web analytics

Goals For 2011 (Sorry They Are A Little Late…)

January 3, 2011 · 50 comments

in Life

I have read so much about goals and resolutions this past week.  At first I just thought “Eh, I haven’t really done resolutions before, and I don’t think I will this year either…”.  Then I started wondering, “why don’t I set goals?”.  I think part of the reason is I had been a stay at home mom for so long that I didn’t really see where quantifiable goals applied.  I wasn’t striving to make a second income, the family was eating well, I was getting plenty of physical activity as I was doing so much with the kids, etc.  In other words, my life was going pretty darn smoothly, and I didn’t see a need for major change.  (Not saying that was the right way to think, it was just my reasoning.)

Well, the kids are older, I am not as active, life is busier, and I do have some financial goals.  After reading this week, I realized that I do need to sit down and write down some goals.  Not only do I need goals though, I need to review and reevaluate these goals throughout the year.  Otherwise, they will fall by the wayside along with the smaller resolutions I have made in the past.

So, after all the thinking and writing, I came with 8 things I would like to accomplish this year:

  1. Reduce consumption of pop (or soda for those who hate the word ‘pop’) by 90 percent. I felt like if I said I would eliminate pop completely, I may give up on my goal after a few failures.  So, I gave myself some wiggle room in hopes I really stick with it.
  2. Really, really work on not fixating on things I cannot control. I am an admitted control freak.  I have got to accept that I cannot and should not try to control other people, or stress out about things that I have zero influence over.  For example, if there is a snowstorm and I think we might not have school the next day, I cannot sleep.  I wake up constantly all night and call the school’s hotline to see if school is canceled.  Does it really matter if I find out at 2:00 am or 6:30 am that school is canceled?  No!  However, I just love my snow days because we have so much fun, so I want to know if school is canceled as quickly as possible. Can I control if school is canceled?  Nope, although I think I would do a better job at making the decision in a timely manner than our school does.  It is ridiculous that I end up having a cruddy night’s sleep over something I cannot affect whatsoever.  That is just one small example, but I can fixate over just about anything, and I need to stop it for my own sake.
  3. Track spending (somewhat). I am generally a pretty frugal person.   However, now that I am working part time, I am seeing that I am starting to get a little freer with my money.   I am not saying we need an envelope budgeting system or anything like that.  However, maybe I need to think about how much I do spend on my Panera habit instead of putting my head in the sand.  Just because we have a little extra money doesn’t mean I should waste money.
  4. Save my entire income. This will hopefully be the outcome from successfully accomplishing goal number four.  We lived on one income for many years, and I would like to continue to do so.  There is a good chance that my work contract will expire at the end of 2011 anyway, so I have to use this year to save as much as I can.  I do not have a definite plan of where to allocate the money entirely, but I would like to finish that plan soon.  I would like to invest more heavily in dividend stocks to hopefully create a decent dividend income stream down the road.   I have been evaluating some companies and plan to start buying stock in January.
  5. Decorate the house and redo a couple rooms. We had a major renovation a few years ago, and I still have not added much character to these rooms.  Sure they look nice and functional, but they don’t look enough like ‘us’.  We need fireplace doors, pictures, etc.  Also, there is one room in the house left that still has wallpaper, and that wallpaper has got to go.  Finally, I want to paint the basement and change the lighting.  None of these changes will cost a ton of money, they will just take some time.  I need to find that time somewhere.
  6. Allocate my time wisely. I function best on a schedule, and I have known that forever.  So, why have I let my schedule all but disappear?  I have no idea.  I also used to be a morning person, and now I have really hard time getting up by 6:00 am.  What has happened to me???  I plan to think about how much time each day I should devote to writing, exercise, home stuff, and also fit in the 4 hours of work for my part time job.  One bad thing about blogging is I find I can sit for hours reading other blogs and commenting around.  I have to stop being so free with my time and just set a certain amount of time for each activity.
  7. Exercise 5 times a week. This does not have to be intense exercise, but it has to be something.  I enjoy racquetball, so we play that a few times a week.  I have to hit the gym or our home treadmill on most other days I am not doing other activities.  In the warmer months, I like to ride my bike to the store or wherever, but here in Michigan, that is only possible about half the year.  Exercise has got to become a priority for me, and it has to be scheduled or I may not get to it.  I have a gym less than 2 miles away and plenty of exercise machines/videos in the house.  The excuse is I don’t have time, but I have to make time.  If people that work 60 hours a week find a way to exercise, then someone who works 20 hours a week should certainly have time.  What I don’t have is the energy sometimes, but I can’t let that stop me.
  8. Incorporate ‘myself’. I need to protect my side income from the tax man.  I don’t know if an LLC or S Corp is the right way to go, among other things.  I want this goal completed by the end of January.  Then I will be a ‘small business owner’.  (I will definitely let you know what I decide and why.  If you have any thoughts on the matter before I take the leap, please let me know in the comments section of this post or send me an email.)

I think I need to stop at eight goals as I want to make sure I don’t try to change so much that I cannot reasonably keep up with my goals.  You may have noticed I don’t have any blogging goals, and that is because I really don’t know what to expect.  I don’t really want to set a dollar amount goal for this blog because in a way, I don’t have a ton of control over what I earn.  I write on most days, I learn as much as I can.  However, I can’t predict if I will ever get Google Page Rank, which seems to draw advertisers.  In just don’t want to set myself up for failure and frustration.  I would like to set traffic goals, but that too seems rather unpredictable.  If I had to make a goal, it would be to communicate with my readers as much as possible through posting most days and responding to comments.  I also plan to support my fellow bloggers as best I can through commenting and promoting.

Well, there are my goals for 2011.  I may provide a quarterly update to readers, I am not sure.  I have never really done ‘real’ personal goal setting before, so I will be learning as I go along!  Thanks for the motivation to all the people out there that posted their own goals and made me see how goal setting really is important.  I am so excited for the upcoming year!

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Thanks for visiting!!!

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos January 3, 2011 at 6:37 am

Those are good goals, short, intermediate and long term. I like what you say on #2, controlling what you can and forgetting about what you can’t. By coincidence I was skimming last night before bed through Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of Highly Effective People. Habit 1 was exactly about this, making it a practice to be proactive about what falls within the “circle of influence” (control) and being more “meh!” about what falls in the larger “circle of concern”.

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 8:35 am

101 – I am as insightful as Stephen Covey! 🙂 Actually, number 2 is going to be the hardest one for me to accomplish as it is something I have struggled with my whole life. However, I have never made a concerted effort to actually change. I will have so much more peace if I can succeed at number 2!

Reply

101 Centavos January 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm

You *are* as insightful as Stephen Covey. There, I said it. 🙂

Reply

The Grouch January 3, 2011 at 7:56 am

I stopped making New Year’s goals because most of them don’t get acted on. If there is something important you need to change about your life my philosophy is that you will do it immediately, not at some artificial reflection point like New Years. Let us know how #8 turns out and if it helps you save any taxes.

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

I agree with you Biz. However, for me, when I wrote the post about what I learned over the past year, a whole bunch of things that I want to accomplish popped into my head. So, the timing was perfect.

We will see what happens!!

Reply

Nicole January 3, 2011 at 9:08 am

Good luck!

Reply

Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

Kris, those are some exciting goals! You will be surprised what you can accomplish just by writing them down!

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Shawn, that is what I am hoping for. I feel more accountable now that I have told everyone, so I need to keep myself in check!

Reply

First Gen American January 3, 2011 at 10:11 am

During the time I was a product manager and working a gagillion hours per week, I never had “time” to work out. Then I noticed that our CEO was jogging at 11 am every day like clockwork. I was like, okay, if our CEO can carve out an hour a day, there is no reason why I can’t. We are definitely not too busy to work out. We’d just rather do other things.

I much prefer reading and blogging vs working out. I’m struggling with how to balance this as we speak. I may have to set limits on how much time I spend on other’s blogs which is a bummer in some ways, but I don’t want to spend my whole life in my virtual existence vs real life.

So I guess my 5, 6, and 7 goals are the same as yours but we’re doing the decorating at babci’s not at our house.

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Getting off the computer can be a challenge, that is for sure. Maybe because it is just too fun! However, being healthy is fun too I suppose, I just wish the payoff was quicker.

I have started to write out a schedule for myself for the next day the night before. Today’s was totally messed up though because an alarm did not go off. There is always tomorrow!

It is great you do so much for Babci, but remember yourself too.

Reply

First Gen American January 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm

If I showed you babci’s bathrooms you would understand. My husband was telling a friend the other day “the good thing about babci is she’s used to living in 3rd world conditions, so she doesn’t complain too much about the state of her house.”

Babci’s going to Poland for 2 months in a couple of weeks, so it gives us the opportunity to do some much needed work on her dump house.

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Will you come to my house and work on it if I go on vacation? I already listed what I need done in one of my goals. 🙂

You are a great daughter Sandy!!

Reply

Deidre @ TransFormX January 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I too am working on a schedule for fitness. I just finished reviewing a popular fitness program. I will note you when it’s all done and posted.

The best thing I like about it so far is that you can do it at home in about 15-20 minutes with no equipment if you do not have any – using your own body weight. Inexpensive, fast and at home. I like it!! 😉

Reply

Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter January 3, 2011 at 11:00 am

Great list of goals. I particularly like the one about not fixating on things you can’t control. I have personally made that same transition over the last couple years. I can say from personal experience that you will be a much happier and less stressed person. It is definitely worth the time to work on this area of personal growth.

Best of luck in 2011 and in reaching your goals.

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Miss T, can you teach me how not to fixate? 🙂 If I can even make some progress in that area, I will consider this year a success. My own mind can work against me at times.

Thanks for the luck!

Reply

Deidre @ TransFormX January 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Kris,

Nice set of goals! I think you will rock them.

Incorporating is easier than you might think but it does involve alot of pre-planning and thought on your part. This is perfect timing to start this process so it’s great that you included it in your goals. Since this is a new idea for ETT my initial thought would be to get some free or inexpensive software (Turbo Tax or some equivalent) to help you track your income and expenses. By setting this up first you will be more informed as to what the blog is bringing in and what the expenses are for it – even down to the day & penny. This also takes care of one of your resolutions 🙂

You can also get used to tracking these items and will have a clearer picture of whether ETT has touched upon the Hobby Income Conditions.

True to form, the IRS has some interesting conditions that separates the ‘hobby’ from a ‘business’. See this IRS publication for Hobby income and deductions http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=186056,00.html

Condition number 2 in this publication asks whether you DEPEND on the income for a living. If not, then you can still take personal deductions (without incorporating) relating to the hobby but they cannot exceed the total income of the hobby.

If the hobby has made a profit 3 out of 5 years its considered a business. In this case you would really benefit from incorporating.

Choosing a name for your LLC or S-Corp is very important. Definately go with a name that is very broad in scope and can be an umbrella for many things so that you do not have to wind up opening 5 LLC’s or S-Corps (whew…what a paper nightmare that would be!)

Here are some things to be mindful of prior to making the decision.

1. What are the advantages and dis-advantages of incorporating in my state?
2. Does the Hobby Income Conditions apply to my blog?
3. Check on incorporation fees, filing fees and guidelines through LegalZoom .com or some other venue. Last I checked, the IRS only has 1 form to fill out to request the Tax ID number but it cannot be filled out until the LLC or S-Corp paperwork has been filed and accepted.
4. Check with a tax attorney and/or accountant and see if they charge for the initial consult. Many do not.
5. Present them with your scenario and goals and see what their advice is. They may come up with some other alternatives or new guidelines that might need to be met.
6. Get multiple opinions!

I sense some great postings as you navigate through your incorporation experience !! 🙂
Let’s rock 2011!

Reply

Deidre @ TransFormX January 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hey Kris….

I came back to ETT to look at another post you did in your archives about Sams Club and Costco http://everydaytipsandthoughts.com/finance/why-i-am-not-a-member-at-costco-or-sams-club/

And I noticed how long my reply was to your resolutions post! Goodness! I had no idea I had written that much! Hope the info comes in handy for you or someone LOL 🙂 but I didn’t mean to deluge you with facts N figures!!

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hey, I love the comments, and I love that you read another post. Keep reading! 🙂

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Wow, that was a fantastic comment, thank you so much. I didn’t even know about the ‘hobby’ income limits, I will have to look into those rules for 2010.

I thought about the name too and realized I did not want to name it after the blog since I do make money doing some other things too. (All of them legal. 🙂 ) How about “Miscellaneous, LLC” or “Kris Makes Minor Income Corp”? Just kidding of course.

Are you incorporated?

I need to bookmark this comment!

Reply

Deidre @ TransFormX January 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm

So glad it was helpful for you Kris! Yes, I have an LLC and have been self-employed since the late 90’s.

Of course it goes without saying yell if you need any feedback on the incorporation process – glad to assist.

Reply

krantcents January 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Great goals! Monitoring your goals will determine success. Good luck

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Krant, I think you are right. If I don’t measure the progress and keep myself in check, I will most likely fail completely. Good luck on your resolutions too!

Reply

retirebyforty January 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Great goal! I have some feedback.
1) Try mixing orange juice or other juice with carbonated water instead of soda. This is still not great, but much better than soda. Drink more tea. 🙂
4) Awesome goal. I really like this one. Hope you can do it.
8) Incorporate. I need to do this as well. Please keep us updated. From what I read, LLC is much less trouble than S corp.
I just put up my resolutions as well.
Happy New Year!!!

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

RB40 – I will definitely check out your resolutions today! Regarding the pop, I am doing remarkably well without it, and it has been a week. I am shocked I dropped it so easily so far. I will keep the juice tip in mind when tempted though!

I will keep you updated on what I decide to do with the LLC vs S corp. I have a lot to learn in a short time!

Reply

MoneyCone January 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Wonderful goals Kris! Goal 1 hits a chord with me! Everytime I’m at a fast food place and ask for water instead of soda, I get strange looks! ‘But the soda is FREE’!

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm

MoneyCone, you would be proud of me! I actually ordered a water at taco bell today, and I love my pop with my taco bell food! It has been a week since I had a Pepsi, I need to celebrate!

I will have to see what happens when I order a value meal and they try and push the pop on me.

Reply

Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Good Luck with your goals! I’m curious to see if you choose an LLC or an S-Corp. I know there are benefits and drawbacks to both.
Good luck with the soda as well – it’s not that hard once you get into it.

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Jeff, thanks for the luck! I am excited to figure out the incorporation stuff. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult.

I have gone a week without pop and it has gone better than I expected. Let’s hope I can keep it up!

Reply

Lola January 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Wonderful list – very wise of you to keep it manageable. I’m sure you’ll do well, even though it’s hard to resist Panera (esepcially with a rewards card – they know how to tempt you!)

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Lola, Oh, I have no illusions that I will be able to quit Panera cold turkey! I will just have to be more careful I suppose. Without the pop, I lose my chance to get a cheaper bakery item too, this could be a problem…

Reply

Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Nice set of goals. I am also thinking whether it is any good to incorporate. From what (little) I have read, if I am going to incorporate it will be an LLC. I am doing the research as we speak, I will let you know what I decide and why. Can I email you?

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Suba, I would love if you would email me, we can have a conversation!
kris at everydaytipsandthoughts dot com.

Thanks!

Reply

Suba @ Wealth Informatics January 4, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I will do that 🙂

Reply

Kaycee January 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm

1 – Spend less

2 – Save more

3 – Read more

4 – Online less

5 – Declutter

6 – Exercise more

7 – Eat less

Reply

Kris January 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Kaycee- are those your goals or suggestions for me? Or both? They are all good ideas, that is for sure!

Reply

Money Reasons January 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Shoot! I must be getting old, I could swear I commented on this post!!!

Great goals, and I like how thoughtful you were around each!

For #1, I recommend trying lipton (white or green) cold tea packets. I use half a packet, just to give the glass of water I drink some flavor (occasionally).

Reply

Invest It Wisely January 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm

They’re not so late; I haven’t even posted mine yet! Maybe doing things earlier should be one of my goals…

#1 — Agree with Money Reasons. Try different flavours of tea; you might just find another craving.
#2 — Something I personally need to work on is managing my emotions…
#3 — I just switched from an Excel spreadsheet to GnuCash. I’m not going to keep track of every penny, but it’s certainly more efficient and allows better tracking.
#4 — Not going to happen, but I would certainly like to build up blogging income to help. #8 will be something I’ll need to look into at some point!
#5 — That can be a lot of fun. My girlfriend loves that sort of stuff.
#6 — I don’t know what’s wrong with me because even 8am is near impossible for me. I don’t get how the Samurai can sleep at 1am and be up by 5am. Might be my physiology…
#7 — I need to improve here as well.

Good luck on the goals! 🙂

Reply

Squirrelers January 4, 2011 at 12:15 am

Kris,

Just looking over these, I can relate to some of these – and this includes Goal #1! I had given up caffeine for months last year(mostly soda, especially Diet Coke), before resuming again at the end of the year. I’ve started off this year with no soda in the first 3 days – no caffeine actually – and feel great. Soda’s just not good for us, so this is a really good goal you’re sharing.

Goal #9 is one for many bloggers to consider.

Reply

Kris January 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I remember your quest to give up caffeine. I kind of took a different approach as I don’t think caffeine is all that bad for you. I just quit pop because of all the sugar water I was drinking (I have a post in queue about this so I won’t say much more.) I do have an occasional coffee though.

Congrats on your new attempt to quit the caffeine. I often wonder if they will come out with the evils of Nutrasweet one day, or if it really is ok for you.

Have you considered incorporating? Thanks for the extra goal. 🙂 (I know it is a typo…)

Reply

Squirrelers January 4, 2011 at 12:17 am

Ok, in last comment meant Goal#8! Didn’t mean to refer to a special, phantom Goal #9:)

Incorporating is a good idea to consider for those with side business ventures. Looking forward to any further thoughts you share on this topic in future posts!

Reply

Jenna January 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Happy New Year! Seems like you have some great goals mentioned about. I like how they are a mix of financial and personal goals. Hope you keep us posted throughout the year. Personally, I love this one: Really, really work on not fixating on things I cannot control. I need to do that too!

Reply

Kris January 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Jenna, thank you!

I am already making progress on the fixation part. I am so relaxed, and I don’t even know why. I just put the things I normally worry about out of my head. Will they all come back and swarm me when I least expect it? Maybe, but I hope not.

Reply

Crystal @ BFS January 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I like your goals! Good luck with soda – that was hard for my husband to move away from. I think we just ended up substituting in sweet tea though…

Reply

Kris January 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

BFS – Thanks for the well wishes. I have been pop-free for 10 days now without issue. I don’t even crave it anymore. I hope it lasts! So far, it has been fairly easy. (Knock on wood)

Reply

Izza March 11, 2011 at 11:34 am

Having goals inspires as to go on with life, strive hard and move on. Its a good thing that you always keep track on your goals! keep posting!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 5 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: