My 2015 Goals (Better late than never!)
Well I have to say I felt rather uninspired getting up at 5:30am to finish off this post about my goals for this year, but a beautiful dawn (see pic above) has done much to alleviate this issue! I nearly forgot to write this post, but inspired by other bloggers such as FFBF who has some rather ambitious goals for 2015, along with The Finance Zombie who is keeping it a bit more simple, and TheresValue who has some great long and short term goals, I though I better pull my finger out and get some inked up.
My 2014 goals took a bit of a back seat for the latter part of the year as buying and moving house seemed to become an all consuming time suck, but without that and with starting to get a lot more of my time back from July 1st onwards, I am looking forward to attacking these goals with gusto this time around. I also think I made a mistake of being too specific in the goals last year by giving them months. Life doesn’t normally work out like that and predicting what is achievable in each month, up to a year in advance, was always going to be quite tricky! So this year I am breaking things down by category, and giving a deadline in brackets where appropriate rather than a specific month I’ll be doing it in. You will notice that a few of the goals have rolled over from last year due to reasons already stated, but I’m far more confident of knocking most of these babies out this year!
Right, let’s get to it:
- Set up a bank account for my new company (ASAP) – I’ve set up a Ltd company to cover any future website/app earnings and pay any freelance work into. I need a bank account for it so I can get paid! It’s a small goal but still takes a fair bit of admin to do (I am about half way through this already).
- Learn about and submit a tax form (April) – As I started investing into a SIPP and need to claim some tax back, and will possibly have to do a self assessment form as well due to a small amount of adsense earnings from this site.
- Increase Net Worth by £20K or ~30% by end of bonus paycheck (July/August) – I am breaking this and the savings rate goal into two periods, one is up till July or August 1 when my final end of year bonus will come in, and then the final 5-6 months of the year when I’ll only be working part time. Well call this “First half” and “Second Half” for simplicity even though the first half should be slightly longer.
- Achieve overall savings rate of 60% (First Half) – See above. Also note this is highly dependant on whether my company hits it’s bonus, which is kinda out of my hands so not really worth having as a “goal” as such. But I think we’ll do it 🙂
- Increase Net Worth by anything positive (Second Half) – Maybe a bit pessimistic but if we break even on the Second Half I’d call that a win right now.
- Achieve savings rate of > 0% (Second Half) – Again, see above.
- Build one website that is making regular income
- Build a further 2 of my other website ideas
- Build one Android App
- Build one iPhone App
- Secure 2 short term casual freelance projects through contacts
- Offer my services (for free) to a charity for at least 5 days or on a short term project
- Join professional freelance websites and update CV/portfolio – should the more casual work be looking rather bleaker than I’d hoped come December time and my regular paycheck has all but stopped, I really need a fallback so I need to be looking at what is around and what I may be able to secure in the more mainstream freelancing/contract market
- Bathroom refit (July/August) – Fully plumb and install new bath suite, do flooring and tiling and all other DIY aspects
- Garden spruce up (March/April) – Design and create new garden layout – Remove stones and put down small lawn, build up flower beds and create vegetable patch(es).
- Make my own bike shed – (Soon because we want to buy some (second hand) bikes soon and we haven’t got anywhere to store them)
- Make my own composter (Imminent!) – I have the materials and a growing pile of rotting veg to contain!)
- Kitchen frugal refurb (Whenever I get the time) – Put down new flooring as the old one is horrendous, put in a new worktop, but keep all the old cupboards (we may remove a few and repaint remaining ones) and appliances. This should hopefully keep the costs well down whilst making the kitchen seem like a brand new one!
I love a good challenge as you all know, so I need some ideas for some challenges in 2015! Here are some I already have but am not adverse to adding more as we go or if people suggest some good ones.
- £25 per Week Food Bill Challenge – Commenter “T123” has challenged me, quite literally, to see if I can beat their £25 per week food bill. I’m game!
- Sleep challenge – At the moment I probably average 6.5 hours of sleep a night, I’d like to see if I can go a whole week (or more) with actually getting the full 8 hours, to see what the positive benefits are!
- No Meat Challenge – Last year I did a “Less Meat” challenge which was a bit wussypants. I think I should attempt a shorter version but with no meat to really change my perspective on things.
- Switch It Off Challenge – I spend far too much time on this darn laptop or looking at my phone. It’s all time spent reading informational blog posts and other articles, so it’s not wasted time as such, however I could definitely do with some time away from the screen. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! Mrs TFS is no different, and I think it would be nice to have a month where we have a rule of no electronic personal devices after, say, 8pm and/or have a fully screen free (including TV) night per week.
- Run 1 mile under 6 minutes – This was my stated goal in the January Detox II post but I didn’t achieve it, so I am making it a longer term goal over the year to keep me motivated to get out there and Keep on runnin’.
- Run 2 miles in under 13 minutes – See above.
- Run 5K (3.1 miles) in under 20 minutes – Looking at the split times of my PB half marathon I’ve actually already done this between miles 4-6! So it should be easy peasy. However running fast from a cold start is actually quite tough so it remains a good goal to aim for. Also that section of the half marathon was all downhill, so I’d like to achieve this time on a more varied slope course.
- Run a 1:30 Half Marathon – I feel on a slightly flatter course with good conditions (and some more training of course!) this is an achievable milestone for me and I’d be over the moon if I could do it.
- Improve general body strength – Do at least 2 x 10 minute Sworkit 2 body strength work outs per week – My cardio and running fitness is no doubt improving, but my core strength and upper body is pretty weak. I’d like to improve this, not least because I think this will help with my golf and squash games. I don’t want to become a super hulk, just a little bit of extra strength will do for now.
- Get my golf handicap down to 20 – Current handicap is 24 which is going in the wrong direction (was 22 about 2 years ago). With a little more and smarter practice this should be achievable!
- “Get better at squash” – A bit of a subjective one this as I don’t really know how to measure squash success. Obviously if I win more games then that is good, but I guess I will just have to judge whether my technique is improving or not.
- Average 20 weeks alcohol per week or less – Fairly self-explanatory, the recommended limit is 20/week and while I would obviously like to go way below that, I am going to be realistic and admit that 20/week is still quite a big challenge for me to hit right now (lol!). If I can do that and feel the benefits of feeling brighter and breezier, then I can see where I can go from there.
- Write on average 2 posts a week for the whole of 2015
That’s it. I don’t want to set any page view goals or anything like that as I’m fairly happy with the level of readership already attained and I think the blog is at a level where if I achieve the above target this level will at the least sustain if not grow a small percentage each month. It’s at a nice level where I can still reply to most emails and comments without spending too much time on it, so for now, I’m not really bothered if the number of views goes up too much, although if it does, then that’s all good as well!
It made me chuckle a bit when I read FFBF’s relationship goals, not at them as such but just that he had some, but having reflected on this I think it is actually a good idea. We are all so busy nowadays it is sometimes easy to forget to make time for and make an effort for our nearest and dearest, so I will try to make more of an effort to do this for Mrs TFS. I won’t write about it every month as it will probably get boring and is a bit off topic, but just wanted to state publicly that this is one of my goals! One “measurable” will be to have at least one night in the week where we are both at home together, and we can chat, sit down together for dinner and even watch a movie together if we are both just pooped from work (this kinda ties in with the “Switch It Off Challenge” listed above”). It’s a bit of sad state of affairs that this actually has to be a goal, but this is the World most of us live in nowadays. Hopefully this will just be the start of what is to become a normal habit for us and will start to come naturally as things progress!
I will attempt to introduce a weekly or biweekly task setting session, where I will at the least write up a “to do” list of what I want to achieve in the short term. I want to keep this as open ended as possible as don’t know what will work best for me (e.g. weekly or biweekly, exactly what tasks to put on this list, where I will write the list, and so on), so I will leave it at that. I’ve written a bit more about this idea here.
Well that’s it! Better late than never eh?
Have you set any high reaching goals for 2015? Do you think I am aiming high enough or have I put too much on my plate again like last year?! Let me know in the comments!
- It varies from year to year depending on when payroll can be assed to do it ↩
- Sworkit is a great free app I found (it’s on Android but sure they have an iOS one as well) and has lot’s of short workouts you can do, and no equipment needed, which is perfect for cost, ease of access to get going, and people with short time constraints. ↩