focus. The long-term goal is called the vision, while the short-term focus could be anything from building a team of customer-support people to implementing a new ERP system. As long as the short-term focus aligns with the long-term goal, the needle will move in the right direction. If it doesn't, that's fine - it was just a short-term thing.
For example, Microsoft's vision for a long time was a computer on every desk and in every home. A very clear vision that allowed Microsoft to grow into the behemoth it is today. Of course, they changed the vision when it made sense to do so. And so will you.
As you have probably guessed, the first step is to figure out
What do you want, anyway?
Before going anywhere or doing anything, it is imperative to define what you want.
Define it very clearly.
Define it so clearly that there is no possible way to get it wrong. If it can be misinterpreted, it will.
I wrote about what a good goal was earlier.
If your goal is to get fit, there are an infinite number of ways that you can accomplish that.
Even if you only exercise once in the entire year, you've technically achieved your goal. 1
You are more fit than you were before, right?
When we don't accomplish something that we said we were going to, we're inclined to justify what happened by telling ourselves that it wasn't meant to be after all, or that the level of accomplishment is what we were initially going for anyway.
So for this step, all you need to do is write down on a peice of paper what you want. I'll tell you how later, even if you don't know what you want yet.
My goals for this round
Two years ago, I wanted FU Money to be able to leave my job at the large enterprise software company and take three months off before having to look for work again.
Clear. Straightforward. Accomplished.
This time, I have two distinct goals:
- Get my own apartment
- Take a gap year
I'm curious to see what happens this time. The last time I did this, there were some pleasant unexpected surprises, including an offer for promotion.
1. Get my own apartment
I've been living with my parents for the past two years because I felt like I needed to save money. When I moved back in with them, I had no idea how much I was actually making, no idea how much I was spending, and rent was one of those expenses that was a constant.
You know, it's funny. When I decided to move back home, I thought to myself, "Wow. Think of all the things I'll be able to buy with the money I don't spend on rent."
Ah, how things change...
Why do I want to do this?
I just feel like it's time. I want to have my own space to live, have friends over, and cook delicious things. My parent's place is nice - don't get me wrong, but there are things all over the place. You can't move or organize things because it's settled in a certain way that doesn't need to be changed because it works just fine the way it is. This is one of my biggest pet peeves.
"Well, what about this thing? It hasn't been used in forever, can we get rid of it? We don't even have the things that these chargers charge."
"No! Don't throw things away like that! You never know when you'll need it! Then you'll need to go buy it at expensive prices! Thats a waste of money!"
Yea, it's time...
Why prepay six months of rent?
I've read stories about people getting a rent reduction if rent is pre-paid. I have no idea if this will work where I live because rents have gone crazy and the people paying them insane.
But, if it doesn't work, at least I'll have a pretty large cushion for rent, which is going to come very much in handy for the second goal.
2. Take a gap year
I'm going to take some time off again. The first time, I took three months. This time I'm aiming for a year because that's how long it takes to really get into something. I've been at my current job for just under a year and I feel like I'm just getting into it.
I'm not planning on quitting this time, but take an unpaid leave of absence. For now, I like working where I do and I can see myself there until I've acquired the ultimate form of FU Money, financial independence. But we'll see what happens.
Things rarely turn out as expected.
Why do I want to do this?
One, I want to work out.
I want to get in shape. I want to get bigger and increase my strength. I don't know how long it will take, but I think three months is a safe bet to get me started.
Why not just do it now? Go to the gym before/after work!
I have thought about doing this, but have learned that this is not the way that I work best. If I do try to incorporate it into my life as it currently is, I'm likely to lose motivation after a month and fall back into the same rut.
I work best with introducting new things into my life during resets. Total resets. Start from scratch (hence, why I'm doing this right now), and build things up slowly until they're at an operational level. When I'm learning something new, I like to dive in deep and immerse myself in what I'm doing. I did this with my job for the last eight months, and nice, big fruit have appeared.
Plus, I believe that health is something that should be prioritized, not tacked on on top of everything else. Three months of immersion and learning as much as I can about exercise, eating right, and my health is going to be well worth it in the long run.
I don't want to fit being healthy into my life. I want to make being healthy part of my life and then add on work.
Besides, if the world economy falls apart, the dollar collapses, and all else goes to hell, at least I'll be able to lift.
What the hell sort of benefit will a desk slave be able to provide in the post-apocalyptic world? Prepare a PDF report on the state of the world?
I can always get a new thing to do. I can't always get a new health.
What you should do for this step
Schedule a 90 minute block in your calendar when you can be in a distractionless environment.
First: On a paper (do not use a computer or phone for this), write down very clearly what you want. Write it out so clearly that there is no ambiguity of what is to happen.
Have someone tell you what they think when they read it. If they don't get it, you need to try again.
Second: Write out what it looks like. Paint yourself a mental picture of what your want looks like.
Let's say you just want three or four months for yourself with no plans. You might write out what you'd do on an ideal day. How would you wake up? What would you eat for breakfast? Lunch? What would you do during the day? Would you stay up late and sleep in or rise early and watch the world wake up?
The more detail you go into, the easier it will be to associate feelings with it. You'll do this in a later step.
After you've done this, you can move on to the next step.
PS: I've detailed how I'm setting myself up to go through with you here .
PPS: If you had the Click remote right now, would you use it?
Not the best kind of acheived. (go back)