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:
- Projected Dividend Income at $10,000
3050+ pieces of clothing
- Increase Salary > Normal Increase
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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!