2020: Less Work, More Play

Please excuse the delay in this post being published. Life’s been a bit crazy since January! Better late than never, right?! 🙂

We spent the first day of 2020 in Key West, basking in beautiful sunshine and 77° weather. We felt like it was a perfectly fitting way to start the year that will be filled with SO MANY CHANGES in pursuit of smaller living with a bigger life in sunny, warm locations. Focused on keeping our plan on track, we spent some time taking inventory of our goals for the year.  As tradition has it, Josh picked the mantra for the year. “Less Work, More Play” was what he settled on and it’s perfect. Our 2020 goal plan is going to be quite different than it has been the past few years, as we’re moving quickly toward the end of our initial “five year plan” goals that we had originally outlined. 2020 is going to be a WILD ride!  Before it gets too crazy, here’s what we’ve got left do cross off our to-do list:

· Continue saving monthly debt payment. Nothing about our plans for saving for our future will be changing in 2020, except our anticipated savings amount. Since we bought the boat significantly earlier on into our plan that we expected, we’ve been making monthly boat loan payments, which have impacted our savings rate. No big deal, as it will all come out in the wash. We plan to continue socking away as much money as possible into our Ally High-Yield Savings account to prepare to start adventuring, while letting our money work for us by earning interest at a current rate of 1.60%.

· January 2020 – Alexis will begin working as a self-employed, independent contractor. In preparation for making the transition to no longer being a full-time employee (and to build a bit of history as an independent contractor for future opportunities), Alexis will transition from full-time, salaried employee to self-employed, independent contractor on 1/6/2020. This will be a great opportunity to begin building an independent contractor work history and to get things like invoicing, time tracking, etc. set up for future opportunities.

· January / February 2020 – Spend two weeks in Bonaire. Since January 2019, we’ve been looking forward to spending two weeks in beautiful Bonaire with West Shore Scuba to escape the Central PA frigid wintery climate. This 2020 goal will be a cinch to accomplish, as we paid for our trip, in full, in the fall of 2019. All that’s left to count this one “done” is spending two weeks in paradise. Geez, what a struggle!

· Spend a lot of time on the boat. Since we bought the boat in 2019, spending a lot of time on the boat hasn’t been a struggle at all. Considering we’re planning on moving aboard this year (hopefully before summer), we should have no problem achieving this goal.

· Enjoy a lot of cocktails. I’m so happy that we called this out in our yearly goal plan! I feel like I’m helping to achieve our goals every time I have a cocktail and it’s really quite amazing! Lots of cocktails in 2020? No concerns about making this goal become a reality!

· Continue to determine what items we need on the boat. We’re going to be working HARD on this in 2020, as we begin to move aboard and need to find places to store all of our stuff, in addition to the stuff that’s already on the boat. We anticipate that this is going to be a bit of a balancing act, requiring some difficult decisions to be made about what stays, what goes, where things are stored and, most importantly, how we’re going to keep the dog’s biscuit supply fully stocked when we’re living aboard with a home that’s less than 500 square feet.

· Complete purging of household items not needed on the boat. There is no doubt in our minds that this is going to be the most exhausting of our goals in 2020. We anticipate that we’ll be having at least one more dumpster set at the house and a multitude of trips to the donation center before we can call this goal “done.” We’re looking forward to smaller living with less “stuff” so we’re excited about getting it done, but, mannnn…it’s going to be tiring!

· March 27, 2020 – The “new” official end of Alexis’ employment commitment and possible “time to move on” date. In March 2019 when I started work for my current company, I committed to one year of employment, which would end on 3/25/2020. Since 3/25/2020 is a Wednesday, that was kind of a screwy date. And, since two days later, 3/27/2020, is my 35th birthday, it just made sense to have Friday, 3/27/2020, be my last day of work and have the most epic birthday present EVER! This goal is tentative, as neither of us will leave our current jobs until our house is sold, since we have a mortgage payment to make each month. Achieving this goal will require the stars to align for us a little bit so that we can close on our house before or on Friday, 3/27/2020, to be able to call it quits at work. This one’s going to be the nail-biter of 2020 for us.

· May 2020 – Josh will complete his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification. As luck would have it, West Shore Scuba is planning to prepare prospective instructors for the Instructor Exams in mid-May 2020. From the end of March 2020 – mid-May 2020, Josh anticipates devoting some serious time toward completing the tasks necessary for him to take his Instructor Exam in mid-May. If things go well with selling our house and quitting our jobs at the end of March 2020, Josh will have no problem with having the freedom and flexibility (and energy) to achieve this goal. If things with selling the house and quitting work don’t pan out for the end of March, Josh still anticipates being able to achieve this goal, it’s just going to require some time off work in order to make it happen.

· Figure out what our plan is for traveling in the boat, at least first destination. We’ve spent so much time researching, planning, purging and preparing for our house to be sold after buying our boat, we’ve never taken the time to talk about what our plan is for traveling in our boat. Not long term, as we don’t plan to make too many commitments in advance, but, at least what our first destination or adventure will be. As we near selling our house, quitting our jobs and moving aboard, this is going to become more of a priority, as we will need to make a decision about keeping or letting go of our slip at Lippincott Marine in 2020.

We’ve really liked establishing written goals over the past few years. It’s been fun to keep track of what we’ve accomplished and when, but it’s also kept us accountable to the goals that we set. As we’re nearing the end of our initial “five year plan” list of goals, we’ve decided that we’re going to continue goal planning each year. No doubt, the coming years will likely look significantly different, as life will be changing in some crazy ways. But, we want to keep setting goals for ourselves, keep writing them down and keep holding ourselves accountable to achieving, growing and living.

A few years ago, it was hard for me to imagine being at the stage of our plan that we’re at right now. Having much less stuff, owning a boat and talking seriously about quitting our jobs felt like such another world away from where we were. But, here we are, moving into 2020, and rapidly approaching living a completely different life, all by our intentional design. What an incredible ride!

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