Welp, we’re already into the second week of the new year, and of the new decade. Time to start working on those new 2020 goals.
How are your resolutions going to eat healthier, go to the gym more, and to save money? I don’t know if those are actually your new years resolution or not, but those are the three most common ones.
Personally, I don’t like to do resolutions. That’s the term people use for their whimsical ideas at the beginning of the year. I prefer to make goals, and to call them just that.
I also realize my goals may need modified throughout the year. Life happens and goals change. I don’t modify the goals just to make them more achievable.
Setting the 2020 Goals
I’m going to use two different methods to help me create my goals. The first method is to create SMART goals. Using the SMART goals method help to define the boundaries of your goals. The second method I’m going to use to help define my goals is know as The Wheel of Life, popularized by Zig Ziglar. The Wheel of Life give different categories that you need to write goals for.
Each and every goal should be “SMART”. SMART is an acronym for the following:
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Relevant/Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Or if synonyms help you more:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
The Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life has seven different “spokes”, or areas of a person life, that they should be making goals for. These align with the “S” for Specific when creating SMART goals.
The seven categories of The Wheel of Life are:
The 2020 Goals
I won’t be sharing every category with you, but here are the goals I think y’all might be interested in.
I’m trying something new this year. Check out the goal tracker chart below.
It’s simple, easy to read, and will be a quick visual on how I am progressing on my goals. Here is a sample of what my goal summary will look like.
Max out ROTH IRAs by March
This is our first financial priority every year, and one that we usually get done pretty quick. We are already taking about $4,000 from December and putting it towards the ROTHs. That leaves $8,000. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were done by the end of February.
Fund 529 with $15,000 by July
The second priority this year will be funding our newborn’s college. I previously used a 529, and still plan on doing so for our second child, but I have read a couple persuasive arguments on why you might want to consider putting the money elsewhere.
I also anticipate that we will complete this goal a little early as well. I’m not as sure about this one though, because we will have medical bills to pay by then. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Max out one of our 401k’s by End of Year
This is a stretch goal. I was about $6,000 shy of hitting the limit in 2019. To reach the maximum amount this year means an extra $500 a month.
The catch is, I don’t think I will have made up my mind until mid-year, meaning an additional $1,000. That’s a significant portion of my paycheck each month. Secondly, this goal competes with the real estate investing goal (See below).
I’ll have to see if both are feasible, and if not, decide which is more important.
Increase passive income > $10,000
Our passive income for 2019 was about $6,500. I’d like to get this up a little year by year until I retire. There are two main ways I plan to achieve this goal.
- Dividends & Interest
This is where all of our passive income came from in 2019. We have continually reinvested dividends, and we put money into our Roth IRAs and 401(k), so I expect our returns to increase as a result.
- Real Estate Investing
We have saved a decent pile of money through 2019. Still not enough to buy a property, but if we continue to save, we should have enough. The big question we have to answer is how we want to enter real estate investing. We our undecided between flipping a house or trying rental properties, or some combo of both.
Average Savings Rate > 60%
Our savings rate for 2019 was about 57%. A 3% increase may not sound like much, but I think it will be tough for us. A couple of reasons for this. A) There’s not a whole lot of room for us to cut discretionary spending. B) We plan to pay for pregnancy expenses out of pocket.
The reasons I think we can increase the savings rate are: A) that property taxes are about the same, B) I don’t anticipate as many car expenses, C) hopefully we will get pay raises.
Provide More Value to my Readers
I would like readers to have a valuable experience when they visit Gone on FIRE. I’ll add value by producing content that people want to read.
Second, I will also produce more downloadable content, similar to my Zero-Based Budget Helper.
Third, I would like to be more social on platforms like Twitter. That’s probably the hardest one for me.
I’m the one who usually does the listening while others do the talking. I’ll measure this goal in terms of traffic to the site, comments, and downloads.
Read at least 6 Books
That’s not a whole lot of books, I know, but it’s more than the 1 or 2 I read last year. I probably spend too much time reading articles and other peoples blogs. Out of the books I did read in 2019, I would recommend reading Extreme Ownership.
My book list for this year includes:
(Heads up: Affiliate links)
- Your Money or Your Life
- The Millionaire Next Door
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The Purpose Driven Life
- Start with Why
- See You at the Top
Lose Body Fat while Keeping Weight above 150 lbs.
I’ve been eating a lot of junk food over the last couple years. That has resulted in my belly growing to the point where it jiggles. That irritates me, so I’m going to fix it. My weight has remained relatively stable, meaning I’ve lost some muscle along the way as well.
I go to the gym pretty regularly (Not looking forward to it being crowded this time of year), so it’s mostly a matter of my diet. I’ll have to be more careful about what I eat. The main food I’m going to focus on eating less of is fried food. That’s making me hungry just thinking about it. I love my fried chicken and French fries. I’ll have to try to eat grilled chicken more.
I’ll measure my success using the most scientific way available to me (meaning I don’t have to spend money to buy something). Squeezing my belly fat. That should give me a pretty accurate measure, right? Anyways, I think it’s good enough that I can tell I’m making progress.
Goals beyond 2020
I do have some long-term goals I’m working on. I mean, the whole reason I started this blog is to have the option to retire at the end of this decade, by 2030 (Not 2020 ☹).
Earn $30k/year in passive income
Save up $1 million
My goal after I determined My FI Number was to save up a million bucks. With my current expenses (assuming we move), I would be able to live off 3.5% of that annually. A withdrawal rate of 3.5% from the million means that the million should last the rest of my life, assuming it is invested properly.
The passive income is there to help give a cushion, and also make it so I don’t have to draw down the nest egg letting it grow over time. Ideally, I hope to achieve this goal by 2030. This year, we generated 20% of the goal for passive income. Our accessible net worth is about 10% of the million-dollar goal.
I like the feeling of security, so knowing me, I’ll probably keep working until the amount are at least doubled. $2 million in investments and $60,000 a year in passive income.
Build our dream house
This is a goal that I don’t think I have talked about here before. My wife in I would one day like to have our dream house built. We are always looking for a property with some land, or even just a lot of land with no structures on it. We would like to have some space between our neighbors and ourselves.
The dream of no more shared fences! Our dogs free to bark without having the cops called. (Really, its just one dog that barks.) The list of reasons goes on and on. Aside from not having neighbors in close proximity, we would like to have the luxury of looking out our window and seeing trees and/or country side.
That sums up my goals for 2020. I’ll provide a status update when I post my monthly net worth reports.
What are some of your 2020 goals?
Try writing them down and see if that helps you throughout the year. Remember, if it’s not written down, it never existed.