What a year 2016 turned out to be. As many of you who have already read my short list of 2017 goals know, this year I am guilty of setting too many goals. I have reached a point in my life where it makes a lot more sense to set less goals with more focus. I have been telling people that in the past it was all about going broad (a mile wide and an inch deep) and in 2017 and beyond it is about going deep (an inch wide and a mile deep). That’s not to say I would change my approach that served me well over the past decade, just that this year proved it was time to pivot and evolve.
My belief is that you continue using what works until it stops or you find a better way. In 2016 I believe I found the optimal way to measure my goals, as seen in the screenshot I share every month below. It is a simple color coded grid and completion bar. It is the most effective system I have created. Now in 2017 in continuing to optimize my pursuits in life, I need to pair this tracking system with more focus (thus less goals).
It is always a good idea to take a moment to reflect on the prior year before completely turning our focus onto the New Year’s goals. Many of you reading this blog are likely over achievers, and as over achievers we tend to forget to celebrate our accomplishments. We are always onto the next goal. Equally, reflection also allows us to learn from our failures. And we also get an opportunity to see what might have seemed important to us in the beginning of the year lose its importance (or at the very least lose its level of priority).
I may have fallen short on a few of my goals, but I can definitively say that I am more than I was and more than I would have been had I not set these goals. I am very fond of a quote by the late Jim Rohn that went like this:
He has another version I like as well:
If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become.
Setting goals is all about EXPANSION and becoming MORE then you were. It’s about going to bed every night waking up a little better and a little smarter (and hopefully a little richer 🙂 ).
My Personal Accountability & Check-in
Below is where I stand with the 12 goals I set for 2016.
I was recently listening to a podcast (Wake Up Warrior), and during an interview the following quote was shared “there is no such thing as failure, only success and learning.” This really resonated with me, because I have always believed and embraced the FACT that failures are the stepping-stones to SUCCESS. Failures don’t have to be a waste of time if we learn from them. I honestly believe that I am where I am today because I have never let the fear of failure stop me, and the skills I have picked up in the process of failure have and will continue to pay dividends for the rest of my life.
I mentioned the word fear above, this deserves a moment of discussion. Don’t let FEAR (false events appearing real) stop you from going after what you really want in life, because all that will ever lead to is a life filled with GUILT and REGRET. Think about Jim Rohn’s quote above, get what you want, is all about the person you become in the process. The person you become in the process is what attracts the things you DESIRE in your life.
That said, lets take a look at both my success and failure for 2016!
Let’s briefly take a look at each goal (Red = Failure & Green = Success):
Goal #1 [250
CrossFit/Hot Yoga Workouts or More, 76.4%] – I ended up finishing the year with 191 workouts in 2016 vs. my goal of 250. I have re-committed to this goal in 2017, and I only need to average 21 workouts per month to hit it. For those of you wondering, I did end up winning my $1,000 bet. Although I won, I still have another 24 lbs that I want to drop in order to hit my overall target of 185 lbs.
Goal #2 [250 Days
Eating Primal of nutritional consciousness or More, 50%] – Over the course of the year, especially the 2nd half, I did develop two new habits that I am tracking via the “Way of Life” app, and those are shakes for breakfasts and salads for lunch (most days). So, although I failed to hit the goal, I am excited to continue these new habits.
Goal #3 [Earn $270K in Gross Income or More, 100%] – We hit this goal back in October. Our original forecast for the year was $261,600 (set in October 2015), which at the last-minute we increased to $286,600 as a stretch. I set this goal right in the middle, but little did I know they were both too low. We ended the year earning $339,661 (This would not have been possible without Mrs. GYFG blowing her numbers out of the park…like Grand Slam territory).
Goal #4 [Publish 52 new Blog Posts or More, 100%] – This was officially completed in September. I actually ended up publishing 73 posts.
Goal #5 [Pay Down Mortgage Principle by $25,000 or More, 100%] – As expected our recent refinance had us blow past our goal of $25,000. According to our accelerated plan we don’t need to make another additional payment until April of 2017 (due to our cash-in refinance) to stay on track for the 7 year and 3 month payoff of our mortgage. We officially paid down $39,766 in mortgage debt between our primary residence and our rental condo.
Goal #6 [Contribute $24,650 to Pre-Tax Accounts, 100%] – This one didn’t even require any effort on my part. It was one of those set it and forget it type goals. It happened automatically, and will continue that way for as long as we have the ability to contribute to these types of accounts.
Goal #7 [Vacation 21 days or More with My Wife, Friends, and Family, 100%] – I ended up taking a full 28 days worth of vacation in 2016, and this became the goal for 2017.
Goal #8 [Save 50% or More of After Tax Income, 100%] – We hit our 50% target for the year.
Goal #9 [Write 12 Posts on Other Blogs, 25%] – Three guest posts have been submitted and published. Here they are if you would like to take a read:
These were the only guest posts I wrote in 2016.
Goal #10 [250 Entries or More in Wife Gratitude Journal, 33.6%] – I absolutely failed this goal. But I will be sharing what I did write with my wife over the coming days, weeks, and months.
Goal #11 [Increase Net Worth by $112,000 to $430,000 by 12/31/16 or More, 100%] – We ended up increasing our net worth by $209,941. That is almost double what we set out to do. Something worth clarifying is that when I set net worth goals, they are only based on our contributions and do not take into account any gains from dividends, interest, or market appreciation (or depreciation if the market turns sour).
Goal #12 [Earn $12,000 in the Blog, 41.7%] – This was a lifetime income goal. We officially hit $5,000.32 for 2016. More details to come in my “2017 State of The Blog Post”.
Goal 13 – Earn
VP Title C-Suite Position [Bonus Goal] – I skipped VP and got a ticket straight to the C-Suite. The official title we landed on was CBIO (Chief Business Intelligence Officer). Starting in January I will start realizing the financial benefits that come with this promotion. My base salary is increasing 40%, which will result in an additional $4,200/month in income. My bonus is still set as a percentage of the company profits, but based on our budget, it is projected to increase an additional $24,000 or $2,000/month on average. And lastly, I have already shared with you the equity opportunity I am taking advantage of in this post.
This is where I landed in 2016. I wasn’t perfect, but I am more than I was a year ago. I am further in my own journey. I learned a lot in 2016, that I plan to leverage in 2017.
Now on to 2017, take it one day at a time. Measure your progress and I promise you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in month, quarter, and year.
Sometimes the progress we make doesn’t seem visible or worth the effort. But over time it really starts to add up and compound. Think about it this way…imagine you are trying to improve just 0.3% per day. That is not a visible amount of improvement, but it adds up to almost 1% improvement every 3 days, and by the end of the year you will have improved over 100%.
MAKE 2017 EPIC!
– Gen Y Finance Guy