New Blog and 2016 Goals

new yearsThe year 2015 was a life-changing one for me. In February, we welcomed a baby boy, who has been the source of much joy and sleep deprivation. He’s proved to me that love can be unconditional and is also forcing me to learn to be more patient, selfless and compassionate — all the hard way, of course.

In March, I finally landed my dream job. Well, it wasn’t my dream job in college, where I studied corporate finance. But after I graduated, was unemployed for six months and then spent the next 18 months as a bank teller and basement-level analyst, my personal finance blog and freelance writing I did on the side created a new opportunity for me. Now, I spend my days at home in a T-shirt and basketball shorts, writing about credit cards and consumer credit. And I work for a company that’s dedicated to providing clarity and solutions to life’s financial decisions. Yay!

In August, we moved back to Utah. I had been feeling drawn back to my home state for some time, but waited until we both felt like it was the right decision. It’s been great being back home and my job makes it possible to visit my in-laws for an extended period of time (or anywhere else for that matter) because I can work wherever I want.

Why the new blog

I (stupidly) sold my old blog, The Wealth Gospel, when I started my new job because I thought I’d be tired of writing after writing all day. And for a long time, I was. But when you write about the same topics every day for months on end, it’s nice to mix it up a little.

The other day, I saw that my blog had been sold again to some dude in India and it made me sad to see something I had put my heart and soul into turned into a low-quality, keyword-obsessed pile of meh. Who am I to complain? I sold it. They don’t owe me anything. Right? Right.

But seeing that made me decide to start a new blog; one where I can write about whatever I want. Even with my old blog, I was pigeonholed as a personal finance blogger. Now I look forward to more flexibility.

2016 goals

Now onto the goals. Last year’s goals went pretty well. I reached 5 out of 7, which is pretty solid considering I was 5 for 11 the year before.

This year, I’m breaking it down into categories again to make sure I don’t focus too much on one or two things and leave out the rest.

Financial

  1. Buy a car with a $5,000 down payment – It hasn’t been too difficult to work with one car with me working from home, but the one we have is getting up there in miles and we’ll need a bigger car in the next year or two as our family grows.
  2. Max out an IRA – We were on track to do this during 2015, but the move threw a lot of things off and this goal hit the back burner. Time to get back on track.

Physical

  1. Lose 50 lbs. – Last year, I had a goal to lose 45 lbs. and I ended up gaining 25 lbs. instead. This seems appropriate. The difference this year? I shaved my head and I’m growing out my beard until I reach my goal. Honestly, it’s been a little slow going since I started in October, but I’m working through a back injury and am looking forward to getting it done before the beard gets too out of hand.
  2. Run a 10k – My problem with exercising is that I push myself too hard too quickly. Instead of building up naturally, I go hard. The last time I got back into running, for example, I went from 1-mile runs to 8-10 mile runs within just a few months. That ended in a stress fracture in my foot. This time, I’m giving myself a whole year to work up to 6.2 miles. I think I should be able to do it.

Mental

  1. Read 25 books (5 non-fiction, 3 spiritual/Gospel-related) – Last year I read 24 books, but it was mostly fiction. I want to diversify a little this year and try to make it a little more meaningful.

Writing

  1. Start a new blog – Done! 🙂
  2. Write three short stories – The goal in 2015 was five short stories and I started writing one…and never finished it.

Career

  1. Move into a different role – As much as I love writing, I also love what the business side of my company is doing, especially with offering personalized help to our readers so they can make better financial decisions. That’s something I’m passionate about and I think I can be of better use doing that than writing articles. Not that I’m complaining, of course. I love what I do, but it’s not the only thing I want to do.

That’s it for now, though I may add to it in the next couple weeks. I was concerned at first of making too many goals. But as I get better at setting and keeping track of my goals, it becomes easier to create and follow action plans to meet those goals.

Here’s to a better year! Got any awesome goals you want to share?

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