I achieved all four of my intended financial goals for 2014, including the Version 2 and 3 Targets. Yes that's right...... I'm awesome! During my end of year review I found that I've become very strong at managing money. Once I have money in my possession, I'm very good at saving/investing it and I choose not to spend it on the normal consumer items. It's also highlighted that I'm currently very average at making money. My income is above the national average (approx £30,000 per year), but it's far from strong. My 'side hustles' are making an impact, but if I was able to make more money from them, my investments, dividend income and time to become FI would all benefit from the back end.
I've decided to make 2015 The Year Of Making Money. I might be average at making money at the moment, but I have a lot of confidence in my ability to set Goals and to achieve them. If I set my mind to something, I can usually accomplish it. If I'm unable to achieve it, It's probably someone else's fault. Like I said, I'm pretty damn awesome!
My 2015 goals are across all the areas in my life, and some of them are quite ambitious for me. I review my progress in each area on a weekly basis (every Sunday). I consider what's worked, what hasn't, what do I need to do to keep on track, and then I make any necessary adjustments for the week ahead. I'll now be posting a 'Goal Update' on a Monthly and Quarterly basis on this Blog to show my progress on each area and to keep me on track.
Without further ado, here we go........
- I will earn at least £50,000 in income by 31 December 2015. It's very early days on this goal. I've made some steps that will help me work towards this but I have a long way to go before I'm seeing the results of my actions. I need to earn £4,166 per month to be on track by the end of the year. This month I earned £2,030.11 income. I averaged £2,030.95 income between March - December 2014, so this looks like an average month for me. Too Early to tell
- I will earn at least £1,000 per month creating and selling Kindle e-books by 31 December 2015. I want to earn £1,000 in a month by the end of December. I released 4 books in January and I know it's going to take some time to build up my reviews and sales. My main aim in this area was to release at least 4 books and get comfortable with the process. I'm pleased to have achieved this. I made approximately £6.90 in January. It's approximate because I sold books in Canadian and US Dollars. Although I'm a long way off the £1,000 per month, I'm not really concerned about the amount I earn over the next two months. I want to get my books made and published for now. I'm still not entirely sure what I can earn from each book yet. It'll be interesting to see what I can make on the 4 published books for a whole month. I'll be sure to let you all know next month. Too Early to tell
- I will have a ‘Freedom Fund’ worth over £50,000 by 31 December 2015. I had a great start to the month on this Goal. My Regular Saver payout from First Direct helped a lot (nearly £3,700). I worked out at the start of the year that I'll need to contribute £2,083 per month of new capital to hit the Goal amount (if the investment values remain the same all year). I'm hoping the value of my investments will increase over 12 months to help me with this Goal. My dividends will most certainly help towards it too. I still need to make more money to fund more investments in order to reach this goal. My Freedom Fund hit £30,000 for the first time this month. It feels like I'm really starting to get somewhere now. Especially when I go back 12 months ago and see my portfolio was worth £1,200! My freedom fund was valued at £30,082.66 at the end of January. That leaves me with £20,000 to go in 11 months or £1,810.67 per month. That amount is very close to my average income for 2014, nevermind getting into consideration my expenses. I need to make more money to make this one happen! Too Early to tell (can you see a trend?!)
- I will receive £2,000 in dividend income by 31 December 2015. I recently made a post on my Dividend Income. I received £83.47 for January. To hit my Goal, I'll need to bring in £167 per month. My forward dividends don't cover this amount at the moment, so I'm relying on bringing in additional capital to fund more investments, to get a higher forward dividend income. Are you noticing a trend??? Too Early to tell (must think of another phrase...)
- I will create and sell at least 50 Kindle e-books on Amazon by 31 December 2015. As I mentioned above, My monthly goal was to release at least 4 books this month. This is my minimum criteria for every month. If I continue to release one per week that will take me to 50 books in a year. I was aiming for 10 books to be published this month to see if it was possible. It is possible, but there were a couple of factors that slowed me down. My laptop crashed and I was unable to use it for a few days, then I had to set it all up again and I lost most of a working week in the end. I didn't have a tax code to release books for most of January. One of my writers got ill and couldn't complete a book after asking for a couple of weeks extension, and the process of making a book has taken longer than I expected. I could have ploughed on and created 10 books this month, but I made the decision to publish what I had at the time and see what I needed to do in order to promote the books. I have two books which are due to be completed this week, and three more which will take another couple of weeks. I want to have published at least 8 by next month, but I'd like to shoot for 10 to get ahead of my 1 x week goal. Right on track (Phew!)
- I will become a money coach in 2015. I will have three separate ‘trial sessions’ with people I know and three separate ‘paid sessions’ with people I don’t know by 31 December 2015. My monthly goal was to set up a shortlist of potential clients to test this on, which I've started. I've also worked on an outline to use for the session. I've spent less time on this goal in January, as my priority has been to publish books and see where that takes me first. February is likely to be similar, and in a couple of months I'll be making more progress in this area. Back burner Goal
- I will hit 100% of my Bonuses (three in total) for 2015. My half year Bonus is set for the end of February. I'm confident my team will cross the line in the next couple of weeks and hit that. My end of year target is set for August. We hit it in May last year, and I'd like to hit it in April for 2015 - No pressure team! The final bonus is based on how I perform as a manager and there are many factors that fit within it. This one is subjective, and ultimately it's my managers decision. I ask her EVERY SINGLE MONTH how I'm doing in every area, and she's aware I want to get 100% across the board. She's given me two considerations which I believe I can commit to, so I'm hoping I can maintain my consistency and deliver on this one. This bonus concerns me more because it's opinion based and the final decision will be made later in the year, around August. Right on track
- I will help all 7 people in my team develop by supporting them achieve at least one personal goal – Attend a course / get a promotion / hit a personal target etc by 31 December 2015. I have at least 1 goal from all 7 goals from all but one of my team. She's away in Africa for January and is back in February, so I'll hound her next week! My monthly target was to hit one of these goals, but that hasn't happened. Most of them are performance related, and will take most of the year. Too Early to tell (not this again)
- I will enter and compete in a Bodybuilding event in 2015. I'm likely to be opting out of this goal for 2015 now. I spent two evenings researching bodybuilding events in the UK and I became more and more disillusioned with it. The idea wasn't exciting me and I noticed that it was becoming a chore that I HAD to do. I was cringing at the oiled, tanned bodies and posing routines. Do I really want to do that?! I took a step back and reviewed what I actually wanted and the truth is I want a better physique. In December, I decided a bodybuilding show would help motivate me to do that. That certainly hasn't been the case. I'm continuing to train 5 days a week with weights and I've structured my program to build muscle rather than strength. I've noticed that I am getting bigger and my physique is improving. I just need to establish an end goal that's going to turn things up a notch. Perhaps it's a basic before and after photo? Maybe it's a photo shoot? Maybe it's to become a fitness model? I'm not sure yet. February's goal is to get this goal nailed and let you know. Watch this space! On track
I will record my daily macro-nutrients in a nutrition diary for at least one month. What a ball-ache this has been. I've struggled more with this than anything else. Recording every item and weight of what I'm consuming and then breaking it down by Carbs, Fats, Protein and Calories has been exhausting. The information I've gained from it has been fascinating. I may record single meals out of interest in future, but I won't continue with it like I have. The hardest part is when I make a massive pot of food, eg. Stew. I work out what I put into the whole pot (that's the easy part), then I have to estimate how much Miss FFBF has taken and then myself for dinner. Then I have to guess how much is left over for me and Miss FFBF for lunch the next day - Arggh! Don't get me started on counting butter, jam and oil! Frustrations aside, it has been an eye opening and interesting experiment, but it won't be repeated in a hurry! COMPLETED!!
- I will squat 175kg, I will Bench 120kg, and Deadlift 200kg. My upper body strength has improved steadily since my operation in November I haven't tested my strength, but I'm slightly ahead of where I thought I'd be. My lower body strength progression has been slowed by an ongoing groin strain. I'm having to weight train around the injury and minimise the squating and deadlifting. It's the same thing I had leading up to the powerlifting competition last year. I have some serious work to do on my squat and deadlift, but my bench press is coming on nicely. I want to prioritise my physique this year, and whilst doing so, I want to up my strength. Ultimately, if I'm super-buff and I have the same strength as last year, I'd be happy with that. Mixed Bag
- I will perform a morning ritual, which lasts at least 10 mins, every weekday morning for the whole of 2015. (260 morning rituals) I wanted to complete 20 morning rituals this month, and I'm pleased to say I've achieved that. There were times when I really didn't have the motivation to do it, but I made myself start I managed to complete each one. I never regret doing them and it sets the tone for the rest of the day for me. On track
- I will perform a weekly review, on the weekend, for the whole of 2015. (52 weekly reviews). These sessions will focus on my progression towards my Goals. I've really enjoyed the weekly reflection sessions. I did all 4 and an extra one before I kicked the year off. I think they're going to be a big part of my success in 2015 and the future. I grade myself out of 10 in all of the sections of my goals ie. Financial, Emotional, Relationship etc. My scoring is determined by the amount of progression I've made towards each goal that week. I set specific actions for the week ahead and during this session I want to know how well I've delivered on the actions. This would be one of my top tips to help progression of any kind! On track
- I will have at least a date and location organised for our wedding by 31 December 2015. This is a lower priority of mine at the moment. In all honesty, I'll probably look at this goal after July/August time. Too early to tell but confident
- I will go on two holidays with Lou for at least two nights each by 31 December 2015. I haven't taken any action on this goal yet. We're likely to go away in the Easter break and the summer holidays. I'll book the Easter holiday no later than March. The summer Holiday will probably wait until June/July. (We like to book these late!) Too early to tell but confident
- I will visit three long distant friends - JB, RF and JD by 31 December 2015. I haven't taken any action on this goal. This is one of those goals I could complete in a couple of weekends, perhaps the same weekend. I just need to pull my finger out. It's lower down on my list of priorities, because I know that I can achieve this at any time. I want to continue using my free weekends to develop my publishing business for now. Too early to tell but confident
- I will have at least one ‘guy only' night a month for the whole of 2015. (12 ‘Guy Only’ nights) This is a fun Goal. It's one of those Goals that's a pleasure to meet. I took the lead and hosted the first 'Guy Night' at my house. We had a poker night and had a lot of fun, especially as I won the second game (long sleeves and quick hands!). We've pencilled in the date for the next 'Guy Night' in February, next Thursday. We're planning on a night out in our local town after work. Plenty of talking and drinking is in order. I might give the FIREstarter a run for his money who knows. It's on a school night, so the next day at work will be interesting. I told you this Goal was fun! On track
- I will contribute at least £250 towards charity for by 31 December 2015. I made my first donation online for January. I contributed £20 towards St Michaels Hospice. My mum works at a hospital and Miss FFBF is a nurse. Both have told me what a great job this charity does. They use the money that comes in exceptionally well, and it's for a fantastic cause. I used all of the my spare change (£3.80) towards Macmillan Cancer Support charity day at work, and I'm almost embarrassed to say my monthly contributions have almost exceeded my annual contributions last year! Maybe I'm not that awesome after all. On track
- I will have 150,000 all time page views on my Blog by 31 December 2015. This Blog now has 53,530 all time views so far. In order to reach the 150,000 milestone by the end of December, I need to average 8,770 page views a month between Feb-Dec. As you're about to find out, that seems very achievable. On track
- I will consistently average over 10,000 page views a month by 31 December 2015. In January I had 8,801 page views. This would suggest that I'm on track to hit the 150,000 total page views by the end of the year if I continue to draw the same amount of readers. To hit my goal of 10,000 views a month, I need to increase my current numbers by 13.6%. I believe this is achievable. My tight-fisted awesomeness is hard to resist. The longer that I write on this Blog, the more I enjoy it and the more opportunity I get to increase my readership. I can't say for sure if people will remain interested in 11 months time, but I'll continue doing what I'm doing and let the numbers take care of themselves. On track
- I will publish 120 posts by 31 December 2015. (10 per month) I managed to publish 12 posts in January. So far so good. This isn't a massive step up from last year, and I'm happy with that. Blogging is important to me, so is the kindle publishing business and money coaching. I set this goal to ensure I don't forget about the Blogging altogether with everything else I have going on. I want to at least match what I did last year and perhaps do a little more. You can always do a little more can't you! On track
- I will organise two UK Gathering for FI/PF Bloggers and readers by 31 December 2015. I've pencilled in the first date and got the word out there. I still need to finalise a location, but I'm happy with the progress I've made and especially the interest in it so far. It should be a cracking day! I'll be finalising the location during February and I will let you all know when it's been confirmed. Stratford's very own - Big Monkey - we need to talk! On track
- I will happily start and build Email list for Blog by 31 December 2015. This is yet another Goal I have on the back burner for now. I don't think will take a long time to set up when I get around to it. Back burner Goal (lame finish, but hey ho)
1 month down, 11 to go. No.... not the time it took you to read this post...... I'm referring to the length of time on my list of goals above! Thanks to all for sticking with me on this one!
Overall a very pleasing month. I'm right where I need to be on my priority goals and I'm making progress in most other areas. I need to continue setting weekly and monthly goals and review my progress on a weekly basis to stay on track with the targets above. I'm looking forward to implementing the mastermind sessions on top of what I'm doing to keep me accountable and motivated.
How did you get on with your goals this month? How awesome are you? Have you surprised yourself this month?
Labels: Goals, Monthly Goal Update