Why Setting Intentions Matters (#FinCon15 Recap)

I think I finally understand why people try to measure their lives by the year.

A lot can happen in twelve short months. An entire lifetime's worth of events, really. And cutting these mini lifetimes into one-year chunks makes everything feel more manageable.

So, after this past weekend, I'm declaring FinCon the start of my New Year. And this week is my chance to start fresh, prepare for the coming year's hustle, and set new intentions.

What's FinCon?

FinCon is an annual conference for personal finance geeks — bloggers, writers, digital content creators, entrepreneurs, brands, and media. Basically, if you like talking about money online, FinCon is for you.

It's a place to learn, network, and reconnect with people who don't mind talking about emergency funds over lunch. Or enjoy comparing their latest travel hacks. It's easily the most inclusive and supportive community I've ever been a part of.

At FinCon, it doesn't matter if you're six figures in debt or financially independent. There's even a place where over 100 bloggers publicly share their net worths!

It's all about promoting financial literacy. And like many of the attendees, I left feeling exceptionally inspired.

What a Difference a Year Makes

It's hard to believe I showed up at last year's FinCon as Addison Cash. Yup, that was my alias! And I came armed with handmade business cards.

IMG_3524Luckily, I came out of the blogging closet shortly after last year's FinCon.

The blog makeover was a big goal before this year's event. Especially as I take on more freelance writing and social media clients. And I'm really happy with my brand's new look.

Honestly, I showed up without a plan last year. I was happy to walk away with some new friends and a few tips for making money online. Because from the beginning, my goal was to transition into tech. And without a doubt, Cashville Skyline helped me get there.

But, this year, I was much more strategic with my side business. I only attended a few sessions, but I talked to a ton of people in the expo hall, the freelancer marketplace, and at various meetups. I ditched my slow-carb diet, partied every night, and loved hanging out with my “internet friends” (as my co-workers would say.)

This year's goal was clear: building my side business.

Setting Intentions

So, just as I was leaving for the train, I bumped into Melanie and Shannon in the lobby. And they said something that stuck with me. We talked about setting intentions.

What were my goals for the next year? Where did I want to be in twelve months?

I didn't have an answer at that moment. But I thought about it on the light rail, on the plane, and when I finally rested in Nashville that night.

Still focused on it the next morning, I tore a piece of lined paper from a small notebook and scribbled Intentions across the top. I jotted down four goals I planned to attack between now and next year, and taped it to my closet door.

If you're going to build something, give it everything you've got. No more waiting for things to happen. Lose the excuses. And no regrets.

My New Year's hustle begins the second I hit “publish.” How about yours?

Readers: How deliberate are you about setting intentions?

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Discussions — 52 Responses

  • Holly@ClubThrifty September 23, 2015 on 7:48 am

    I definitely want to see what I can accomplish before FinCon 2016. Let’s do this!

    It was great to meet you!

    • Kate Dore Holly@ClubThrifty September 25, 2015 on 7:22 am

      I loved chatting with you, Holly. And congratulations again on your award 🙂

  • Alyssa @ Generation YRA September 23, 2015 on 8:59 am

    That’s a fantastic way to be intentional with your goals, to look at them each and every day on your door! I’m not really one for New Years resolutions, because I feel setting goals & being intentional throughout the year is much more effective. 🙂 It seems as if you’ve experienced a lot of growth between your 1st & 2nd FinCon – imagine where you will be next year! I hope to attend next year!

    • Kate Dore Alyssa @ Generation YRA September 25, 2015 on 7:24 am

      Great attitude, Alyssa! And I totally agree with you. Why are many of us only setting new goals at the start of each year? I hope you can make it to FinCon16, too! 🙂

  • Debt Hater September 23, 2015 on 10:26 am

    I like the idea of using intentions, because of lot of the times we may have broad goals with no real direction. Sometimes that will allow us to stray from the goals or postpone them in the sense that we’ll “get to them eventually”. If you are direct with listing out your intentions, you can’t avoid them. It helps you to stay focused then!

    • Kate Dore Debt Hater September 25, 2015 on 7:25 am

      Great points, Debt Hater! I’m guilty of vague goals like “get healthy” or “blog more often” or “make more money.” I’m hoping being more specific is helpful.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach September 23, 2015 on 1:17 pm

    It’s funny because Fincon does feel like the start of a new year. There’s NYE and Fincon. 🙂 I’ve yet to sit down and come up with my “new year’s” goals/intentions, but it will definitely involve more video stuff as I hope to continue to grow in that area. As Carl Richards said, I need to find my thing, just as you need to find your thing. I need to narrow it down so I don’t become overwhelmed, a la Grant’s speech. It was so great to meet you there, and next year we will have to make sure we get some more one on one time.

    • Kate Dore Tonya@Budget and the Beach September 25, 2015 on 7:27 am

      Definitely, Tonya! It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to do ALL THE THINGS. But, you’re right. We really need to focus and narrow our goals. I’m looking forward to more hang time at FinCon16, as well 🙂

  • EL @ Moneywatch101 September 23, 2015 on 1:48 pm

    YEs goals are important and set you apart from the average blogger. I hope to read more about your new intentions and or goals. Every year I read about Fincon and the experiences people had. I am missing out. Good luck.

    • Kate Dore EL @ Moneywatch101 September 25, 2015 on 7:29 am

      Aw, you should try to come next year! This might sound a little cheesy, but I really feel like the community has changed my life. I’m going to write more about my goals next week. And start keeping track of them on a monthly basis!

  • Melanie @ Dear Debt September 23, 2015 on 2:45 pm

    Love the new layout, Kate! I feel like all of us have improved so much since last year and I can’t wait to see where we are next year! I’m excited to set intentions and ditch things that aren’t serving me anymore. I feel great, albeit exhausted after FinCon. Thanks for being an awesome internet friend and let’s rock the next year until SD!

    • Kate Dore Melanie @ Dear Debt September 25, 2015 on 7:30 am

      Thanks, Melanie! I really loved your first scope, by the way. Stop working for peanuts! I’ve been thinking about your message as I’m moving forward with my side business 🙂

  • Erin @ Journey to Saving September 23, 2015 on 3:45 pm

    It does feel like a new beginning in a way! I haven’t been happy with the direction my business or my life has been headed in the last year, so it was the wake-up call I needed. I haven’t been as intentional as I should be as there’s been a lot of stuff in the air. I’m more determined to set aside time to evaluate how things are working and whether or not they align with what I want in life, though. Can’t wait to see how much we all grow between now and FinCon16, and hope to see you there! =)

    • Kate Dore Erin @ Journey to Saving September 25, 2015 on 7:32 am

      I just bought my ticket! Woo-hoo! And I’m looking forward to reading about your journey over the next year. I have no doubt things are going to keep getting better for you, Erin.

  • Grace @ Return on Investment September 23, 2015 on 6:32 pm

    I thought FINCON means financial conference. I liked the post. I agree with what you have written. Thanks.

    • Kate Dore Grace @ Return on Investment September 25, 2015 on 7:32 am

      Yes, it does! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Grace.

  • Brian @DebtDiscipline September 23, 2015 on 7:59 pm

    It does feel like a new year after FinCon 15! Can’t wait to see all the great things all of us have in store in the coming 12 months.

    • Kate Dore Brian @DebtDiscipline September 25, 2015 on 7:33 am

      Thanks for commenting, Brian! It’s great to have the FinCon community to hold us accountable for our goals. Cheers to the New Year!

  • Income Surfer September 23, 2015 on 8:39 pm

    Love the new theme/format Kate. I’m going to have to work FinCon San Diego into my 2016 calendar. Sounds like an amazing time and a learning experience. Looking forward to seeing your goals for the coming year.

    Have a great week!

    • Kate Dore Income Surfer September 25, 2015 on 7:35 am

      Thanks, Bryan! And it’ll be great to meet you in person in San Diego. That’s probably my favorite part of FinCon 🙂

  • Will @ Phroogal September 24, 2015 on 8:13 am

    It was great having lunch with you on Saturday! Emergency funds, ftw.

    I’m pretty intentional about my goals nowadays. Without a goal, how can you score? Am I right?

    • Kate Dore Will @ Phroogal September 25, 2015 on 7:37 am

      Haha, yes! I really enjoyed our lunch together, too. It sounds like you have some pretty epic life changes on the horizon, Will. I’m looking forward to following along 🙂

      • Will @ Phroogal Kate Dore September 25, 2015 on 8:05 am

        Ha, thanks! Should be interesting!

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life September 24, 2015 on 9:03 am

    I had a similar experience. Last year I went in and just had a lot of fun, this time I had very specific goals and they were hugely effective- PLUS I had an awesome time 🙂

    • Kate Dore Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life September 25, 2015 on 7:39 am

      You really killed it over the past year, Stefanie! It’s been inspiring to watch your progress. I loved hanging out and chatting in Charlotte!

  • Cash Crone September 24, 2015 on 9:26 am

    I am a believer in setting intentions and taking action. The universe then opens doors of opportunity! I am new to the financial blogging world and on my way to financial freedom. Everyone has a different path, and everyone can offer nuggets of information. Thanks!

    • Kate Dore Cash Crone September 25, 2015 on 7:40 am

      That’s fantastic, Cash Crone! And welcome! The personal finance blogging community is the best. I’ll look forward to following your journey.

  • JC @ Personal Finance Utopia September 24, 2015 on 9:29 am

    Talk about a cliffhanger! I am left wondering what your 4 intentions/goals are. Sometimes sharing your goals makes you more committed to them although, by the sound of this post, you are already plenty motivated!

    • Kate Dore JC @ Personal Finance Utopia September 25, 2015 on 7:41 am

      Sorry to be so vague! I’m planning to include my goals in next week’s monthly recap 🙂

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies September 24, 2015 on 2:55 pm

    I definitely need to set myself some goals. I think my thrust is always just growing my readership. But I also want to write an e-book eventually about imperfect frugality (and life). I doubt that’ll be this year. I’m also thinking about offering some editing services, which would be another way to monetize this pastime.

    • Kate Dore Abigail @ipickuppennies September 25, 2015 on 7:43 am

      Nice, Abigail. Sounds like you’ve got some great ideas! There really are so many options. Our only real barrier is time!

  • Jim Wang September 24, 2015 on 3:48 pm

    What were the four goals? 🙂

    • Kate Dore Jim Wang September 25, 2015 on 7:44 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Jim! I’m going to write about my goals in next week’s monthly recap 🙂

      • Jim Kate Dore September 25, 2015 on 8:07 am

        Ha! I look forward to it. 🙂

  • Financial Samurai September 27, 2015 on 11:02 am

    Sounds like y’all had a great time this year! New Orleans was so fun last year. And I definitely plan to go to San Diego next year.

    Watch out.. once it’s on the West Coast, y’all might not wanna ever have the conference anywhere else!! 😛

    • Kate Dore Financial Samurai September 27, 2015 on 12:25 pm

      I’m really stoked for San Diego! And I heard the hotel has three pools. Workouts start now! 😉

  • Charlie September 27, 2015 on 4:16 pm

    Thanks for this motivational post!
    Yes making goals does matter! I’ve made a goal to comment on 20 blogs this month and here I am lol
    But I did enjoy reading your post and I’ve acutally just added your blog to my bookmarks.
    Can’t wait to see your goals in your new posts!

  • Our Next Life September 27, 2015 on 7:19 pm

    Hi Kate — We didn’t go to FinCon this year, though really wish we had! We just saw ourselves as regular folks writing this cute little blog, but then all of a sudden everyone was asking us if we were going to this thing we hadn’t heard much about called FinCon, and then we got nominated for a Plutus Award. Whoa. Those two things together had a galvanizing effect on us, and we quickly started seeing ourselves as “real bloggers,” even if we’re still pretty new in the scheme of things. So even though we missed out on FinCon this year — the fun stuff and what was obviously a ton of learning, too — we’re trying to still learn from the FinCon experience more broadly, and clarify our view of what our blog is about. So I love your framing of it as setting an intention. Our intention is to keep refining our voice, while sharing the not-strictly-financial parts of our journey to early retirement. (And we registered for FinCon16 — so excited!)

    • Kate Dore Our Next Life September 28, 2015 on 7:16 pm

      Congratulations on the Plutus nomination! And I’m glad y’all are going next year. I’ll look forward to meeting you!

  • Vanessa @ Cash Cow Couple September 28, 2015 on 2:47 pm


    This is seriously inspiring.

    Every once in a while I remember how important our intentions are, but then a few weeks later, I’ve forgotten all about them. So, thanks for the reminder to make it count.

    I couldn’t agree more that so much can happen in a year. I’ve started making a video on my birthday just updating myself about what is going on in my life at that time. I think it will be so interesting to look back on for years!

    • Kate Dore Vanessa @ Cash Cow Couple September 28, 2015 on 7:15 pm

      Thanks, Vanessa! I love that birthday video idea. I’m sure it will be amazing to look back at in 5 or 10 years 🙂

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde September 28, 2015 on 8:28 pm

    Hey! Sorry I didn’t comment on this sooner but I was too busy making my goals for FinCon16 a reality :p Seriously, though, I am someone who used to hate goals because I felt if I didn’t achieve them, I was a failure and I hate failing. What I realize now, is that setting goals and setting intentions helps assure that you are working towards something. Even if you don’t achieve it, you are working toward actually achieving something in the process. I am glad that you are motivated and can’t wait to see what you’re up to next year!

  • Philip September 28, 2015 on 11:41 pm

    Happy new year, Kate! I feel the same way. 🙂 Good luck knocking out that goal list and see you in 2016 or sooner!

    • Kate Dore Philip October 6, 2015 on 8:03 am

      Thanks, Phil. Definitely let me know if you swing through Nashville again!

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  • Tre October 16, 2015 on 9:26 am

    I love the new look of your site! Can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the next 12 months. I definitely have to add FinCon to my plans next year.

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