2017 Goals: 7 Areas I’m Getting Focused On This Year13 min read

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2017 Goals - 7 Areas I'm Getting Focused On This Year

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:

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!

The Wheel of Life | 6 Areas To Set 2017 Goals In. Spiritual, Career, Family, Financial, Intellectual, Physical, and Social.

Photo courtesy of Dave Ramsey’s blog.

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.

    • Currently my stats are as follows: 3,241 total reach size. Feel free to follow me:
      • Facebook: 357 page followers
      • Twitter: 1,478 followers
      • LinkedIn: 907 connections
      • Pinterest: 151 followers
      • Instagram: 206 followers
      • Email: 142 subscribers
  • Increase my page views to a minimum of 50,000 for the year. 

    2016 Page Views for my blog. I ended up just under 18,000 but only blogged from August - December.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

2017 Goals | Intellectual: 6 Books I want to read in 2017Here’s a couple that I’m pondering:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Here are the book reviews that I’ve done so far:


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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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
Posted in 2017 Goals, Career, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finances, My Testimony and Story, Personal, Wealth Building and tagged , , , , .


  1. Steve, awesome transparency on your focus for 2017. You are extremely fortunate to be able to be the teacher for your girls, something you’ll treasure forever. I once heard that life is like a wheel, and in order for it to roll smoothly, all of the spokes need to be of approximately the same length. I like the analogy, and your goals are a perfect example.

    I look forward to hearing how you progress. Great start in getting them out there!

    • Fritz! Thanks for reading! I have been thinking about this post for the past few weeks as the new year rolled by and started. I figured that the times when I actually made things public were the actual times that made me feel more attached to the things I’m trying to accomplish! Hoping this will help it stick! Thanks for reading, I will be updating somewhere between once a month or once a quarter, not completely sure yet!

  2. I am loving all your goals, and I especially like that you implemented both your business and personal goals into one. My goal this year is to really monetize my business and make a living out of it. You inspire me.

    Divine Mwimba recently posted…How I made money in my Second month blogging and how you can do it tooMy Profile

    • Good for you Divine! I’m slowly working to build more opportunities into my blog for monetization and hope to eventually start a service to sell and make a profit from!

  3. It sounds like you have some great goals this year. They all sound really attainable, too!

  4. Steven,
    Wow, this is a great post. What’s the statistic on people who write their goals down and achieving them, versus people who hold them very nebulously? I can’t believe your precision regarding the numbers. Read this made me think of how much more successful you’ll probably be as a result of defining your goals in such a way.

    While reading I thought, “Wow, he sounds pretty busy. I wonder if he’ll get around to my book.” Then I saw it second on your list. That blessed me :). Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and see the review.

    Thanks Brother!
    Scott LaPierre recently posted…Do you know why you believe what you believe?My Profile

    • Hey Scott! I haven’t forgotten about you or the book! Working hard and yes, I’m a busy guy but a busy guy with a plan! I’m looking to review your book and it’ll be the first one I do! I’ve been enjoying it so far! Lots of actionable content and great backup of sources from the Bible too!

  5. Kudos to you for your transparency and desire for accountability! I enjoyed seeing your blogging goals. That was an area of struggle for me when making goals, because I don’t really know what’s reasonable growth or really reasonable at all!

    • Hi Beka! I think everyone should look at what they have accomplished and look to accomplish more. I set mine about the same as far as traffic last year because I’m going to be doing so many other things as well as blogging and I don’t want that goal to make me abandon my other goals. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I think it’s so important to write down your goals, because it helps you commit and it gives you focus. Just remember to give yourself a break as well to internalise what you’ve achieved and also it pat yourself on the back for each milestone you meet.
    Katja xxx

  7. I love that you recognized the need for accountability here, and that you were able to look back and see where you might have needed an extra push to keep up with your annual goals. For me, yearly goals feel too big and they take too long to attain, so I’ve recently written my first list of quarterly goals, inspired by Jenna Moreci. So far, I’m on track with several of them already, and it feels good to know I have a strong chance of not having to write a FAIL post in a couple of months. My goals are set in different areas of my life, too: you can check them out here if you’d like: http://authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com/2017/01/thursday-thoughts-quarterly-goals-2017-1.html

  8. Good luck with your goals! My goals are to also build my blog and social media accounts.
    Amber Myers recently posted…Hey, It’s OkayMy Profile

    • Thanks Amber! That’s great that you’re building yours as well! What are some of your strategies that you’re implementing for social? I am trying to share others work and also find new accounts to mutually follow each day. It has been working great so far for Twitter!

  9. You’re really setting the bar high for 2017. Wishing you lots of success with your goals.
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…The Groovy Secret to Growing Your Net WorthMy Profile

    • Love setting the bar high, gives me more to aim at and, even if I don’t hit things, I will have made great progress, I’m sure! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Gaining the weight back is so common, so don’t beat yourself up about it. I tell my clients to pick 5 mini action steps for weight loss and make it a habit. It takes some of the pressure off of the situation. Good luck 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s frustrating, but I had gotten out of my habit of going to the gym and eating better. Time to get back on track. No regrets! Thanks for the encouragement!

  11. A well set and reachable goal is half the job. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for sharing.

  12. I love this wheel idea! I changed it up this year I didn’t write down my goals instead I wrote down my revolutions! I came in full force ready to tackle them! I’m cheering for you ! You got this!!!

  13. Great goals you have and wish you will achieve it all in 2017. Good luck and ganbatte!
    kylie cre8tone recently posted…Toss for prosperity at Dorsett Grand SubangMy Profile

  14. You’ve set yourself some very admirable goals both personal and professional and in my opinion, it’s pretty brave to put it all out there for the world to see. It’s a great accountability tool, but it does put some pressure on you as well. I wish you the best of success throughout the year!

    • I really like the accountability of it all Julie! I don’t mind the pressure as it will help me work harder and achieve my goals! Thanks, I hope you achieve your goals as well!

  15. It sounds so obvious but I never actually thought of splitting my goals and resolutions into sections. It makes so much sense! I have to do it rather than just having goal nr. 1,2, and 3. Thank you for visiting me on http://www.igaberry.com Best Wishes and a Happy New Year, Iga x

    • Thanks Iga! Hopefully they will inspire you to create even more valuable goals than what you’ve already come up with! Best of luck to you in the new year!

  16. Great strategies, and very similar to what I do! I haven’t seen the wheel before but I do like the idea. I set 2017 goals in a variety of different areas for the year because I want to improve or change many different aspects of myself. Best of luck to you in 2017!
    Liz@ChiefMomOfficer recently posted…Knowing Yourself – Your Balance Sheet – 2016 Financial ReportMy Profile

    • Hey Liz! Yeah, when I initially heard about the categories, it really intrigued me! I’m looking forward to seeing how far I get on my goals this year and to growing quite a bit!

  17. you have some fantastic goals here – but it might need 2 of you to fit them all in!!!! Would love to know more about how you built traffic to your blog

    • Hahaha! Yeah, I’m being quite ambitious about my goals that I’ve set! But, as far as I’m concerned, if I’m progressing towards my goals and come up a little short, than I’ve still grown through the year! I would hate to set to easy of goals and blow through them all in the first half of the year! Please email me at with your specific questions and let’s chat! I would love to talk about traffic building strategies with you and give you some great resources that I use!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Kay! Yes, it’s going to be a busy year, but that’s the way that I like it! Hoping that I’ll be able to find some great balance this year and really grown in these 7 areas though!

  18. This is great. We all need to have balance in our lives! There is a scripture in the bible that states that Jesus increased in 4 aspects we need to be balanced in – spiritual, physical, social, & intellectual. I love that!


    • I’m pretty sure that’s where this came from and was adapted from since I basically got the image and concept from Dave Ramsey! I think we need to work on being more balanced to improve our overall well being! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back again!

  19. I didn’t make a blogging goal. Until I just started looking at my analytics because you posted the photos of yours.
    You are so balanced in goals. I feel like I should put my spirituality further up. But I didn’t make any resolutions this year. I just didn’t know the difference between a resolution and my regular goals that I set for myself every month.

    • Thanks Krysten. Analytics is an awesome tool with so many metrics that you can really see how well certain things are performing. One of my favorite metrics is finding my all time most popular content. Just go into Reporting -> Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages. This will show you which posts are giving you the most traffic. That will help you plan better posts and start developing more successful content!

      If you are setting monthly goals, you are doing the same thing as resolutions, just on a monthly basis vs annual! Good for you! As far as spirituality, I put it first because it’s the most important goal for me because I think my relationship with Christ is the first thing that I need and will help me get all the other stuff done!

      Thanks for stopping by! Good luck on your monthly goals!

  20. I think this year I want to take a course or two, just like you. Not a writing course, but a photo shop and a video editing course. I can do both, but I want to further expand my knowledge in those areas since that’s what I do most of!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…DON’T FORGET TO DO THIS…My Profile

    • Hi GiGi! I have always wanted to learn Photoshop, but have never had the time to actually sit down and force myself to do it! I love using iMovie on my iPhone, but am looking for a good alternative that I could use on my Windows laptop! Taking courses and focusing in on new skills like these with classes is never a bad idea! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Thanks Nicole! I think that when we balance these areas out, we can really have a better sense of wellness. Although, you don’t have to set goals in all 7, it’s a good idea to be aware of them! Your top 3 will definitely help you grow very well this year if you focus on them!

  21. These sound like some great, attainable goals. Best of luck with your journey! 🙂
    Elizabeth recently posted…DIY Porridge Sachets for Bikepacking or CampingMy Profile

  22. I like this idea of setting goals within each of the categories you listed and I definitely agree that goals have more longevity if they can be measured or when progress can be tracked.

    • Absolutely Sondra! If you don’t set realistic, measured goals, you’ll never know if you hit your goal or not! Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation!

  23. I do like the idea of setting goals in all of these areas. I’d have to make some less ambitious than others, but it would be good to keep an eye on all of these areas of my life so I could adjust my sails throughout the year.
    Femme Frugality recently posted…Uncomfortable Pregnancy? Find Relief for Under $20My Profile

    • It’s funny that you mention less ambitious, I started out with 4 goals. But, as I went through this, I thought harder about it and decided that some of them could overlap and work together, so it shouldn’t be so bad. And, goals are so relative, you have to do what’s right for you specifically, not just you compared to other people. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

  24. Your pageviews ae outstanding! I remember when I first started 3+ years ago, my focus was social media channels. I wish I focused on my pageviews. I started focusing on my views over the summer and brought it up to 30K, but I wish I did it sooner.

    • Well, thanks for the compliment Fatima! I’m trying to grow as much as I can with an add and blend approach. I think that social media is definitely an important strategy as well, that’s why I’m aiming to grow to 10,000 this year from a little less than 4,000. I think page views will follow as long as you are continually working to build relationships and nurture them! Have a great day!

  25. I get inspired by your goals. Actually, I’ve never thought of categorizing my goals. I also write one on my blog. I admire your post. It seems that you already had your crystal clear vision of what you want your 2017 year to be. It also made me check how many views I got for 2016 and it was just around 8k views. I would like to increase it more this 2017.

    • Hey Ana, thanks for stopping by! Categorizing your goals allows for you to stop and think about your whole self, not just things you have right in front of you. We tend to set goals only where we have strengths for the most part. This strategy helps build up all your areas.
      I did think long and hard about my goals before writing out the post, so that’s why it was more developed! Good for you for getting 8k page views! That’s an awesome start! The key to increasing it is just to be consistent and to network as much as possible! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

  26. I’m sure you’re going to be amazing with your goals for this year! Just don’t forget to also stop and smell the roses when you can because that’s what’s going to keep you motivated to reach your goals.
    Carol Cassara recently posted…The difficulty of being humanMy Profile

    • Absolutely Carol! This is going to be a growing year for me! But, we are planning on taking 4 vacations as well! That is going to be some awesome downtime!

  27. Great goals Steve. I think it’s important to write them down and keep yourself accountable. I like the idea of the 7 areas! Keeping your family first is obviously your priority which is where it should be, I have a ton of respect for your site knowing how busy you must be! Keep rolling out the great content!

    • Thanks Kyle! This is the first year I’ve done this where I’ve really put my goals down for the world to see and hold me accountable. I can already tell that it’s helping because I’m already thinking about them more than I have in the past! The 7 areas felt good and allowed me to grow my whole person versus just in one area!
      Yes, I love that I’ve got more goals centered on my family and helping to grow my leadership in leading them too. Thanks for your nice comment. Life is busy, but with a good plan, I am managing, although it’s tough sometimes.

  28. You will meet and far exceed your social goals for the year in just 3 days at fincon!!! haha!

  29. It sounds like you are having a very busy 2017 with all those amazing goals. I like how you included personal development goals through readings and trainings to enhance different areas of your life: spiritual, family and business
    Yudith recently posted…Are your goals in life supporting or stealing your happiness? Avoid these 7 pitfalls of goal settingMy Profile

    • I sure am Yudith! But, having these goals to focus on is helping me work towards a better me and with that, I’m hoping to lol back at the end of the year and say that I’ve made good progress!

      I think the seven different areas are a well balanced approach to overall well being.

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