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This is my original post that I made to track my goals/resolutions for 2017. I have since updated with new check-ins. You can view them here:
- It Is Only Money and It Grows on Trees! by Cara MacMillan: My Thoughts
- 2017 Goals: February Accountability Check In
- 2017 Goals: January Accountability Check In
- 2017 Goals: 7 Areas I’m Getting Focused On This Year
Goal setting is all the rage around this time of year. Everywhere you look and read, everyone seems to be setting different types of goals and resolutions that they are looking to use to make their lives better for 2017. Last year, I only made a couple of resolutions and forgot about what they even were, unfortunately. This year, I’m bound to be different about that though.
Why do I even bother with making goals or resolutions? I, like most, want to have accomplished more by the end of the year to say that I’ve grown quite a bit over the year. Even if I don’t hit all of them, I’m sure that I’ll make great strides towards them and will be better off for trying.
A couple of years ago, I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast almost everyday and heard him talk about having goals in seven different areas. Those areas included seven different areas of life. They include spiritual, career, family, financial, intellectual, physical, and social. I guess I had never looked at setting goals in all aspects of my life like this. I then set some and made it a little ways through them, but fell by the wayside about 3 months in. This year I’m looking to try it again, but since I’ll be blogging about it, I’m hoping that it will add a bit more accountability to my stance. Something about putting it down in front of people that makes you pay a little more attention! Kinda like I do with my net worth reports every month!
By putting it here in a post, I’m sure it will hold me more accountable. So, here goes…
Spiritual goals for me this year are pretty straightforward. I want to dive deeper into God’s word. I want to learn more about what it says and try to internalize more of it. To do that, I know that I need to be in it more often. I’ve actually launched a daily reading plan that will span the entire year and take me through the whole Bible in a year. Each day includes a devotion with an overview and highlight points of each of the passages that I’m reading for the day as well as a Psalm or Proverb, Old Testament and New Testament reading.
I honestly think this will be a tough goal, but I think if I can get up and start my day with the daily plan, then my day will go that much better. I think this should be my biggest priority since really, nothing else matters but my walk with Christ and my relationship that I’ve harbored with Him.
So far, I’ve done an OK job, being 11 days in.
I’ve gotten through day 6 so far, as each days reading takes me roughly 30 minutes or so to go through and process. am behind on this a little bit, but am looking to amp things up and see if I can get ahead by doing one in the morning and one in the evening when I get a little behind. If I can at least get halfway through this plan this year, I will be very happy and will continue it into next year, but I’m going to have to make it a priority and at the forefront of my mind.
To make this happen, I’m using the YouVersion Bible app and doing the Bible in One Year plan. They do have a social feature where you can add friends and let them see your progress in the news feed too, which is nice. I’m connected with a few people on there as well, but no one that is holding me accountable.
Career goals are going to be kind of weird for me this year, but I’m ok with that. Now that I’ve transitioned to becoming a full time stay at home dad and am working to amp up the blog here, I am going to be setting some blog related goals in this area for my writing and in terms of metrics for my blog traffic.
I am working with a lot of different types of people right now and am reading a LOT of other writing as I go through with commenting strategies and build up my audience here. Seeing so many different types of voices and working to find my own, mine is starting to become more conversational as I write more. I am trying to intertwine stories with lessons I’ve learned in the process to help give you, the reader, more of a takeaway versus just a warm fuzzy story that makes you feel good.
So for career goals, I’m looking to do the following:
Take one to two writing courses.
These could be webinars I attend to learn more.
- I attended one late last year with The Good Men Project that was fairly helpful, but different than my style of writing in a way. I would love to get through more of their courses to get more of the information.
- Another course is going to be the keynotes and all the talks from FinCon in October this year. I have already purchased my tickets to the event, but after I get back, there is going to be a wealth of knowledge and lectures to go through on demand. I will have to make extra time for these in my schedule.
Increase my connections on social media to a total following of 10,000 or more.
Increase my page views to a minimum of 50,000 for the year.
I attained 17,706 last year and that was even while taking a break from blogging from January through July. I really only had a solid four months of blogging last year. This seems low, but with all my other goals, I need to allow myself some leeway here. I have two girls at home who come before everything else at the moment.
Family goals are pretty simple this year for me. I want to finish what I’ve started with my two girls. Recently, we got a preschool homeschooling course from ABC Jesus Loves Me for them and I’m going to be their teacher. This is a full 36 week course and we started right around Christmas. I have a feeling that this is going to take me into the fall when my oldest starts kindergarten. The curriculum takes about 45 minutes to an hour to go through each day with the girls, when they want to actually participate.
The other thing with family that I feel my wife and I did pretty good with last year were date nights. We finally figured out how to ask for help and have found that shipping the girls off to one of the grandparents for the night, sometimes 2, allows us to rekindle our relationship where it’s not all just around the kiddos. I would like to focus on more of these as well for us in 2017. We would love to be able to take one date night per month if possible.
Lastly, we are going to be taking four vacations in 2017! Yes, you heard that right, 4!!! We decided that since this was the last year before our oldest daughter started full time school, we should probably take advantage. Tow of the trips are mini trips and the other two are going to be full on week long vacations! Can’t wait to share more details about our planning process and how we are cutting costs to make it happen. Our goal for this would be to get through them on budget and, of course, debt free!
Finally, you’re saying right, he’s getting to the financial stuff! This is a financial blog about our journey after all, isn’t it? This year is going to be a fun year as we are in a different situation than we’ve ever been in. We are utilizing only one income now since I became a stay at home dad in August 2016. We are finally in a place where we are focusing on maxing out investing. In the past, we’ve focused on slaying our debt, or building an emergency fund. This will be the first year where we can focus all of our extras (small tax refund, bonus checks, and reimbursements) towards our investments.
Contribute 15% of our gross annual income to investments
I would love to bump up our investing a little bit higher as we go along through the year and try to get to the 15% mark this year. Currently we are contributing almost 10% into retirement. This could be doable if we get focused and put the extra money towards it. It looks like we only need about $4,000 to make it happen with our current contributions.
Grow our net worth by $20,000.
That would get us to the $120,000 mark as we just passed the $100,000 mark in December, yay! That’s about $1,700 a month growth. This is going to be tough with our new income situation, but if we stay focused, I think this is doable if we stay focused and work our plan.
In the past couple of years we’ve grown by $22,250 (2015) and $18,336 (2016). So, we should be right there on track to grow in that ballpark again, especially if the market does halfway decent this year!
For my intellectual goals, I am looking into reading more books. By books, I mean non fiction educational books. I always like to read more and can definitely tell when I’ve been into reading because I’m more alert and quick witted in other areas as well. I am going to try to cover the books I read here on the blog so that you can get a taste for a few new or old books that you might have or not have read.
Read 6 educational books
Here’s a couple that I’m pondering:
- Marriage God’s Way by Scott LaPierre – This one was given to me to review. Currently, I’m in chapter 4 and working my way through.
- EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey – I read this one a while back but think it’s time for a refresher. I remember being so motivated after reading this, I’m hoping it will spark more interest and ideas this time around as well.
- Learning Journeys: Top Management Experts Share Hard-Earned Lessons on Becoming Great Mentors and Leaders – this one is debatable, as I might substitute it for a different book, but I would love to work towards more leadership skills.
- Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur – I started reading this when I first became a stay at home dad, but fell off as other things became more pressing.
- The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel – We watched God’s Not Dead 2 and there was also a skit done at our church that was very interesting and had drawn me to read this one.
- Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker – I read this when my oldest was first born and it was eye opening. I would love to go through it again and soak in more of the content.
These six books along with all my blog reading, bible reading and other stuff I keep up will be an ambitious task. However, I think these books will help grow me in areas that I really want to work on as I grow in 2017.
My 2017 goals for physical is more my fitness area. I started my blog back in April 2015 with the thought process of losing 20 pounds. I did fantastic while I tracked it. However, once I stopped publicly tracking and writing about it, I fell off and ended up gaining it all back and then some.
Lose 20 pounds
My goal this year is to drop back down by 20 pounds to start with. I think I may start writing updates again about my weight progress and start holding myself accountable again. If I can beat this 20 pound goal, then I will move on to a stretch goal of an additional 20 pounds.
The main way that I plan to lose this weight is by managing my portions better, eating less dessert and going to the gym more. Speaking of the gym, my other side of my physical 2017 goals is gym visits.
Go to the gym 3-5 times per week
Since becoming a stay at home dad, we decided to become members at our local YMCA. It’s really a win-win scenario for us as it allows me to bring the kids to the gym and have them watched after while I get my workout in. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been to the gym six of the seven weekdays of this year. So, I’m off to a great start. Besides the daycare, they also have decent wifi there, so I will allow myself to watch a tv show episode while I spin the elliptical for 45 minutes to an hour each session.
Social goals have always been kind of awkward for me. I’m an introvert normally and it’s hard for me to just “go out with friends” with all my other stuff I have going on with my family and blog stuff I’m always diving into. This year I’m looking at a couple things:
Staying in a small group
I’m already a member of a men’s small group at my church with about 8-12 other guys to study the bible as well as have a good time giving each other a hard time. Another group that I’m starting to work with is the financial blogger community and recently was invited to a local group that is made up of other financial minded bloggers. I think that if I start making more of a commitment to this group, I’ll grow some great new friendships and deepen my relationships with them.
Making time for fun
Being an introvert, it’s very easy for me to isolate and not come out of my shell because I bury myself in my work. This year, I’d love to make it a goal to start slowing down and just enjoying time with family and friends more. This will probably mean that I need to disconnect and unplug from time to time. Overall, I think I need to retrain my mind that certain things will just need to wait at various times.
2017 Goals Conclusion
My 2017 goals are important to me, but mainly this post is allowing me to get them down in public, and on purpose so that I have something to benchmark from. You may or may not set goals for yourself this year, and that’s fine, but, how will you measure progress that you’ve made and strive for better results if you don’t set yourself a benchmark and go for it? Make sure when setting your 2017 goals they are actionable and not like the broad goals I set in this post.
What do you think about setting goals in these areas; spiritual, career, family, financial, intellectual, physical, and social? I know it seems like a lot, but there are so many different areas of our lives that we dive into, aren’t there? Let’s discuss some of your 2017 goals down below in the comments! I’d love to connect with you!
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