I know it’s getting a bit late in January, so I thought it’s time to write all about my 2018 goals. Some of these are going to be a “re-do” from 2017, and others will be new. Before the holiday I wrote about Big, Hairy, Audacious goals and this list will be full of them.
I have a pretty clear picture of where I want to be by 2020, when I turn 40 (I’m currently 37). Less clear is the picture of how to get there, as it always is. For some of my long term goals the path is pretty straightforward, albeit difficult. For others the path is murky, filled with unknowns and darkness.
So without further ado, here are my 2018 goals. If you’re interested in me designing one of these for you and your 2018 goals, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to put one together for you to help you reach your goals and dreams! I personally find this format inspiring and helpful – you can even print it out if you want to.
My Family Goals
Oldest – Last year my oldest son went from First Class scout to Star Scout. This year his focus is achieving Life Scout, which is the final rank before going for the one most people know – Eagle Scout. More about the financial side of scouting can be found in my prior post here.
If you don’t have a child in scouts you’ve probably heard about Eagle Scout, that it’s an amazing achievement, and maybe that they do community service projects, but not much more. Well the process to achieve Eagle scout is long, requiring typically years of work, completion of many (21) merit badges in addition to that final project, and lots of other requirements/service to the community. The purpose of the rank is not just checking the boxes of achievement, though – it’s about how a person matures in their personal life and leadership skills along the way.
I’ve always wanted my son to have becoming an Eagle Scout as his goal, not mine or my husbands. There are parents in his scout troop that push-push-push their kids through every single rank and merit badge. This results in what some call “paper Eagles”, who are Eagle scout in rank but not necessarily in heart. We always support our son, tell him how proud we are of his achievements, and talk about the advantages of becoming an Eagle Scout. But we don’t force him to do anything that he ultimately doesn’t want to do.
When he was in middle school, he wasn’t overly interested in becoming an Eagle Scout. He was more focused on having fun with scouting – going to camp outs, talking with friends, learning to cook, and so on. He didn’t reach First Class until the middle of 8th grade, when you can reach it in 6th or early 7th grade if you push it. Even though he finished later, he was actually the first person in his patrol (5 same-aged boys) to get the rank.
So far he received honors at school last semester – high honors in fact – and I’d like him to keep that up throughout his freshman and sophomore years.
Middle – He was granted the role of Little John in Peter Pan for this years school drama club performance, and it’s a perfect match. He looks a lot like Little John! He’s continued playing the drums this year in band and in fact just had his first concert the other day. He’s been visiting different Boy Scout troops in town to decide which one to join at the end of the year, and is excited to start working toward First Class. And I’ve entered him into the lottery for a spot in one of our states magnet schools for middle school – looking forward to seeing if he gets into one of his choices.
Youngest – Turning three is a big achievement! Going to continue working on those pre-kindergarten basics, like shapes, colors, numbers and the alphabet. He’ll be able to start preschool in the fall, so we’ll be enrolling him in the same one his older brothers went to. It’s a great school (a bit of a haul from the house though) that’s part of an elementary education program at a local college.
Nothing huge planned on the work front this year, at least not as of yet. I’ll be working on a new project but the same measures of success (on time, on budget, with the right scope). I’ll also continue helping my overall department with the agile transformation, and look for other opportunities to do activities outside my day-to-day work role. In the past 15 plus years in corporate America, I’ve learned the only constant is change. So I’ll be looking out for changes and the opportunities they bring.
On the blog front, I’m setting a very ambitious goal to reach 100k people this year. I’ve got a ton of great ideas, but of course, a limited amount of time in which to work on them. You’ll see some awesome things here on the site this year, and you just might catch me in a national magazine sometime in the spring. 🙂
In terms of income, I have set the modest goal of earning “enough” through this site and freelancing. What do I define as “enough”? Enough to break even on expenses like site hosting, e-mail, domain name, and FinCon travel, as well as enough to start investing more into the site itself. Right now I run a shoestring operation as a passion project, and in order to reach and help more people I need to invest in growth.
There is a lot of “easyish” money to be had running a site like this, but my standards are high. I’m not going to take on partners that I don’t think bring value to the livest of my readers, and I’m not going to just splash the site full of ads for the sake of making money. Instead I’m looking for partners that have messages I believe in, offer high quality services, and bring true value into the lives of others. This is why you don’t see me pitching website hosting or a ton of courses on my site – high standards.
These goals are pretty much unchanged from last year. I want to continue to read more books and expand my knowledge; bake new recipes; do art projects; and this year to actually re-do the playroom. I haven’t touched that room since we moved in about 12 years ago and it really doesn’t look like a room for kids. It’s covered in dark blue wallpaper, not well insulated, and generally is pretty drab. The boys still love playing there, which is why it hasn’t been a huge priority, but I’d love to make it better this year.
I’m continuing the long term, slow slog to paying off the mortgage and saving for college. This year I’d like to bump each boys college up by 10% more towards their ultimate goals, get that mortgage payoff fund at 75% of need, and max out retirement/HSA accounts. Balancing huge long-term goals is tricky, but the advantage of being debt free is that I can focus all our collective energy on them.
We’ve taken road trips in the Northeast the past few years, and have often gone to Florida (where my brother and sister in law both live). As a family, we haven’t really been out west, which is where we would like to head this year. We’ll also continue to do at least one day trip per month and our annual camping trip/time with the scouts.
One new item on the list is to begin planning our big post-mortgage payoff trip. This is a trip I’ve been dreaming about for years, and I want to do this before my oldest son heads off to college. We’ve been talking about either Europe or Japan, so I want to start discussing/planning it in earnest to get us more excited and motivated about the upcoming mortgage payoff.
I have a fund I started back when my husband and I first got married, that I keep as a “big trip” fund. It’s sitting and steadily growing over time, and although I don’t currently add to it (focusing on my other goals right now) it should be enough to fund either trip. Particularly when combined with extra cash flow from having no mortgage payment.
Top goal is of course to have no major health events for my husband. Since a very large and complex surgery in 2015 (total abdominal wall reconstruction, for those interested), his overall health has been stable. I’d like to keep it that way in 2018.
This year we need to get working on that hiking merit badge, and I’m putting my old goal of walking at work at least three times a week back on here. My schedule this year should make this easier than it was in 2017.
How About You?
Tell me about your 2018 goals – I’d love to hear more about them in the comments! Lets do this!
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