Our New Year Resolutions And Stretch Goals
Our New Year Resolutions and Stretch Goals
This is the time of the year when a lot of people set up their new year resolutions. But the question is why wait for a new year before you set resolutions or goals for yourself? As you will see below, our goals are ongoing, and always evolving.
It’s also advised to make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). But we also recommend adding some stretch goals, that will challenge you. We recommend shooting for the moon.
Some of our favorite sayings are:
- “If you gotta dream, better DREAM BIG anyway”
- “It takes as much energy to dream small as it takes to dream big”
- “It takes as much energy to dream as it takes to plan”
- “It takes as much energy to fail as to succeed”
- “It’ok to try and fail but it’s not ok to fail to try”
Thus, our newly invented acronym is SMARTS (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely goals + Stretch goals)
So what are our goals?
Without further ado….
New Year Resolution/Stretch Goal #1: Make more money and yet achieve a better work/life balance
As you know one of our goals is to double our income from $400,000+/year to $800,000+/year within the next 5 years. But towards the end of the year, we realized we also needed a better work/life balance so we can enjoy more family time with our 1-year old kiddo.
So we have come up with a plan, and have started actioning on it:
- Get rid of the least profitable yet more demanding clients: So far we have ended 2 contracts and replaced them with 1 that’s going to be more profitable, with less work and less pressure!
- Concentrate on what we already have: Last year, when we started blogging, we started learning how to promote a blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, LinkedIn, Reddit,…And we soon realized how we had neglected promoting a product of ours that we already had.
This product has the potential of taking us to the next level, but we had only marketed it to our LinkedIn contacts and universities. A few universities around the world are using the product, but for free.
Thus, we have now decided to use all our resources to promote the product, not just to people we know, but to anyone who we think might benefit from the product and also to potential paying clients and not just universities.
We also realized the local market is vibrant enough and it won’t cost us much to promote the product locally. Thus, we plan to put the product out there by joining local user groups, conferences and panels.
So what have we done so far? We only had a LinkedIn page and a website for the product. But in the past couple of months, we have made some upgrades to the product, updated the website and content, and set up Twitter and Facebook accounts.
We are actively participating in Facebook groups, have reached out to a local user group leader and have registered for his upcoming user group meeting. Later on, we will talk to him about possibly joining the panel.
Sometimes, we feel like we are David fighting against Goliath, because we are very small fish going against an industry giant. But we won’t give up.
New Year Resolution/Stretch Goal #2: Continue paying down the mortgage
Our mortgage started at $545K five years ago. At first, we only paid the minimum required, we did not bother paying anything extra. In all fairness, we had a lot going on, we did $40,000 in upgrades, got married, paid off $35K car loan, and did some international traveling.
But 3 years later, our balance was still around $540K, most our payments had gone to interest, and very little went to the principal. Thus, we decided to sacrifice some of the luxuries and try to pay off our mortgage a little bit faster within the next 5 years no later than 2020.
Currently we are on track as the balance is at $220K. By end of this year, we hope to decrease it by $80K to $140K.
How are we going to achieve this?
- We have refinanced at a lower interest rate
- We have changed from monthly payments to biweekly payments
- Every 2 weeks, we pay 40% more than the required
- Every quarter we make extra payments. And what’s most exciting is that, with an extra $11,300 payment scheduled in March, we will hit $199K! Once we hit the $199K, we will definitively need to go out for a celebration.
New Year Resolution/Stretch Goal #3: Continue Maxing out our tax advantaged accounts
For this year, the maximum we can contribute penalty free in RRSP (Canadian equivalent to 401K) is 18% up to $26,230/person, and we plan to take full advantage of that as usual.
We will also contribute $2,500 in RESP/529 for the kiddo. For every dollar you contribute, the (Canadian) government matches 20% up to $500/year. Thus, for the kiddo to get the full $500/year, we need to contribute at least $2,500/year.
We also plan to do something some people may think it’s crazy, but we will discuss that in another post 😊.
New Year Resolution/Stretch Goal #4: Blog
Our resolutions wouldn’t be complete without including the blog resolutions right? We like having weekly, and monthly blog goals, because it pushes up to hustle and also kind of allows us to relax and enjoy a weekend or two once we have achieved our weekly or monthly goals.
So why not also have annual goals? Well we will keep them simple.
Pageviews: Our goal is to double our pageviews from 12,800 to 25,000. We are new to blogging so not sure if this is very achievable goal or a stretch goal.
Alexa global rank: Our goal is to double our Alexa global rank from 661,000 to 300,000. This will also put us into the top 1% of blogs, which goes well with the theme 😊. However, as new bloggers, we really have no clue what it takes to reach the 300,000 Alexa global ranking. We will have to figure it out as we go along. Wish us good luck, we need it 😊.
New Year Resolution #5: Baby#2
Baby99to1percent needs a sibling/bestie/bff…it’s about time we give her one. We hope this happens this year. However, we wouldn’t mind if it happened next year, as that would help us have only 1 kid in daycare at a time. Around here, daycare costs are at least $20,000/year.
New Year Resolution #6: International travel
Due to getting pregnant and having a baby, our travel has been limited to Canada and US in the past couple of years. This year, we hope to pick up international travel again and travel to Europe.
Our last European trip costs us about $8K. This time we hope we can manage under $2K and with a baby. A little travel hacking will be needed. We will keep you posted.
What about you guys? Do you have any new year resolutions or goals? Do you have any stretch goals? Care to share?
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Do you want an easier way to manage/track your finances/investments? The Personal Capital app can help. Do you want to start blogging? Bluehost can get you started. Make sure to also check out other resources that we recommend such as books that have helped us get where we are.
Do you want to learn more about us? If so, you can also read these other posts:
- About us
- How We Increased Our Annual Income From $0 to $160K to $400K+
- How we live on 15% of our income
- Joining the Million Dollar Club/Challenge and So Can You
- How To Pay Off A Mortgage In 5 Years
- Our Biggest Money Fight and 9 Lessons Learned
- Our 6 Financial Mistakes and 15 Lessons Learned
- How I Paid Off My $40,000 Student Loans Before Graduating
- The resumes that bring in $400,000+/year (Samples Provided)