Don't let FIRE thinking get in the way of life
Over the Christmas and New Years break, I've spent a lot of time thinking about FIRE and what my life would be like when I'm FIREd. Mrs. CouchFI and I started watching a show called The Great Escapers on Netflix about many british citizens who chose to move to cheaper and sunnier areas in Spain, France, and Italy to start a new life style business.
I had no motivation to work. I wanted to catch up on some work during the few quiet periods which are still work days, but thinking about my future life made me not want to live in the present where I had work to do to earn an income to fuel my FIRE goal.
I got into a bad habbit of playing games, reading about investing, FIRE, and retirement life. As a result, I achieved none of what I wanted to do during my break. Catch up with some old friends, nope. Write new blog posts, nope. Work on a new app idea, nope. Catch up on some work, nope. I even neglected to spend more time creating memories with family and friends.
I need to make sure I never get into this situation again, so here's what I'm doing to stay motivated and snap out of it when it happens in 2019:
- Mindset: everything is either an asset or liability. Is what I'm doing building an asset of knowledge experience, memories or wealth? If not, I need to stop doing it or time box that activity. This needs to be on the top of my mind. Sometimes I still play games or sit in front of the TV being a couch potato. That's an enjoyable activity, but unless I'm doing it with my family, it's not building a social asset, so I'm going to limit this to spending time with family or friends.
- Social: I didn't set any social goals in 2018, and meeting and catching up with friends often recharge me. This got harder when we had a baby, so this now takes effort, so I'm setting goals to organize social events, and set my life up for social interactions. Friends and family keep me accountable, and I won't fall into a slump like earlier if I'm thinking about ideas and conversations I've had about friends or seeing what great things they're working on.
- Health: I don't spend enough on health. My health and fitness budget on Mint is consistently under budget. I didn't even use most of my company provided fitness reimbursement program, and that just makes no financial sense given that it's free money and there are tons of things I could have spent it on. This year I've set my self reminders to spend all of it.
My goals will focus on a few themes: mindset, social and health. Raising my daughter, investing and tech career is still important, but I spend a lot of time on that naturally, so I want to set goals for things I'm not doing enough of and need to do more. Here's to a better 2019!