I recently posted about my long-term goals, which included such lofty things as the ability to live off passive income, be debt free, and even never need to rely on a credit score again. But in order to get there, I’m going to need to apply some baby steps that are actionable. The long-term vision is no good without a short-term plan, so this post will attempt to clarifying my starting steps to getting to some of those goals.
Over the next 12 months, I want to pay down $17,000 in debt
We could potentially do closer to $18,500, but I know things will come up—they always do—that will sidetrack us. That extra $1,500 is the breathing room we need to feel successful. If we surpass the $17,000 mark, that’s all the more reason to celebrate and all the more motivation we’ll have to continue. There’s no motivation quite like hitting goals.
I know some people are more motivated by having tough goals to knock out, and if I were like you guys who work better this way, I would aim for more like $19,000 to stretch what I thought I could do. I just know my personal psychology, though, and I know that not hitting the goal would be a de-motivator for me, so I prefer to aim a little lower and then feel like a total badass when I overstep my goal.
Over the next 12 months, I want to write 24 pieces of quality content for my blog.
This is another one where I considered weekly updates since I am paid weekly; but, since I’ll only be able to provide real updates on my progress at the end of the month (because I need Kyle’s info too, and we agreed on monthly check-ins), and because I have a feeling that a weekly update on my goals would be tiresome for both you guys and for myself, I think a monthly update on our current goals and one other piece with useful tips and information is more likely.
I think I’ve also mentioned that I have a lot of hobbies. In order to keep time available for that, I’ve opted to slow-grow my blog at a reasonable pace. I realize this means that I may not see any income for a bit longer than I otherwise would, but income is not the sole purpose of this blog at this time. At the end of paying off my debt I can re-evaluate this particular goal and see if I want to increase the frequency of my blogging, especially since I might have more insights to share after completing our debt recovery.
If a paltry 24 pieces of quality content seems like undershooting to you, you may be the type of person who would be better motivated by those stretch goals. I would prefer to hit my 24 pieces and then exceed the goal by as much as I can before the 12 months are up.
You might be wondering what else I should be doing to make my blog successful. I come from the ideology that content is king, so I want to start by providing a solid foundation of content that will be helpful to my readers, and then I can look at e-mail campaigns, premium content, the best use of social media, appropriate use of graphics, etc. This is on my radar, but all of that is second fiddle to ensuring useful content is available to my readers.
Over the next 12 months, I want to decide on the monetization path for this blog.
I’ll spend this time figuring out if I want to incorporate ads, share awesome financial products and services that I discover along the way, or offer premium content that will help my audience achieve their goals, or perhaps see if there’s another route I want to go that will serve my audience the best way possible while offering me the jump into diversifying my income beyond my day job.
I’ll do this by studying other blogs and figuring out what works best, along with studying business methods that work for various industry types to see if there’s any creative crossover ideas from one industry into blogging.
And I’m Off!
That’s it! I don’t have any other goals in the short-term, which I’m defining as the next year. If all goes well, I should have my debt paid off (minus student loans) within a 2-year period and should be well on my way to new income streams for future years.
This pace may seem slow to some people, and I get that. I am more a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of person, opting to stick to what I know I can do over a long period of time rather than trying to sprint for the end-goal. My personal psychology responds much better to slow and steady progress than it does to overwhelm.
I will use this to also break down what I need to be doing each week to meet these goals, and this may end up being another post in the future. I also plan to offer monthly updates on each of these goals. They may or may not include some nice visuals in form of charts and graphs.
For now, grab my free Financial Goals Worksheet to help you use a backward-planning method to map out the daily, weekly, or yearly actions you need to do to reach your long-term goals. My HR brain, which is used to creating performance planning programs, had such a good time geeking out on making this worksheet, so I truly hope you find it useful.