“Greatness is achieved in the trenches, when nothing but the will to be an icon is your creative fuel. The greats are all the same-Beyoncé, Serena Williams, LeBron, and the like: they’re never satisfied with where they are now. They’re always looking ahead, always looking to improve, always looking to break new ground. The will to transcend never leaves.”

— Marcus J. Moore, author of The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America

I have been in the trenches all 2020, working my butt off in every aspect of life to get better and reach my full potential. I’ve spent the bulk of December going through my finances, updating my budget, creating revenue strategies, defining timelines for debt repayment, and revising estate planning documents. It has taken a lot of effort to get all of this together, but financial health is critical, so all this had to be done. Yesterday, I sat down and started working on my big picture goals for 2021. I’m thankful that my partner, Dr. Lakisha Simmons, is skilled in these aspects of life and created tools to help me figure this out. Check out the list below and links to each resource.

Image by Dr. Lakisha Simmons
  1. I set up the 52-week savings challenge using the Qapital app, automatically saving an extra $1 every week for 52 weeks (Week 1: $1, Week 2: $2, Week 3: $3…Week 52: $52 for a total of $,1378 in extra savings). Bonus $ on top of what you already save.
  2. I use the Chime app credit builder feature which takes regular expenses and reports them as on-time payments to the major credit bureaus. Game changer for anyone trying to increase their credit score!
  3. I use her monthly budget template to make sure that my saving and spending is on track. It is a great tool formatted as a Google spreadsheet that can be easily updated each month.
  4. She recommended the Personal Capital app, which I use to view all my cash, debt, and investment accounts on one screen. An awesome net worth tracker that gives you a 10,000-foot view of your finances.
  5. Based on her recommendation, I increased my monthly 401(k) contributions and started contributing to a 457(b). I’m already taking full advantage of my employer match. My next step is to max out my 401(k) contributions ($19,500 limit in 2020).
  6. We sat down for hours to talk through our wills, trusts, healthcare directive, and other after-life desires. Conversations about death are never easy but very necessary, especially when you consider how many people we’ve lost this year due to #COVID19.
  7. I used her New Year’s Resolutions worksheets and Goal Setting Packet to reflect on 2020 and plan for 2021.

All these tools have been extremely helpful and I feel good about what’s to come in 2021! I hope these tips and tricks help you as much as they’ve helped me. #greatnessisthegoal #iconinthemaking

Isaac Addae is a first-generation Ghanaian American, entrepreneur, business professor, and change agent dedicated to shifting the trajectory of individuals, communities & organizations. He is dedicated to applying his life and career insights to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals through fostering purpose-driven cultures that embrace diversity, inclusion, and entrepreneurial thinking.

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