It’s that time of year again where everyone makes promises to themselves that they already know they won’t keep. I was the same, every year making determined resolutions that lasted 3 weeks. But this year is different. In the last 12 months, I’ve learned a lot about goal setting and habit forming and about myself and how I work. This year, I have plans that are going to come true. I’m so confident of it that I’m sharing them with you now and I’ll revisit them with you through the year so that we can see them happening together. So here they are:
The Blog Promise
I started this blog over a year ago now. It was actually a shock to realise how long it’s existed and not gone anywhere! This year, my goal for it is just to write here consistently. I have nothing related to how many followers or how much money. I just want to be able to write every week, make that a habit and then once it is, I can tweek it and improve it along the way. But you can’t make something better that doesn’t exist.
To do this, I’m using a Freedom Journal, made by John Lee Dumas. It’s a goal setting journal that takes you through achieving your goals in 100 days by showing you how to set a SMART goal, breaking things down into smaller 10 day sprints and having quarterly (every 25 days) reviews of your progress. So my first Freedom Journal is dedicated to the first 15 blog posts this year. Watch this space for new ones every week!
Making Niche Sites
Niche sites are something that I’ve been aware of for a while and never quite looked into properly as they seemed like a lot of work and a lot of tech stuff that I’m just not so interested in or good at. However, I’ve decided that if I want to make some passive income on the web to fund my traveling, these sites are a very good way to go about it. They take most effort to set up, but then after they’re up and running, they just require minimum maintenance and updating.
So what is a niche site? you may well ask. A niche site is a website that provided information about a particular niche, for example, fly fishing or knitting, outdoor sports of even dog accessories. It’s not a massive site about everything, it just provides quality information about one particular topic. It makes money by selling things that it reviews through affiliate marketing, often through Amazon, and to a smaller extent, through ads. My goal for this year is that on or before 31st December 2017 I will have 3 active niche sites.
The Money Stuff
Everyone wants more money, right? Everyone says “If I had £XX I would…” and it’s lovely to dream, but that kind of goal is so vague that it’s practically impossible to work towards it. This year I have set very specific goals around my finances.
First, clearing the debt. I currently have 3 active credit cards, some with more credit spent on them than others. My first goal is to clear all of them. This improves my credit rating and means that I don’t have to worry about making monthly payments. I can put that money into savings instead. Every penny adds up! It also clears some space to put the big spends on the cards, like booking flights online. This is safer with a credit card than using my bank card as my purchases are insured and I get air miles from purchases too. So every buy adds up to a free flight! However, this is only possible if they’re clear enough to have that space on and is only sensible if I am able to pay off those purchases quickly.
Second, I want to save £1,000. This is about how much I’ve had saved for the last several years. Maybe 5 or so. In that time, it hasn’t gone up and it hasn’t gone down, but I recently spent a good chunk of it on an upcoming trip to South Africa so now it’s kinda depleted. It hasn’t gone up because I haven’t actively been trying to save, despite thinking that I have. I always think whatever money is left at the end of the month, I’ll save that. But, of course, by the end of the month all the money has been spent because that’s what happens when it’s sitting there. It looks like spending money. This year, I’ll be making more of an active effort to save.
Third, and lastly, I plan to be earning £500 above and outside of my wages consistently by or before 31st December 2017 from side projects, like the niche sites. I have a few small things starting, I just need to make sure that they get going as well and keep moving forwards. These will get re-evaluated through the year to keep on target.
These ones are my more personal ones. I spent a lot of 2016 being sick with various colds and viruses. It was not so much fun. I don’t want to be that person who’s always ill. I am a fit and healthy person and it’s about time my body started behaving in such a way.
So with this in mind, I am going to be more organised with my food. We will plan meals for the week and make them up, as much as is possible, on a Sunday so that through the week when I don’t feel like cooking after work, it’s still really easy to make something healthy for dinner rather than defaulting to ordering takeaways. This is the big one.
Other than that, I plan to complete the Insanity workouts from start to finish as I always get half way through and it fritters away. This time, I’ll go all the way!
And that’s it. That is what my 2017 looks like. It’s not so interesting when it’s all here in black and white so here is it in colour above my desk so that I can look at it every day and be reminded of what I’m working towards.
In my head it is very exciting and it’s setting up foundations that will provide continuous benefits for the rest of my life. So cheers to 2017; the best year ever!
What are your plans and goals for the year and how do you intend to achieve them and not have them become yet another new year’s resolution? Let me know in the comments or leave some tips for those of us that have been known to not follow through.