I can’t believe this will be the 10th one of these I have written one of these blog posts! When I wrote my first “goals and objectives” post way back in January of 2009 I could not have possibly imagined my life today. I am sure I am not alone in that sentiment, hell, I am sure everyone that takes a look back on their life after a decade feels that way! These posts, like my net worth updates, are what actually keeps me blogging and this website alive. They give me something to look back at and ask if I have lived up to what I expect of myself.
Actionable Steps Rather than End Goals
Tonight, at dinner my son asked me what my New Year’s resolution was? I tried to explain to him that I didn’t really understand the idea of the end result resolution, and it is the actionable goal that is more important to me. Considering he is 8 he didn’t really get it. So I asked him what his resolution was (they talked about it at school) and he said to become a better reader. So, we then discussed how that occurs rather than just wishing he got better.
I distinctly remember being younger (teenage years) and thinking that those never really made any sense. Hell, there is an entire gym industry built upon that failing. Maybe that works for some, but for me, I have found better results with laying out mostly actionable steps for me to take with regard to certain areas of my life:
- Professional Life
- Blogging World
- Online Income World
- Financial Goals
- Personal Life
In addition to the specific and actionable goals I like to have an overarching “theme” in mind. In 2018 it was growth from consistency, in 2016 and 2017 it was good is the enemy of great. For 2019, my overarching theme would be to get back to the basics!
In the past 3 weeks I have found the following issues that have inspired this theme:
- A Crazy Q4
- Being overcharged by SiriusXM – Who in the hell pays $225/yr for this service? A 10minute phone call saved me $125.
- Being over charged on a 0% purchase offer! The company gave me some terrible excuse that they put the interest in on the month prior to being paid off and then they take it away.
- My Student Loan Ordeal
The last three bullet points, while not a huge amount of money, just are indicative that I have let lifestyle inflation blind me into complacency. The Q4 on the other hand is a huge amount of money to me (and to most Americans I would guess). So with that overlaid objective I am going to provide some specific and actionable goals for myself in 2019.
Professional Life 2019 Goals
This is broken down into two parts: my career and my law practice.
I really like my job. If you had asked me 10 years ago whether I would still be in the same position I am in today I probably would have said no. However, I learned over the years that there are much more important things than money I am leaving on the table by working there. Notwithstanding, this year I received confirmation that the likelihood of me growing out of my current position is very, very low. I haven’t really decided what to do with that information as of the date of this post, so I am going to focus on how I can make my current position, the one I enjoy, even more ingrained in the culture of the office I am in.
So I have two actionable goals I am going to work on:
- Create a Quarterly Sales Tool/Idea for the financial planners in my office. This is already in the works with the first one to be approved next week. I already have 2 more ideas, and then I just need one last one for Q42019.
- Meet with planners that I just don’t know to see how I can help their practice. My office currently has over 100 planners. If I interact regularly with 25 of them that would be a lot. If I could bump those numbers up even a tiny bit I could effect real change in the bottom line of the company.
My Law Practice
I have completely failed in previous years from taking my very small law practice to just a small law practice. I think it is mainly because I choose to focus on other things in my off time (see below). Instead of going all out with a goal that I am likely to fail on, I am going to keep things simple for 2019.
My goal is to follow up on known opportunities.
I know that may seem like an odd goal, however, I often let easy opportunities pass by because it has always felt unprofessional to push them. Recently, I have had a friend of mine diagnosed with a particularly aggressive type of late stage cancer. Luckily, he followed up with me to make sure his planning was done and he has mentioned how the work we have done together has put him at ease.
I’d like to get back to the basics! This means two things to me:
- I need to seek out like minded bloggers and discuss what is on their mind. I have not been active the in the PF blogging world in quite some time. My 2019 goal would be to comment more on other sites.
- Continue to work through old posts to make sure they are optimized for SEO purposes (well, at least to the best of my abilities).
Online Income World
In addition to this personal finance blog, I own a bunch of other sites that I don’t discuss often here. After speaking with my business partner we decided our joint goal for 2019 was to expand our mini-business. Once a quarter, at the end of each quarter we are going to contact dying/dead personal finance blogs and see if we can purchase them (buy low).
I have a couple of financial goals for this year:
The first has to do with paying down some long term debt. I have reasonably sized student loans and an outstanding HELOC, and while the interest rates aren’t particularly high I would like the cash flow back (not enough to liquidate out of the market and pay them off, but enough to make it my first goal for 2019).
The second goal would be to continue/build on two asset classes I haven’t given much attention. The first are my whole life policies. I’d like to continue to proactively build this non-correlated asset, and I think the easiest way for 2019 would be to make a concerted effort to convert some of my blended policies. Additionally, I would like to continue my physical gold purchases.
The third goal is to get back to the basics with my dividend investment portfolio. Despite being one of the smallest parts of my financial world, it is easily my favorite. Last year, I made my $500 to $750/mo investments and I’d like to continue to do so in 2019. The difference between 2018 and 2019 I want to reduce the risk I have been taking with selling naked puts. I think if/when I am able to roll out of the positions I am holding because of being assigned shares (as of this post $BUD and $LB) my plan is to only sell naked puts in companies that pass a similar screen that I use for my dividend purchases. This way I know that if I am assigned at least it’ll be at a good price (theoretically ). That being said, I am done selling naked puts until I am out of the positions I am in today.
The fourth goal would be to keep myself open to real estate opportunities. I have talked about becoming a landlord for 7 of the 10 years of owning this site, and I really thought 2018 was going to be it (until it wasn’t), but I don’t want to just ignore that asset class.
The fifth goal is really getting back to the basics – CHECK ACCOUNTS MORE OFTEN. Back in the beginning of this blog I would sign into all credit cards and bank accounts daily (if not more to the annoyance of The Wife), well as evidenced above, that just doesn’t happen anymore and it needs to!
With regard to general health I have two goals. The first to participate in more workouts that I know I am going to suck at, and those, are often those that have anything to do with high reps/high cardio. The second is to work on my flexibility/mobility. I am pretty sure it is byproduct of getting older, although I was never particularly flexible, but I find myself getting injured more due to bad form based on shitty mobility. This needs to be fixed. I am thinking once a week some type of intentional mobility/yoga routine should help.
Last, and absolutely the most important thing, is time with my family. I don’t have any goals except to continue to be as involved in my kids life as much as I can which is way more than most I know (see above re: job). If I had to give myself a specific goal it would be to make sure they continue working on their sign language (my brother’s deaf so their eventual fluency is important to me).