*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions and setting goals for 2017.  I’m a little late on this considering that it’s almost February, but it’s better late than never, right?

We’ve all had times when we’ve had trouble sticking with a goal – whether it’s a new diet, an exercise regimen, or a shopping ban. In January, the gyms are packed, but by February, they start emptying out.  Starting is easy – it’s staying motivated to keep going that’s often tough.

One of the things I like about sharing my goals with others is that it helps to hold me accountable.  Here are the steps I take each year to set goals that I will be motivated to accomplish.

Step One. Reflect on the past year.  What went well?  Where can you improve?

Step Two. Set specific, measurable goals for the next 12 months.

Step Three. Create ways to hold yourself accountable – for example, planning monthly check-ins to review your progress or sharing your goals with others (“accountability partners”) who encourage you to stick to your plans.

Reflecting on 2016

Back in December of 2015 (when I was new to blogging), I shared my goals for 2016 and my bucket list of 25 things I want to accomplish before I die.  It’s funny looking back on this now because I never would’ve guessed that I would actually manage to do a lot of these things in 2016!  Here’s the list:

  • Have a blog with 100,000 page views per month.
  • Create an e-book.
  • Deliver an online course.
  • Offer a giveaway on the blog.  I offered a giveaway of the book Healthy Brain, Happy Life.
  • Create multiple income streams on the blog.  I have earned income through freelance writing, sponsored posts, and affiliates.
  • Write sponsored posts as one source of income.  Done.
  • Create at least one form of passive income through blogging.  Done – I am an affiliate for Amazon and Bluehost.
  • Be mentioned on another blog (in some form other than a guest post).  Done.
  • Motivate someone to change their diet or exercise habits.
  • Help someone lose weight.
  • Inspire someone to do the “debt snowball” on their student loans.
  • Inspire someone to decide not to take on student loan debt in the first place.
  • Help someone else to cope with their anxiety, depression, or OCD.  Done.
  • Help others to realize that introversion has many benefits, and that it is not a disease that needs to be cured. (I highly recommend the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking).
  • Adopt a pug (or two).  Done.  I adopted Herbie in June of 2016.
  • Donate to a pug rescue and other organizations that help animals.
  • Give money to a church.
  • Read the entire Bible.  Halfway done.  I read the entire Old Testament in 2016 on the app She Reads Truth.
  • Let go of all of my anxiety and have complete trust in God.
  • Complete Financial Peace University.  Completed in December of 2016.
  • Pay off my student loans by 2018.
  • Pay cash for a vehicle.  We paid for the hubby’s $4,000 smart car 100% in cash.
  • Pay off a mortgage early.
  • Save enough money to be comfortable during retirement.
  • Accumulate enough money to be able to afford being a generous gift-giver on holidays.

Here were my goals for 2016:

  • Grow my blog from hundreds of page views to at least 1,000 page views per month – then, continually increase the goal as a I reach it.  I currently receive about 9,000 page views per month.  I’d like that to be much higher, but it’s a HUGE improvement from where I was a year ago.
  • Guest post on at least 10 blogs/websites.  I guest posted on about 15-20 sites in 2016. Woo-hoo!
  • Develop a Pinterest strategy.  Major fail. 
  • Grow Facebook followers to at least 500 and Twitter to at least 300.  I currently have 460 followers on Facebook and 472 on Twitter.
  • Pay at least $12,000 extra on my student loans.  FAIL.  I paid a little less than $10,000 extra toward my student loans due to some major unexpected expenses.
  • Lose 15 more pounds.  FAIL.  I didn’t lose any weight and instead gained back the majority of the 35 pounds I lost in 2015.  I had too many cheat days and started snacking too often.

2017 Goals

Here are my goals for this year!

Blogging

  • Reach 20,000+ page views per month by the end of 2017.
  • Guest post on at least 6 blogs/websites.
  • Get 50% of my referral traffic from Pinterest (I currently receive minimal traffic from Pinterest but I’m making some major changes to my Pinterest strategy – more on that soon).
  • Increase my affiliate income.  I am currently an affiliate for Amazon and Bluehost, but this is a small percentage of my blogging income right now (I make the majority of my blog income through sponsored posts).

Financial

  • Put at least $12,000 extra toward my student loans.
  • Continue the 3 year spending ban.  Try to find at least 5 NEW free things to do this year.  I’ve been doing a lot of the same things over and over (board game nights, walks, etc) and it gets boring.  Any suggestions??
  • Reduce the amount I spend on groceries by 20%.  This is one area where I really overspend.  Part of this goal is eating EVERYTHING that’s in the fridge and reducing waste.

Health

  • Do my physical therapy exercises (for my neck/shoulder issues) daily with my foam roller.
  • Continue going to holy yoga classes 1-2x per week.
  • Walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes 5x per week.
  • Get 10,000 steps per day (I’m tracking this with my FitBit).
  • Completely eliminate cheat meals (pepperoni pizza is my weakness).

Personal

  • Go to church every week.
  • Read the New Testament on the She Reads Truth app.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier each day and wake up 30 minutes earlier every morning.

What are your goals for 2017?

Other stuff you might like:

My Personal Finance “Aha” Moment
How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps
Side Hustle Series: Pet Sitting
No, I Don’t Want to Join Your Pyramid Scheme
How to Go From Hundreds of Page Views on Your Blog to Thousands

Personal Finance Resources:

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
YOLO: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life by Jason Vitug
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
It’s Only Money and It Does Grow on Trees by Cara MacMillan

Blogging Resources:

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
365 Blog Topic Ideas for the Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About by Dana Fox
ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income

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