With the first day of the new year, it was only fitting to write a post reflecting on the year past and declaring resolutions for the year ahead.
So long, 2017.
2017 is going to be a hard year to top. I lived up to the saying “quarter-life-crisis” by doing stereotypical life-crisis-like things such as buying my first home and traveling abroad. I wish I could say I bought a new car too (I’ve only been talking about doing so for years!), but that still didn’t quite fit into 2017’s finances.
Homeownership took up the majority of my time and attention for the first half of the year, completing projects like differentiating the walls from the ceiling through fresh coats of paint (everything had started out all the same color), laying down new pergo wood plank floors, and buying plus assembling so many pieces of furniture. Thank goodness for an incredibly handy pair of parents, and a little help sourced from Thumbtack. The hard work and the market has paid off–with the improvements and the overall appreciation in the area, I’ll hopefully be able to get my PMI removed sometime next year!
By the time summer rolled around, I decided that I would be closing up my freelancing business before leaving for Europe. As much as I enjoyed working on creative projects for such fantastic clients over the past seven years, I felt it was time to focus on building out passive income streams. Using the freed up time to focus on items such as my tech lifestyle blog, Cyberly, or designing PDF printables to be sold in my Etsy store, Bubbly & Company, aligned better with my future goals for both career and finances.
Two weeks traveling in Europe gave me a much needed break from life–the first time I’ve really relaxed mind+body+soul in a long while–and affirmed how much I loved and needed to make travel a priority in my life. Italy was everything I dreamed of, and sailing the Greek islands was a ton of fun and quite the adventure. Upon returning hope I promptly made a list of my future tour goals, and I’ve pretty much got the schedule set through 2020 and then some!
What started out as a goal to look kickass for my Greece sailing trip turned into a year-long personal transformation as I strived to lose weight over the past year. The process was far from linear. At the beginning of the year I lost 8 lbs and gained it almost all back. By the time of my trip, I lost it again and gained back less. The third cycle ended up really being the charm–I was able to lose 10lbs and so far, since ending at the beginning of December, have kept it off (give or take a pound, which is expected) bringing my year total to 15 lbs lost.
Heading into 2018, I have the same goal to continue my weightloss journey. My aim is to lose another 10 lbs, bringing me comfortably into the 120s, where I will go no further. I paid for another six months of diet and training coaching from Renaissance Periodization’s Jen Case, and cancelled my unlimited yoga studio membership as a tradeoff. The studio had a black friday sale on gift cards that I took advantage of, which in turn can be used to buy class packs, so I can still hold my Wednesday routine of “Yoga @ The Wall” class at least for a little while.
In mid-January I start my second class of the four-course graduate certificate, Cybercrime and Cybersecurity, from Boston University. This is just one of a long list of trainings I have planned throughout the year to seriously elevate my career. Of everything on that list, the most notable one on that list is the CFCE – Certified Forensic Computer Examiner. It is *the* cert to have as a forensic examiner, and takes months of training and casework to earn. It also means a two-week work-paid trip to Disney World (okay, Orlando), in April/May!
Because of how intensive I am expecting my training to be over the next year, I’ve decided to take a hiatus from international travel for 2018. Pursuing this expertise will hopefully pay off tenfold in my salary and income opportunities, which will set me up to travel to all the places I want in the years to come. Never fear though, I still have a few domestic escapes up my sleeve including Boston in the spring, as always.
While the decision hasn’t been finalized, I am on the edge of obtaining permission to own a golden retriever in my condo which I couldn’t be more excited about. I’ve already started buying dog accessories on clearance in preparation! Transporting a puppy is not something that I imagine going over well in a 11-year-old Honda Accord coupe, and so the time for a vehicle upgrade has finally come. 2018 will be the year that I finally, finally trade up to a new (to me) BMW X1!
My resolution to you in 2018 is that I will let you in to as much of my life as I can through this blog, my newsletter, and Twitter. I will not only show you everything I am up to, I will also share tips, tricks, and lessons learned to help you thrive in a life built by you, for you, like me.