My Goals for 2014: Big Plans for a Big Year!

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goals for 2014

Along with just about everyone else, I’ve found that I have a weird relationship with time during this part of the year. I thoroughly enjoy the holidays; everything from the festivities and seasonal treats to spending time with family and friends makes the last few weeks of the year great (not to mention all the paid time off I receive from my employer). Part of me wants to think of nothing but these days that are filled with good food, fun, and plenty of time to relax and decompress from a year’s worth of working hard and trying to get ahead.

But while I’m loving the present, I find myself dwelling on the past and future in equal measure, too. I look back at the last 12 months, and I feel happy and grateful for all that I accomplished and gained. I’m also amazed at how fast everything flew by. Simultaneously, I look ahead to the new year and start planning to make 2014 even better than the awesome 2013 I had. It makes for a weird feeling, trying to look forward and behind all while wanting to make time to not think and simply enjoy the present.

But one thing I have learned this year is that setting goals and having a clear idea of where I want to go is really helpful. It makes it that much more likely that I’ll actually accomplish what I want to do. So let’s take a quick look back at my December goals before I share some of my big plans for 2014:

Review Our Budget: Review our finances to find more savings, and cut more expenses if possible. PASS
We were able to cut $200 out of our discretionary spending, and that amount will be added to savings each month. For 2014, our budgeted savings rate is at 40%. I’m hoping the actual rate will be higher (by creating budget surpluses and putting that extra in to savings) and I’d love to add any freelance income I make into savings, too.

No-Spend Week, Part II: Do another no-spend work-week in December. PASS
This actually ended up being way easier than I thought. The whole month ended up being extremely low in discretionary spending – that, along with our car maintenance bills being a couple hundred cheaper than anticipated, made for a huge budget surplus this month. As always, it’ll get pushed into savings.

Save Money out of Our Bonus Checks: Save a percentage of our year-end bonuses. PASS
This was another easier-than-I-thought goal to accomplish, as our bonuses were much more generous than I anticipated. We came in right on budget for our Christmas gifts, so everything else went straight to savings.

Pick Up a New Freelancing Gig: Expand my work as a freelancer and pick up a new job in December. PASS
I picked up a new position as a staff writer and a position as a contributing writer, which is really exciting! I hope to continue to expand my freelancing work in 2014. I would absolutely love to have the ability to transition into full-time freelancing by the end of next year (stretch goal, perhaps?).

I loved finishing off the year with a successful set of monthly goals. Makes me pumped up and even more motivated to keep that momentum going in 2014! I’d love to make progress and improvements in several areas in the new year. And while some may poo-poo the idea of making resolutions, I’m actually quite excited to establish some goals for the year and to be able to look back in 12 months to see what kind of progress I made. Plus, I enjoy reading up on what others have planned and want to accomplish, so I figure a few folks out there may actually be interested to read my own Goals for 2014 (I’ll try to make everything nice and pretty and organized to make it even more pleasurable for your eyeballs):

goals in 2014

  • Continue to save like nobody’s business. We’re starting the year with a 40% savings rate. I’d like to see us get to 50% by the end of the year.
  • Share discretionary expenses. I know lots of folks do “bust our budget” posts or net worth updates, and that’s not for me – but I think it might be fun to do a monthly share session on the spending we did on the fun or not-strictly-necessary purchases. I think this would help me better understand what I value beyond what we need, and what’s important to us.
  • Make more. Plain and simple, I want to see my side income become more and more viable in 2014. (Eventually, I’d love to make the leap to self-employment, but I want to manage my freelancing work along with my “day job” for as long as possible to maximize the amount of income we can save and invest.)

goals in 2014

  • Back to working out. At least 20 minutes of strength training via bodyweight exercises 5 days per week.
  • Continue running March-ish through November-ish (in other words, when the weather isn’t gross here). I want to do a minimum of 3 days per week/45 minutes per run.
  • Ride my bike at least 2 days per week (even if it’s just around the neighborhood).
  • From Memorial Day to Labor Day – when our neighborhood pool is open – swim at least 1 day per week, at least 1 hour per workout.
  • Go for an after-dinner walk 3 days per week.. dare I add regardless of how cold it is?
  • Cut the crap food, especially sweet treats. I do not want to keep food products with added sugar in the house (foods that naturally contain sugar, like fruit, are acceptable.. cookies are not). Because I know I will go insane if I don’t get any form of chocolate, I will allow myself 1 piece of dark chocolate per day.

goals in 2014

  • Continue to grow. I had no expectations for Common Sense Millennial when I started the blog in July, and the growth I’ve experienced so far has been incredible. I’d love to keep that going.
  • Set up a few passive income streams via advertising, affiliate programs, and sponsored posts.
  • Get to FinCon14!
  • Figure out how to make the stupid navigation links be not-red.

goals in 2014

  • Continue to expand my freelancing work. I am loving everything about my freelance business and I want to continue to make progress in 2014. I’d love to take on at least 1 new project/client every month in the new year.
  • Finish setting up my portfolio site, KaliHawlk.com and keep it up-to-date.
  • More-optimistic-than-realistic goal: have my freelance income equal half my take-home pay from my day job by the end of the year.
  • Super-duper really-stretching goal: have my freelance income equal 100% of my take-home pay by the end of the year.

goals in 2014

  • Read 1 book per month.
  • Let my artistic side have room to grow. I am a creative, crafty, and fairly talented person art-wise, and I should spend more time cultivating that side of me. Allow myself to indulge in some Pinterest projects and DIY things around the house.
  • Keep in mind my 2014 mantra: By believing passionately in something that does not exist, we create it.

There you have it – that’s my big fun list of stuff to make 2014 even more brilliant than this past year. I’m really eager to see what the new year has in store for me and excited to figure out where I’ll find myself. One thing is for sure: it’s going to be another incredible, fantastic ride.

What do you want to see happen in your life in 2014? Are you feeling motivated to set some big goals to work toward in the new year? Let me know in the comments (or direct me to your own blog post if you’ve written one)!

 

47 Responses

  1. Dee @ Color Me Frugal

    December 30, 2013 7:52 am

    Kali, awesome goals! My 2014 resolution is to start writing out monthly goals for myself. It’s kind of a big step for me, since I’ve never been much of a writing-down-goals kind of girl before. So I’m going to put up a monthly post about my goals and then update everyone the next month. I think sharing goals with the world will definitely be motivating!! My posts about goals are going to be published on my blog in the next two days. Thanks for sharing your goals, and good luck! Awesome job on your savings rate, by the way!

    Reply
    • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

      December 30, 2013 9:18 am

      Great idea, Dee! I started doing that a few months ago – actually writing out goals and sharing them – and it made a huge difference for me, so I think you’ll find that it’s well worth giving that a shot. I’ll be on the lookout for your post!

      Reply
  2. DC @ Young Adult Money

    December 30, 2013 8:19 am

    I’m definitely motivated to make 2014 a great year! I would love to have a higher savings rate. Between the mortgage, utility bills, and student loans we have a lot of money going out the door each month. I’ve increased my online income but want more to come from affiliate income versus paid ads. I really want to go hard at that this year.

    I have two goal-related posts going up the next two days so I won’t rehash it all in this comment form, but your goals sound great!

    Reply
  3. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    December 30, 2013 9:45 am

    Congrats on the staff and contributing writer posts. I love your “work” so I’m glad that’s happening more and more for you! Great goals for 2014. I agree that getting rid of the sugar in the house is VERY helpful when it comes to a good fitness plan. I have a post on that on Thursday. BTW I didn’t know it got so cold in Georgia! Best of luck and hope you can eventually make the freelance switch sometime soon. I’ll have my big goals on Wed!

    Reply
    • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

      December 30, 2013 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Tonya! :) I really appreciate that. I’ll be looking forward to both your posts – on your own goals and on the fitness stuff – this week!

      And it doesn’t get too cold in Georgia, not usually.. I’m just a big baby and haaaaate when it does get cold! It’s been averaging around 40 to 50 degrees in November/December, and I’ll expect the temperature to drop to 30-40ish in January. We’ll have some nights when it gets down into the 20s, and very occasionally it’ll get into the teens. But like I said, I hate the cold and running in it is not fun (and it hurts!), which is why I’m being realistic and giving myself a pass in the coldest part of the year!

      Reply
  4. Matt Becker

    December 30, 2013 10:35 am

    Wow, lots of goals! A 50% savings rate is incredibly impressive. We’re definitely not there. My big goal for 2014 is to build a business that can provide for my family’s needs. It’s a little scary, but exciting for sure!

    Reply
    • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

      December 30, 2013 12:43 pm

      Thanks Matt! It is a lot, but I think 99% of them are completely doable and realistic – and anyway, go big or go home, right? :D I think that’s an awesome goal for your 2014, and I wish you the absolute best of luck with it! I’m sure you can make it happen!

      Reply
  5. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    December 30, 2013 11:20 am

    Great goals Kali! I have no doubt you will reach them.

    A nice 45 minute run three nights per week would be a great way to get some exercise – sadly, I am locked inside at this time because I am a fairweather runner that doesn’t want to run through snowbanks up to my waist. :) When April hits I will get back to it!

    Reply
    • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

      December 30, 2013 12:45 pm

      Thanks Alicia! I appreciate that! And I’m right there with you on the cold weather lockdown. I absolutely hate the cold (and we don’t even have a “real” winter down here!) so I figured just getting my butt outside for a walk when it’s cold would be a victory enough and pick up on the running when the weather gets decent.

      Reply
  6. Girl Meets Debt

    December 30, 2013 12:14 pm

    Those sure are big goals for a big year Kali but I have no doubt you will reach all of them. Your blog completely exploded this year for someone who only started in July so I am excited to see where it will go in 2014! Happy new year friend!

    Reply
  7. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

    December 30, 2013 12:16 pm

    Oh my goodness, I totally forgot “Get to FinCon14!” And it was definitely a goal this year. Your post actually reminded me to Google it and see if the dates were posted yet and I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans!

    Reply
  8. Money Beagle

    December 30, 2013 2:02 pm

    Good luck, especially on the wellness aspect. I started working out regularly about three months ago and one of my personal goals will be to continue that and to make strides there, especially when it gets warm and there’s so many other things to do.

    Reply
  9. Done by Forty

    December 30, 2013 2:57 pm

    All your goals seem attainable, and I hope your stretch goal of going to freelancing full time becomes a reality. I admire people who have the guts to strike it out on their own. May you join their ranks in 2014. Cheers!

    Reply
  10. eemusings

    December 30, 2013 4:38 pm

    I’m hoping for us to increase our income, save like mofos for a down payment, and to excel at work (some changes starting in Jan will truly make it the perfect job but also up the stakes!)

    Reply
  11. Erin @ My Alternate Life

    December 30, 2013 11:39 pm

    Damn, girl, that’s quite a year you have planned! I’m sure you’ll kick ass :)

    I absolutely love the freelancing goals. I have some plans to expand my business as well, it’s really the best job in the world! Besides professional eater or sleeper, of course.

    Reply
  12. anna

    December 31, 2013 12:11 am

    Great goals, Kali, especially your finance and fitness ones (well, mostly because they tend to be my favorite topics :)). I wish you continued (and more!) success with your freelancing so you can make that leap to self-employment! Happy New Year, girl. :)

    Reply
    • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

      December 31, 2013 10:23 am

      Thanks Charles! I’m definitely excited about all the possibilities that 2014 brings. And I love when people share and talk about their goals, too – I love cheering people on and sharing in their excitement, and it gets me pumped up and motivated for my own goals! Hope you have a very Happy New Year, my friend :)

      Reply
  13. KK @ Student Debt Survivor

    January 5, 2014 11:59 am

    Great goals and all completely “do-able.” Your blogs has quickly become one of my favorites and I have no doubt you’ll be able to explain the writing and take it full-time if that’s the road you chose. I haven’t made an official “goals” list yet, but it’s on my to-do list. I like the accountability of making my goals public. That way when I achieve them I get pats on the back and when I don’t I get the butt-kicking I need to get back on track.

    Reply
  14. Shannon - ReadyForZero

    January 7, 2014 4:32 pm

    Congratulations on meeting so many of your goals! And it looks like you have some really fantastic goals ahead. I’ve had a blast getting to know you better through your blog in the past few months and can’t wait to see what 2014 brings for you :).

    Reply
  15. Dear Debt

    January 15, 2014 12:22 am

    You have some very nice goals here! Congrats on the writing gigs and the growth of your blog. I want to get some gigs and grow my blog as well. I want to also cultivate my creative side and add more media to my site. It’s only been two weeks, but I’m still pretty motivated and trying to make things happen. Best of luck with your goals and hopefully we can meet at FinCon!

    Reply
    • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial

      January 15, 2014 9:34 am

      Thank you! I appreciate it :D I’m so glad you’re motivated – if you’re determined to make it happen and you stick with it, you will get it done. It may take time – being patient is the hardest thing for me. Good luck with all your goals, as well, and yes! I would love to meet at FinCon this year :D

      Reply

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