A couple of days ago I “graded” myself as to how I did for my 2011 Goals and Objectives and with only a couple days left in 2011 it is about time to lay it on the line for what I expect for myself in 2012. One of the main reasons I started this blog was to keep myself accountable to anyone that was reading it, so thank you for keeping me honest! I think it is a disservice to one’s self to create a “new year resolutions” based purely on numbers because they mean nothing without a plan to reach them. However, I think it is really useful to write down one’s broad goals and objectives with a plan. Plus, isn’t it more interesting to read a plan versus “lose 20 pounds.”
Like last year, I am going to breakdown my goals and objectives into a couple of different categories:
- Personal Life
- Professional Life
- Blogging World
- Online Income World
- Financial Goals
Personal Goals and Objectives for 2012
I don’t want to sound too rosy but right now I am loving my personal life. I have been with The Wife for a bit over a decade and we have been married for 3+ years and I can easily say it is still awesome! As many people who follow the blog know we have a 1 year old boy and it is really amazing how much I love him. How could I not? Go ahead click the link, I’ll wait just take a look at that face! As of today, The Wife gets to spend a lot of time with him while working from home, and I get to see him a couple days a week during lunch and then during that awesome time between dinner and his bedtime. We are very lucky parents with unreal support and love from family and friends. He, nor us, lack people caring for him/us. If I had a goal it would to keep everything in this paragraph going – actually all subsequent goals in this post are driven by this main goal.
Since it can’t all be sunshine – I need to lose some freaking weight. Last year I wrote about trying a racquetball league. This was a complete and utter failure. People wouldn’t show up and I was still paying a monthly rate, so I quit. About two weeks ago I joined Krav Maga (I did it back a couple years ago). While it is rough for whatever reason I LOVE IT. It is also kind of expensive and more than I would like to spend on a hobby, so I think that will motivate me to go 2 or 3 times a week to minimize the per class cost.
Also on the self improvement front, I have zero time management skills. Even as I write this post it is 1:00am. So not only do I not exercise enough I don’t sleep anywhere near the amount I should. My goal is going to be small and try to get into bed by 12:15am every week night. That would be a HUGE change for me. Like the health goal above I failed in this respect last year.
I break my professional life into two parts:
I am currently a director at a very successful financial planning firm. There is no place for me to move within my current firm without displacing the partners (which is just not happening), but the problem is I LOVE MY JOB. I love what I do, I love who I work with so for 2012 my goal is to keep the bosses happy. I haven’t had my year end review so I am not sure if that just means keep doing what I am doing and try to smile more lol.
I am giving thought to getting my CFP since I already have my Juris Doctorate (law degree) all it would mean is that I sit and take the test (after studying my butt off). I would be exempt from the forced classroom setting which is kind of cool and takes one speed bump away.
Law Offices of Evan
Being an attorney is part of my professional world, but I don’t practice all that much. Practicing is very lucrative since I have no overhead, and while I will never turn down a referral if it is within my niche that I know very well, I don’t actively seek engagements. I think the reason is simple, I love my job and I make enough money (discussed below) with online side projects that keep me at home.
I think this part of my life will be ever changing. Is it possible I go hardcore with my firm this year? Yup, but it is just as easy that I literally handle a few small cases and go on with my life. So for the first time in a few years I will say I have zero goals (oh except to get a website up that is way too long in the making).
Non Geek Stuff
I seem to burn out if I try to produce more than 3 or 4 posts a week, so I am going to keep it in that sweet spot. Sometimes I do 2 sometimes I do 5, I just try to keep it naturally flowing and never forced. I can honestly say I love writing online. I use it as a way to discuss my situation with someone other than my wife since I am a pretty private person when it comes to money in real life. I use it as a way to work out new ideas or interesting positions in articles I read.
My writing style was once described as slightly contentious, and after looking up what it meant, was the politest way anyone has ever called me a dick before. Notwithstanding, I took it as a compliment. My Journey to Millions was never created to be an end all resource for financial information. I don’t have the time to create the next MSN Money instead I just want to carve out my little place in this huge niche and I think I have done that to a very small extent.
How do I improve? Keep writing new content. I get way too much of my traffic from search engines. Yes, this is fantastic for revenue but it is terrible for interaction. I want repeat readers! My goals for 2012:
- Use some of the connections I have made to guest post somewhere larger than me once a month
- Keep up with up submitting to blog carnivals
- Keep interacting on Twitter (you should follow me I am fun to talk to).
My Journey to Millions as website had made some significant strides in the past year. I moved the site to a Virtual Private Server to handle a few security breaches I was having that I fully blamed on my shared host. I have been using freelancers a lot more to handle stuff that I know I won’t/shouldn’t. This includes getting my content to carnivals (thanks Melissa) and a consultant for the back end server stuff that is way above my head (thanks Jesse). My goal for this year is to go through EACH and EVERY one of my 500+ posts to comb for:
- Grammatical mistakes which I make A LOT OF;
- Better affiliate positioning; and
- Better SEO
I have tried to find a freelancer to do this for me but it has never worked out to be mutually beneficial, so I gave up.
Online Income World
I freaking love creating streams of income, it is my passion. I would love to have 4 or 5 great ones. My Journey to Millions is an amazing one, as is an offshoot of this blog that I work with a partner on, and my job is number 3 (and way too big in comparison to the first two lol). My goal is to create a 4 and 5 this year.
They will obviously be a lot smaller than the 3 already up there, but if I can start to get that trickle going I’ll be happy. I have two projects that are getting worked out (both websites but not blogs), so my goal this year is to get streams of income 4 and 5 off the ground.
2011 was all about preparing for 2012! I paid off a bunch of long term debt and saved more liquid dollars then I had ever done in the past. Well, 2012 is here!
Number one financial goal is to upgrade the home. The Wife and I have been living in a 1400 square foot townhouse for 4 and a half years and with the son (AND ALL HIS TOYS) things have gotten a bit cramped. Could we make it work? OF COURSE, people do with a lot less every single day. Remember when I stated my first goal about The Wife spending time with our son at home?
Well that still holds true so I recently ran the housing numbers and have figured out what we could afford and keep priority number just that. The good part? I will post all the details on here.
Saving & Investing
While I will continue to contribute the amount to receive my employer’s match on my 401(k), I don’t really have any goals here. I feel like my financial life will be changing so much in 2012 it would be a waste of time to say “save X amount in my dividend investing account” or “save Y amount into liquid savings.”
I guess my two financial goals for 2012 would be:
- Keep saving as much money as possible to increase my down payment
- As soon as I purchase a new home go through the exercises that have laid an awesome foundation for me to focus on other things (i.e. figuring out my monthly nut, be efficient with insurance premiums, argue for lower taxes, etc.)
Last year’s debt project was paying off my car (succeeded). This year will be to pay off my smaller law school loan. I don’t see this as being too big of a project, since the car was at 8K+ in January of 2011 and the balance of this loan is only at ~$4,300, but I like having something to focus on while saving and investing. If I am able to do it by July I can reevaluate half was through the year.
I started tracking my net worth in January of 2011 and since then I am up about 73%. This may fall into my hated, just spout random numbers, but my goal based on everything above would be to increase my net worth 50%. As more and more of my net worth becomes based on the market it makes the goal harder, however, I really think I can do it!
What are your goals? Did you post about them – if so please feel free to link to them here so I can read them!