Given we’re now in February, this post is a little late in getting out. But better late than never, as they say!
Same as last year, I thought I’d share some things I want to focus on this year. This is to make sure we continue living a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle, while also being productive.
Some people think they’ll be happy doing nothing after reaching Financial Independence. I was one of those people. In fact, I remember dreaming how good it would be just to do nothing all day (even all week), rather than drag myself to work for another 10 hour shift.
But it doesn’t work that way. Eventually I learned this…
Once you can actually sit around and do nothing all day, is pretty much when you stop feeling the desire to sit around and do nothing all day.
Anyway, here’s my plans for 2019…
This blog has already exceeded my wildest expectations. That’s probably because I didn’t really expect anything!
But it’s turned out to be incredibly enjoyable and a satisfying use of my time.
It still feels like I’m very much a beginner, but Strong Money Australia now has over 1,000 subscribers and had over 50,000 page views in January alone. To me, that’s amazing!
So I just want to say, I really appreciate you spending your valuable time reading this. Especially given the amount of content out there these days.
My goal here is to continue working hard to bring you more quality blog posts, every week, during 2019!
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you subscribe below (lots of good stuff in the works!)
There’s no world domination plans for this blog. I just want to be as helpful as possible to the people who come here to read it.
Having said that, reaching more people is great too. Because it means even more Aussies will get their money sorted and build themselves a solid plan for Financial Independence.
So if you’ve found this blog helpful and you’d like to pay me back in some way, you can. Simply share this site with someone you know. And together, we can all become financially strong and live free and satisfying lives. Thanks in advance!
As you probably know by now, our plan is to slowly sell down our property portfolio.
The cash from the sales then sits in an offset account, for us to buy shares each month, use some to live on and fund any shortfall on the remaining properties.
Eventually this money runs out and we sell the next one, and so on. On average, we’ll be selling a property every few years until there are none left. At that stage, we’ll have no property and all shares/cash.
We’ve started the process of selling our next property – one in Melbourne that we should’ve sold a year ago. Ah, hindsight!
We won’t receive a huge lump of cash from the sale, a bit less than six-figures. But this reduces our negative cashflow by a fair bit and sticks with the ongoing plan – converting all our savings/equity into a solid income stream.
Anyway, that will leave us with one property in Brisbane, and four here in Perth. So hopefully over the next 5-10 years those markets are kind to us! 🙂
Our goal here is to continue investing every single month, regardless of what the market does. By doing this, our investment income will keep steadily climbing upwards . I’ll also do a portfolio update soon to shine more light on where we’re putting our money and why.
Living a healthy life is among our top priorities and a big factor in wanting to retire early.
Our plan is to continue our good habits of daily bike rides and/or walks, along with weight training 3 times per week.
Recently we also started shooting hoops at our local basketball court, which is fun for something different.
It’s not all about exercise though. While we already have good food habits, we’ve started being a bit more disciplined with our eating and aim to sneak in a bit more nutrition (and less carbs) for the same quantity of food (for example, more salad/veg, less rice).
We’re fortunate enough to have enough time these days to prepare healthy food, which also means we don’t have that excuse anymore!
This is one area of our lives where a little effort has large payoffs, in terms of happiness.
In 2019, my plan is to try and spend more time with friends. I say ‘try’, because they often have busy work and family lives, so it’s not as easy as you might expect. So I’ll be checking in more and keeping a flexible schedule 😉
Also, Mrs SMA and I have started making sure we go somewhere nice together at least once each month. Just out to a cafe/restaurant, or a new place we haven’t been, for some extra quality time away from home. So we’ll keep that going in 2019.
If I’m feeling extra romantic, I can always take her to Bunnings – that never fails to put a smile on her face!
I’ve also got a trip booked to go and visit family over in Victoria in May, which I’m looking forward to. Other than that, I’ll make sure to keep in touch with my parents every month or so.
In 2018 I wanted to get out in the garden more and help Mrs SMA, which I did! And I find it really worthwhile (when it’s not too hot), so you can bet I’ll be doing more of this in 2019.
It’s always nice to get some extra outdoors time and spend some time in the garden. Especially since we’re growing a few edible crops, which makes it much more fun and exciting.
After seeing meditation recommended countless times in the past, I was pretty hesitant to try it.
We all have some weird ideas about what it’s like. But after coming across a very approachable App, which is perfect for beginners, I decided to give it a try. Essentially, it’s just a form of relaxation (and I do like relaxing!).
The main reason for giving this a go was to try and gain a calmer resting mind. I’m a pretty relaxed guy, but my mind is always thinking, even when I don’t want it to!
So far I haven’t managed to make this a daily habit, but when I do it, I have a much clearer mind. I’ll be working harder on this in 2019.
Using this free and easy to use app, you can start with 3 minutes, but I soon found that wasn’t long enough and now go for the 5-10 minute sessions.
Actually this connects to the above. When I slow down, I always find more things to be grateful for. And that always makes me happier, instantly.
Given our lifestyle is 100% our own creation these days, we have no excuse for not spending time being grateful. But human nature is such that we tend to forget this stuff quite a lot, so my guess is, I’ll have to keep reminding myself this every year!
In fact, when I notice people complaining about something that’s quite petty in the grand scheme of things – First World problems – it quickly snaps me into the position of being grateful.
Most of the time, our common problems and complaints in modern-day Australia would be envied by a large percentage of the human race. So I’m grateful that people complain (well, sometimes), because it reminds me to be grateful!
After a dismal failure of my book-reading goal in 2018, I’m starting to get back on track this year.
I’ve read a few eBooks on my phone and sat down with a paper book the other day for the first time in 2019. Habits aren’t easy to build, but I find having a to-do list helps, because I’ll often just plain forget!
I’m also devoting time to learning how to be a better blogger so I can be more useful to you.
So far it feels like I’m making progress and now have a ton of ideas for this blog going forward. My focus is to keep improving my writing and this blog as a whole.
Many of you will know by now nature is something I’m passionate about. I’ve noticed that spending time outside every day is a must, or I tend to get a bit grumpy.
Whether it’s going across to the reserve to see the Swans, riding our bikes through the nearby bushland to see the Kangaroos, or just listening to the birds from our porch – nature always reinvigorates me.
On top of that, it’s a quick way to feel grounded and grateful for the world around us.
So there it is. That’s what I’m focusing on this year.
Many things are the same as last year, but that’s okay. These things are important to us and, in my mind, make for a well rounded and enjoyable life.
Notice how many of the ‘goals’ are actually just habits?
I’ve come around to the view that habits are often a better target than goals.
If you have the right habits, the goal is essentially automatic. And by focusing on the habits, you learn to enjoy the process and every day you complete that habit is a win, rather than constantly focusing on the end point.
They’re connected of course – we need good habits to achieve our goals, and we often need goals to help us design our ideal life and keep ourselves motivated to build those habits!
Anyway, hopefully I can manage to make good progress with these plans in 2019! Either way, I’ll be sure to report back with how it goes.
So, what’s your focus for 2019? Let me know your goals and plans for the year ahead…