Last week, I took a look back to 2013 and this week, I’m taking a look forward to plan for 2014. Typically people set their goals for the year before now, but I needed a little extra time due to the new baby. I’m relieved to be done writing these posts, so I can live in the present.
I wanted to start off by presenting two quotes:
“I have a dream.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” – Harvey MacKay
Dr. King was great at many things, but his speaking stood out. While he may be most famous for his speech about dreams, there’s no doubt that he had a goal. Part of that goal was to get people to think race differently. I like to think if he was alive today, he’d be pleased at the progress. However, I wonder if he’d be focused on about how much work we still have to do.
When I looked back at 2013, it was mostly about transitioning back to the east coast and getting a hang of this father thing. All my financial goals went to the back-burner. When I could do something extremely time-sensitive that would make a great impact like refinance our home, I bumped it up the priority list. It was largely a successful year in terms of everything, except increasing income. In fact, I made less money than I did the previous year and it is far below what I used to make as a software engineer.
So with that in mind, I’m looking forward to my 2014 goals. Since I believe in making SMARTER Goals, I can’t add things that aren’t measurable like be the most awesome father ever. It’s not that I don’t have that as one of my goals, I just don’t currently know how to measure it.
Website Goal – It’s going to require me to boost traffic something like 30-50%, but I’m hoping to get to 4 million lifetime visitors on Lazy Man and Money. I’m almost up to 3.5 million as you can see in the right column. One of the things I saw emphasized at the annual Fincon meeting this past year is that traffic is essentially everything. I don’t personally subscribe to that. I’d rather have 15 people who actively comment on articles than 150 people who come by to read and then move on their day. The more engagement the more can learn from each others’ experiences.
Earnings Goal – I think you’d get punched in the face if you went around telling everyone that you’d like a 50% raise this year. Well that’s what I’m shooting for. Before you get those virtual fists flying though, in 2013, I made less than half than I did in 2011. A 50% raise now only brings me half way to where I once was. Something else to keep in mind… 50% of a small number is a lot easier than 50% of a large number.
Keep Expenses Down – This is one of those goals every year. Last year we did some home renovations and we have already planned for this year. Enough is enough though. I’d much rather redirect this money towards replenishing our cash stores and new investments. Sadly there will be no spa coming to the Lazy Man home this year. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to measure this one. I think it’s going to be a combination of using Mint reporting and tracking my necessary spending as I used to in the past.
Lose At Least Two Pounds – That may seem like a funny goal, right? Well, I’m just one pound over the magical 25 Body Mass Index that makes me “overweight.” I’d like to lose more to give myself some cushion in the healthy range, but at least two pounds will put me where I was hoping to be.
I’ve got a couple more goals that I’m going to keep private for now. I hope this list wasn’t too boring. If so, bear with me, it will hopefully be more meaningful when I look back on it in early 2015.