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:
1 – The AC Interview Series with Gen Y Finance Guy
2 – Financially Alert Friends – Interview #3 with Dominic @ Gen Y Finance Guy
3 – 10 Guidelines to Financial Independence with Gen Y Finance Guy
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
Great job on a fantastic 2016 Dominic!!!! It’s been a lot of fun reading about your successes at work.
The quotes by Jim Rohn and the Wake Up Warriors podcast really resonate with what I’m trying to do in my life right now. I’m trying to experiment with different things in my life, experiment with interactions (with banter), experiment with food/supplements (pine pollen, for example). By experimenting, you can get feedback on your actions and learn at a much higher rate than by doing the same things over and over again each day.
Here’s to a great 2017!! Cheers,
Erik – Onward & Upward!
Here is to a prosperous 2017!
It sounds like you still met quite a few goals, especially since you’re guilty of setting too many goals. ;) It’s funny because sometimes financial goals are much easier to attain than personal goals (working out, writing more, etc.). Also, congrats on that promotion and salary bump! That’s kickass!
Thanks Mrs. Picky Pincher!
I think the focus this year will keep on track to hit my fitness goals this year.
Hey, Mr Finance Guy. Wow, congratulations in reaching most of your goals. I think i will adapt to your goal tracking scheme. I try to invest as much as possible into the stock market this year. Best wishes from Germany!
Good Luck in 2017 Robert.
I think your focus in 2017 is very wise. One of the things I’m looking to do is keep going with old goals rather than always looking for something new. For example, I have read some great books in “self-help” / improvement space in the last year – I don’t need more of those books in 2017, I need to implement the learnings better.
I’ll have to check out the Wake Up Warrior podcast, thanks for sharing it.
Brian – I like it! From a reading perspective I have put myself on a self imposed detox from consuming new books. I have read almost 250 books over the last 5 years, now its time to just implement and revisit all the wisdom I already have.
Awesome job. I’m looking forward to the state of the blog post you have planned.
I’m curious, it looks like you fell short of the guest post target by quite a bit. Was it mainly a time issue?
Financial Panther – I am looking forward to sharing my state of the blog post as well. It is one of my favorite updates to write, because I get to nerd out all all the quantitative improvements. But I also get to share what has or has not been working for all the other fellow bloggers that follow along.
The guest posts thing was for sue a time issue. I prioritized my limited time in 2016 writing for my own blog over writing for others. But I do think I wrote some really good posts for the 3 that I did.
Awesome goals. One question – your first goal was to hit 250 workouts and you said you came up a bit short. However, elsewhere on your blog I see that you do (or did) P90X. My understanding is that P90X is a daily program. Did you do P90X in 2016? Will you be doing it in 2017?
Also, I’ll ask you the same question you asked me on my blog – how are you measuring your bodyfat?
BTW, as a fellow tech worker I can appreciate how big a deal it is to jump straight to a C-level position. You’re clearly doing something right!
Hey Money Commando,
Yes, I did fall shot of my 250 workout goal. I was doing some P90X workouts for a while, but fell off the wagon, as it is a 6-day a week schedule. I had a lot of success with it back in 2011-2013 when I went from 240 lbs down to 187 lbs and took my body fat from 28% down to 8.5%.
I will not be following P90X in 2017; to be honest I am kind of burned out with it, which is probably a part of why I missed my targets in 2016. I am just ready for a change.
I measure body fat with my
withings scale. It is not 100% accurate but it is directionaly right. When I was doing crossfit I did the water dunk test, which is supposed to be one of the most accurate ways to measure.
It was a fantastic year for you Dom! Nice quotes you’ve shared from one of the personal development legends and I like that you’re focus is narrowing for 2017..
They say, “what got you here, is not going to get you there” about pivoting, changing course etc.. Looking forward to watching you smash your goals and thanks for sharing the journey with us! :)
Let’s see what 2017 brings us both Jef!
Great job on all your accomplishments in 2016! Definitely lots of big successes! Good luck in 2017!