Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Goals Re-Visited

Before I sit down and work on my goals and aspirations for the coming New Year, I always like to take a look back at my goals from the prior year and see how I did.  Last years goals are listed in bold and I will give an honest evaluation of how I did on each below.  

1)  Save $;

I'll give this goal an F.  The goal was to eat out less, eliminate sodas/coffees and save $ whenever possible.  We really didn't do any of that on a large scale last year.  We try and use coupons when dining out and things like that, but in general fell short on this one. 

2)  Continue with stock trading/learning/collaborating; triple my 2011 SpikeTrade results to receive 12 performance credits.

I give myself a B- on this one.  I subscribe to, which is a collaborative group in which we all do stock analysis and we each pick one stock per week for the weekly competition.  You lay out the case for why you expect the stock to go up or down and you compete against about 100 others in a friendly competition.  There are about 10 "Spikers" that have been with the group for a while and consistently do very well and if your pick beats the 3rd place Spiker pick for the week you get a performance bonus.

In 2011, I had 4 performance bonuses.  My goal for 2012 was to triple that and get 12.  With just one last week to go for the year, I have 8 performance bonuses.  It is a definite improvement and a doubling of last years results so I'm pretty happy about that.  I need to keep better records of past trades and I will carry over this one to next year for sure.  I will probably shoot for 12 for next year. 

3)  Along with the goal above, achieve similar successful trades in my online trading account, beating the overall market by at least 2%;

I give myself a C on this one.  In my last post I talked about returns of the stock market and our investment accounts for 2012.  The S&P 500 provided an 11.6% return from 1/1-12/24.  Unfortunately, my trading account returned 10.2% during that time, so I did not beat the overall market by 2%.  10.2% is still a very good return, but I did not meet the goal.  Similar to the last goal, I need to keep better records of my stock trades like I was towards the beginning of the year and need to stick with my regular plan to limit any losses on individual trades to a certain %.  I will probably carry this one over as well.

4)  Create several niche sites/blogs I'd like to obtain an email subscriber list of 10 people by June 30th and 50 by Dec 31st.  My revenue goal is to bring in $100 by June 30th and $250 by Dec 31st.

I give myself an A- on this one, mostly for the effort I put into it.  I definitely created several niche sites/blogs.  I created the following sites, in addition to the work on this blog:

I also created Facebook pages to go along with some of the sites.  The most activity I had was on the Alcatraz Series Facebook page, with 116 mostly unsolicited likes.  And most of those are from people outside the US.  That wasn't in my original goals, but I thought that was pretty cool and I still get a like or two a week on there. 

I hit my email subscriber target for June, based mostly on high traffic for the Alcatraz Series site around the time of the finale of the show, but as of right now I think I have only about 20 subscribers between all the sites.  I was close to the revenue target in June as well and as of today, I have the following totals sitting in my accounts from 2012:

Amazon Affiliate: $18.57
Google AdSense: $26.94
Market Samurai Affiliate: $129.12
Total:  $174.63

I also had an affiliate sale of the Opt-In Skin plugin of $21.24, but apparently if you don't have consistent affiliate sales each month, ClickBank will start to reduce your commission after you have several months of inactivity.  And since you can't cash out unless you have like $100 in the account, that account is now down to 0 unfortunately, so I can't count that amount.

So all in all, I had the ideas, started in on the work, created some good content and attempted to drive revenue from the sites, but fell a bit short of my targets.  I learned a ton in the process though.  

Over the last few weeks a lot of the inspirational / motivational self help type guys I follow on Facebook have been mentioning the same thing.  Take inventory of what worked and what didn't work for you in 2012 and focus on what produced the best results and eliminate the rest.

I really had so many different thoughts and ideas at the beginning of 2012 that I had a hard time focusing on any one idea/site and I was spread too thin.  And for the time and effort I put into things, it was not a good return on investment.  I was planning on it being mostly a learning experience in the first year and sites need time to generate traffic and build a following, so I will be working on narrowing down my focus and eliminating certain things. 

5)  Choose our vacation destination;

A+.  We went to San Francisco in May.   

6)  Health/wellness goal;Walk/jog 3 miles per week for a yearly total of roughly 150 miles.

I'll give myself a B+ on this one.  I am pretty sure that I hit 150+ miles of walking this year.   Also, we joined Planet Fitness about 2 months ago and I actually enjoy going.  I will be expanding on this one for the coming year.


Overall, I give myself a B-.  I did good on some of them and where I came up short, it wasn't generally due to lack of effort, except for the save $ part.

One huge thing from this past year that was not on my radar was moving to the beach!  That has probably been my biggest lifelong goal/dream that I never really expected would be possible any time in the near future and surprisingly, here we are!  I attribute a lot of that to constant thought and passion/focus on that in the back of my mind at all times. 

It's funny, since living at the beach wasn't on my recent list of goals specifically, it is throwing my goal setting off a bit.  The majority of my goals in regards to bringing in more $ or saving $, were all in relation to becoming debt free and being financially independent and one day we would be able to live at the beach.  So now that we're here, what's next?

I guess the next logical step would be to dream bigger and set loftier goals, but at the same time I'm really enjoying where we're at and trying not to take anything for granted.  I'm trying to live in the moment more and be thankful for everything, which isn't always easy to do.

At any rate, since we still have several days left in 2012, I'm going to let this all percolate a bit and see what I come up with for 2013.

Did you set any goals for 2012?   What overall grade would you give yourself?  Any goals or aspirations for 2013?  Would love to hear from you, the more specifics the better, as I really need some inspiration/ideas for the coming year!  :o)


Jen said...

Wow you are way on top of all of this! Great job overall. It's nice to look back and hold yourself accountable. Can't wait to see what you come up with for 2013!

Chris said...

Thanks! And I'm looking forward to it also, since nothing is coming to mind right now. ;) Hopefully I will have an epiphany soon!

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