My Hard Things + What I’m Willing to Give Up

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

myhardthingsAs a follow-up to my post on choosing your hard things, I decided to share what I came up with. Keep in my these are MY hard things. You could have the two lists completely swapped, and that would get no judgment from me. The entire point is to do things aligned with your values and stop caring what anyone else thinks!

My hard things:

  • Save enough money and set things up to live off my investment income with minimal worry.
  • Spend lots of quality time with family, especially my three daughters. (I have 3 kids?!? How the $*%# did that happen?)
  • Spend some time alone reading and thinking about things I find interesting (ex. finance, cooking, off-grid living).
  • Exercise regularly, mostly by running around outdoors with my daughters. If I’m lucky, this will also include hiking or playing tennis with friends. If I’m really lucky, I’ll be skiing.

The things I am willing to give up:

  • A steady, prestigious job and high W-2 income.
  • “Better things” like a larger house, faster car, or nicer toys/clothes.
  • Watching television.
  • Regular ski trips, partying at bars and clubs, and Las Vegas runs with friends.
  • Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

I’m not there yet, but it’s nice to have them written down. If I’m not spending my time working towards one of my hard things, then I’m not being productive even with the newest To-Do List app, ergonomic standing desk, and pristine e-mail inbox. I should also be careful to stop doing the things on my “Give Up” list.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Excellent! Good Luck.

  2. Belated congrats on the 3 kids. I’m at 5 now and constantly ask myself “how in the #&*@ did that happen?”

    Your list is spot on. Mine is very similar to yours.

  3. Joshua Katt says

    You probably are but just in case, are you familiar with a book “your money or your life”. I need to give it a second read at age 55 with a new kid on the way as I likely didn’t heed too much of its advice at 40. Simply yet interesting.

  4. Great list, Jonathan! I look forward to seeing your progress.

  5. I’m working on my lists! So, where does this blog fall, for you? 🙂

  6. Italiangirl says

    It would be great to see an updated photo now that you have three kids!

  7. Congrats on number 3! This post is unusually timely as I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I have 4 children (3 small ones like yours) and just got a director level role at my work. I am in my mid-30’s and am often struck about how scarce our time seems to be these days. There are many competing priorities; I was not a high-wage earner in my 20’s so for us, now is an opportunity to accelerate my career / financial situation, but there are obviously so many demands and special moments at home too. I find it ironic that in 20 years, we will wake up with more than enough money and an empty house, which will allow for so much sudden free time. Its unusual how front-loaded life demands seem to be with a family and career. Awareness is the first step, and I admire your priorities. I try to carve out high quality one-on-one time with the kids. That seems to help. I hope you continue to find time to post as I do enjoy your view on all your topics. Cheers!

  8. In addition to thinking about the hard things, or big goals – I think it can be helpful to focus on doing one “pain in the A$$” (PITA) thing per day. If you can do this – over time you’ll definitely be doing much better than most others who don’t want to do the tough thing!

Speak Your Mind