Invest in Yourself First (Happy Valentine's Day!)

2020 action career leadership Feb 14, 2020

I ended 2019 with some tips on workplace and career and we picked that up in the new year.   In the next 3 months we will be talking about health and wellness, including meal planning, mental health and fitness and finances and wealth building.   

All of these areas require you to be willing to not just LEARN, but to see the learning and resources required to do that as an investment in yourself.  

You hear a lot these days about the future is female and if you invest in women, you help everyone.  That is often shared in the context of developing countries, but it’s true more universally. When you invest time, money and expertise and resources into women, you get an insane ROI because those women invest that into their families and communities and everyone does better. 

Now, take that concept home and into your own life. The time you spend learning, growing, investing in your career, in your health, focused on your finances, your marriage and your parenting are all going to benefit the people who are in those relationships with you.  Namely, your colleagues, your kids, your husband, your friends, etc. 

In today’s episode, I am going to lay out a quick framework for creating and “Invest in ME plan” for 2020.  If you’ve already set goals for you, you can use that and translate it into how you will invest in yourself. 

You don’t need to set new goals, necessarily.  I just want you to go through the goals you have set and identify which ones are an investment in YOU

  1. You pick the areas you want to invest in.  You can select as few or as many that you want. 
    1. Some areas you might consider are: 
      1. Eating/Health
        1. Changing diet
        2. Decreasing food costs
      2. Fitness/Exercise
        1. Starting exercise
        2. Getting into shape or losing weight
      3. Career
        1. Time
        2. New skills
        3. Conference or event
        4. Networking
      4. Finances
        1. Debt
        2. Savings
        3. Learning about investing
      5. Marriage
        1. Date nights
        2. Marriage conference or retreat
        3. Marriage book to read with your spouse
      6. Parenting
        1. 1:1 time with kids
        2. Parenting coaching or class
        3. Parenting group/support
      7. Self-care and hobbies
        1. Monthly self-care habits
        2. Hobbies that you want to start or re-start
        3. Therapy
        4. Meditation
      8. Relationships
        1. Your parents
        2. Siblings
        3. Extended family (cousins, aunts/uncles, etc.)
        4. Friends
      9. Recommendation
        1. Pick 1-3 but no more.  If you succeed at it this year, you can focus on other areas next year
  2. Write down how you would currently describe that area of life
  3. Write down what you want it to look like at the end of 2020
  4. Re-write that into a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound
  5. Under the goal, write down the WHY
  6. Example
    1. Meal planning and healthy eating
      1. Currently, I meal plan 60-70% of the time but it’s not on a consistent day and I do a lot of mid-week shopping and eating out.   Our kids are not getting enough healthy fat or exposure to vegetables beyond the basics (corn, broccoli, peas, carrots and brussel sprouts).  We spend over $800-900/month for a family of 5 on groceries and eating out and some of that is waste
    2. I plan our meals on Wednesday/Thursday for the next week and shop on Friday or Saturday.  I stick to my shopping list and budget. We eat whole, healthy foods for all 3 meals, but still have the flexibility to plan for nights our or for some of our favorite, but less healthy meals.  I’ve cut the grocery and eating out budget by 25% but not one feels it because we are enjoying what we eat.  
    3. I’v also seen weight loss because of making better food choices. 
    4. Goal: 
      1. I will meal plan on a weekly basis and stick to the food budget for each month of 2020.  I will cut our food expenses by 25% compared to 2019. 
      2. WHY
        1. I want us all to be healthier.  I want to set good eating habits for my children.  I want to spend less money on food so we can put it toward other goals. 
    5. Now, I can repeat this framework for the other areas

How are YOU going to invest in yourself in 2020? 

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