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Goal Progress After April 2011

This article was written by in Planning. 13 comments.

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?

Published or updated May 2, 2011.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

I know, squeezing in the personal stuff is hard. I have a hard time with just having “fun hobbies” because the rewards of doing other things (that are income producing for me) are more tangible. Hobbies just being for fun and enjoyment, with no end goal, are hard for me to swallow. It’s a problem, I know :)

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avatar 2 Ceecee

You are doing so well. I hope you are having some fun too! Can’t get these days back.

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avatar 3 Luke Landes

Thanks, Ceecee! I am having some fun… always looking for more, though.

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avatar 4 rewards

“Goal 5. Charity. I didn’t set a specific goal for charity”

Might I suggest a percentage of your gross income? My wife and I currently aim for 1%.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Congratulations! I am surprised how much progress I have made with one of my most difficult goals (become patient). I used my impatience to achieve goals before, but never tried to cure the negative side of being impatient. During the first 4 months of 2011, I discovered the triggers for my impatience, worked on the causes and started to show some positive results. It is still a work in progress, but I am seeing good results.

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avatar 6 Luke Landes

That sounds like a great idea! Glad it’s working out for you.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

While you’re income is hard to plan for in the future, I think you should set up a date to re-assess goals, and increase them if necessary. Although I’m not sure how much the goal itself actually pushes you, as much as just seeing your net worth increase. Seems like for income you make what you can, and then it happens to surpass the goal.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

“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.” That is a big one. Also helps if you have a “could rent this out” plan if you choose to move again.

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avatar 9 The Latter-day Saver

Flexo, nice job with your goals. By the way, I am not sure if you have mentioned it before, but what camera / lens(es) do you shoot with?

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avatar 10 Luke Landes

I have a Canon 1D Mark III (which I purchased used) and an XTi with an assortment of lenses (17-85mm for the XTi, 10-22mm, 50mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2L Macro, 70-300mm, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8). I occasionally swap lenses with a friend, as well, depending on what either of us wants to use at any time.

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avatar 11 skylog

great job flexo! you are a driven and hard-working individual and i so very much appreciate the number of and specific goals you set for yourself. this is something i still struggle with so much. i do have a question for you though:

since you have either surpassed or soon will surpass many of your goals, do you plan to ammend any of them?

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avatar 12 lynn

My goals are a bit less lofty, because I am already retired. Increase savings – from retirement money -10% this year. This is separate from the increased holiday fund and emergency fund. I’m on track for each type of savings.

Pay cash for a new deck.

Lose the winter wieght (6 lbs)

Have a dynamite garden for the cost of seeds.

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avatar 13 Bucksome Boomer

Great job, Flexo.

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