In any given year I usually have a dozen or so goals. But sometime during the middle of 2016 it dawned on me that maybe less is more. If I set less goals, I could shoot for a much bigger outcome. I could be more focused. Less really could be more.
For 2017 I have several themes:
- Slow Down – Mrs. GYFG and myself have been pushing very hard for a long time, but this past year was like no other. Our careers will still be plenty demanding, but we are going to make an active effort to slow down a bit. For me in particular, it shouldn’t be too hard, we finally completed the massive deal we had been working on over the past 8 months, so my workload will naturally decrease (going from 80-90 hours a week to around 60 seems like a cake walk).
- Less is More – As I alluded to above, I will only be setting 4 goals in 2017, but they are going to be much bigger and impactful.
- Focus – The name of the game will be to go an inch wide, but a mile deep.
- Go Big or Go Home – Do you know why I want to go big? Well…it’s just the way I am wired!
The other big wild card for 2017 will be whether Mrs. GYFG and I decide to try for baby GYFG or not. We have talked about it a bit, but are still on the fence. We did agree that if we do, it will be towards the back half of the year.
With that little preamble out of the way, let’s take a look at the “Big 4” (no I am not talking about the big 4 accounting firms).
The Big 4 Goals for 2017
I’m already feeling a little guilty, because there are actually 5 goals, but I am not sharing the 5th one publicly. I will say that it has to do with my day job, and it will go a long way in helping me achieve goal #1. I guess you can say that I’m setting 4 personal goals and 1 professional goal.
As my regular readers already know, I made it into the C-Suite this year, so all of my career goals going forward will be centered around coming up with ways to continue to grow my compensation in the fastest way possible.
Okay, enough stalling already…
Goal #1 – Earn $500,000 in Gross Income in 2017
I recently shared the GYFG budget, that projected an annual income of $440,000 with a 63% savings rate in 2017. This already represents a 33% increase over our projected 2016 income of $331,000, but it is not completely in the bag.
Just to hit this number (let alone $500K), the real estate market in the area my wife does business is going to need to stay pretty hot. I have Mrs. GYFG’s income increasing $42,000 (or 39%), she did get a $12,000 increase to her base, but a large part of her compensation is commission based (this assumes she continues at 2016 pace). Therefore, there is about $30,000 of chase, plus the rest of the commission is at risk with any decline in real estate transactions.
My income is projected to be up $69,000 in 2017, which is largely a function of my compensation increase due to being promoted to the C-Suite ($50,000 or 40% increase to my base). This is the area that could increase significantly if I can deliver on my mystery goal #5 (all bonus related; my current bonus is projected at $85,000, but if I can deliver on my proposal it could jump to as much as $220,000).
There are two other areas that I plan to focus on in 2017 in order to help reach this goal of earning half a stick (code for half a million, I picked up from a very successful trader).
The first, which you will read more about in #3 below, is to focus on growing this blogs pageviews, and ultimately increasing the income of the site.
The second is to put more money to work, with a focus on generating cash flow. Our goal had been to pick up a 3rd property, but then as you recently read, we ended up writing a $105,000 check for an equity stake in the company I work for. Real estate is still on the table, but we will also be looking to deploy more cash in P2P lending, maybe some REITS (like Rich Uncles or Fundrise), and dividend paying stocks in our after tax accounts. All in, we should have about $196,000 to put to work in 2017.
Goal #2 – Complete 250 Workouts in 2017
This is a goal that I am carrying over from 2016. As I write this post, I am on track to hit about 190 workouts, so shy of my 2016 goal. I also was just going through the motions on a lot of my workouts during about half the year.
I will be shooting to hit the gym 6-days a week. The goal will be to spend 30 minutes doing cardio, with a goal of burning at least 500 calories, and then 30 minutes with weights.
I want to continue building on the results I have realized so far from the $1,000 fitness bet that I made. Ultimately, I am aiming to get back down to 185 lbs, and then maintain that weight within a 10 lb range (up to 195 lbs).
Goal #3 – 250,000 Pageviews On GYFG Blog in 2017
The site is currently on track to hit about 140,000 page views in 2016, so this goal represents a 79% increase in traffic year over year. With some of the new partnerships I have developed and a few things I have planned, this should result in a triple or quadruple in site income.
That said, I will not be focusing on the income, instead I will be process focused and will let the income flow through as a result of increased traffic.
One thing that I plan to pick back up in 2017 is commenting on other personal finance blogs. This is a strategy that I used in 2015 that really brought a lot of traffic back to the site. Although I still read plenty of other PF blogs in 2016, I have commented very rarely.
Guest posting has also proven to be a very effective activity to get traffic back to the site. I may even experiment with some paid traffic strategies.
Goal #4 – Take 4 Weeks of Vacation
Last year I set a similar goal to take 21 days of vacation. I am slowly trying to build this up to 6 weeks of vacation every year. For me a vacation doesn’t have to be completely work free, as long as 80% of the trip is work free. If I have to work a little in order to have the flexibility of taking extra time off, I am more than okay with that.
Not only do I get to take the time off, but typically if I am working, I’m not taking PTO days (at least not 1:1 for the duration of the trip).
Those are the goals for 2017.
I say this every year, but I am looking forward to another EPIC year in 2017!!!
What are your goals for 2017? What is your process for setting and then measuring your goals? What kinds of apps do you use to help keep you on track?
-Gen Y Finance Guy
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