2014 goals – New Year’s resolutions come early

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Setting my 2014 goals a little early this year

2014 goals

Towards the end of September and the start of October, I started to write down some goals for 2014.

I also decided that I would post these on moneystepper and measure my progress against them each month. I wanted to do this for two reasons:

1)      Accountability – I know that if I have to explain an action to everyone, it would certainly make me think twice about taking any action which would be detrimental to my goals.

2)      Enjoyment – I thoroughly enjoy reading the goals, and the progress against them, on other personal finance sites. In fact, I look forward to the end of the month to see how people are doing with their budgets, net wealth, businesses and personal goals.

I made the decision that I wouldn’t post any net wealth figures. I like to keep my privacy in these matters and the security that goes with announcing these figures on a public site concerns me somewhat. However, I would post all of my goals for 2014 (most of which are financial, but with a couple of other personal ones in there) and mark my monthly progress against them.

 

Why wait until New Year?

I finished setting these “2014 goals” in mid October. Already, there have been two or three occasions where I have made the wrong choice and thought “I won’t do that next year when I’m recording everything on moneystepper”.

This led to me skipping a session in the hotel gym one morning, and sitting watching ESPN in bed on TV at 9am on a Sunday morning! After this, I thought “why wait”. New Year is a pretty arbitrary time to start these goals. In fact, it may even be the worse time. It gives everyone complete freedom to indulge to excess in all aspects of life over the Christmas holidays safe in the knowledge that “I won’t do that in January”.

I have set 12 goals which I will start on 01st November 2013 to be completed on 31st December 2013. I have split these to show financial first, then fitness, then travel. They have been ordered in what I see as being descending level of difficulty in each section. So here goes.

 

2014 Goal 1 – Increase my net wealth by over 56% from 01 Nov 2013 to 31 Dec 2014.

This equates to around 3% every single month.  This is lower than my 2013 average monthly increase, but 2014 will involve significant expenditure on getting married and re-relocating back to the UK following our 2 year stint in France (see later goals).

I will calculate my net wealth as being all my major assets (I won’t include my CD collection or bicycles etc) and all my liabilities: currently cash & cash equivalents + portfolio of investments + pension fund + house value – mortgage – tax liabilities.

 

2014 Goal 2 – Positive net wealth change for at least 12 out of 14 months

This is of course linked to the goal above, but I have added this to ensure consistency in my net wealth increase.

This avoids me making the first goal by a surprise one-off increase in net wealth in a certain month (perhaps due to an annual bonus or other one off receipt of cash) and then reducing my net wealth in many other months.

 

2014 Goal 3 – Save at least 60% of net wealth for at least 12 out of 14 months

Again, this is fairly similar, but will ensure that even if I begin to earn additional income, I do not relax on saving and frugality.

 

2014 Goal 4 – Pay £7000 to reducing capital portion on my primary rental property mortgage

After moving from the UK to France, I rented out my apartment. In doing so, I was legally required to move from a residential mortgage to a permission to lease mortgage. In doing so, my mortgage rate went up from around 2.5% to 6.2% fixed rate until November 2015.

Paying down this mortgage is essentially equivalent to a 6.2% fixed rate investment.

Therefore, I aim to pay make the maximum overpayments on this account in the year which I am permitted (without incurring horrendous overpayment charges).

I have considered remortgaging this (which would be beneficial even with these early repayment charges), but living abroad is a major hindrance in obtaining reasonable financing in the UK (even though I am still employed by my UK company).

 

2014 Goal 5 – Make £700 profit from rental property

In relation to the rental property, I am striving to make a profit (before tax) of at least £700. The success on this will mainly be dependent on any repairs required so let’s hope we don’t get unlucky on this one!


2014 Goal 6 – Fill 2014 stocks & shares ISA (estimated limit = £11,760 – to be updated)

I indeed to meet the stocks & shares ISA limit next year as I aim to increase the percentage of my net wealth which is invested in tax shielded market investments. I have already maximized my 2013/14 allowance, so this goal will be measured in money put aside for investment in April 2014 related to the 2014/15 limit.

 

2014 Goal 7 – Earn over £600 in dividend income

This shall hopefully be driven by goal 5 and by selecting a good mix of income and growth stocks.

 

2014 Goal 8 – Make net profit from moneystepper.com and related activities of £700

Having started moneystepper in June 2013, I’ve no real idea of the amount that this goal should be for the year. I’m managing the site whilst working full time, but am serious on making it a mainstream site in the UK. Additionally, this will include any income from book sales and any other income which is driven with moneystepper as its basis.

 

2014 Goal 9 – Save £6,000 towards our wedding

We are returning to the UK in October 2014, and are planning to get married in Spring 2015. We haven’t yet made a detailed budget for the wedding, but £12,000 is our preliminary budget and so I shall aim to save this before December 2013.

 

2014 Goal 10 – Cycle a total of 3500 miles

Enough for the finance, let’s move on to a couple of fitness goals. I am planning a 1000km cycling tour around the routes of the Tour de France, Giro D’Italia and Tour of Switzerland during ten days next May with some friends.

As such, I need to start some serious training. Therefore, 3500 miles in total will be 250 miles a month, or around 50-60 miles per week. Given that I don’t cycle to work, this seems like a reasonable target with a few small training sessions and a longer ride at the weekends.

 

2014 Goal 11 – Eat under 2500 for over 365 days

Goal 10 means I exercise more. Goal 11 should mean I eat a little better. A diet goal over 14 months is quite hard to set, especially given that my aim isn’t to lose much weight, but rather just to get fitter. Therefore, I thought I would go for a calorie goal to ensure that I consistently eat well. This equates to eating under 2500 calories 6 out of 7 days.

 

2014 Goal 12 – Visit 5 foreign countries (non UK or France)

And finally, I will include a travel goal. Having come to France, we did so with the plan to travel around Europe at weekends. However, we found in the first year that there was just too much to do in France itself. Therefore, I originally included the goal of visiting 4 other countries in 2014 outside of the UK & France. However, given that I have already ticked off China, I will make that 5 in total.

 

 

So, there we are: my 12 goals for 2014. What do you guys think? Any seem unrealistic? Any seem too easy? 

 

Check out my update after the end of each month:

November 2013

December 2013

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29 thoughts on “2014 goals – New Year’s resolutions come early

  1. Great goals, Moneystepper! The sheer number of goals is probably a bit too high for me personally, but I think individually they’re all very doable goals, given your drive and dedication. I love your net worth goals – great ones to have, IMHO. People often forget about their net worth when writing financial goals.

  2. Not a bad idea — maybe you can call them your *fiscal new year resolutions :)

    They’re all good goals. One thing I might caution against is that some of your goals seem outside of your control. As an example, I notice that some bloggers set a goal of improving their Alexa score to a certain amount such as under 200k or something. The score improvement implies some tasks — collaborate with X other bloggers, promote it at Y places, tell Z number of friends — but a better goal would be just to say they’ll complete those implied tasks :)

    All in all, these are good goals. Aggressive, but not so bad that they’re unattainable. Good luck!
    Debt BLAG recently posted…November 2013 net worth update: The end comes into viewMy Profile

    • That’s true, but with them being goals spread over 14 months, I couldn’t really get into specifics. I will have much shorter term goals, but I wanted to have these longer-term objectives to be measured against. After a 10 mile ride today, I’m thinking that maybe 250 miles a month on the bike is quite a few…! :)

  3. Whoa, that’s a lot of goals. Good luck! 56% increase in net worth would be terrific. I think we’ll hit 20% increase this year and I’m already ecstatic. My goal is only 10% per year.

      • Great stuff! I’m new to your blog but I’m inspired to set some goals before the year is up.

        I’m interested how you plan to increase net worth by 56% though? On the screen that looks like a phenomenal amount, just wondering if you’ve broken it down into smaller goals (apart from saying it’s about 3%/month) and how you plan to get there?

        Good luck!

        • Hi Ados,

          Welcome to moneystepper and thanks so much for the comment.

          Yeah, its a fairly carefully designed and “budgeted” goal depending on many different aspects. I have many shorter term goals to help me achieve this, but wanted to use moneystepper.com as a way of recording the long-term and making sure I always remember and focus on my medium term goals!

          Hope you enjoy the site and look forward to hearing from you again.

  4. I think it’s totally possible to make that much on your blog and more! The one that stands out to me is the calorie goal. You put 365 days but then said 6 our of 7. I still think that’s a really…well kind of unrealistic goal. It just seems SO strict and doesn’t take into account holidays and hell, just life stuff in general. Unless you were very much overweight, which it doesn’t sound like you are, I’m maybe find a different, more achievable calorie/fitness goal. But hey that’s just me and i like chocolate and wine too much! :)
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…November GoalsMy Profile

    • The 365 days is over 14 months and is therefore equivalent to 6 out of 7 days.

      I do think that it is strict, but equally 2500 calories (when you add up what you eat each day) is actually quite a lot in my opinion. Yesterday, I had cereal and fruit at breakfast, chorizo & goat’s cheese salad at lunch, turkey breast & salad at dinner, a glass of red wine and a chocolate tart. That seems like a normal day (not dieting, not pigging out) and it came to a lot under 2500 calories.

      The goal is designed to give me one day a week where I may eat something terrible – a raclette, monster pizza, huge steak & chips, and all with wine and dessert! I suppose I’ll see how November goes and maybe update if I’ve misjudged! One thing is certain, Christmas may be tough…!! :)

  5. Wow! Great goals! I just did my goals for year end but I’ve already started thinking about 2014 as well. I like your last three goals, cycling, diet and travel. I’m a cyclist too and I was seriously lacking in that area this year, need to step it up for next year. Better, SMART goals = higher achievement. Visiting five countries could get expensive, I’d like to see how you do that frugally or what you’re budgeting for the trips.
    Best of luck!
    Michelle recently posted…October 2013 Monthly RecapMy Profile

  6. I think these are great goals! I especially like your travel goal (all things travel excite me :P). I find that when it comes to goal setting your goals have to be realistic. We can all dream and in fact it is important to do so from time to time, but when it comes to setting goals I’d much prefer my goal to a realistic one (but not overly easy as your goals must motivate you). I think I need to set a couple of goals myself, but I’ve never been good at that. Time to change perhaps! :P Good luck with your goals, you can do it!!
    Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…My Brand New Credit ScoreMy Profile

  7. Wow, a lot of goals, but certainly some good ones! While some of those are pretty easy to track given they can be packaged monthly (networth, dividends, etc.), it seems the tracking of the calories could become tedious! All that being said, my favorite goal is your cycling one! Even though I’m over here in the States, I LOVE watching the major tours on TV and am glad that they have really upped their TV coverage over the last few years. Best of luck and 2014!
    writing2reality recently posted…2013 Passive Income Goals RevisitedMy Profile

    • The calorie counting one should be pretty easy. I know intuitively if I’ve eaten 2000 or less, so I only need to check if I’m pushing the 2500 mark to see if I was under or over. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Wow, you are so ahead of the curve…am struggling to wrap up my #2013 goals and you are onto your 2014 ones…awesome. All in all I think they are great goals, challenging enough without being overwhelming and some that will push you right out of your comfort zone. Let me wish you the best in accomplishing them, I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on the updates :)
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted…Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card ReviewMy Profile

  9. If only I could have come up with this a year earlier, I would have been a happier camper!!!
    I totally appreciate the insight, and I hope that you successfully accomplish these goals.
    PS: Good Luck on the cycling.
    David

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