2017 Goals – Go Big or Go Home – But Focus




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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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Focus – The name of the game will be to go an inch wide, but a mile deep.
  4. 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


Gen Y Finance Guy

Hey, I’m Dom - the man behind the cartoon. You’ll notice that I sign off as "Gen Y Finance Guy" on all my posts, due to the fact that I write this blog anonymously (at least for now). I like to think of myself as the Chief Freedom Officer here of my little corner of the internet. In the real world, I’m a former 30-something C-Suite executive turned entrepreneur turned capital allocator. I am trying to humanize finance by sharing my own journey to Financial Freedom. I believe in total honesty and transparency. That is why before I ever started blogging, I decided that I would share all of my own financial stats. I do this not to brag, but instead to inspire motivate, and also to hold myself accountable. My goal is to be a beacon of hope, motivation, and inspiration, for you, the reader, by living life by example and sharing it all here on the blog. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from me - both from my successes and my failures! Read More



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26 Responses

  1. Great focus. I thought I had too many goals but I’ve justified it by making my goals area focused. Broken into Financial, Health, Career, Mind, Emotional, and Career. They are getting rid of debt, exercise and track food 250 days each, practice Spanish language daily, read daily, meditate 3 times a week, deep clean a room weekly and finally work # extra hours.

    I use “Way of Life” app. There are different settings to visualize the success and even has a trendline.

    1. Michael – I love the “Way of Life” app. I have been using it for about a year now.

      Good luck in 2017 with your goals!

  2. Great goals! I like how variable your income is on the upside. That’s all anybody ever wants, correlation with performance and reward. That correlation broke down in the banking industry so I decided to leave.

    Blog upside is unlimited. After about the third year, I noticed things really started accelerating. It’s hard to tell the future, but if you stick with it long enough, good things tend to happen.

    Happy new year!


    1. Hey Sam – My wife and I are both fortunate to have variable income that is aligned with performance (as long as things continue to improve that is).

      I am excited to see what the blog can do from an income standpoint. Currently it is 2 years and 3 months mature.

      Happy New Year!

  3. Ha! I’m on the opposite side — I have about 50 different goals for 2017 (still sorting them out).

    I like to break big goals down to mini-milestones and that’s why I have so many. Plus I have lots I want to do and planty of time since I’m retired!

    Here’s wishing you a prosperous 2017!

    1. Thanks ESI!

      We all have to find the process that works for us, right?

      Looking forward to reading about your goals (I assume you will share them on the blog).

      Here is to an EPIC 2017!

  4. Great goals. I’ll be working on mine and posting them in the next week or so. Every year the wife and I have a tradition of going to a coffee shop right after the New Year and developing our goals for the year. We find it useful to approach this as a team effort (even though we obviously both have individual goals as well). Looking at yours, I think I might have to borrow/modify #2,3, and 4. Hey copying is a form of flattery, right? 🙂

    1. Copy away Freedom 40 Guy!

      I like the process you have with your wife. Mrs. GYFG and I will be reviewing our goals together on the beaches in St Thomas in a couple days. She will probably be a little overwhelmed with goal #1, as she plays a part in helping to achieve that.

      But I am confident she will come around 🙂

  5. I like the focus. With fewer things to keep in mind, if you fall behind on one (like the workouts), it won’t be as easy to say “oh well”.

    I also take a similar view of vacation. I’m happy to spend 30 minutes or an hour a day keeping some of the professional goals moving forward. I take a ton of “vacation” days – since my wife is a teacher there are long school breaks we take advantage of.

    But I am also going to shoot for a yearly 2 week “no work” period as well. There is something to be said for completely disconnecting and not even using electronics. Plus every time I do it, I realize there are more things in my business that I should automate or hand off to someone else. It’s a nice forcing function for me to actually get those tasks off my plate.

    1. Hey Brian – I have been on vacation since 23rd and I have used electronics about 1% of my normal rate. It has been great to really just clear and reset my brain. I am on vacation until the 9th of January, which is the longest vacation I have ever taken since college.

      I also have completely disconnected from work, which is a first. I have kept my phone on airplane mode, so no one can call me, I put on an auto responder telling them I won’t be checking or responding to emails until I get back on the 9th.

      The great new feature with office 365 is that it tells you if your writing to someone with an auto-responder on and the message they left, and due to the low amount of emails I have received I think it has kept people from sending me email. I also sent an email out before leaving announcing the same thing.

      I will be doing this on all future vacations!!!

  6. Kudos for keeping it simple for 2017. It’s so easy to go overboard with the resolutions. I think keeping the list short will enable you to give more focus to each activity.

    I just started working out again yesterday after falling off the wagon for about 3 – 4 months. It felt so awesome to be able to work out again; I forgot how much I missed it. It’s easy for me to get lazy and be a blubberbutt, so 2017 is the year of Getting It Done. We’ll see how we do. 🙂

    1. Get after it Mrs. Picky Pincher!

      2017 will for sure be an interesting and laser focused year, this is the least amount of goals I have ever had.

      Onward & Upward

  7. Hey there GYFG! I’ve been a follower of yours for a while and it has been great to see your blog transform and you become more and more successful in your day job. It inspired me and my buddy to start a blog!

    To be completely open and transparent, I used your link for X-Theme and would like your feedback on my design. Any thoughts?

    Here’s to a successful 2017!!

    1. Hey Erik – First, thanks for following along and engaging in the GYFG community! Second, stoked that I helped bring another blog into the universe, I really think that everyone should blog. I think it’s cool that you and your friend Henry have partnered up.

      Third, thank you for supporting GYFG by using my affiliate link to purchase your copy of X Theme. I think it is a wonderful theme.

      I am on vacation at the moment, but I took a quick look at your site and at first glance it looks good, but the one thing that stands out on i-pad, is your menu takes up two lines, and just doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing.

      I had a similar problem that I originally solved by forcing the menu to “Mobile ” on tablets. But eventually it led me to move to a vertical menu (it was at least one of the reasons). Not saying your should copy me, just telling you what I see.

      It would also be nice to have a menu link to “the blog” vs. just the link to your categories.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to reach out to me via email for more specific questions or if you just want to talk shop at mrgenyfinanceguy@gmail.com


      1. Thank you for the comments and feedback.

        I was originally thinking of doing a left side bar but my site looked a little bit too much like yours… Trying to be original! It will be a work in progress…

        Enjoy your vacation and Happy New Year’s!


  8. It’s the same thing with fitness or nutrition. You have to be realistic about where you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a motivating 2017 goal that can show some great progress, but if you’ve never exercised much and you have a crazy schedule that never ends, maybe having a goal of doing a physique competition in 3 months might be a reach. Maybe a better goal is consistently exercising twice a week and eating 4 servings of veggies per day.

  9. Love those goals Dom! Looking forward to seeing you smash them all, especially that first one.. I’ve got a feeling I know what the additional one is and good on you for aiming high

    Will be good to hear whether you guys go for a kid or not, that’ll be a big one as well
    I haven’t actually sat down to write the goals for 2017 yet although I’m going to make up my “big 5” by the end of the week. My process for setting and then measuring goals will involve paper and apps like Evernote, GoodBudget etc.. This will be a fairly unique year as I’m heading away for ~ 6 months travelling without work, which will affect my income goals.. I’ll have to consider how I work around that one

    1. Jef – After taking 16 consecutive days away from work and digesting the massive year that 2016 was, I will be coming back with tons of ideas to act on to ensure that I crush these goals.

      We will for sure start trying to have a kid around late Q3 or early Q4 of 2017, which means our life won’t be completely turned upside down until sometime in 2018 🙂

      Looking forward to hearing what you come up with for your big 5. The 6 month adventure traveling sounds really interesting. Would be a good time for you to double down your efforts on monetizing the blog???

      Curious to hear what you think my 5th goal is, now you got me curious 🙂

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