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Life I'm Designing in 2018

The Life I’m Designing in 2018

2018. The Year I Break Though

A month ago I decided that I wanted to make the life I’m designing in 2018 a public affair. There are a number of reasons why I wanted to this, the main one being accountability. If I make my plans public I am more apt to stick with them. Right?

On June 11th of this year, I will turn 50. The big 5-0. I am going through a very mild mid-life crisis. Mostly I am unhappy with my financial situation (as decent as it is), and I am unhappy that I am still trading my hours for dollars. I am also pretty pissed that I’ve gained back all 116lbs I lost 4 years ago. Those are the big changes I am focusing on changing in 2018.

Where I am Currently

Here is a snapshot of where my life is in the three areas I am most focused on changing this year.

Health

After losing 116lbs 4 years ago, I have now gained it all back 🙁 Obviously carrying around that much extra weight (especially at 50) is NOT good. Being overweight causes a myriad of issues: aching joints, foot pain, not wanting to go anywhere for fear of being uncomfortable, etc. Not the way I want to live my life.

Thankfully I am otherwise very healthy. A recent visit to the doctor showed no signs of any diseases or disorders other than mildly high blood pressure. I know from experience that the blood pressure will come down as the weight comes off.

Business

I am a freelance web developer, I make my living writing code and sitting at my desk all day. I have arranged my work-life around one major client and take the occasional small side job. Thankfully my major client is a saint of a man. However, that doesn’t mean that I want to keep working with him forever. In fact, we both feel that we have about 12 – 18 months left in the tank, then we wind down the project and go our separate ways.

I am I not interested in staying a developer. I’ve done it for 20 years and I am done. I have to be honest and say that I have no passion for it, and no desire to learn new skills or improve my existing ones. I’m burnt. A major part of the life I’m designing in 2018 is realizing it’s time to move on.

Finances

Our finances are not in great shape, but they aren’t in terrible shape either. I make mid-high 5 figures and our day-to-day life is comfortable. However, we are one major catastrophe away from disaster. We have no real savings and no real plan for the long-term… at 50! Not good.

I got started earning late in life. As a result, I was completely unprepared for the increase in earnings that came with working in a deli ($7/hr) to working in web development ($35,000) back in 1998. I know its been 20 years, but we’ve never completely righted the ship. Now it’s time. There are so many things we need to do – retirement accounts, investments, short-term savings goals, etc., that I’m overwhelmed. However, this is the year we start figuring it all out.

Where I am Going

Health

Starting tomorrow, January 2nd, I am going back to the diet and exercise program that I used when I lost 116lbs. It’s not complicated and there are two parts to it – tear down and build up. I never got to part two last time.

Tear Down

The diet consists of eliminating ALL processed whites and eating lean proteins and whole grains (like oatmeal and brown rice) one fresh fruit a day, and vegetables. If I use oil it will be olive oil. That’s pretty much it. However, there are many delicious combinations that can be made with the foods above. Also, I tend to be one who eats the same thing all the time anyway.

I also take several supplements like a good multi-vitamin, vitamin c, vitamin b-12, and flaxseed oil.

Exercise consists of 45 minutes on an elliptical machine per day, sometimes tai chi, and whatever natural walking, etc., that I can fit into my day. Simple.

Build up

This phase mainly consists of increasing caloric intake (more protein, some fat) and exercise (light weights) over a period of weeks until I am strong enough to begin heavier weight training. This is the phase I never implemented the first time around, and subsequently, I gained all of my weight back. There were some life things going on that distracted me, but if I’m honest I just got complacent and lazy. NOT THIS TIME!

If this all seems interesting to you, it’s a huge part of the life I’m designing in 2018 and I will be posting about it more in the upcoming weeks.

Business

A huge part of planning the life I’m designing in 2018 was spent on researching business ideas. To be honest, I am still not 100% sure where I’m headed. I have two thoughts in mind: developing my own personal development products, or becoming a Beachbody coach. That’s right, the dreaded network marketing!

My own personal development products

This is a huge undertaking but could be incredibly rewarding. I have never launched a product of my own, but I have helped my client launch many products, including campaigns for national brands. I’m confident that I could pull it off. I am not a huckster and would produce products that offered real value to my customers. There is much more to “product success” than offering good products, but it all starts there.

I can see the life I’m designing in 2018 involving the launch of ebooks, courses, and audio products around weight loss, meditation, personal development, online business development, etc. The possibilities are nearly endless. There are big risks, but huge upsides to doing things this way.

Beachbody

I know, I know. But give me a moment. I have a soft spot for Beachbody. You see, I used their products to lose my weight the first time around – Shakeology as a breakfast replacement and various cardio workouts to supplement the elliptical when I got bored. It worked. The products are good, and they work. I have no problem recommending Shakeology to those that can see the value of spending $4/day for a healthy drink over a latte or macchiato.

Exercise programs are only as effective as the person following them, but there is enough variety in the Beachbody catalog that you’d never get bored and can switch things up as often as you’d like. I particularly liked the Tai Chi program they have. My wife liked the dance type classes. There really is something for everyone.

The Beachbody meal plans are limiting (or at least they were, maybe that’s changed) but you can design a diet to your preference. Low carb, high protein, clean eating, whatever – any of them will work if you watch your portions and exercise. Consistency in both eating and exercise is the key – along with personal development, of course.

The Beachbody Business

Having used Beachbody products successfully in the past, I have been approached many times to become a “coach”. Coach is Beachbody speak for a network marketing distributor of their products. The general approach seems to be that you create semi-regular free weight-loss related groups, invite people to take part (they need to order a “challenge pack” that runs about $120, of course), offer support and encouragement (coaching) and then see who takes the group seriously, checks in, posts results, and get results. Those are the people you want to bring into your “organization” and make coaches out of. Then you get them some training and show them how to rinse, wash, repeat.

To stay a coach costs about $130 a month. This gets you your monthly Shakeology order, your business websites, etc. To some people that’s a barrier to entry, to some, it’s not.

I am so torn. I really don’t know what I’ll do. What are your thoughts?

Finances

Obviously, the decision I make about the direction of my business will have a huge impact on my finances. I am fairly confident of success in whatever decision I end up making, but obviously, I don’t know what my finances will look like in the future. This a huge part of the life I’m designing in 2018.

We have decided that we will begin setting aside a small weekly amount for long-term savings starting immediately, and will adjust it up when there is a change in income. We have also started researching various retirement schemes and accounts, a decision will be made within the year and we will start down that road.

Making financial decisions is tough when our whole financial situation is going to change fairly quickly. However, we expect an increase in earnings within the year and are trying to plan accordingly. Obviously, this is something I will post about in the coming weeks and months.

What are Your Goals? What does your “life I’m designing in 2018” look like

I am endlessly curious about people and the changes they want to make in their lives. Human beings are fascinating creatures and our ability to completely reinvent ourselves is amazing. I’ve told you about the life I’m designing in 2018, what changes are you going to make in 2018? Want a new job? Need to lose weight? WAnt to make more money? I’d love to hear about the changes you are making and even more curious about the plan you have to carry out those changes.

Just do it!

My Advice to You (and Myself)