Lanny’s Final 2017 Goals Update

Wow… another year, down.  I know it’s cliche and that every day is just that, a day.  Whether it’s 365 of them or 450, but at least the calendar is there to check progress towards your goals.  I set goals last year in January, to blaze trails and do more what I’m passionate about.  12 months, 365 days, 8,760 hours (and you get the drift) have passed and it is that peaceful time to check in on the full check on my 2017 goals.  Time to dive right in.


2017 Goals Re-cap

As we read from one of my recent posts, Benefits of Setting Lofty Goals, we know that each year goals are typically set higher, to outdo yourself from last year.  Below are the goals that I had established for 2017, as a way to re-cap what I wanted to accomplish:

  1. Projected Dividend Income at $10,000
  2. Donate 3050+ pieces of clothing
  3. Increase Salary > Normal Increase
  4. Travel
  5. Study/New Certification

These goals, as you recall, are very different from 2016, and are shorter as well.  They are different because we all change over time, and I simply wanted to focus on a few things, rather than 30 things.  Focusing on more is hard, especially when you are a public accountant, grinding 65-75+ hours per week in busy season and still have a heavy work load during the “off-season” (if there ever is one).  However, there is one action that always helps to achieve the monetary goals and that is the action of saving over 60% of your income each and every month (however, life does happen sometimes!).  Further, the giving back and de-cluttering of a house has been something I’ve been very passionate about.  De-cluttering creates space, time and could add value to someone else’s life.  For further details on de-cluttering, here are 5 benefits of getting rid of your “stuff”.  Now, on to the final update for the goals in 2017!

December 31, 2017 goals Update

  1. Projected Dividend Income at $10,000: As of this year-end, I am sitting at a projected forward dividend income of $9,733.93.  This is up from $9,349.05 in Quarter 3, $8,909.30 in Quarter 2 and $8,453.45 back in Quarter 1.  The calculated increase from Quarter 3 to Quarter 4 was $384.88 (4.12%).  The growth in the forward dividend income was down in the last quarter of the year versus the third quarter.  One massive reason was Mattel’s dividend cut down to $0!  If you add that back in, $52.46, my increase would have been $437.34, which would have been on par with the third quarter.  To get to this forward dividend income position, as a proud dividend investor, investments were made.  I made purchases into: AT&T (T), Hormel (HRL) and HCP Inc. (HCP), for a total contribution of $4,156.70.  Year to date (YTD), I added $1,667.15 to my portfolio over the last twelve months, on a net basis.  This was an overall calculated 20.67% increase and stayed fairly steady with expectations after quarter 3.  Conclusion: Back at Q3 I stated this was a 40% chance to make the goal, and will say I FAILED this goal.  I do have one “small” reason, as well, I bought an engagement ring for my now fiance, which this goals holds nothing compared to that!  I did not achieve this goal, but damn, that’s the most I have ever added in one year.
  2. Donate 50+ Pieces of Clothing: Now to begin – the original goal was 30, but I blew that out of the water in the first 3 months.  The donation goal was increased to 50.  This goal was really about how nice it is to provide your clothing to others.  Not only that – but you get to clear out space in your own area, de-clutter and provide value to others.  Lastly – there is a nice impact from a tax standpoint, since I itemize my deductions and this falls onto the Schedule A on the tax form.  I have donated an additional 11 items in the fourth quarter.  Total items donated this year is now at 60!  Conclusion: COMPLETED BABY! 
  3. Increase Salary > Normal Increase: Honestly, I received a raise this year from my current employer and this raise exceeded my expectations and was greater than the average raised I have received by about 10-15%.  Therefore, this goal was achieved without extra effort on my part.  Conclusion: DONE.
  4. Travel: BOOM!  Done Baby!!  We have completed our roadtrip during quarter 2, actually.  We traveled from Cleveland, to Charlotte (1 night), to Charleston, SC (2 nights), to Hilton Head (2 nights) and then finished off with Savannah, GA (2 nights) before swinging on back home.  Over 1,600 miles and plenty of pictures & memories were definitely had.  I believe we would reduce Hilton Head time and increase Charleston time with Folly beach and reduce the overall trip by a day if we were to do it again.  We shall see if that trip will be in the cards in the future or not, but all in all – saw so much!  We had a fun cabin weekend from Friday – Sunday in the middle of October, near a lake.  In addition – my fiance & I took a night on the town in Cleveland on New Years Eve-Eve (haha), which was  fun and stayed in a very nice hotel.  Conclusion: DONE
  5. Study/New Certification: No progress here, I blame myself for not taking advantage of every hour, as there is still time that isn’t that useful, I know I don’t procrastinate as much, but there are still ways for improvement, no doubt.  Conclusion: FAILED

Overall 2017 Goals Conclusion

When I look back at the goals I set for the year, I was aggressive.  I wanted to add almost $2,000 in forward dividend, which breaks down to $500 per quarter of dividends added.  If you don’t set high goals for yourself, you may end up not pushing yourself to be better and go the extra mile.  This is just one of the many reasons why setting lofty goals is amazing for yourself and the community!

As for the non-monetary goals, I did okay.  I could have donated SO Much more, and that will be another goal for 2018.  I will aim for another 50 articles of clothing to donate, as I know I have more than enough to wear.  It feels good knowing that there is something I have that doesn’t mean much to me, but that someone can stay warm, have other options and maybe even bring joy to their life.  We all can do better here!  From a certification standpoint, I am not sure I will continue looking forward to that.  There has to be a reason “why” I want to do it.  Learning a new language holds more weight, in my life, now.  Traveling is fun.  New elements, terrain, scenery, history, people, cultures, and everything you can learn about is fun and exciting to me.  Further, my fiance enjoys it and I see this being an enjoyable experience throughout our life together.  Looking forward to doing more this year, though, it may not necessarily be a goal for 2018.

I do have a few questions for the community.  How did your goals finish up?  Did you find out if the non-monetary or monetary goals were harder?  Did you find out if they were both equally as hard?  What happened in 2017 that will cause you to re-think your 2018 goals and objectives?  Please share your thoughts, lessons and advice below.  God bless everyone, congrats on another year and good luck!


24 thoughts on “Lanny’s Final 2017 Goals Update

  1. Being a CPA myself I had a goal to exercise three times a week during the busy season last year, and actually manage to do so. But after completing this goal I did not keep up my workout routine during the rest of the year. Quite paradoxically since my workload then decrease, but I guess it illustrates the importance of setting a goal.

    Good luck with your busy season!

    • TBP –

      Excellent! I average for sure 3 workouts, and strive to do 4-5 workouts each week. I like to try to get as many of them in during the weekday, so the weekend I can have more time. Knocked workout 1 today, will do another tomorrow, and am aiming for 2 more between weds-friday. Saturday I will get a really good one, so I have 5 planned.

      Thank you for the luck, I’ll need as much of that as I can get. Week 3… already…


  2. Lanny,
    Good Sunday morning and great job. Congrats on getting engaged last year. Even a dividend guy like me can excuse you for not hitting your income goal because of the ring. Regarding certification and the comment above about being a CPA from Beta Post. Are you in the accounting field? I’m a CPA, so just curious. In 2015 and 2016 I added CMA and CIA certifications as part of my goals in those years. What kind of certifications are you targeting? Tom

    • Tom –

      Thank you, I hope you had a nice Sunday as well! Appreciate the congrats and the excuse, hahaha.

      I am a CPA and was targeting the CFP route, to be honest, due to the finance courses in my MBA program that I have under my belt. Any reason why you wanted to add the CMA and CIA?


      • Lanny, I left the Corporate world 4 years ago as part of my FIRE plan and now teach accounting and auditing courses at a local university part time. The CMA and CIA helped fill out my professional/academic credentials and refreshed me in some academic areas helping me be a better teacher.

        I understand the CFP route. I am much more of a finance guy at heart than an accountant spending a lot of my career in corporate finance roles.

        Fun stuff. You will go great whatever route you choose. Gotta go teach right now….

  3. My 2017 goals were not aggressive enough. I was able achieve all my goals. Some even before December. As an early DG investor I felt setting simpler goals helped me stay motivated. For 2018, I have doubled my goals and made it lot more aggressive.

    • Dividend Geek –

      Always fun hitting the goals, but it’s even more so giving yourself a kick in the ass to go harder, trust me!

      Lofty goals – remember that article? Pumped for the stretch you are going to make. Let’s see how flexible the year becomes!


    • Chris –

      I was thinking pretty deeply about the CFP route. However, wanted to really think of 2-5-10 years out, the benefits of it and ultimately if I would seriously use it. That’s the key piece for me right now. Does it add value to what I want to do and would I actually do it? You know?


  4. Congrats again on getting engaged last year! You might have come up a bit short on the forward dividend goal but you were still quite close. I’m quite impressed with the clothes donation and that’s something I’m wanting to get done myself. Just in general I want to declutter my life. I have way too many clothes as it is considering I regularly wear probably less than 25% of them. Looking forward to your 2018 goals!

    • JC –

      Thanks boss!!! I tell you what, came close and it was the best dividend year of additional forward income I have ever had, and I think it has to do with setting high expectations.

      Donating clothes is wonderful. The new space, the limited time needed to make a decision to what to wear, the benefits go on. Decluttering the life is just something else. Almost “Freeing” I suppose. Donate it and let us know about it, as it’s something I am very interested in – esp. the side effects of your mentality afterwards!


  5. “12 months, 365 days, 8,760 hours (and you get the drift) have passed…”

    I was waiting for you to get to how many minutes and then bust out a video with the cast from Rent.

    More importantly, congratulations on your progress. That 60 percent savings target is impressive. It’s also nice to see you getting out and about with the traveling.

    Mrs. BD is actually originally from the east side of Cleveland, with family still there and also in Columbus. Since we moved from New York to Chicago, we frequent a few times a year. It’s funny as it takes about the same amount of time to drive from Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati from Chicago for us to visit family and friends.

    Overall, congrats again on your momentum. I’m sure you’ll have a great 2018 across many of you goal areas.


    • Mike –

      I should have done it, haha. Was so close to doing it!

      Appreciate the congrats. The savings rate goes a long way and finding it, as I may be in a rut, to keep the engine going, damn near tired.

      No way – what part of town? I am in the University Heights area. Yep – have to love the 6 hour drive, no matter which way you go, it’s hilarious and can be a fun road trip depending on the season of travel, haha.

      Appreciate the comment, as always, talk soon.


  6. Congrats on the engagement Lanny, and on achieving some of your goals in 2018. Interestingly, much of my goals last year had to do with either my finances or the blog. However, this year, I’ve added more non-monetary goals, including not eating out everyday. That still has a financial ring to it, but it’s not entirely financial. Donating clothes seems like an interesting idea. I have a stack of clothes that I just bring with me from place to place, but never actually end up wearing them. In fact, I wear the same clothes day in, and day out, that it’s about time that I buy new ones. That’s something I’ll consider doing soon.

    • DP –

      Thank you so much. Those goals are even better, as it keeps your health in check in addition to money. Further, you end up having different experiences.

      Decluttering feels so damn good, you HAVE to do it or at least try!


  7. Congratulations on getting engaged!
    Also, I wouldn’t be too hard on myself if I missed my projected dividend income goal by a few hundred bucks. That’s a great increase and I hope you set yourself another lofty goal in this regard for 2018!
    I achieved most of my goals, except one (which I gave up on sometime in 2017).
    Like you did in 2017, I’m setting fewer goals for 2018 so I can focus better on them.
    Take care and all the best for 2018!

  8. Wow, 60 items is a lot! Now that you have decluttered, I would recommend going through your clothing once a year to make sure everything fits and looks good. My yearly review is in March.

    I’d say you were so close to your Dividend goal, you just didn’t score a 100%. It was t a failure. You’ll get there!

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