End of Year Review & 2017 Goals

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It’s pretty crazy to think that 2016 is over, time just seems to be flying by!

I’ve never been real into making specific New Year’s resolutions. Most years I have an idea of a few areas I’d like to improve in, but I don’t dive into those areas enough to break them down into actionable goals.

This year I decided to think through these areas more thoroughly, and actually come up with some goals for the new year.

I think it’s important to take some time to reflect on what went right for you and what you’d like to improve upon from 2016.

Here are a few personal highlights from my 2016:

  • My wife and I paid off over $18,000 of student loan debt in the last 12 months!
  • I started blogging here at Spills Spot about personal finance, which led to meeting the awesome community of personal finance bloggers. My blog has grown throughout the year, including being featured as part of the AOL Finance Collective and having 15 posts featured on The Financial Diet!
  • I completed another year of working full time, and also worked my second job from April-September. It was a busy summer, but I enjoy both jobs and it helped us make progress towards our financial goals.
  • We moved into a new apartment that we love, which also has a much better commute and slightly cheaper rent.
  • We traveled to Cancun and Seattle for the first time.
  • We opened our first Roth IRA and contributed to it for the first time, while continuing to contribute to our 401k’s.

Looking back, I’m proud of the work I put in throughout 2016 and am pleased with the personal progress I’ve made. I still have a long way to go to reach my long-term goals, but I’m happy and am continuing to take the steps to grow closer to them.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions involve finances and fitness. These can range from wanting to save more money, pay off debt, lose weight, become more active, etc. My 2017 goals largely revolve around those areas as well, and writing them down here will help keep me accountable.

My 2017 goals include:

Completely pay off our remaining student loans (about $8,800 left)  Getting really close! Hoping to have these paid off by my birthday at the end of April.

Build up our cash savings – Once our student loan debt is paid off, our focus will be on building up our cash savings.

Increase our net worth – With debt being paid down and cash savings being increased, our net worth will go up. I have an approximate goal in mind, but we’ll see what type of progress we can make on this goal. Personal Capital is a great free tool that I personally use to track our net worth.

Increase blog traffic – I want to continue to reach more and more people with the message of helping them improve at managing their money!

Write a “Rockstar worthy” blog post – Rockstar Finance is one of my favorite websites. For those unfamiliar with the site, they curate 3 personal finance blog posts every day Monday-Friday from the top personal finance blogs around the web. I read these 3 posts every single day. It’s been a goal of mine for awhile now to have one of my blog posts get featured.

Travel to new places – We have a trip currently planned to visit the New Jersey/New York area. Colorado is very high on my list of places to visit. My wife and I are also itching to go on another tropical vacation hopefully at some point during 2017.

Instill better daily habits – This is vague, but the main habits I want to focus on are reading books and exercising. I read a ton of blog posts on a daily basis, but I practically never read books. I have a huge stack that I need to start working through. My wife and I have decided to devote 30 minutes to reading each evening before going to sleep.

I also want to exercise more. Rather than trying to convince myself to go to the gym 5 days a week and inevitably losing motivation, I’m going to first focus on doing some sort of home exercise at least 3 times per week. Hopefully by starting small I’ll end up actually following through with this goal.

While some of these goals still need to become more specific, I think they’re an effective starting point as I look to continue to make even more personal progress in 2017. My biggest overall goal is to live an impactful life, that helps other people and makes the world a better place. That’s the reason I blog, and it’s the motivation behind what I do.

I’d encourage you to think through what areas you’d like to improve in for 2017, set some specific and measurable goals, and then track your progress throughout the year. It will help us all make 2017 our best year yet! Thanks so much for being a Spills Spot reader, and best of luck with all your 2017 goals!

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