2012 Goals Update

by Nick on April 2, 2012

Happy April folks!  Anyone pull off any April Fools’ Day pranks yesterday?  Any victims?  I’m a bit of a prankster myself, but because April Fools’ Day fell on a Sunday this year, I slacked off a bit this year… I was on Daddy Duty for most of the day, so it was an overall pretty cool day for sure.

OK – because I don’t want to fall miserably like I did last year let’s check in on my progress for this year.  Remember, last year I was a complete failure, which I attribute to not checking in on my goals enough (and also for admittedly setting pretty lofty goals…).

And just like last month, remember it’s still not too late to set goals.  Just decide where you’re going to be at the end of the year (notice I didn’t say where you “want” to be.  You’re deciding where you’re going to be.).  Then break it down into small chunks and check in with me every month and you’ll be sitting pretty as Ryan Seacrest attempts to count down from 10 in late December…

If you’re new here, welcome.  This year, I set family, work and “me” goals that, for the most part, lend themselves to monthly checkups.  Let’s dig in!

Family Goals:

  • Take one family vacation of at least one week and shut off my phone and Internet.  Not done yet.  We’re now planning a long weekend and a week away.  More on this later.
  • Take at least one vacation with just my wife and me, leaving the kids with family.  Same as last month.  Wifey McGee is coming up with proposals.  We have a time frame but the rest of the details are TBD.
  • 44 date nights.  Still stuck at two.  I was aiming for 5 in March and can’t remember taking any.  Wow. I suck.  OK.  5 in April.  I now have 10 months to take 42 more (see here for more info on this line of thinking).
  • Be home at least one hour per day with the phone and TV off and computer closed.  So far so good decent crappy.  I’m making a conscious effort so I’ll take it, but work kicked my ass.
  • BONUS Goal: Read at least 12 books about being a better father and/or husband.  Still only two in and not even done with those.  Need to step up.

Grade:  Crappy month in this regard.  I need to step up to the plate this month.  I’m hoping to take a week off of work in the middle of the month, which should help.

Work Goals:

  • Lead at least two projects. So far so good.  Finished on up that went well.  Now working on a second that got complicated, but still going well.  So far so good.
  • Work less but focus on performing higher-level functions.  I’ve still done little to no entry-level work, but worked a ton in March.  Worked a few extra nights and on the weekends a bit.  Not good.
  • Become cash flow positive even without considering the value of my work.  Still.  Not.  Even.  Close.  Still have some things percolating.  We’ll see…
  • Read at least 12 books about work.  Still haven’t even finished one.  Ouch.  I’m through the first quarter of the year already!

Grade:  C+.  Substance was good, but hours and money was pretty ugly.

“Me” goals:

  • Lead Step Away from the Mall to a top 250,000 website.  When I joined the Yakezie Challenge in early January, this goal changed to top 200,000 by July 8.  As I’m typing this late Sunday night it’s now 139,025!  Wahoo!!!!   Done!!!!  Now the goal is under 100,000 by July 8… we’ll see…  I have no idea how the heck it’s been dropping so much, but I’m really excited about it.  Again, I really could use your help with this one.  If you enjoy this blog, like and share it on Facebook (buttons on the right >>>) or e-mail it to a friend and encourage them to spread the word!  And join the conversation, too!
  • Stats: Post at least 260 posts here.  62 through February plus 24 in March for a total of… 86.  Very cool!  174 to go.  But I’ll keep going – even if I hit the goal in August…
  • Track and increase my net worth by 50%.  I’m being a little secretive about this, using Evan’s zero-based net worth tracking system instead of revealing the actual numbers.  I’m also just focusing on my side of the ledger.  But I will say that my net worth is positive and higher than my salary, which means that a 50% increase in net worth is a lofty goal.  I’m hoping for a combination of increased income, standard-of-living management and investment returns to get me there.  January (up 9.8%) and February (up another 7.68%) were HUGE.  As expected, March was a bit slow but I still rocked it for another 5.24% for a grand total year to date of 24.32%.  Pretty nuts, for sure.  Most of the increase is riding the stock market.  Also contributing is regular auto-investing, principal paid by tenants on my investment property and a few extra bucks coming in (and not going out!).  I expect April to be slower (I only get one paycheck in April… long story) but I’m expecting a few extra bucks to come in from investments, so who knows.  And if the market takes a breather that could be a huge negative… We’ll see.  The monster months are really nice to see for sure!
  • Exercise no less than 130 times and no more than 182 times.  Seven.  Not bad.  I was at zero through February but finally got my butt back into CrossFit.  Moving in the right direction!
  • BONUS Goal: Create at least two streams of significant income online, at least one of which involves designing and selling a product online.  Decent job on this one.  A few more small ads here for a few more bucks.  Don’t worry, I’ve never been censored here, even in sponsored posts, which I’ll make sure I’ll mark as guest posts.  If it’s a buddy’s guest post I’ll be sure to make it clear that it’s not sponsored too!)  No product yet though.

Grade:  A-.  Really great “me” month.  Still room to grow though.

Overall March Grade:  B

Not bad.  Great me month but crapped out on the stuff that really matters… need to refocus.

Once again, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you stick around!  You really motivate me to write more and be even more open about my life and my thoughts, especially when you leave me a comment on a post or I see someone sharing a post on Facebook or Twitter.  I love interacting with you, so don’t forget to check in every once in a while.  I really appreciate you taking a minute or two to stop by and read what’s on my mind for the day.  So thank you, again.

How are your goals going?

Until next time, put your credit card down and slowly step away from the mall!

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Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle April 2, 2012 at 8:20 am

I just took a week long vacation and barely used the computer or my phone. I’m pretty proud of myself!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm

That’s AWESOME Michelle! I’m proud (and jealous) of you, too! 🙂


Thad P @ thadthoughts.com April 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

What a list! Wow! Is every year’s set of goals equally as ambitious?


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Thanks Thad. Yeah, pretty much. Part of the reason I set so many goals is to set myself up to hit at least a few and know I’m moving in the right direction. Little wins help motivate me. Also separating them out into categories helps me identify areas of my life that I’m not paying enough attention too (like family this month…)


BeatingTheIndex April 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

Ambitious goals Nick!
I hear you about the family part of the goals, trying to do the same thing as you this year. Time is flying and with work taking all the time, one ends up with almost no family life!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm

That’s great BeatingTheIndex. I hope your family goals are doing better than mine this year… It’s sad that family is often the first one to fall behind. I need to get that in check.


Daisy April 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

You have a lot of goals. I like it, though. Do you have a hard time tracking them?

Congrats on your Alexa and making your blog a success. You’re a great blogger!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Oh yeah, I definitely have a hard time tracking them. I have an Excel sheet that’s always open on my work computer, but sometimes I forget to update it and guestimate (like with date night this month). That’s OK though – the “44” isn’t really that important in the grand scheme of things… it just makes me focus on having some “wife” time once a week. So even if the numbers on that slip, I still get some benefit from setting it.

And thanks for the nice compliment… flattery gets you places here… 🙂


Evan April 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Amazing Growth, Nick! Nearly a quarter increase inside 4 months is FANTASTIC. Now just time to focus on The Wife a bit more lol


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks Evan! Yep, it was a HUGE surprise – way beyond my expectations. I know. It’s sad, but I’ve now started “scheduling” time with her to make sure I don’t take her for granted.


jefferson April 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

you are making great progress towards your goals..

some of them seem quite ambitious.. increase net worth by 50%!?!?.. holy smokes.
but you gotta dream big, to win big.. i admire the ambition.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm

haha! Yep. Thanks! I often say that I am “over the top” with all of my goals, so that even if I get knocked down a few notches, I’m still on top. 🙂


Modest Money April 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Awesome progress with your blog Nick. Congrats on the awards from TotallyMoney too: http://www.totallymoney.com/blogs/totallymoney-top-blog-awards-6/

It seems like the blogging motivation is hurting your other goals. Just goes to show how difficult it can be to manage a blog and other life responsibilities. Maybe some of those other goals could be scaled back as you excel in others.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Thanks Jeremy! I was TOTALLY shocked about TotallyMoney, too.

Blogging is certainly hurting other parts of my life… that’s a good idea about scaling too… I like it! Thanks!


Modest Money April 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Totally! 🙂 It’s nice to get a little bit of recognition for our efforts. Then again maybe that recognition is a sign that we’re not maintaining enough balance with other things in our lives. Damn those double edged swords!


Nick April 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Yep – I’ll be scaling back a bit somewhere for sure. The trick for me will be managing the day gig well enough… Not always an easy task, haha.


MyMoneyDesign April 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Not bad this month! If I tried to take on all these tasks, I’m not sure I’d still have time to keep my job! You’ve set some pretty high standards.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Haha! Well “sleep” has certainly suffered too… 🙂


CultOfMoney April 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I really love the list of goals. I’m a big fan of the balanced scorecard for all types of things, and you’ve really used a similar concept to keep yourself on track (and doing a wonderful job on progressing toward your year end goal). And congrats on the blog stats, you’re doing great!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Karl! I’m pretty psyched. I ended up doing the balanced scorecard to remind me that it’s not all about one category so my great “blogging” month is nice, but only one small part of who I am and who I want to be.


MoneySmartGuides April 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm

That is a serious goal list! I’ve been hitting all of my goals until this past month. I dropped off a bit, but plan on coming back strong this month. Good luck!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thanks! Everyone has a month or two where they lose a little focus. The important part is coming back strong before the momentum heads too far in the wrong direction. Keep me posted on the turnaround!


American Debt Project April 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

Wow!! You have so many goals and they are all good ones. Awesome on the parenting/relationship books. Sometimes I take things for granted and think “I don’t need a relationship book, we are so happy!” But everything needs work and commitment to get better. My goals for 2012 are a bunch of different ones, but I have doing well on most except the working out (not even close to my goal of 6X/week) and the getting up 1 hour early Monday through Thursday. Instead, I’ve just been staying up really late to get things done. Not quite the same….


Nick April 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Thanks! At the very least, the marriage/parenting books are a good reminder for me to not be a moron or argue over useless things…

6 times a week? Wow. Have you tried CrossFit? Highly recommend it. I need to get to be early, too…


Kari@Small Budget Big Dreams April 4, 2012 at 1:14 am

I bet you’ll be under 100 long before July 8th. I really need to step it up with my reading from my personal goals list. Although I haven’t been formally “working out” I have been doing a lot more walking thanks to my dog walking business.


Nick April 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Kari! For some reason, I get lazy with reading until I read and then I wonder why the heck I started watching TV… I can actually FEEL my IQ rise after a few chapters… I bet those puppies keep you busy, haha!


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