I’m a goal setting nerd.
Can’t get enough frankly.
But I almost always follow through.
In fact, one of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from my friend Shannon.
She said something like this:
“Gina, you’re the only person I know that says she’s going to do something and then does it. You said you were going to run a marathon and you ran one. You said you were going to quit your job and you did it.”
Thanks girl! It’s stuck with me this whole year.
And I had some audacious goals for 2015. Here’s a recap of the three main goals I set for myself (and my freelance business) this year AND how I fared.
1. Replace My Current Salary
At my previous day job, I was making about $76,000 per year before I left. As a 30-year old (I’m now 31), that’s nothing to laugh at. It supported our little family of four and was predictable. I just didn’t really like the work anymore.
So obviously it was my goal to replace my income as quickly as possible after turning in my notice and leaving work behind. And I did. In fact, I was able to replace my salary within the first three months of going full-time.
Having those two little and one big mouth to feed provided a strong why for my business and its growth. Without one, it’s all too easy to lose motivation.
Action step: Figure out your “why” for building your freelance business and write it down. Reflect on it often.
2. Payoff Our Second Mortgage
Our big goal in 2014 was to get our second mortgage balance under $30k. We ended that year at $29,830.
It was my huge goal then in 2015 to pay the sucker off. By doing so, we’d be “debt-free” (minus the first mortgage of course).
I’m happy to say I was able to walk into the bank a couple of months ago and write the final check. And it FELT AMAZING!
The debt was a combination of living above our means in the past, home repairs (i.e. a new roof and bathroom), refinancing older debt (autos and credit card debt from our 2005 wedding), etc.
Suffice it to say, it was more than just writing a check.
Action step: If you want to gear up to freelance full-time, try and pay down as much debt as possible. The less you have in monthly payments, the easier it is to generate enough income to pay the bills.
3. Save Enough to Purchase a Used RV in Cash
Okay, so this is the only goal out of the three that was a big fat fail. But let me explain – our plans have changed a bit.
We wanted to go on a month-long RV adventure in June of 2015. But goal #2 (paying off the second mortgage) was the more financially responsible one to achieve, so we postponed it to June of 2016.
And then we bought land.
Wade has been looking for a plot of land “up north” (you know, because Minnesota isn’t north enough…) for YEARS. My parents have a cabin where I’ve been going since I was eight.
And Wade happened to find two acres of land for a more than reasonable price that had lake access on the very same lake my folks cabin is off of (just on the other side).
So we bought it.
The taxes are much less than they would be if we were on the actual lake, there’s this fantastic, flat beach that we’re going to enjoy the heck out of and we’re close to my parents. No-brainer, right?
But now we have another debt. Wah, wah. At least it’s attached to something specific and positive though. And we need another goal for 2016, right? LOL!
And the silver lining, is that we’re about to embark on a month-long journey to Texas next month. Although we won’t be road tripping in an RV, we will be taking my 2007 Equinox a few thousand miles!
Action step: Set competing goals, but don’t be afraid to change them as your life changes.
Stretch Goal: Gross $10,000 per Month by Year-end
Grossing $10,000 by year-end felt like such a stretch when 2015 began. I was dreaming big and honestly not planning on hitting it.
Well, July was the first month that I grossed more than $10k, and I’ve done it every month except one since then. Crazy, right?
Full disclosure, my expenses have also gone up a ton. But I’ve used money that I generated from my business to reinvest in it and so far it’s paid off. #BootstrapperAtHeart!
Action step: Set a stretch goal. Even if you don’t meet it, if you come close, that’s more than a win.
“Shoot for the moon and you just might hit the stars!”
How did you fare on your own 2015 goals? Have you started planning for 2016 yet?
Photo credit: Annie Spratt via Unsplash