My 2016 Goals

2016 Goals

Almost everyone sets goals around this time of year and while the value of setting goals according to arbitrary dates is hotly debated I still like to do it. As such I thought I’d share with the world my goals for 2016 to help keep me accountable, to let you all know what I’m up to and the direction I’m heading and to give ideas to others in similar situations to myself.

Methodology

I have created goals in the past and had mixed success in their completion. This year I have done a few things differently:

Firstly I have set clear priorities so when the inevitable distractions of life arise I will know the things I should do first and then the areas which are more ‘nice to haves’.

Secondly I have tried to make clear actionable steps I need to take to achieve my goals. One thing a lot of people do is they set grandiose goals which they are highly motivated for in the beginning but they either have no idea how to actually accomplish their goals or they are constantly distracted by new goals and don’t ever progress towards the things they want to accomplish. Having clear actionable steps to take helps resolve these issues.

Thirdly I have broken my goals down in to categories. I have done this in the past as I want my life to be ‘well rounded’ and to have a large variety of expertise and experiences. I don’t want to have a great career at the expense of a crappy family life. Or to have lots of fun experiences but be overweight and unhealthy. Instead I set goals for a number of areas in my life I want to improve.

Lastly I have tried to set only a few goals for myself so I can really concentrate on the important things in my life. This may seem contradictory to the last point about having different areas of focus but by combining the first two points of having clear priorities and actionable steps I can focus on the most important goals first and then once the action steps have been completed I can move to the next goal. If I don’t get to achieve all my goals that’s ok as long as I focus on the highest priority ones first I will still be making very good progress.

So let’s get into my goals for 2016!

Note this list is written in order of priority with the category and action steps listed underneath.

1. Lose 40 kgs and get to 90 kgs and 10% body fat

Category: Health and fitness

This is my number 1 goal for 2016! I grew up overweight and was obese up until 2012 when I lost 40kgs over 18 months by eating according to the Paleo diet and doing jogging. I was feeling really good but then in October 2013 I went away for a weekend and ate a lot of delicious unhealthy food. Basically from then on I slipped back into old habits and gained the weight back to where I am now at 128 kgs and around 32% body fat.

To be perfectly honest I’m not sure I’ll get all the way to this goal this year but I’m going to make a bloody good start on it and definitely be in much much better health than where I am now.

How will I get there?

I’m following the guidelines I’ve read about in Bigger, Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews. Basically the action steps will be the following:

  • Weight training 5 days a week with 1 hour training sessions
  • Cardio training by starting to run as part of my daily commute. Start with 1 minute jogging out of every 10 and increase in 30 second increments every week
  • Eat 2400 calories per day (calculated based on my BMR, activity levels and weight loss goals) with a macro nutrient breakdown of:
    • 240g protein
    • 180g carbs
    • 80g fat
  • Cheat meal once per week but notice meal and not day
  • Add 1 supplement every 2 weeks and gauge effect and progress
  • Sign up to have meals delivered in order to save time and make eating healthy as easy as possible. (The company I use is based in Sydney Australia: Muscle Chef)

Weekly Time Cost

  • 5 hours per week for weight training
  • 2 hours per week for cardio but this is included in my commute time

Total weekly time impact: 5 hours

2. Read 1 book per week for 50 books per year

Category: Leisure and Learning

I’ve always been a big reader so this was more to actually record how much I’m reading and to share the lessons learnt with people. I’m also hoping that by writing down a summary of the books I will also be able to retain the information better.

How will I get there?

  • I figure with an average book length of 200-300 pages and a reading speed of 1 page per minute it’ll take 3.5-5 hours per book.
  • I have a one hour commute on the train to and from work each day so I will use the trip there to read.
  • Additional time on weekends and evenings to allow for larger books.

Weekly Time Cost

  • 4 hours per week already spent on the train commuting
  • 2-3 hours on evenings and weekends

Total weekly time impact: 2-3 hours

3. Earn $1000 per month recurring from SEO writing

Category: Online Business and Finance

This is a new category for me this year. I’ve never made any money online even though I’ve read a number of books on the subject and have thought about creating a side income often. The thing that has held me back has been that I simply didn’t know where to start. That changes this year!

I originally had thought about setting the goal of getting full-time work as a software developer as that is something I also think I’d enjoy. But when I actually sat down to think about why I wanted to make this change I realised that a lifestyle business was a much better fit for me. So I did a bit of searching online and came across Sean Ogle at Location 180.

Reading Sean’s blog got me thinking more and more about the things I could be doing to make money online. When I read about his online course Location Rebel (LR) it sounded like just the thing I was missing. Unlike a lot of programs out there I found that LR contained specific and actionable steps to get absolute beginners started making money online. The first method recommended is to use SEO writing as a gateway to making money online and then to branch out into other things.

And so that’s how this goal was born. I don’t plan to stay in SEO writing long term but I think it will be a good way for me to improve my writing skills while also making some money online.

How will I get there?

  • Write 1 sample article a day for 3 days
  • Get feedback on these samples from LR forums and through this (You can see the samples here: SEO Samples)
  • Get a list of SEO firms and send them my samples along with a pitch for SEO jobs with initial rates of $10 per 500 word article. I’m also going to target tech SEO firms as that is my area of expertise/interest.
  • Write 5 paid articles, get feedback and up rates to $15 per 500 word article.
  • Write another 5 paid articles, get feedback and up rates to $20 per 500 word article.
  • Continue to gather work until I’m regularly writing approx. 12 articles per week at $20 per article. This will be $1000 per month!

Weekly Time Cost

I figure initially it’ll take me 1 hour to write each article but by the time I’m writing 12 articles a week I should be able to do 2 an hour.

  • 4 hours already spent on the train commuting home
  • 2 hours on the weekend writing
  • Approx 2 hours on the weekend finding work

Total weekly time impact: 4 hours

4. Build up this blog

This might seem like a fairly vague goal and it is. To be honest I don’t know exactly what I want out of this blog but I’ve heard enough stories about people creating value through their blog that I think it’s a worthwhile thing to do.

Even though I don’t know the exact end goal I do have some concrete actions I want to take this year.

How will I get there?

  • Write 1 blog post per week documenting my progress with SEO writing and online business
  • Write 1 blog post per week as an opinion piece about an area of technology I’m interested in
  • Write 1 blog post per week as a how-to on something I’ve accomplished in either my IT work (which is my 9-5 job) or my online business work
  • Write a review of any books I read with an affiliate link to perhaps gain some income. As the goal above mentioned I am planning to read a book a week so this will also be a weekly article.
  • Add a newsletter signup to build an email list. Send a newsletter each week with a blog summary, links to interesting things I’m reading/listening to and perhaps a little motivational/tip/advice paragraph from myself. Note: let me know in the comments if this is something you’d be interested in and I will make it a priority.

Weekly Time Cost

  • 3 hours writing blog posts on weekends
  • 0.5 hours writing book reviews
  • 0.5 hours writing email newsletter
  • 2 hours working to improve the blog and add features

Total weekly time impact: 6 hours

5. Earn $1000 per month recurring from affiliate marketing websites

This is really a stretch goal and comes in secondary to the two above. The reason I am including this is because in addition to making money through SEO writing I want to have a more passive and scale-able way of making money online which isn’t directly tied to my time. (ie I have to spend time writing articles to make money SEO writing. If I build a good affiliate marketing site I can build it once and then perhaps make an ongoing income without any more work)

Also note that LR has a guide to affiliate marketing but I haven’t read it yet so I don’t really have any actionable steps worked out. I guess the first couple of steps would be:

  • Read and implement the blueprint for affiliate marketing on LR
  • Read and implement the information at Late Night Internet Marketing (Not sure if this information is any good as I haven’t read it yet but it was recommended on the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast so I’m willing to check it out)

Weekly Time Cost

  • Not really sure on this one as my action steps are very vague. I’m thinking I’ll just spend my spare time on it so around 2 hours per week

Total weekly time impact: 2 hours

Total Time Cost Each Week: 19-20 hours

Now this may seem like quite a bit of time to dedicate to self improvement and I guess it is. But there’s a couple of things to keep in mind here:

  • I’m a fairly motivated person and I really want to achieve these goals. I plan on fitting this work in wherever I can!
  • Over the last few years I have accrued a lot of annual leave (in Australia we get 4 weeks a year and they accrue if we don’t take them) to the stage where I have 5-6 weeks currently saved up. I have negotiated with my manager to be able to take this time off gradually by having each Friday off. This gives me an additional 8 hours per week I will use for working towards my goals.
  • I have a wonderful supportive fiancee and we currently have no children. I understand this is not the case for everyone and so you may need to adjust your time allotted accordingly.
  • 20 hours each week is the best case scenario. I don’t really expect to achieve this every week and that’s where the prioritisation comes in. I’ll work on my most important goals first and if I run out of time for some of the others then at least I’ve done the most important and impactful things first.

So the time will come from:

  • 8 hours on Fridays instead of my usual 9-5 job
  • 5 hours spread out 1 hour each afternoon when I get home for gym workouts
  • 2 hours spread out 0.5 hours each evening while relaxing with my fiancee
  • 5 hours on the weekends wherever I can fit it in

Summary

So there you have it. This is how I’d like my 2016 to turn out.

I’d love for you to share your goals for the year with me in the comments.

Also feel free to let me know what you think about my goals and if there’s any action steps I may have missed.

Occasionally I’ll share updates to this post as I accomplish goals or complete action steps. Keep an eye out and help keep me accountable!

Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2016!

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