How I Plan To Have a  “Year of No Regrets”


black-woman-writing-pfEver just been tired? Like you want to press “Reset” on your life? You want to do something different, something that you feel that you were born to do. But are afraid to do it????

Kanysha, my friend, aspiring novelist, and author of “5 Ways To Be Smart About Being Dumb” here on Fabulous N’ Frugal talk about this all of the time. We met close to three years ago at a writers’ class and have kept in touch since. She, an attorney, and me, an educational administrator, enjoy our respective professions, but at our core and our souls, we are  writers, advocates for black women, and dreamers.

But we have been holding it in, concerned more about meeting the expectations of others and our race than our own happiness. But let me tell you, anything that you push down long enough must find an exit.

And I am feeling the pressure.

Now that I am married I have to talk it over with my husband, but I have been seriously thinking about taking a year off so I can give myself permission to pursue my passion and tie up all of the loose ends in my life– things that I wanted to do but never did.

My job allows for yearlong personal leaves of absence. Here is what I want to do for a year. It is not complete, but it encompasses all of the things that I love: literature, travel, writing, being married, and how to make Fabulous N’ Frugal an empire.

I am sharing my Personal Mission Statement: The Year of No Regrets to inspire you to do the same. I wrote this a couple of months ago so the dates are a little off, but the spirit of the Year of No Regrets is the same.

My Personal Mission Statement: For 11 months and 29 days, I will let what’s inside of me come out. For 11 months and 29 days, I will practice holistic self-care and write the proverbial song about it. For 11 months and 29 days, I will:

  1. Take classes in African-American studies just like the main character in Luck of the Irish (this is a play by an African-American female playwright. Highly Recommended. :)) 
  2. Complete my second BA in Spanish.
  3. Learn to drive on the highway.
  4. Learn to cook the foods that my husband enjoys and increase my confidence as a new wife.
  5. Complete my anthology of short stories.
  6. Identify my nutritional philosophy and the foods that support it.
  7. Visit Ghana for a month to meet mother-in-law.
  8. Visit Panama for 6 months for language immersion.
  9. Craft a marketing and advertising plan for Fabulous N’ Frugal which includes guest appearances, panel discussions, and interviews on local and national radio and talk shows.

 What would I need to do to prepare for my year off:

  1. Clean out closets
  2. Sell anything that I don’t want/donate clothes
  3. Work as many per session hours (overtime) to build up cushion
  4. Monitor my thinking and mindset; pull from my community for support.
  5. Possibly move into a cheaper place.
  6. Crunch the actual numbers to create a budget for The Year of No Regrets.
  7. Think about phd program for 2014
  8. Create an altar and buy candles to deepen my spirituality and centeredness.

Frugalistas– What would you do with a year off? What would you name your year? What would you need to do to prepare for that year? Are there some things that you could do now? 

[info_box type=”alert_box”]If you want to practice self-care, you have to care for your finances.  My book, The Happy Finances Challenge, is designed to help you learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness in just 42 days. [/info_box]


  1. I love this post! I would call my year the “Let’s do this thing” year. I too am an educational administrator and while I love my clients this is not my passion. If I took a year off it would look somewhat similar to yours!

    1.) Work on health and fitness-sign up for 4 1/2 marathons. One every 3 months.
    2.) Spend time with my family who live in another state
    3.) Accelerate my Spanish studies-spend 6-9 months in Colombia
    4.) Work on some projects in my home
    5.) Focus on growing my personal finance blog so that I can make the switch from working for the University to just working for myself. This is something that I hope to happen in 3 years
    6.) Drive on Route 66 (the parts that still exist!)
    7.) Drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in California
    8.) Work on aggressively monetizing my blog. Picking up speaking opportunities.
    9.) Mentor someone
    10.) Volunteer with kids
    **Find “the One” I am working on this now as I would like to get married and start a family.

  2. Michelle, we have to talk!! This week was so hectic. I saw your thoughtful comments on Saturday and went over to your site. LOVE IT! We should definitely do something fabulous and frugal together, a guest post or exchange. Thanks for comments.

    Love #1: Did a 1/2 marathon in Panama in 2007; itching to get back into some mind-body sport.
    #2. Do it or have them come to you. Time passes and you are not really going to care about about what educational policy you quoted 10 years from now.
    #3 YES!
    #5, #8: That is what I am trying to do now.
    #9-10: I am not sure where you live but there is an organization The Black Girl Project in NYC that needs board members– if not in person, I bet they will take virtual support. I did a workshop with them on self-awareness through flawed black female protagonists.
    #11: That is a BIG ONE. Best of luck with that.
    6-7 I can’t find the beauty in driving until I work thru my highway issues..but cruising down somebody’s highway will be a MAJOR milestone for me.

    You totally made my night, Michelle. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I am very glad that I found your blog! Feel free to contact me-I would love to do an exchange/guest post/etc. I am so jealous that you did a race in Panama. I think the humidity would kill me-I’m from Colorado! But, I’m training at altitude so I could kick some race butt!.As for #11-I’ve just read and did the course work from a book called “Calling in the One.” for anyone looking for love I highly recommend it. I’m very excited about the process.

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