Six months into 2017 and it’s time for the goal check-in. A little bit excited to run through this list because honestly I did put some thought into them when I wrote them. It’s also funny at times reading something from six months ago (I don’t really go back and read my own content) and wondering how on earth I came to such odd ideas.
So far 2017 has been very good to me. I’ve kept plenty busy at work (and apparently my hard work is paying off). I’ve kept myself almost as busy at home. Unfortunately, that has meant little time dedicated to making this site better and getting out any content other than expense reports.
I am using this little refresh here as a time to increase my momentum on the site. It’s also going to be exciting seeing how far I’ve progressed in just six months.
Checking In is an Important Part of Achieving Your Goals
It’s quite easy to set yourself a goal, fiddle with achieving it for a bit, then mindlessly wander off into some other venture. (The gym was packed in January. February rolls around and I had it all to myself – kind of nice.)
I’ve found it quite useful – learned via years of not doing this – to periodically check-in and make sure progress is being made. Not just progress, but reviewing the original intent, see where progress (or lack of) has moved towards that goal and re-adjust focus and direction as needed.
Life goals, like work goals, should function in the same manner. So that is why a six month check for my 2017 goals is happening today. Honestly, many of these goals were passive when they were recorded. Meaning those goals that required dedication and attention – well, they absolutely fell off my radar.
This is the time to bring them to the forefront and get working.
Easy, Medium, and Hard Goals
Below are the goals I laid out back in January. Same categories of goals below, some personal finance related, some related to life outside of money and work, and finally a few goals for this site. I tried to lay out at least one Easy (green), one Medium (orange), and one Hard (red) goal per category. I expect to achieve 100% Easy, 90% orange and maybe 75% Hard.
Max my 401k,
IRA, and HSA
IRA maxed out. The 401k and HSA are on schedule for end of the year. The recent cost-of-living raise means they might max out one paycheck early. All good here. 🙂
Invest an extra $1000 per month
Thanks to a surprisingly large bonus in June – this one is complete! Enough invested to kick myself into lowest fee class for my Total Stock market fund at Fidelity. Sitting at 0.045% fees – good news all around! 😀
Achieve a Savings Rate of 75%, or higher for the year
Some napkin math puts this a bit off target; looks like I am at 70% for the first six months of 2017. Good, but not my goal. Quickly browsing YNAB shows restaurants, a new laptop, and some not-small home projects as the big dings on my savings rate. Of those categories – I think my focus will be on visiting fewer restaurants. 🙂
Net worth goals
Eliminate my final non-mortgage debt
Really not much to update here. This is on schedule to be complete by the end of September. That means no more debt besides the mortgage! 🙂
Increase The (NW) Number by 50%
Okay, so in addition to unexpected income from the 9-to-5, the markets are helping out big time. YTD markets are up nearly 10%. All that together means this goal could be complete by end of September! (See September is kicking it this year.) 😀
Earn $5,000 in side income – hustle, hustle
Well our first big loser right here. So far this year done absolutely nada to bring in any extra side money. I think I made $7 on Amazon Marketplace from selling unused items in the house. Probably won’t hit the target, but could make some progress before 2018 rolls in. 🙁
Triple my donations ($$$) at the minimum!
At that halfway point, I am right around $210 donated, compared the $125 donated in all of 2016. So, looks good, but I kind of want to blow this one away and go for that nice $500 mark! 🙂
Get (back) in shape: cardio and lifting.
I was doing really well for about 2-3 months. Going to the gym M-W-F and running , then towards the end getting back into lifting. But I kind of got knocked off schedule and have not returned. Packed the gym bag last week – so now just need to get on schedule again. 😐
Get my home brew from fair to great!
With all the work around the house have not touched this. I think it’s time. I’ve got the gear and the supplies. Penning this into my calendar – right now! 🙁
Spend more time at home.
Probably not good enough. This goal needs to be more specific so I am going to change it from “spend more time” to “at least one hour 100% focused on family per day.” Too often it’s: get home, do a small task, eat dinner, watch tv/walk the dog/read the internet, go to bed. More family time! 🙁
Complete the transition to plant-based eating
Not quite. But this is constantly in my brain now. Really the issue is when free food is offered/available, I don’t like it going to waste. It is difficult for me to realize my eating it only enforces the need to order too much food in the first place. (But it’s free… ) 😐
50 new comments
So already ahead of last year, so that is good. But in reality, quite low still at 21 YTD. Not to play the comparison game, but that is abysmal. I realize that I have been neglecting to write any sort of “evergreen” content for a while, if ever. Also not quite the self-promoter, but I am trying to turn that around in the past few weeks. Getting engaged in the community is enjoyable, so hopefully I can continue to grow the audience. 😀
(Shout out to David at zerodayfinance.com for continually commenting on the site. He is doing great for himself and it’s evident he puts in the hard work.)
Again this goal is not specific enough. In fact this is barely a SMART goal at all. So here I am making a promise to my self. “At least one post a week.” One week is always the Monthly Expense Reports, but the other three need to be covered. I have a good 20+ ideas kicking around, and will start working on those. 😐
Quarterly feature posts.
These are posts with great graphics, interactive content and above-average length (1250+ words). I’ve got a few ideas in the growing list for this, so hopefully I can get the time to focus on them. So far, I’ve got basically nothing. 🙁
Review and Moving Forward
When I first wrote down my goals I highlighted two as must-dos: donating more and going 100% plant based. At this point midyear, I am on track for one and a little bit off for the other. My awareness of my intent is heightened, and I am locked and loaded to succeed for the remainder of the year.
I find my goals are actually quite relevant, even six months later, and reviewing them has shown me something that has been bothering me for a while.
While my financial house is in order, my lifestyle with work and home has been out of whack. I have dedicated too much energy to work and certainly not enough to my family and personal enjoyment. Reviewing my goals has only nudged me further in that direction.
So in addition to my two goals above, the other two I would like to 100% complete before 2018: one blog post per week, AND more quality time at home.
If I can achieve these four highlighted goals and basically cruise into my financial goals – 2017 will somehow surpass the greatness of 2016!
How is your 2017 unfolding? Are you checking in on your goals? Have you made any adjustments? I'd love to read about your successes/failures. Please leave a comment.