2012 Goals Update

by Nick on May 2, 2012

It’s that time again!  As my son’s new obsession would sing… “Time for your check-up!  Time for your check-up!”  (First one to guess the reference gets the visitor of the day award!)

OK – once again, remember how much of a complete failure I was last year?  Well this year’s different (I’m only partially failing…).  I’m keeping track and staying accountable!  It’s not too late for you either.  Just set an end-of year goal, break it down into small chunks, check in with me every month and you’ll be kicking some tail as you count down to the new year!

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. Have two long weekends planned and McGee is planning two longer ones.  Yeah, I’m kicking this ones a$$ – at least if you give me credit for my wife’s planning…  Now I just need to make sure I shut off my phone and internet when I’m away…
  • Take at least one vacation with just my wife and me, leaving the kids with family. Same.  McGee is planning.  We’re waiting on in-law schedules for babysitting but it’s happening.
  • 44 date nights. I have a bad feeling about this one… we’re up to 5.  I need to kick it into high gear (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 back to pretty good. I’m making a conscious effort so I’ll take it.  Work was a bit tough but most of the time I was home – and actually “was” home for an hour.  Gave the kids their baths last night for example and I usually spend between a half hour and an hour and a half up with my son before going to work.
  • 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 it up.

Grade: B. Prett good month in this regard. I need to read a bit more.  I started reading some personal finance stuff that “helps” with family, but it’s not “about” being a better father an/or husband so it doesn’t really count.

Work Goals:

  • Lead at least two projects. So far so good. One under my belt.  The second going well (I think – I’ll find out more this month when I get my review…).  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 for a week in April. Pretty good.
  • Become cash flow positive even without considering the value of my work. Still. Not. Even. Close. Got a commitment for a few bucks (very few) and some positive movment from a couple new leads.  We’ll see…
  • Read at least 12 books about work. Still haven’t even finished one. Ouch.

Grade: B-. Need to start reading…

“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 109,314! 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 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. 97. Not too shabby.  163 to go. 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 but I also disclose its relation to my salary (not including bonuses which don’t happen every year and aren’t guaranteed – I’m not eligible this year for example). I’m also just focusing on my side of the ledger. April was tough as expected, but I eeked out a 1.75% gain.  Most of it is attributed to the stock market zigging and zagging (I don’t adjust real estate values, which is conservative because I adjusted quite a bit on the way down).  I’ll take the movement in the right direction, leaving my grand total year to date increase of 26.5%. Pretty nuts, for sure.  It also represents 177.85% of my annual salary (i.e. not quite double my salary).  How did we get there?  We’re cheap, simple people and are happy moving slow and steady.  We invest a large percentage of our income before we see it and budget the rest.
  • Exercise no less than 130 times and no more than 182 times.  15.  Not bad.  I decided to run more than CrossFit until I get back in shape.  So I transitioned to that for May.  I tend to do “too much” with CrossFit so I don’t want to reinjure myself…
  • 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: B. Decent month – pretty average.

Overall April Grade: B – The important stuff starting moving in the right direction… I’ll take it.

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

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan May 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

Making Moves Nick! My net worth increase was only about 2% also this month…Readers had to remind me that a win is a win!


Nick May 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Yeah, sometimes we’re a bit too tough on ourselves, aren’t we? It made me feel a lot better compounding a 1.75% monthly gain over months and years… So 2% a month, if sustainable, is really, really good.


Sean @ One Smart Dollar May 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

Awesome goals and it looks like to are doing well to achieve them.


Nick May 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Thanks Sean – having so many is actually pretty fun because it’s pretty impossible to do all of them, so each month tends to have its own goal personality…


TB at BlueCollarWorkman May 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

TWELVE books on being a better husband/father?! THat’s so many! Have the 2 so far helped? My wife made me read “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus,” that one helped us ALOT!


Nick May 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Haha! Yeah, I figured a book a month isn’t too bad (but then add it to the other books I want and it’s a LOT). I have that on my list, but right now I’m reading a bunch of Meg Meeker books, Love and Respect and one more that I can’t remember because I haven’t picked it up in a while… They’ve helped for sure. But they help the most when the iron is hot. I sometimes fall into the trap of getting lazy or falling into a routine, which makes consistent reading that much more important.


Modest Money May 2, 2012 at 11:30 am

Always good to hear your updates on all these ambitious goals Nick. The only downside is that it makes me feel so much less focused by not having clearly defined goals like this. I guess I should be using it as good motivation to following in your steps and try to improve all areas of my life like this.


Nick May 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Thanks (and sorry) Jeremy. It works for me to have things written down and some accountability. One or two goals (that you can control) in each part of your life might help and be relatively easy to manage.


From Shopping to Saving May 2, 2012 at 12:43 pm

You’re doing soooo well and it’s only May! I have faith that you will kick these goals out of the water for 2012. I don’t have any clearly defined goals like this as Jeremy mentioned, however my goals are all very similar. Do well in school, work, life, money. I have been trying to read more now that I am not studying for the LSAT all day. But my life is consumed with a lot of change right now and I’m just trying to process it all, and figure out what my next steps are. I’m thinking of a 1 year, 5 year and 10 year plan!


Nick May 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Thanks 🙂 I’m certainly going to do my best. I have a feeling I’ll crush some of them, fail on a couple and be generally OK with most but not completely crush them.

Life does get in the way for me, too, so this is my attempt to not let me go a week without at least a little focus – a reminder at least.

Long-term plans are great, too. I find they work best if you start with where you want to be in, say, 5 years and then outline what you need to do to accomplish that. Then you have your hit list!


WorkSaveLive May 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm

It’s definitely difficult to make so many goals and follow through on all of them. You are very motivated…continue to keep up the work and hopefully you can find some time for reading and dates!


Nick May 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Oh yeah… I’m pretty relentless when it comes to this stuff especially after such a failure last year…). Maybe my wife and I should get together and read to each other…


MoneySmartGuides May 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

April wasn’t a great month goal-wise for me, but we all have setbacks now and then. I like your goal of a vacation with just you and your wife. Gotta keep the spark alive!

I also like the read 12 books. We have goals at my work and the company goal is to read a book a month. We all suggest a book (it’s a small company) and review it at the end of the month.


Nick May 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Thanks! Yes, we haven’t had more than a night alone since our second kid was born. And my mother-in-law loves watching our kids, so we finally had an “ah-ha” moment to combine the two.

Very cool about your company too – that’s awesome.


Kris @ BalancingMoneyandLife May 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm

You’re doing well on your goals, and your net worth is going up… seems like a win. I find making time to read is a challenge for me too – my mini goal for May is one book a week (any kind of book. Seriously. At this point, comics might count. 😛 )


CultOfMoney May 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm

You’re still killing it! Congrats on the goals, you’ve been doing wonderful things here, and apparently at home and work too. Those vacations are nice, even if they are just long weekends. Turning off the phones and computers is great too, though sometimes it’s hard to get going again. I want to move to a mountain-top monastery some times.


Jefferson May 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

Nick, you are doing great, sir. I wish that I could take on similar goals when it comes to vacations and date nights, I certainly miss those. Maybe after the baby gets a little bigger…

One thing that I love about your goals updates is that you post career-related goals as well. Awesome that you are completely free and clear of the entry-level work.


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