Setting 2019 Goals By The Numbers

It’s 2019 and that means it is time to set goals for the year.  I am a huge fan of setting goals, but I’m going to try something new this year.  I’m listing twelve goals below, but each one is quantifiable.  I set goals last year, but looking back, they were very abstract.  So, what happened?  I lost interest.  This year, I am setting my goals and each one is tied to numbers.

Money Beagle’s 2019 Goals

I decided to break my goals down into two categories, personal and blog.  The personal goals will look a little different than it has in years past.  Because I’m tying everything to numbers, things related to being a better dad/husband, or appreciating nature won’t be here.  I’m fine with that.  Those, honestly, are things I should be doing all the time, right?

So without further ado, here are my goals, including how I plan to measure them.

Personal 2019 Goals

Half of my goals are personal goals.

Run An Average of 3 Times Per Week

I love to run.  So, I’d like to average 3 times per week.  I’ll keep track of my runs.  If I hit 156 runs per year, I’ll have hit my goal.

Walk An Average of 2 Times Per Week

In addition to running, I’d like to walk a couple of times per week.  Honestly, I’d prefer to run even more, but plantar facsiitis has hit me a couple of times in the past.  The best way to keep it at bay is to limit my running to no more than 3-4 times per week.  So, walking can fill in the rest.

If I hit 104 walks for the year, I’ll have completed this goal.

Average 18,000 Steps Per Day 90% of the Time*

I track my steps with a Fitbit step tracker.  I track my steps in an Excel spreadsheet.  I’d like to average at least 18,000 steps per day.

*My tracking of this is a little complex.  I like to average out my steps over a rolling 7-day period.  So, I log my steps in a spreadsheet, and have a forumla to add up the last 7 days of steps.  I want this to exceed 125,000 steps.  With goals like this, I prefer to use an average as I like to even out peaks and valleys.

Read 65 Books

I love to read.  I typically can put away about a book per week.  Last year, I got slightly above 60.  So, I’d like to challenge myself to read 1.25 books per week.

Sell 100 Items

We have a lot of kids items that they no longer use. I started using Facebook Marketplace last year, and loved selling simple items.  I’d like to track down 100 items in the house, list them, and sell them. This will reduce clutter and help provide some extra cash.

Achieve And Maintain Target Weight*

I track my weight.  I measure my weight each day.  My goal here is to have my monthly average hit my target weight, and then stay there.

My ideal weight is about 7 or 8 pounds less than what I weigh right now. I’ve hit my ideal weight a few times over the previous few years.  It inevitably rises again.  My ideal weight is where I feel the most comfortable, get compliments on my appearance, and find that my clothes fit and look their best.

For the first few months, I have my goal weight going down by a pound each month.  Then, for the rest of the year, I have my target weight as the ‘goal’.  The way I plan to measure this is to say I’m __% successful, and each pound above my target weight, I’ll reduce my success by 10%.  So, if my goal weight is 160 pounds, and I average out at 162 pounds, I’ll say I’m 80% successful for the month.

I’m not quite sure I truly like this method, but it was the best I could come up with so far.  I don’t like a simple pass/fail.  We’ll see.

Blog Goals

I have been blogging for close to ten years.  Quite honestly, I’m not at all happy with where my blog stands.  It’s time for some big changes.

SEO Improvements

Search Engine Optimization is how Google finds you and ranks your posts in search engines.  I’ve written a lot of

SEO improvements from content and optimization
Improving SEO is all about great content that gets noticed

posts, and frankly, my rankings are abysmal.  I’ve done some reading and have found that I’m pretty much failing across the board.  If I had a pro examine my blog, they’d probably think I went out of my way to do as many things wrong as I have.

So, I have about 40 things.  Many of these are inspired from tips that are readily available, which I’ve largely ignored.  Until now.  I also have placeholders for 20 more things that I know I’ll discover.  Things on the list include stuff like improving my layout, load times, updating links, page speed, and all sorts of delightful business.

Last year, I said that I wanted to make changes to the blog.  I did absolutely nothing.  This will be the starting point to make some wholesale changes.

Writing Meaningful Content

I want to write an average of two articles per week of over 1,000 words.  A lot of my writing has gotten lazy.  In addition to configuration of SEO items, Google looks for good content.  It’s my goal to write better and more meaningful content.

Writing Personal Content

One of my favorite part of blogging is to read the personal stories of others, and how money affects their lives.  I want to make sure that Money Beagle isn’t a faceless blog.  I want to average at least one post per week where people can get to know ‘me’ better.

Writing And Accepting Guest Posts

The personal finance community is generally awesome.  While there are some exceptions, most look out for one another.  When two bloggers exchange content, it can help both blogs grow.  This is something I want to get more involved with.  I’d like to write and accept a guest post, averaging one per month each.

Blog Income

Money Beagle is my main side hustle.  It isn’t enough to retire on, but a little extra does help.  As my SEO has continued to tank, my income has slid slowly year after year.  I’d like to increase that a bit.  Sharing the numbers on this one isn’t key, but I do want to track this.

Page Visits

If everything I do above pays off, I’ll get back to having a larger audience.  My page visits and views seem to be dropping.  What I really notice, though, is how less and less people have commented on my blog.  That hurts and that’s honestly what drove me to finally do something real about this.  I don’t write to preach to myself.  The interaction is why I do this.  But, it all starts with page visits.  The more people that visit my page are more people that might start and participate in a conversation.

That’s really all I want.  Hopefully the blog improvement goals help me get there.

How I’m Tracking My Goals This Year

spreadsheets help track goals
Spreadsheets are great tools to help track goals

Because these are all measurable, I can use tools to track these.  I’m a project manager by trade, so I use project management tools every single day.  I’m using some of the same tools to track progress.

The simple method I’ll use is to track overall progress, and track that against the point in time for the year.  Each month is roughly 8% of the year, so if I’m at 8% at the end of January, I’ll be on track.  If I’m at 25% at the end of March, or a quarter-way through the year, I’m on track.  For many of my goals, I hope to see even progress.  For some of the blog related goals, I am not expecting to see measurable progress until later in the year, so I might personally consider a goal ‘on track’ even if I am not at 8%.  The idea on those is to make up the difference.

What’s also cool is that I can track overall progress.  At the end of the year, I may not be 100% successful on every goal.  Personally, I expect I won’t be.  But, I can track each of these to see how far I got.

What are your goals for the year?

Other bloggers have great goals.  That’s the thing about the personal finance community.  There is inspiration everywhere.  For example, I love reading ESI Money’s blog.  He sets goals by lists and is very methodical with his breakdowns.  If you’re looking for more purely related money goals, start with Get Rich Slowly’s goals for the year.  It’s a great template.

Those are my goals for the year.  I’m hoping that by making these measurable and quantifiable, I can more easily track them, which will help me stick with them.  I’ve always loved tracking things by numbers.  This should be a fun experiment.

I’d love to know what your goals are, and how you track them.  Hopefully you have great success in meeting your goals this year.  Best luck!

9 thoughts on “Setting 2019 Goals By The Numbers”

  1. Best of luck with your personal goals. A few of my reasonable goals this year was to get more sleep, better content for my blog, a new blog this year and to learn more about SEO. I still consider myself new to this SEO thingy, and it looks like I have so much to learn and work to do.

  2. 18,000 Steps Per Day is pretty high. That’d be pretty awesome if you can pull that off.

    I am a fast reader but reading 65 books in a year would be very challenging for me.

    Good luck with all your goals. 🙂

    • It’s definitely an ambitious goal but I walk a lot so I think it’s very achievable. I run or walk in the morning just about every day. In addition, my office building has a great layout that is very conducive to walking around. Last year I average around 17,000 steps. I would have met my stated goal of 125,000+ steps over a 7 day period about 1/3 of the time. So I feel like I was just on the cusp.

      Thanks for the comment. Happy 2019.

  3. Just read this as I’m sitting here planning my blog goals and feeling exhausted. I will say this motivated me not on the blogging part but also the personal ones too. I think you are on the right track for your goals this year. Im curious to know what books you will be reading this year. Also if you want to guest post shoot me an email.

    • Thanks for the comment. Glad I helped provide some motivation. Realizing that you have an entire year is hopefully key to making the blog tasks a bit less daunting. But, don’t fall into the trap that I did in years past which is to just wait, assuming that you’ll get to it ‘later’, and never end up getting started. This year I want to have roughly 8% or so per month (which tallies out to 100% over the course of the year) on all of the major tasks. This should help alleviate some of the procrastination. That’s the plan anyway 🙂

      I’ll definitely take you up on the guest post at some point soon. Right now I’m trying to get a handle on organizing the SEO tasks, as well as getting back into a regular posting schedule. But, look for me to reach out soon, I really enjoy your blog, so it’d be nice to be part of it.

  4. I like that you’re breaking it down by percentages and tracking from a project management point of view. As a side, comments seem to be way down on blogs in general, so try not to get discouraged 🙂

    • Thanks for the heads up.

      Yeah, I’ve noticed comments haven’t been as plentiful. One thing I’ve noticed that troubles me is that it seems that the FIRE bloggers are great at commenting at each others blogs, but haven’t really shown interest in supporting the personal finance blog community as a whole.

  5. I love that you’re taking on so much, but with thoughtful consideration for how you will track it and make progress. I love personal stories, so I’ll be checking out your site more for that content.

    • Great comment Here’s some additional detail. Since I’m a project manager, I have access to project management tools, and these are all items that I can put in as line items and track as complete or not complete. So it’s a pretty simple project management plan that has like 1600+ rows, but it actually quite simple. For example, on the goal for running, I just have 156 line items underneath a master line to track the overall goal. Each time I complete a run, I just mark one of the 156 line items complete, and I can see the overall percentage complete on the master line item. Roughly 8% per month is the guideline to remain on track, so if, at the end of January, I have an overall completion of 8% or more, I’ll know I’m on track.

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