It is the first week of 2016 and I am looking at 2015 in a somewhat bemused and incredulous state of mind. I really can’t believe that I quit my job, went to Hawaii and Australia for 2 months, started freelancing basically from scratch, and still am eating. I spent some time looking through my photos and I can’t believe my 2015. In fact…
I Amaze Myself..But
How 2015 went will not be good enough for 2016. I expect more for myself.
Here’s a brief recap of 2015:
- A Bit of A Hot Mess-You can read more about my first year freelancing in the following post: 20 Lessons Learned From My First Year Freelancing.
- Money-The year was financially a bit of a mess…happily my income is growing as we speak.
- Health-Didn’t lose the stupid 20 pounds that has been driving me crazy.
- Debt-Still need to pay off my debt-Am.So.Over.It.
- Meeting “the One”-Dating could have been better (A LOT) better.
- Family Time-Spent time with my Grandma and other relatives. I feel so good about this-it made my year.
- Family Time-Spent more time with my mom-which I really enjoyed.
- Travel Rocked-Uhh, I went to Hawaii, Sydney, Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, The Australian Tennis Open, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Atlanta. It was pretty amazing, I can’t even pretend that it wasn’t. I’m good for travel for 2 or 3 years. Seriously.
- FinCon15-Epic I tell ya, epic. I absolutely love that conference. It’s like going to a family reunion with people making serious money.
- Spoke at 2 conferences-This was a result of group goals that my Mastermind group set.
- Networked like a freaking BOSS-Connected with some great people and some wonderful organizations that I’m still working with at this moment!
- Grew my income-As a result of the networking.
- Spent more time with friends-I love my friends and all of their little people. It has been wonderful reconnecting with everyone.
- My Mastermind Group! I wouldn’t have grown my blog without the support, wisdom, and information, that my Mastermind group shared with me. I consider them forever friends.
- Started learning how to drive-no, I don’t have my license yet…baby steps people, baby steps. Have you seen the traffic in Denver-it’s really bad!
- Blog Growth-Blog has experienced serious growth in the past year and I’ve begun to implement monetization strategies.
- Much Healthier-No illnesses and only 1 migraine the entire year (after being chronically sick and having incessant migraines in the last year of my old job) I can’t believe how good I feel physically.
- Buying my Soda Stream-I love that machine. Basically killed my Perrier habit at home…but I still get Perrier when I go out for dinner 🙂
Plan for 2016
I have a big plan for the year in the following aspects of my life: Diet, Debt, Dating, and Dollars (am a broken record LOL!) But I thought I would share exactly what the goals are, how I’m working towards them, and making the process simple enough for me to follow and not quit when the going gets tough.
Dollars and Debt
These two are grouped together because without dollars I won’t be able to deal with the debt. I would love to make around six figures in 2015. How in the heck do I plan on doing this?
- Weekly earnings goals-I actually implemented this to a certain degree in the Fall but was traveling too much to really make it work. I have a certain amount of billable income that has to be invoiced or earned each week. This means that I have to consistently be pitching and working on finding ways to grow my income.
- Save MORE-I have created a savings plan for each month so that I can save money a lot faster than I have been. This is actually my number one priority.
- Grow Passive Income-I am very, very focused on growing my passive income via my blog. Monetizing my blog is a very recent strategy and I am starting to see some promising results. Will be sharing more about this soon.
- Set Debt Repayment Benchmarks-I have debt repayment benchmarks scheduled for each earnings quarter. I have to meet them and I’m trying to figure out a reward for meeting each benchmark.
- Travel Changes-For the first 6 months of this year if I travel it will only be related to business related projects. Travel became a huge distraction this fall because it took at least 2 weeks after each trip (and almost 4) after FinCon to recover. That affected my business growth.
- Cash Only-I was on a cash only budget for the majority of this year. I did slip (sigh) but I’m back on my cash budget for the rest of 2016.
- Look at Every Expense-More than any other year, I really need to focus on all of my expenses. I’ve gotten pretty frugal: eliminated my clothing budget, cut my grocery expenses, and cut my weekly expenses because I work from home now.
- FinCon16 Deadline-All credit card debt must be paid off by FinCon. I don’t know if that’s possible, but that’s my goal.
To be honest, I eat really clean and at really good food. I’m also pretty active BUT I’ve hit a weight loss plateau for the past year. The problem: I’m not moving enough.
- Move more-I have set weekly exercise benchmarks that I have to attain. I live 5 blocks from my gym and I will be going in the morning (this is painful for me) and then doing some type of exercise in the afternoon. Each week I’ve looked at my schedule and set aside time to move. I used to teach dance class, was a cheerleader, etc. Once I get in the habit I will get addicted to the endorphins. It’s just getting started that has been hard for me.
- Set a Goal-I’ve decided to run in the Colfax 1/2 Marathon in May. As it gets warmer I will join a running group as well.
To be honest, dating used to be so freaking easy (and fun!) Now, it feels like work and I hate online dating-even though I have an active profile. I’ve decided to let go of any exceptions for next year and just be in the moment. So much easier!! Don’t worry, dating is on my Vision Board, I just don’t want to overthink the whole process.
It just stopped being fun.
I still truly love blogging and am still really enjoying the process. There are a number of ways to approach blogging when you’re in your 4th year and I’ve decided to do a mix:
- Authority on a topic-I’ve figured out the 8 things that I consistently seem to enjoy writing about and will continue do that…but with a little more intentionality.
- Magazine Aesthetic-I am obsessed with magazines. I love the way a new magazine has fresh content, pictures, etc. So, I would like to tweak my blog to reflect that love.
- Summer Refresh-I’m hoping to update the blog this summer. Will see how that goes.
I now consider myself a “Mathority” (magazine curator with authority LOL!) Here are the numbers that I’m looking at for 2016:
- Roll Out My Blog/Reader Initiatives-There are 3 specific things I would like to really help my readers (and myself) with this year. I will be sharing these initiatives soon.
- Blog Views for 2016-Grow them to 500,000 a month by the end of the year. I have goals for my social media as well.
- Continue Monetizing-I am in the process of monetizing my blog with the goal of growing my my passive income. End of 2016 monthly goal: $10,000 a month because WHY NOT?
- Girl Gone Frugal Podcast-My podcast feed is broken 🙁 I need to get that fixed and will get that done in the next 2 weeks. My goal is: 500,000 downloads for the year which is a crazy goal but I’m going to try LOL!
The blog has been experiencing a high rate of growth recently and I will be sharing a post on that at the end of this month.
Who am I kidding? I am a travel maniac. But the goal for spring is to stick close to home unless I have a business opportunity during the Spring….that pays or offers great networking possibilities.
I was basically gone from Denver for 3 months last year which was a little insane. I have no desire to travel after October this year as it was to much with the Holiday season starting. Here are the trips I tentatively have planned so far.
- Visit Grandma-She has a milestone birthday in June (Illinois) (4 days)
- Podcast Movement Conference-This July in Chicago. See Grandma again while I’m in Illinois. (7 days)
- FinCon16-in San Diego!! One of my favorite American cities. Love that town. Can’t wait. (5 days)
- Trip With Mom-I have some serious mileage points left from last year’s trip. I would like to do a mother/daughter trip with my mom this year. We shall see how it goes. (10 days)
- Trip with bestie-My best friend is English and as a result lives in England. We are planning a family trip sometime this year. Probably in the Fall to somewhere tropical. Will see how this goes (10 days) as this would be overseas
- South America-I’ve been studying Spanish for years now and would like to spend some time in a Spanish Immersion program. (4 weeks).
Visiting my Grandma, Podcast Movement, and FinCon16 are the 3 non-negotiable trips. By the way if I went on all of those trips it still would be about 4 weeks less than what I did in 2015.
Yep, I traveled that much last year. I was pretty tired by the end of last year so I’m looking very, very closely at possible travel for this year as I really don’t want to be out of town as much as I was last year. It affected business, my money, and my dating LOL!
I’m excited about this year because I’m dealing with fewer focus areas which will make it easier for me to focus on what needs to get done.
This was a LONG post!
How Does Your 2016 Look? What Are Your Goals and Plans? How Are You Going to Make Them Happen?