Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Greg's Top 3 Ways to Make 2015 the Best Year of Your Life

This next year is going to be the BIG ONE, right? I find myself saying this every December. What’s really interesting to me is the fact that it is true, if I make it true. But how do we do this? How do we make any one year the best year ever? Is it luck... or is it something else? I tend to believe that we make our own luck. Great things don't just happen by accident, we must make them happen. Remember, "Nothing changes if nothing changes," (Earnie Larson).

Below are three ways to make great things happen in 2015

1.  Follow your New Year’s Resolution for at least 3 months: It’s sad to say, but so many people go after their goal for less than a month and then go right back to what they were doing before. Don’t do this. You’re stronger than that. If it’s really your goal, then stick with it and PUSH!

I ask a lot of people what their New Year’s Resolution is and it surprises me how many people say, “I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it.” Bullshit. First and foremost, you know what it is – or what it needs to be. You need to tell yourself what it is – out loud. Then, write it down, and be specific.  Set milestones for how you will achieve the goal. Remember, what gets measured, gets done.  If you’re still thinking you don’t have a resolution, you need to take a minute and think about what you want in the short-term. Baby steps toward success.

You may be going after something life-changing or not but, either way, if you want to have the best year of your life you need to stay focused and hang in when it gets tough. Don't give up that thing you want the most, for that moment of pleasure right now. Put down the cookie, don't buy those shoes you don't need, and get up off the couch. You get my drift.

2. Start a Vacation Savings Account NOW: You need to be able to look back on 2015 and say, “That’s when we finally took that trip to ______.” I am a firm believer that travel is the only investment that makes you rich.  A surefire way to make this next year your best ever is to take that trip you have always dreamed about. When you get to the end, you'll never think, "I am so glad I spent my money on that car/pair of shoes/cable TV package, etc." But there's a strong change you will regret not being smarter with your money to allow yourself to experience the world, creating priceless memories with your loved ones. Taking a vacation also relieves stress and burn-out, improves performance and efficiency, and overall makes you happier and healthier.

It doesn’t matter if you live paycheck to paycheck, or are financially ahead. Setting up a Vacation Savings Account on a platform that allows you to create future trips, invite others, set a timeline and budget, and most importantly, set aside a few bucks each month, is a recipe for success! Go to and start an account. It’s less than $10 per year! 

Did you notice that I bolded and did CAPS on the “NOW?” That’s because everyone that hears this says, “What a great idea! I’m going to do that when I get some extra cash.” You’re missing the point. Do it now. Set aside a minimal amount of money (I do $25 every two weeks, which is auto-deducted out of each paycheck –, and then when you get a couple chunks of extra cash, you can allocate it to your Vacation fund that is already growing! And research has proven that when people save using passive savings methods, their quality of life remains unchanged.

3. Look ahead 12 months and decide where you are going to be.  My wife and I sit down every New Year and talk about our goals for the future.  We make a few bullet points for two categories; Short-term (12 – 18 months) and Long-term (3 – 5 years). We plant the seed for trips we would like to (or need to) take over the next year. This is an amazing exercise! When you try to look ahead and assign these goals, things are really put into perspective. Also, nothing creeps up on your financially. You are starting the process of preparing for the expected and unexpected in the year ahead. 

      Obviously, you are reading this article because you want to be sure to make 2015 your best year. How good can it be if you don’t get out and see the world? (Just sayin'..).

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