I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I suppose creating a list of my 2016 goals is similar. Perhaps a bit less cliché (but is it really?!).
There is something about writing goals down that makes me push towards them harder. Maybe it is just getting them out of my head and on to a piece of paper, or maybe it is posting them online in hopes that sharing them with a bunch of strangers on the internet will help keep me more accountable. Either way, I highly encourage you to WRITE DOWN (like with an actual pen, not invisible ink) some goals for the upcoming month, quarter, or year. Even if is just a few. Start small, if necessary, and grow from there. Figure out a way to track your progress and check-in regularly. That’s my plan and we’ll see how it goes this year. I will be updating my goal charts monthly. Here are my 7 big goals for 2016.
Become a Morning Person
If you haven’t seen my post on what my current schedule is and where I want to be: check it out. This goal is a hard one to quantify, but there is a reason that it is listed first. Waking up early will help me become a MUCH more productive person and help me achieve my other goals this year and for many, many years to come.
Run 365 Miles this Year
The 365 isn’t significant, other than it really just means that I average at least 1 mile per day. I didn’t want to set this bar too high, as I am not necessarily focused on the arbitrary number, but more the general improvement in my lifestyle and exercise routine. I would expect that I run 2-4 times a week, but that’s not enough by itself. I also will be looking to strengthen my core through some of my wife’s ridiculous work-out at home routines and other weight exercises.
Run 2 10Ks & Run my first half-marathon
I have run 2 10K races in my life. I trained really hard for the first a few years ago and I felt like the journey did my body well. The second time around, I guess my mindset was, been there, done that, because I didn’t train as much. But I did gain something from that race. Because I had done it before, I knew how hard I could push my body and actually ended up with a better time than the first time around (both around 53 minutes). My goal this year is to run to 2 sub 50-minute 10Ks and my first half in under 2 hours. Lofty time goals but go big or go home.
50 First Dates
Okay, get the cheese ball out. But seriously, I want my wife and me to spend more time together. I really mean being engaged with each other. Stipulation here is that if we are watching TV or on our phones, it doesn’t count as a date. It will help that we are on the same schedule, since she doesn’t work during the middle of the night anymore!
Make at least $7,500 profit from side hustle-y things
I’ve got my eBay store, small-time ticket brokering, and recently started with the Fulfillment by Amazon path. If I have time, I am also looking to get some side consulting and/or tutoring going as these types of ventures are nearly pure profit other than the time that I invest in them. Last year I was too focused on sales volume, this year the focus needs to be on the cost-benefit analysis of my time vs. the profit that comes from the activity.
Read at least 12 Books (yes, from start – finish)
And no my accounting & economic textbooks for my spring classes won’t count. As I disclosed last month, I am great at cracking open books, but not good about finishing them. Exhibit A – I did not read Smart Couples Finish Rich last month fully, so that was a fail! Need to do a better a job of carving out time daily or nearly-daily to read. I am a creature of habit.
Increase Net Worth by 35% (About $65K)
Both Financial Samurai and I believe the market will take a slight decline in 2016. If I get a positive return on my investments in the next year, it will just be gravy. I’m not counting on it and honestly not worried about it, either way. With that said, I can still save money in my 401K, ROTH, & HSA accounts, pay down my mortgage, and increase other after-tax savings. With increases of about 31% and 32% respectively each of the last two years, a 35% net worth increase is a bit lofty of a goal, but I like challenges.
Notice that my blog is not in my top 7 goals this year. I only have so much bandwidth and I love reading and writing about personal finance. Ideally, I have a goal of posting every week this year, but I need to be realistic about my priorities. I think this is another underrated part of goal-setting. Making sure you prioritize what is in front of you and executing on the highest priorities. If you get to the lower priority goals, AWESOME! If not, pick yourself up, realize you can’t do it all at once, and re-evaluate your priorities next time, if necessary.
Stay tuned next month for updates and goal charts. What are some of your goals this year? How do you plan to achieve them and what are the biggest obstacles you see in the upcoming year?