Can you believe January's already gone? How focused have you been on your 2017 goals?
According to a recent poll done by StatisticBrain.com, 41.6% of people have already given up on their New Year's resolutions or goals. Over 40%?!? Wow, that's pretty high, and not in a good way.
So, here I am, at the beginning of February 2017, here to check in and give you the power to help hold me accountable on my goals. I guess I'm part of the 58.4% now, haha! 🙂 By the way, the next statistic says that that number drops to 44.8% after six months. I find that comforting, since that's a much slower falling off rate. I guess once you've made it past that first month, you've really started to turn it into a habit and are getting more settled into your ways.
If you are reading this going, wait, he writes about personal finance all the time, why is he talking to me about goals and dropout rates? Well, earlier this month, I decided to make my 2017 goals public in order to help me become more successful in actually achieving them. You can read all about my hopes and dreams for 2017 goals here.
These monthly check-ins are going to be where I show you my successes and failures over my seven areas I'm working in. Those being:
I feel that by setting goals in each area of my life, I'll be working on my whole person instead of just one specific area of my life. I think when we focus over our whole self, we will be less likely to sabotage ourselves due to getting over excited about one area or another and we will see some great balanced growth through the year.
2017 Goals: Spirituality
Read the Bible in one year devotional
So, this year, I've decided to attempt working through the one year bible plan on bible.com again. I've tried this in the past a few times and have never succeeded since other things have come in and gobbled up my time.
This month has been great though. I did miss a few days, but managed to complete 27 of the 31 days this month! There were three days this month where I even did double readings to try to catch myself up. Each devotional and reading takes me roughly 30 minutes to work through. I even started on day 10 with starting to write down thoughts that come to my head as I'm going through the content! In order to meet this goal, I've been getting up earlier and making it the first thing I do. It's quiet, peaceful and I get to sip my coffee while doing it!
2017 Goals: Career
Take a writing course or two.
I haven't done anything remarkable on this front this month. Although, one day I decided to pop over to the FinCon YouTube Channel and catch most of Eric Rosenberg's talk from 2016. There are a ton of videos on that channel so I'll probably be digging through them while working out from time to time.
Increase my online connections to over 10,000.
So, I'm decently happy with my numbers this month. On January 11th, I had a total of 3,241 connections. I have been able to grow my connections to a total of 3,532 or 291 connections in 20 days. Although it's not a super high number, if done every day, I could expect to add roughly 5,300+ more connections this year. I will have to kick this into high gear in the following months to hit my target.
Here are my numbers broken down by each network:
Hit 50,000 page views.
I've been promoting a bit for January, but not as hard as I can be. For January, I hit 2,689 page views at the time of this writing. If every month is like this, I'm looking at roughly 32,000 page views for the year. I'm going to have to turn up my promotion and also aim to find ways to start upping my organic traffic and start building more back links from other sites. Here's how the month looked:
2017 Goals: Family
Preschool Homeschool Course
We have decided to go with a preschool curriculum this year for our girls. We chose to use the ABC Jesus Loves Me course with 36 full weeks of lessons that build over the year.
We have been able to get to week 6 since we started in late December. I would say we are on track and I can already see some great progression from the girls.
One date night per month
We succeeded at this one easily. We had a blast the last weekend of January since we dropped the girls off at my mom's and then headed out to Chicago to meet up for our first financial blogger meetup at a spanish tapas restaurant called Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! They actually had a happy hour from 4-6pm (when we met) where the prices were like a third of the normal price, score! Got to meet some great people that share a lot of the same values as us, which was great! Plus, I proved to my wife that I didn't talk to make believe people on the Internet!
Last on our family goal list for 2017 was planning out our four vacations and being able to take them debt free. My stepmom secured a nice AirBnB house for our family reunion in June, so we paid our share in January. We are aiming for our first of four vacations in March, can't wait!
2017 Goals: Financial
Contribute 15% of gross income to investments
A little progress was made in January. We decided to cancel both Netflix and Sling, saving us $35 a month going forward. We are going to take this money and contribute it directly to our Vanguard Roth IRA going forward. So, we are a little closer, but still have a bit of ground to cover. Above our current contributions, we needed to put in about $4,000 more this year. This change will make up $385 of it, roughly 9.6% of the deficit, so that's a smooth move in my opinion!
Grow Net Worth to $120,000
Making progress this month towards our goal, we increasing our net worth by $1,100+ in January. We are about $17,000 shy of hitting $120,000 at this point.
We are working on a situation where we might have to invest some money into replacing our roof this year, so this is going to be a tough goal if we have to spend between $5,000-10,000 to get that done. Right now we are in the estimates stage. I have 5 companies lined up to give me quotes. Our insurance company decided that they would only cover a few individual shingles and their claim payout wouldn't even cover our $1,000 deductible. I wrote a post about when it first happened here if you'd like to read about it.
2017 Goals: Intellectual
Read seven educational books
January was a stellar month for my reading time. I actually finished not one, but two books! I wrote up a review on Marriage God's Way by Scott LaPierre, and am going to be posting my next review sometime this month about It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan. I set a goal using Google calendar to read 30 minutes a day, three times a week, but got so engrossed by Cara's book that I ended up reading it in one sitting.
2017 Goals: Physical
Lose 20 pounds
I think I did decent for January, although at the time of this writing, things aren't looking as good. I started out on January 1st at 241.19 lbs. On February 1st, I weighed in at 238.8 lbs. So, a 2.39 pound drop in the first month! That's right on track!
Go to the gym 3-5 times per week
I am really proud of myself on this goal. I did really well in January and it seems to be carrying over into February in a strong way as well. For January, I ended up with 19 workout days. I normally get on the elliptical for around 45 minutes and have been catching up on Z Nation recently. I burned an average of 587 calories per workout, which is pretty good for me! It has really helped putting this as a goal on my Google calendar as well and being able to mark it off each day.
February is going to be a little more challenging since the girls are going to be doing swim lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays this month. I'm going to try to get to the gym early enough that I can get my workout in before they do the swim lessons and then we can just go home afterwards. At least it's only two days per week where time will be constrained a little more.
2017 Goals: Social
Staying In A Small Group
January was a good month. My men's church small group finished up 1 peter and had a nice game night last week, playing Scattergories. We are thinking about moving into studying Proverbs or Collosians next. In January, I made it to all the group meetups.
Making Time For Fun
My other social goal is to disconnect from time to time and be more present. I found that I was mindlessly looking through my phone and checking for notifications way too much on social media lately. I decided last week to actually delete Facebook and Twitter off my phone and force myself to only use it when I'm on my laptop.
This has gone excellent so far, since I get way less notifications and since the app is not there, I don't think to check them as often. I think this has allowed me to get more reading in and also to put my phone down and out of sight more often to make time to be with the people around me in a better way!
Wrapping up January 2017 Goals
One of my biggest influences to my success this month has been a post I read about The Pomodoro Technique. In the post, author Brandi Kennedy talks about how she breaks her day down into segments so that you can better get your day scheduled and knock out your to do list. It was after reading how she did this with her daily routine that I adapted it for my goals as well!
I did well this month. I accomplished most of my goals and I am better off for it. 2017 is shaping up to be a great year. I hope that you've been able to make great strides towards your goals for 2017 as well. If you haven't, don't fret. Just get back to them and make February a stronger month! However, we have less than eleven months to go, let's make it a great year!
Are you ready to finally take control of your finances? Let my budgeting spreadsheets help!
Just fill out the form below and I'll send you the link to get the same exact budgeting spreadsheets that I use each month!
Included in the workbook:
- Monthly budget form
- Breakdown of savings form (for your sinking funds)
- Overview of your financial plan
I've been using these same forms since August 2011 and have grown my family's net worth 500% tracking our money using these forms!
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