I last evaluated my progress towards my goals at the end of January, so it may be time to have another look. At the beginning of 2011, I set financial and personal goals for the year to keep me focused on improving not only my finances but other aspects of my self.
Goal 1. I will consider the year successful if I increase my income from my projects by $100,000. Status: complete. I’ve already achieved this, comparing the first four months of 2010 with the first four months of 2011. At first glance, it may appear that I was too conservative with this goal, but there is some fickleness in the market that is tough to navigate.
Goal 2. My goal is to increase my net worth by at least $275,000 in 2011. Status: on track to exceed. I’m almost there. My increase so far this year has been $221,000. Again, while it appears my goal was too conservative, it still remains difficult to know what the situation will look like in a few months.
Goal 3. I will invest one tenth of my gross income for retirement. Status: on track. My investments are designed to maximize my Individual 401(k), but I’ll need to look outside the box to continue investing for retirement in the most tax efficient manner. Many readers have commented that I should have considered dedicating a stronger percentage of my income.
Goal 4. Offer a down payment of 30 to 40 percent on a house. Status: stalled. This is a possible goal, but first I need to decide where and when to “settle down.”
Goal 5. Charity. I didn’t set a specific goal for charity, but I have a few organizations I continue to contribute to on a monthly basis, as well as my charitable gift fund. I am already making plans for an even bigger charity challenge for the month of November, so I am counting on readers joining me for a great cause at that time.
Goal 6. I plan to have two photo shoots a month. Status: needs improvement. As we start looking at the more personal goals rather than financial goals, the cracks are apparent. I may have averaged two photos shoots per month since the beginning of the year, but I haven’t put as much time into photography as I would have liked. This is a great hobby, and I want to do more. As is typical, priorities that involve income often require more of my attention. My former photography teacher might call me to help with a session with a famous civil rights activist who lives in the area, but the session might not happen, and even if it does, there’s no guarantee that he’ll call.
Goal 7. By the end of 2011, I want to have lost at least 15 pounds through more exercise and better nutrition. Status: on track. I started the year doing well with exercise, and I’ve lost about 10 pounds so far. My pants no longer fit around the waist, and this is definitely an improvement. Spurred on by some encouraging words, I plan to find and work with a personal trainer to help my achieve this goal and continue to improve my physique.
Are you progressing towards your goals for the year?