It’s January, and you know what that means.
Goals for 2016
This past year I decided to try something new. I had read that I could be more focused if I just chose one goal and really bore down on it for a whole month. It sounded interesting and logical. It sounded like I would get more, deeper work done.
It was also a way to avoid my natural tendency to overload myself with goals. The year before I had jot down 24. Instead this year I could only choose 12 goals for the year.
If you look at my goal page these are the only ones you’ll see.
- Save 40% of earnings
- Travel to 1 new place 4+ days
- Earn $1000 in writing
- Read 1 parenting post / day
- 700 words/day for 1 month
- Write 4 guest posts
But there were a few more. So below I am going to go over how my last year went with respect to accomplishing my goals. The first goal I tackled was the easiest for me. Setting up the financial goals for the year.
1. Financial goal, Complete
- Save 40% of earnings, 100% Complete
The initial goal last year was to max out Mr. Roamer’s 401k , my IRA , along with 100/month in savings. Since I was no longer working we had to understand how our funds would be affected. But after a few months I realized we could also max out his IRA.
Yet surprises happen, (Hello Lay off, or getting in a Hit and Run, or any other such thing that impacts your savings) , so we weren’t sure what our final numbers would be. The majority of the work was done in February when we figured out how much we could save. But I am always watching our finances, so I made a few adjustments at the end of the year. Our final count showed that we were able to save 43% of our earning.
2. 700 words a day for a month , Pass
This was my most successful 1 month challenge. But it wasn’t actually successful. (Say what?!) The original goal which I took in March was to write 700 words every day for a month. But then I told myself I also had to publish it. I wanted to prove to the audience I was doing the work. To hold me accountable. However, I couldn’t just push publish and editing took 3 times as long as writing.
The challenge did help us, ( Minnie and I) set up a consistent write/ mommy work time schedule. My work time now, is right after lunch from 11:30-1:30 when I stop and go pick up JR from school.
As for the challenge/ goal, since I wasn’t tracking how many words I wrote per day I can’t say I completed it. But thanks to establishing the routine I believe I got more writing done as a whole.
While I did the challenge I decided to give each week a theme to help with my creativity. I wrote about Travel, Finance and Minimalism. Check out some of the posts from the challenge.
- Why a 30 day challenge?
- Minimalism without waste
- Vacations, where to stay?
- No employer match, Who cares?
After this point I seem to have lost my focus. I made several attempts at focusing on just one goal per month but failed. Instead I just worked on them all through out the year.
3. Finish ZTL program- Failed
I paid big money for this course. So I am really disappointing with myself on this one. This is an 8 week program and I got stuck on week 3. Then I just let it fizzle out.
4. Affiliate program earning- Failed
My intention with this goal was to aggressively seek out affiliates who I could partner with to start earning some income.
I never focused a whole month on this and the work I did was signing up for some accounts while I attended FinCon.
My AdSense earning: $28.52, It’s money but I’m not impressed.
The problem with this goal was it was way too vague. It would have been more measurable if I had said establish 4 affiliate accounts, and write 4 product reviews, and earn $XX. I did establish a new relationship this year and I did drop the add into my site. But so what? I need to see an ROI. So I am going to say this was a fail.
5. Travel to 1 new place (4+ days), Complete
We had lots of fun taking our California Road trip this year in August. We got to check out some really cool places in California as a family. Like Mt. Shasta. A gorgeous waterfall. Some thermal mud pits and Yosemite. If you want to read more about our trip check out Our California Road trip and 4 must see views.
They were places we had never been to before so we checked off this goal.
6. Read books, 2 hrs a day, Complete
The purpose of this goal was for me to read more off line. Like I mentioned earlier picking one month to focus on each of these goals turned out to be a big bust for me.
So instead I just started reading more. Replacing aimless internet wandering with reading, and I will say I am pleased. I was able to read 6 books this year. Not including the countless children’s books we read to our kids. I will update my book list. Even though I didn’t focus on it for a whole month I am going to say this was a success and complete.
7. Write 4 Guest post, Failed but saw progress
I did not write 4 guest posts that is all there is to it. I was able to submit one interview style one to Mr. 1500. Feel free to go check it out and learn more about me. 10 questions with the roamer from the traveling wallet. Also while it isn’t a guest post I was very honored to sit down with a group of Financial bloggers and participate in Paula Pant’s podcast, from the awesome site at Afford Anything, at FinCon. It’s podcast 46, You can check that one out , The unbelievable power building community.
8. Email people (email 5 people a day) – Failed but saw progress
The purpose of this goal was to get me out of my shell and start building more relationships within the FI community but also just to contact old friend who I’ve lost touch with. On my own I was failing but when I signed up for a challenge hosted by Pat Flynn I made a lot more headway. I will say email is still something I need to work on. But I emailed lots of people.
9. Earn $1000 income in writing- Failed
The purpose of this goal was to test if I could get paid to write. I did not meet my earnings goal. But I was able to submit a post to Acorns’ Grow magazine and did earn some money. It was called This couple is living proof you can save 72000 and still have fun. You might have also seen it on Money Peaches site where it was syndicated. The only disappointing part is that there was no credit or track back to link it to my site. Over there it appeared as We saved 72000 and still had fun. I should be able to count this as a guest post but since there was no link back then I don’t get any benefit. However, there were some good comments so at least it’s good to know people resonated with the story.
10. Body Goal: Butt and Ab exercises, Failed
I did not use Tim Ferris video to work out my abs and butt. However, In November and December I went Rock Climbing and did yoga about 3 times a week. I loved it and I am feeling much healthier. Going forward I am going to test out Mr. Money Mustaches advice and just do more basic work outs until I’m sore. Curious? Check out his post. Staying fit with no gym in sight
11. Parenting. Read just 1 post a day by Janet Lansbury Failed
I barely read any parenting posts this year.
What was last years focus?
If you look at the majority of my goals they were writing, blog and online business focused. I was trying to get myself positioned to really focus on online income. But I think I was focusing on the wrong metrics or was just not specific enough with my goals to make them measurable.
I will say this was my least successful year when it comes to checking stuff off my goal list. With only 11 goals I had varying degrees of failures with 5 classified as fails, 2 classified as failed but progressed, 1 pass, and 3 all out completes. ugh! I can’t believe I am publishing this. How embarrassing.
I think my problem was that these goals don’t follow the SMART goal format. They are so flexible that they just get push aside under the guise of I can do it later. While I was excited when another blogger suggested this monthly format it just didn’t work for me. Lesson learned.
What I actually focused on
Some people name their year. Originally I didn’t do it, but if I had to it would have been BUSINESS. Since most of my goals revolved around the blog and improving it. But now when I think of last year, I think of me. That’s right M-E. This past year turned out to be a time to rejuvenate for me.
I received a birthday gift for rock climbing which later turned into a 2 month membership. It was great to be surrounded by climbers and to be challenging myself physical and mentally … because rock climbing does both. I also took advantage of the gyms yoga classes which I hadn’t done since graduating from University.
Also last year because some funds became available I was able to sign up and take a hip hop dance class. I had so much fun, learned some new stuff and got an A 😉 .
Those things didn’t take up all my time but when I was involved they took a consistent block of my day. It was something I didn’t want to admit I needed but I did. While both activities where things I already enjoyed. The side benefit was I got to get out of the house and spend some time with adults. Make new friends and spend some time away from the kids. However bad that last part may sound. Going from being a working mom to a stay at home mom was a big adjustment. But I plan to discuss that later. Suffice it to say that some alone/ adult only time was very welcomed.
So there you have it. While we had another year where we killed our financial goals. There was plenty failing going on. Every year I guess isn’t a winner. But I am taking those lessons in to the new year.
How about you? How did you do last year? Did you set some goals?
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