Happy New Year, Friends
Happy new year to you! Now that one of the most bizarre and challenging years of our collective lives is behind us, we’re vowing to only look forward from here on out! We’ve never been big on ‘resolutions’ around here, but we do like to give ourselves a few goals to work toward at the beginning of each year – goals that keep us focused while giving us things to look forward to.
One year ago, we summed up our goals for the year in a word: growth. We sure did our fair share of growing, although maybe it wasn’t how we imagined it to look! In 2021, we’ll be making every intention to pause. Pause before big decisions, pause prior to taking on work, and pause when we step back to consider our impact.
In our work life, we’ve consistently pushed ourselves hard, and the last few years have been really intense (in the best possible way). This year, we’ll take time to appreciate the results of our hard work and maybe – just maybe! – take things just a little easier on ourselves. On a personal level, we’re looking forward to continue creating traditions and new memories with Lucy, and hopefully we’ll get to see her squeal with delight when she dips her toes into the ocean for the first time.
1| Refinance + Invest
For 2020, one of our goals was to ‘Reach our Personal Financial Goals’, so this one is admittedly a touch redundant. We got the ball rolling last year, but the global pandemic had something else to say about us checking our financial goals completely off the list, so here’s to you, 2021.
As it stands now, we’ve refinanced the Two Flat out of our initial construction loan at a much better rate. Our Chicago home refinance is in the works, and should be complete within a few weeks. We’re hoping to pay additional toward our principal(s) every month so that we can eliminate our debts early-ish in life.
In addition to our mortgage refinancing, this will be the year that we buckle up and meet with a financial planner. Exciting, right? No, really! Up to this point in our grown-up lives, our investments have been (strategically?) limited to real estate. We don’t think we’ll be purchasing any more homes in the near future (cue nervous laughter), so we’d like to begin diversifying our assets to get our money working harder for us. And speaking of making our money work harder, this brings me to…
2| Make Our Home Work Harder For Us
We moved into our Chicago home almost 8 years ago. Since then we’ve been heartbroken over the loss of beloved pets, we’ve become parents to the funniest, sweetest three-year-old, we’ve both become employed full time at YBH, and we’ve purchased and renovated two additional homes. You know, just a few small changes. How is any of this relevant, you ask? Simply put, our needs have changed significantly and other projects have kept us from fully adapting to meet them.
This year, we’ll finish turning our seldom-used studio/office into a family space that works for all of us. We’ll repurpose the living room nook into the coziest snug (seen in the main photo) that will offer additional storage while maximizing lounging space. We’ll eliminate paint colors that we’re no longer in love with and the decor choices that don’t bring us joy. We’ll further dial in our smart home. This might also be the year that we finally tackle our exterior renovation. The last one is a bit of a stretch goal, but we can’t wait to see where the year takes us!
3| Design More Spaces for the Greater Good
Nothing brings us more joy than designing spaces for friends, family and non-profits. This year, we’re looking forward to continue flexing our design muscles to create spaces for people other than ourselves. We’re in contact with a few local non-profits, and we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to link up with other organizations that help to improve the homes and well-being of others. It’s a goal we gave ourselves last year, and admittedly, it’s been more of a challenge to iron out the details than we ever imagined. On that note, if you’re able to put us into contact with any additional organizations in the Chicago area, please shoot us an email!
If you could describe your goals for 2021 in one word, what would it be?