Last year, my goals were a little too lofty, so this year I’m setting more realistic goals along with some action items to hit. I hate goals like increasing twitter followers if there is no plan regards to how to achieve them.
1. Earn $10,000 From Non-Blog Related Side Income
I never know what will happen with my blog or what income I will earn from it. I’m always working to increase revenue from advertisements, but there are too many factors for me to even guess what I will earn from it in 2013. At the drop of a dime, everything can change making any income goal unreachable, so I don’t want to set a related goal.
However, what I can do is set a goal of creating new income from new projects. Last year I attempted to create two new side businesses. Maybe I could have done that, but without earning any income, is setting up a couple of websites really impressive? This is definitely not an easy goal, but I would really like to create another stream of income.
How I’ll achieve this goal:
I am working on a product for bloggers which I think many will find very useful. It has saved me countless hours over the past year and has helped me increase my blog earnings significantly. Soon, I’ll start offering it to help others, too. The price I’m offering is very low compared to the value it provides, so I’m hoping for some great reactions from my fellow personal finance bloggers so I’ll know whether to expand to others.
2. Save 50% of My Post-Tax Income
This past year was definitely difficult to achieve with a wedding and honeymoon to pay for. This year should be much more calm with fewer one-time expenses (like furnishing a home). We won’t try and achieve this goal if it means giving up having fun on other excursions, but I do think it’s something that we can make happen. As opposed to last year, I’m including Lauren’s tuition bills as an expected expenditure.
How I’ll achieve this goal: Lauren and I have mapped out our year and with our regular expenses plus some room for unexpected costs and some fun money, I think saving 50% of our post-tax income is a great goal. It forces us to stay on track but doesn’t constrain us. We don’t want to move into a cheaper apartment just to hit the goal, but we know we can’t wait until July to start saving.
There are a few expenses that will not be included in the calculation: student loan payments that we make above the minimum and charitable contributions. The reason to exclude those two categories is so that we don’t have any motivation to give less to charity or to put money in the bank instead of toward paying down our debts. I could choose to cut back on both in the name of reaching our goal more easily, but what’s the point of that?
Unlike last year, I’m going to stop there. I think some my goals were interrelated in 2012, so missing one goal automatically meant missing another one, and like a house of cards, it could have all come crashing down based on one or two events.
Readers, what are your goals for 2013? Have you learned from making goals in the past?