What’s better than a GOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!
I really enjoy & am quite good at putting in the effort to achieve something once. And man…to bask in that final achievement. I love a goal with accompanying check-mark.
I do struggle at long-term, repetitious goals. 2015 showed that I can easily get off track on long-term goals if I get too busy. So I’m focusing on the repeaters, but trying a perspective shift.
This year, I’ll try to create new habits, not just achieve goals. To create a habit, I first need to repeat something. To make it stick, I’ll be looking to find immediate enjoyment in the activities – in that first month or so. I don’t want to trudge along all year with singular focus on the end zone. Appreciate the journey, me.
When I grade myself at the end of the year, the goal itself will be important, but primarily the question will be: did I create a lasting shift in my behavior? Did I find something that I enjoyed about the path that kept me on it? What was it?
Here are the 5 topics:
Become An Expert on my Son’s Ailment
My biggest prayer for the year is wisdom and discernment regarding treatment for my son. I don’t plan to blog much about this going forward. But he has some continuing leg issues. We have about a year before any surgery will happen. I think I should take responsibility to turn my prayers into action where I can. I have free will and ability to affect destiny. I need to put in the work.
The medical world has surprised me at the lack of clarity in correct paths for treatment. Doctors each have their own preferences that only seem to overlap about 2/3 of the way. So it’s time to do lots of research. My goal is to become an expert in my own right. Specifically to read 2-3 books, lots of websites, and as many papers as I can get my hands on. And be able to contribute a little more at each Dr appointment.
Live a Little Life w Family & Friends
Life last year was big. Adjusting to a second child, moving to a new house, two renovation projects, and coping with a hurt child. This year I’m hoping and planning for a little life. Enjoy and appreciate the present – a continued theme. And the nerd in me will add some metrics for tracking purposes.
So avoiding the feeling of wasting time, I plan to under schedule and enjoy some downtime with the immediate family. And a date night every other week with my wife (26 times). And work from home more than 25 days.
I’m the kind of guy who periodically falls off the face of the earth from my friends. To set a measurable goal with them, it will be to see guy friends (sans kids) more than once per month – let’s call 1.5x per month = 18 times. And to get full families together once per month also (12 times) – including a dad I would hang out with otherwise. I hope to have lots of backyard grilling in my near future.
I’ve let myself get a little soft in the last year or two. A couple of love handles, and the beginnings of a gut. Yikes – I don’t want to turn into a middle-aged pear-shaped dude. Again, the goals will be centering around the creation of habits, not just dieting or “getting trim.”
On the eating side, I would increase intake of more natural foods. I think I’ll go the primal/paleo route. I would like to read a book on that before April. Then enact a change in eating habits starting in April. I want to eat differently long enough to feel the personal difference that so many mention. Then hopefully stick to it without looking back.
As for activity, I’ll copy Gen Y Finance Guy and aim for 250 days of exercise. I’ll set up a page to keep up with my tracking sheets – which I will also copy from him. I already enjoy exercising, but this will be an increase by probably 30%. More than I would’ve done on my own. But if I’m copying, I can’t go halfway – 250 is the goal. My only tweak will be that if I do any 2-a-days, then they count as 2 days. (Gotta have a way to catch up in case I’m behind!)
Grow in my Bloggingness
I would like to continue blogging, and improve this blog and my skills. Firstly, not give up and shut down the site (like last year & last site). After that comes production and readership. And of course a general goal of not letting it all become stale. Please let me know if I’m heading that way.
On production, I’ll set 40 posts or pages as a repeat goal from 2015. I’d also like to increase readership, which shouldn’t be hard bc it’s not high to start with. That will show me that my messages are resonating. On readership, my goal will be to reach 500 page views one day this year, and have a three-month period that averages 3,000 views/mo. A hard goal for me, given my heartburn with self-promotion and limited writing skills. I need to increase my referral links across the blogosphere. Shout out to J Money, who has provided the vast majority of my blog’s exposure to date through his Rockstar Finance Site and helped me gain the readers that make typing these posts enjoyable.
Hit FI target = $2.5M in investment assets: spending at $55k or lower
This one is more of a target than a behavior shift.
Our overarching financial goal is to hit “financial independence” which is personally defined as $2.5m in investment assets. That is creating/saving $570k of assets this year, or over 25% increase from where we are now. Certainly a stretch. A down market could hamper this one, but whatever. I’m going to track progress on that same goal page.
A sub-goal here is to cut our expenses to the $50-55k range. Backing off a bit from the <$50k goal of last year. We’ll exclude one-time housing costs for move-in, furnishings, and sale. We hope to be in this house for a long time so those shouldn’t recur.