Welcome to our 2017 year in review! I don’t know about you, but it was an exciting year for us. While we didn’t have official goals, we had things we knew we wanted to accomplish and do more of.
2017 was an intense year of focus on a few categories:
Connect, Learn, & Dream
It’s fun to look back and check things off our list that we accomplished, but it’s also interesting to see the things we wanted to do and either failed at or just didn’t get to attempt.
Without further adieu, here’s how our year stacked up in accomplishments and what we missed the bar on.
Business & Blog Goals
1) Start a business
Semi-Fail. Same thing as last year. We’ve been so focused on other things that we’ve only pondered on what the future could hold for side hustles (or even main hustle!). It has to be something we truly love and will stick with. It’s not a huge deal since we’ve been very fortunate to be able to increase our earnings at work with raises. It’s also very possible that one of our passions might turn into a business! We’ll see. 😉
2) Post more frequently on Seeking Saturdays
Semi-Win. It’s a partial win! We ended the year posting 3 times more posts than the previous year, so as long as we can keep up that kind of growth, we’ll consider it a success in the long run.
3) Focus our values & content for Seeking Saturdays
Win. We want to make sure everything we put out on the blog is something we can be excited about and proud of. To this end, we dialed in our values so that future content you’ll see will reflect that. More to come on a future post!
Personal Finance Goals
4) Max out our 401ks & IRAs
Win. Since we had started the previous year maxing out our retirement accounts and going without paychecks for a long stretch, this year was a bit easier. We started the year front-loading everything, and then had paychecks to do what we wanted with later in the year. It made the rest of the year a breeze knowing our main goals were completed. It doesn’t mean we blew the money though!
5) Create a Vanguard brokerage account & start saving $ in it
Win. Since we maxed our 401ks and IRAs, we had a bit of money left over that was burning a hole in my pocket. Fortunately I’ve been itching to start a brokerage account and finally did! It wasn’t much, but it was nice to get the ball rolling and throw some after-tax cash into VTSAX. Mrs. Saturday will probably open hers next year.
6) Pay down some of the mortgage
Win. Looking down at a mortgage statement that says we still have several years left before we can pay off the house is not fun. Our interest rate is super low, but for us, it would be comforting to be debt-free and have much lower monthly expenses to give us more freedom and agility.
So the win is instead of putting more cash into our brokerage account tied to the runaway stock market, we threw some of that into the house debt to guarantee us a positive return. Exciting!
Personal & Self-Improvement Goals
12) Become proficient in latin dancing
WIN. In 2017 we continued our big adventure in latin dancing. Our resume you ask?
Salsa (On1), mambo (On2), bachata, merengue, cha cha, rueda (Cuban salsa), and a bit of rumba.
To say that dancing has changed our lives would be an understatement. We even joined the salsa team! 2017 marks the first year of performances including at the incredible Orlando Salsa Congress. We even ended the year with a bang and taught a public salsa and bachata class at a local bar on Latin Night! What?!? 3 years ago I would’ve never dreamed to be dancing at all. What a game-changer.
7) Get back to my gymnastics conditioning & continue yoga
Semi-Fail. I feel the best when I’m limber. It gives full range of motion and makes me feel much younger. Last year I almost achieved my high school gymnastics flexibility, but this year has dropped off with having less time available in the morning. Our latin dancing has taken over meaning late nights and sleeping in late to recover. We occasionally get to throw in some yoga here and there, but in the near-ish future we should be able to get back to this with more morning time.
9) Purge everything we don’t use (donate, recycle, & sell)
Win. We’ve continued our journey paring down things we don’t truly love or things that aren’t useful. One major decision was selling my two motorcycles! Omg. My young self would never have imagined it, but the risk now outweighs the reward. The Yamaha sport bike has been sold and we’re working on selling the Suzuki cruiser. Still a lot of work to do, but if we can get down to basics (things we truly love), we can be more mobile.
10) Start walking in the morning before work
Semi-win. This single thing brought us so much joy last year, and it’s sad to say we might only get to walk once a week now on Saturdays. It’s the biggest stress reliever that sneaks in exercise, which is why latin dancing has taken over this spot. Again though, I think we could easily get back to this with more free time, and FI would give us that. 🙂
13) Continue learning Spanish
Win! While we haven’t moved onto fluently speaking Spanish to our friends, we’ve continued our progress in Duolingo. I haven’t missed a day of practice in 500 days! Whoah! It’s fun having so many latin friends and being able to understand their Facebook posts and sometimes their conversations.
If you want to fast-track your intro to learning a new language like we did, get started & use the tremendously popular free app Duolingo. <— Give it a try! Download it on your phone.
14) Visit Grand Canyon National Park
Win. I knew the Grand Canyon was larger than life, but WOW. I never expected it to be so massive and expansive to the eyes. Toward the beginning of the year, we took a nice trip out West with friends to this gorgeous park and experienced many of the popular spots. I’ll never forget the incredible orange colors and how different life is out there.
15) Visit Yellowstone National Park
Win. Two major parks in one year! One day soon we’ll easily be able to visit more, but this was another milestone. Visiting this alien landscape left us wanting to see more of the world and left us captivated with how alive the earth is. A favorite for sure!
17) Take a long 7-8 day cruise
Fail. Even worse than last year! We didn’t even get to take a short 3 day cruise at the beginning of the year to Nassau. We might have one planned next year though! We’ll see.
Connect, Learn, & Dream
2017 felt like a blow-out year for us in many categories.
We continued making rich connections within our latin dancing community. Our minds felt like they were exponentially expanding at the edges with knowledge around every corner. We learned so many dance moves, continued learning Spanish, taught classes, and grew in many different areas.
One of the most important things to us when it comes to goals though is our continued pursuit of financial independence and early retirement. We’re so ready to hang it all up, but have to keep the end goal in mind to stay focused.
The road feels long and there are definitely potholes, but so far the scenery & experiences on this journey have been quite an adventure.