Can you believe that 2017 is already 1/4 complete and Q2 is upon us?
It feels not that long ago that I wrote up my Q1 Goals and began to plan out my ideal 2017. Since January, I have had some successes, some failures, and have learned a lot about myself in the last few months.
One of the main things I learned so far in 2017 is that willpower can only take you so far. The key to my success is building habits that I can repeat on a consistent basis.
Another thing I learned was that I still have a lot of “noise” (daily distractions) in my life. I began tracking the amount of time I spend on each app on my phone and tracking my activity on my laptop. The data showed I spent an average of 7hrs a week on social media (I’d say at least 5 of those hours are considered “distracted time”), and almost 2hrs a week checking email (Related Post: I’m Tracking Everything). I seem to be more productive on my laptop, mainly reading personal finance or productivity blogs. However, Youtube is both a blessing and a curse for me. I sometimes find myself with good intentions to be productive, then 2hrs go by, and I’m on my 9th NBA highlight video. It’s easy to get lost and go from a productive tool to a time waster on Youtube.
My final thing I learned (or confirmed) so far in 2017 is that automation is a big key to success. The automated processes I have created with my money continues to keep me in line with my goals. In addition, I have been trying to automate the process of “tracking” as well. Tracking things manually can work, but I saw myself forgetting to track things over time. Using technology and apps like Rescue Time, Mint, or Fitbit can be a great value.
Q1 2017 Goals Results.
My Q1 goals fell into four categories:
If I don’t reach individual goals, I won’t consider it a failure as long as I’m improving.
I have decided to give myself a letter rating for each of my goals this time. Let’s get started.
- I projected that I would be able to pay off all my Student Loans on 3/31. I have kept my payments up as expected but was hoping to receive my annual bonus at work in March, but unfortunately, it is delayed until April this year. So I am $700 short of my goal of paying my loans off. I will pay this off + my car when my bonus kicks in on 4/15.
- I have kept my payments up as expected but was hoping to receive my annual bonus at work in March, but unfortunately, it is delayed until April 15th this year. So I am $700 short of my goal of paying off my loans as of now. I will pay my Student Loans off + my car when my bonus kicks in.
- This year I started my journey to make side income by having a side hustle. So far I made extra money by flipping items on eBay, affiliates, and selling some stuff around my apartment. I didn’t make my goal to make over $750, but I have profited over $500 so far. My primary source of revenue has been flipping graphing calculators on eBay. I also have done well with my LendEDU* affiliate (check them out if you’re looking for the best refinancing rates for your Student Loans – it’s a great free resource).
- I increased my automatic savings plan contributions in January while still making my student loan payments. My savings contributions will go up significantly once I pay my debt off next month.
Bonus: HOT OFF THE PRESS! I received an offer for a new job at the end of March that will increase my work income by 64%. Starting in mid-April. I am beyond excited to now max out all my tax deferred accounts and improve my savings goals.
I have completed more than five books so far this year. I found a nice groove for the first two months by listening to audiobooks while I work out.
Thus far I have read/listened to the following books:
- Smarter Faster Better – Charles Duhigg
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
- Essentialism – Greg McKeown
- Deep Work – Cal Newport
- The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner – David Bach
The books listed have provided at least 1-2 pieces of valuable content that I can take action in my life. Please note: I read/listen to all these books free through my library card.
In addition to books, Podcasts continue to provide a significant source of value for me. One new podcast that I found is called “Choose FI.” I recommend this podcast to the personal finance / financial independence enthusiast. The hosts talk about life hacks that can put you on the path to Financial Independence (FI). They have guests who are already FI and have had great episodes about Travel Hacking, Tax Optimization, and House Hacking that caught my attention.
When I mentioned “willpower” at the beginning of this post, I was mainly alluding to my health goals.
I have yet to master the habit of my morning routine. I stayed consistent with my morning routine for the month of January and began to tail off in February, picked it back up again on and off. My morning routine consists of drinking a pint of ice water, meditating, and working out (while listening to audiobooks/podcasts) all before 7 am. When I stick with my morning routine, I accomplish more and have more energy.
I understand the key is to my morning routine is to be able to get 7+ hours of sleep the night before. I am looking to improve this by getting to bed by 10 pm. To do this, I will need to unplug from my phone and computer by 9 pm every weeknight.
Unfortunately, I fell short on my content producing goals this quarter. After three months, I have only created seven blog posts. My goal was 15.
My Facebook page is created, but I haven’t been as engaging as I need to be. I have been posting most of my content on Twitter thus far. Posting my content is ok, but I would like to improve my social media and blog commenting engagement in Q2.
Q2 2017 Goals
Q2 Financial Goals
1. Build 3 Month Emergency Fund and start investing
2. Begin Investing more
3. Make an Additional $750 in Income (outside of work)
4. Stay within Food, Car, and Shopping Budgets
Q2 Education/Training Goals
1. Read 10 New Books
2. Take 3 New Courses
3. One New Certification for work
Q2 Health Goals
1. Improve Consistency with Morning Routine
Q2 Website Goals
1. 35 new Email Subscribers
Same as Q1. If I can take action and reach more people with my content, I should be able to beat this goal. Building an email list is key if I want DebtFreeClimb to be a success in 2017.
2. 12 Valuable Posts
Though I’m not where I want to be, I have seen an improvement in my writing style. I feel like I provide valuable content and just need to make time to produce at least one post per week.
3. Increase Pinterest and Facebook Followers
I keep hearing great things about Pinterest and Facebook for reaching a ton of new readers. I plan to take some courses on both and increase my engagement on these platforms. I’d like to see over 100 followers on Facebook and double my followers on Pinterest.
Question for you.
What is your primary goal for Q2 2017?