Personal Improvement Goals for 2019

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019: Let’s start this year the right way. First, we need to set some goals. Big, awesome goals. Once we do this, we need to build a plan to making these goals come to reality. Most importantly, you need to remember this:

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019

So before breaking down long-term goals into short-term objectives, I am going to share my own goals for 2019.

Big Goal Example: Running a marathon

I’d like to talk about goals for a second. At the start of the new year, creating new and audacious personal goals is ingrained in our society. The part that is missing is a concrete way to achieve these goals. Let’s start with a goal that’s very large and intimidating such as running a marathon. How would you even start? What would your first steps be?

I use this example because this is something I have done myself.  In summer 2016, Steph had the crazy idea of running the Philadelphia Marathon later that fall.  At this point, we both could run approximately 10 miles comfortably.  It was a daunting and exhausting task, but this is how we did it:

  • Established a routine by following a regimented training program recommended by other marathoners.
  • Created a support system of other runners with like-minded goals to help us remain motivated
  • Maintained a (relatively) healthy diet and sleep schedule

In the end, the goal was to finish the marathon.  It was extremely tough, both mentally and physically, but we managed to cross the finish line.

Establishing short-term objectives

Most people can conjure big goals and intentions such as:

  •  Losing weight
  •  Quitting smoking
  •  Earning more money

However, without a serious route to achieve these goals, it becomes more of a wish rather than an achievable intention.  In order to achieve a large goal, you first need to create realistic short-term objectives.  When I was in graduate school, we learned about writing short and long-term objectives.  We learned about the principles of SMART goals which include the following (as described by FitSmallBusiness.com:

S-Specific

M-Measurable

A-Achievable

R-Relevant

T-Time bound

Returning to the marathon training analogy, we utilized the Hal Higdon Marathon Training Plan which breaks each week into specific distances.  It gradually lets you build your endurance.  The gradual increase in distance is an example of achieving  short-term/SMART goals in order to reach a larger goal: completing the marathon.  Therefore, identifying your objectives lets you break down this huge goal into manageable pieces.

Think about your big goals. What do you want to do? What seems scary to you? Why is it scary?

Start going through this mental exercise and identify ways to get past each of these barriers. Once you start, you will build momentum, and you will find that it isn’t so scary.

Holding yourself accountable

In my opinion, this is one of the most important parts of goal completion. You need to hold yourself 100% accountable for reaching your goals. When we are feeling energetic, we can spout off some very ambitious and lofty goals. The real test comes in the following scenario:

It’s Monday, and you just came home from work, exhausted and drained. Traffic was terrible, and you didn’t sleep well the night before.  There are tons of chores to complete as well as steps to achieving your goal. It’s so easy to just say “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

That’s what most people do. However, you are striving to be different. You want to achieve goals, but you’re not sure who can help you.

During our training, we found multiple people in our area training for races.  We met up for group runs on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and we ran on our own during the week.  Group runs helped us sustain our motivation, and we stayed accountable toward our goal.

If you want to a life different than what you have been living, you need to change your habits. As much as it hurts, suck it up and work towards the goal. Do it anyway. You will only be happier on the long run (pun intended).

My Personal Improvement Goals for 2019:

I have created my own personal improvement goals for 2019. I will achieve all of these goals, and I plan to follow up in December with my progress. I will talk about my plan to work towards all of them. It all involves simple steps that will build towards success. Here they are:

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019

Here is my list:

  • Max out IRA for 2019 (complete)
  • Max out 401k
  • Purchase rental #3
  • Post on blog x2/week consistently
  • Grow blog traffic
  • Do another half marathon
  • Create emergency fund of $10,000

How am I going to achieve all of these things? I will break them down into manageable pieces that are much more achievable. Eventually, I will work my way towards completing each goal entirely.

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #1: Max out my Roth IRA

This was actually one of the easiest of the group. I had been saving for a while in 2018, getting ready to invest in my Roth IRA in 2019. For 2019, the max contribution is $6,000. I have been maxing out my IRA since 2015, usually just maxing it out all at once. My preference is to do this in January or February because:

  • Once it’s done, I no longer have to think about it
  • I have the entire year to collect dividends and potential stock gains

The reason that this goal is crossed off is that I already did it. I am excited for more dividend gains throughout 2019!

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #2: Max out my 401K at work

This goal will be hard for me. I have tried and tried to max out my 401K throughout the last 4 years. Every time, something happens. I panic and stop investing. Last year, everything was going great. I enrolled during April 2018 on my path to max out my 401K. Three months later, I received a call that the contract in my building was being cancelled. My job was in jeopardy. I’m really questioning if I will be with this company in the next month. So, I cancelled all of my 401K contributions. Fortunately, everything turned out just fine several months later. Next time, I hope that I don’t panic at the next disrupting event, and by writing this out, I will move on. Maxing out the 401K this year will be painful.

Full disclosure: Max 401K contribution for 2019 is $19,000. At my primary job, I am paid 24 times per year. In order to max this out,  my calculations dictate that I will need to put aside $792 per paycheck in order to do this. Am I ready? As much as I will ever be.

It will hurt not having the extra money.  However, I need to remind myself that doing this is saving me from paying more in taxes.  In addition, it will discipline me to invest my money rather than buying something frivolous.

I will continue invest in the 401K and max it out at the end of the year, regardless of interruptions. If I need extra money, I will work per diem at my other jobs to help make up the difference.

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #3: Purchase rental house #3

This is something my father and I have been discussing since we finished rental house #2. We really want to get into multi-family housing (like a 2-4 unit building) in order to increase the amount we can get per month for the property. I think it will come down to two factors:

  • Availability of properties
  • The numbers

The current barrier to jumping into another rental is available capital.  Ideally, I would like to do something like the BRRRR strategy as discussed on BiggerPockets.  This strategy involves pulling out capital from our current properties to fund a down payment for a third rental home. Consider this scenario:

You buy a property for $50,000. When it’s updated, it will be worth $100,000. This property requires $20,000 in rehab costs in order to bring it up to the after-repair value, or ARV, of $100,000. After six months to a year, you will be eligible to re-finance your invested money ($50,000) out of this property and use it for other investments.

Unfortunately, this is not a popular strategy with my business partner (Dad).

Funding the next rental home will need to be done the usual way: save up cash to use as a down payment. While this approach is slow, it is more stable.

I will work to save more money for a down payment for the next rental. I will do this by working extra at other jobs as needed along with saving on my usual expenses.

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #4: Post on the blog twice per week

I had been doing well with posting regularly until the holidays happened. With all of the extra obligations and activities, my post amount took a considerable hit. In response, I have been trying to blog during weekends, as I previously found some time during the week.

I will work to consistently post on the blog twice per week in order to maintain blog growth and new traffic. I plan to set aside time each week to work on posts and structuring the blog.

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #5: Grow blog traffic

Building consistent traffic is critical to growing a blog. This is something that I have been working on since I started this in August 2018. Currently, I have around 46 posts. I have learned a lot about designing a website and using social media platforms for promotion. I thank WealthyAffiliate for providing me the support to start the blog. They showed me the steps I needed in order to start a successful blog. Although they are more focused on affiliate marketing, so many steps translate to starting a blog, such as a personal finance blog. I also thank my wife for helping me generate ideas for posts and editing/occasionally guest blogging.

I will keep posting and generating content for my readers. The big one appears to be consistently posting on social media to bring awareness to my previous posts and to the blog in general. The audience and my blogging skills continue to grow. I am hopeful that 2019 will be a great year for Wealthlenial!

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #6: Do another half marathon

Running has been a part of my life since January 2014. Since then I have completed multiple 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and one marathon. Although I have no desire to complete another full marathon, a half marathon is definitely achievable.

I will keep increasing the distance of my weekend runs by adding a mile or so each week.  That way, I will slowly work my way back up to a half marathon distance.

Personal Improvement Goals for 2019 #7: Create an emergency fund of $10,000

Life is unpredictable. You need to be prepared. Having an emergency fund prevents unpredictable things from traumatically upsetting your financial health. Too many people in my opinion “risk it” by working paycheck to paycheck and not building savings. The curve-balls that life can throw at you nowadays can set you back $5,000 or more very easily.

I want to create an emergency fund of at least $10,000. This will allow me to address any major problems that emerge.

I will increase the amount of my emergency fund from $6,000 currently to $10,000 as soon as possible. I will do this by two methods:

  •  Building savings
  •  Working extra hours when they are available

Making your personal improvement goals for 2019 a reality

How do we make anything a reality? Consistent daily progress. If your goal isn’t on your mind every day, how will you ever achieve it? It’s too easy start a goal when you’re motivated and full of energy. What you need is the discipline to work towards the goal after a long day at work when you are completely exhausted. That is how you will achieve your goals. Everything else is wishing.

Personal Improvement Goal for 2019: Make 2019 the year of accomplishment, not wishing.

Did you like this post? Check out some of our others:

4 Obstacles That Keep You From Achieving Your Goals

What is Financial Independence? The “Why” of FI

Embracing Simplicity – Untangle Your Life

https://wealthlenial.com/5-ways-to-cope-with-job-burnout/

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2 thoughts on “Personal Improvement Goals for 2019

  1. Wow! I love this write up. It’s one thing to set up a goal, and another thing to achieve it. I’m glad you discussed the “plan” part. Procrastination is also an enemy when it comes to achieving ones goal. Do you have a YouTube channel where you motivate people? I also love your blog too.

  2. Dear Dave,

    Thanks for informative and useful post. I like your SMART goal approach. 

    I have my financial goal for 2019, which is rough. Now with your SMART way, I need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. I am building up my online business now. The most important part is to establish a financial goal for my business, the SMART method will help me to evaluate this.

    Do you have examples of financial goal using SMART way? 

    Regards

    Anthony

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