Happy New Year! I’m back from my blogging break and feeling very refreshed and eager to start working on some of my goals for the new year. This time of year always stirs up the excitement and motivation I’d like to maintain throughout the next 12 months while I work on improving my life.
Before I go over my new goals for 2016, I still need to recap how I did with my 2015 goals.
2015 Goals Recap
Open an IRA and contribute monthly- FAIL
Saving for retirement is super important and something that I feel like I’ve been slacking on unfortunately. I did open a Roth IRA but I got so determined to pay off my debt at all costs that I failed to contribute much to it this year. I don’t think I’ll max it out in 2016, but I still want to budget to set more money aside to invest in my retirement.
Make at least $300/month in side hustle income and establish new side hustles- PASS
When I first started blogging and side hustling again last year, I was nervous and almost intimidated to start working toward meeting my extra income goal. Luckily, I surrounded myself with the right people and the right inspiration to tackle my fears and start earning more. I worked the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life last year and it has really paid off. Judging from my last income report, I’ve blown this goal out of the water.
Get emergency fund to a steady $2,000 and pay off $8,000 in debt- PASS
I met my adjusted emergency fund goal halfway through the year and ended up paying off more than $11,000 in debt in 2015.
Declutter my home- PASS
This goal was and is a work in progress but I got rid of a lot of stuff last year and refrained from buying a ton of new things overall to keep the clutter down. During the last few months of the year, I also made time to go through the entire house and declutter for an hour or two once per month.
Be More Appreciative of life’s blessings and enjoy each day- PASSISH
I felt like I was always trying to stay positive and improve my level of gratitude in 2015. At the beginning of the year, things were fine and I really started to become content with what I had and cherished the important people in my life more than ever. Around October however, I hit a slump and became really unmotivated to go to work and basically started dreading it.
To sum up my frustration, my position at my day job changed at least twice last year. The first time it changed, I didn’t want to embrace it/became miserable and resentful and my work life and home life ended up suffering as a result.
The second time around, I tried to change my perspective and channel my frustration to create something positive and fulfilling for myself in my spare time. I stopped looking for people to pat me on the back or appreciate me and started appreciating myself and knowing my worth. I literally, told myself what was going on wasn’t the end of the world. I started opening myself up to change and forbid myself from letting work consume me like it has been. It’s interesting what a little positive thinking can do.
Continue to teach my son more about money and life- PASS
Motherhood was a blast in 2015 like always and I had so much fun spending time with my son and teaching him new concepts and values. Around Christmas, he told me about a play set he really wanted me to get for him and I could tell it would be his favorite present.
Somehow, I underestimated the popularity of the toy and it ended up selling out everywhere. I felt bad, but told my son that there was no way I could get it for him for Christmas and I’d have to get it another time or for his birthday. My five-year-old just looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and said ‘That’s okay mommy. I have plenty of other things and I’m still excited about the gifts you did get me. I can just get that toy some other time.’ It’s moments like those when you know you’re doing something right as a parent 🙂
Goals for 2016
Before I get into my goals for this year, I wanted to give a forewarning that these are not SMART goals and some of them may seem a little vague. I know everyone is always preaching about setting realistic and specific goals and while SMART goals are great, in my opinion they’re ideal if you are new to setting goals or tend to set goals that you have trouble keeping.
Last year, I felt like I limited myself with some of the goals I set in an attempt to try to be super specific so I don’t want to do that again this year. Now, here are the goals.
Pay off as much debt as I can
Everyone probably knows by now that a major goal of mine is to crush my debt. I feel motivated and determined enough not to set a fixed amount of the debt I want to pay off because I feel like I will do the best I can each month. Originally, my goal was to pay off my entire student loan balance this year which would equate to monthly payments of at least $1,600. While I would love to be debt free ASAP, I also NEED to save at the same time and squeezing $1600 out each month would leave me with very little leftover to save. Even if I don’t pay off all my debt this year, I know I’ll make a huge dent in the balance.
Get my emergency fund to $5,000 by December 31, 2016
I need to value saving if I want to be financially stable and secure. This amount is ideal, very necessary, and pretty doable.
Start earning $5,000 per month in side income by the end of the year
Freelancing has been going well, but I would really like to diversify my income in 2016 and start earning money from my actual blog or create a product to sell. I’m super excited about this goal in particular because I love challenging myself and increasing my income of course.
Improve my work-life balance
I’m going to be completely honest and say that my success in 2015 is attributed by my lack of having an acceptable work-life balance. I worked like crazy in 2015, didn’t manage my time well at times, and ended up cutting most of my free time and quality time with my fiancé to work some more. At times I felt guilty but in my opinion, sometimes you HAVE to work hard before you can work smart.
This year I want to challenge the presumption that you can’t ‘do it all’ and still have a balanced and relaxing life. I really want to get organized and become more conscious of my time and how I spend it so I can achieve a better work-life balance.
There you have it; my pretty-straightforward 2016 goals. I have a few other focuses this year like becoming healthier and paying for my wedding in all cash, but once the main goals mentioned above are reached, I feel that all the other aspects of my life will fall into place.
What is your biggest goal for 2016?
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