I can’t believe I have been actively blogging on my personal finance blog for 7.5 years, my first post admitting to the world how much debt I was carrying and my plans to get rid of it. If you asked me if I would still be doing writing posts, 7 years, 2 houses and 2 children later I would have said absolutely not. Notwithstanding, some of my favorite times of the year are when I take look back at my goals and objectives to see how I succeeded or failed 365 days later. It provides me with a sense of optimism and nostalgia. Optimisim because even with those things that i failed with, there is always time to make it more of a priority, and nostalgia, because I get to look how goals and objectives may change naturally over time.
Reviewing my 2015 Goals and Objectives
For the past few years I have organized my goals and objectives in the following manner:
- Personal Life
- Professional Life
- Blogging World
- Online Income World
- Financial Goals
Things are fantastic at home! The Wife and I have two wonderful children who I get to play with almost nightly (well the 3 month old doesn’t exactly play but I get her to smile and right now that feels awesome). I don’t have a particular actionable goal when it comes to the family, but everything else I write about in this post is to provide myself with the intentional opportunity to play with the boy and the girl nightly! If I had to grasp for straws here, my son is about the age where I would like him to start Sunday School at Church on Sundays. I hope I don’t look back at this post in a year disappointed in myself.
Succeeded! To the dismay of my father, I prioritized my son’s budding soccer “career” over Sunday school, but as soon as the “season” was over we signed up and went to Sunday school! He has gone every week we have been in town.
My nightly productivity has dropped significantly recently. The Wife goes to bed hours before I do on a nightly basis – in the past the TV would go off and I would work on a list of things I wanted to get done that evening. I am not sure when but this practice slowly turned into me working on my list while the TV was on, then no list and just messing around while TV was on. This has to end. Most night the TV has to go off and productivity has to increase.
I have absolutely picked this up in the last half of the year. I have found a little tool that has helped me out tremendously. It is so simple and basic – a little notebook! I write down my weekly goals and then cross them out when I complete them. There is something so f’n satisfying about taking a Sharpe to the item!
In each one of those linked years I have put lose weight (with a particular actionable way of doing it) and I have failed. This sucks. I quit crossfit last month as I wasn’t going as often as needed to justify $150/mo membership. Instead I created a spreadsheet with crossfit inspired work outs that I could do at a regular gym (the dreaded globo gym). I then found a gym that has a kids section that my son loves to go to and he has motivated me to go! When he asks, “Can we go to the gym tonight daddy?” it is hard to respond, “Nope, going to be fat tonight.” Since I can’t be trusted I have a bet with The Wife that I’ll be still active 6 months from now. There is no way I can listen to her being right. Future Evan, if you lost this bet then you owe her $200+ Shoes at Christmas time (this bet with myself worked last year when I had to build my law firm website).
No shoe buying here! Since writing this post I joined a second gym and even go sometimes during lunch. I probably was in better shape during crossfit, but I might weigh less now.
It is interesting in almost every yearly goals and objectives post I make the statement that I love my job. Still is true! Even more so this year, because one of my big concerns has been eliminated. Last year, I wrote that I was feeling underpaid. I researched the topic and determined after discussions with a few similar companies that their starting salary was higher than my 7 year deep salary. The bosses provided me a large raise paid over two years, brought me into a bigger bonus pool and this year even offered me a deferred compensation package! Overall I am feeling good about my job and don’t have any specific actionable steps – this could change after our company’s annual meeting (if so I will update this post).
I also wrote a couple times that I wanted to get my CFP. I think this year I am going to follow through with that goal. By the end of January I will look into the requirements.
I looked into the CFP and since I have my J.D. all I would have to do is take one course and sit for the test (as opposed to taking 7 or 8 classes). I couldn’t believe the cost was a couple grand! I approached the partners and they actually didn’t seem to care enough to reimburse me, so at this point I think this idea is shelved.
To say that my practice is small is embellishing, however, it does provide a nice side income which could easily be grown if needed. I do not have any current plans to grow this stream of income, and will continue to take referrals as they come in.
Seems to be organically growing, but again all based on referrals.
While my traffic is a fraction of what it once was, I don’t see myself doing anything all that different on the front end. I will continue to do what I am doing which is posting a handful of times per week whenever I am so inspired. On the back-end I plan on going through a thousand or so posts making sure all SEO information is filled in.
It actually took me till the last quarter to get behind a back end push. It seems to be working. I’ll give myself a fail on this one because I should have started earlier and could have been farther along in the project.
Online Income World
Last year I wrote (2014),
I feel pretty lost here currently.
I have a great side business with a partner, but it has consistently decreased in revenue and income over the past few quarters. It is still ridiculously profitable, but decreasing revenue is freaking frustrating. I’d happily throw money at it, but I don’t believe it to be a “money” problem. If I am going to give myself a goal here it is to proactively email advertisers on a more often and regimented basis.
Unfortunately, I feel the exact same way. Over the past year, I have done just that and it seems to work, as such, I am going to give myself another schedule to follow when contacting old advertisers.
Again, it wasn’t until the last quarter that I really got behind contacting old advertisers at an alarming rate. It seems to be working so I’ll give myself semi-fail.
I will continue to fund my dividend investment fund at $500 to $1,000 per month. I would also like to cut my debt in half by next year (it is all at 0%).
Big Fail. I have not cut my debt in half (all still at 0%) nor have I actively invested a new $500 – $1,000/mo. I have purchased lots in my perpetual dividend investment account at that amount, but that was with sell orders as well as margin.
How did you do this year?