2016 Goals Update

2016 Goals Update

I posted my goals for 2016 around New Year, so I’m well overdue for an update. This year is well and truly in full-swing, even though it feels like Christmas was five minutes ago.

Since February I’ve been easy on myself. I realised I’ve been pushing myself too hard lately and it was affecting my recovery from post concussion syndrome. For those who don’t know, I fell on the way to work one morning and ever-so-gracefully smashed my head on a lampost! As hilarious as it may have looked it has impacted my life greatly and I’m slowly recovering and learning to cope when I have bad days. So I’ve put most things on hold, including making money online and am trying to let myself rest. Not always easy when I’m eager to chase the life I want, but I’m doing OK, trying to stay positive, and getting on the best I can.

So how am I doing with my goals?

Career

So my goals are to go fully freelance, setting myself up as a writer and a virtual assistant. Working from home is my dream, so I’ll do anything to mesh that and my love of writing. At the moment I’m just trying to get in to a routine to make getting back to work as smooth as possible, and I’m working on all the technical side of things like my portfolio and doing research.

I also want to create a proper schedule for this blog. Well as you can see I’ve been a bit quiet lately, but I have drafted a tonne of posts, which I will get around to when I feel better. 🙂

Financial

I’m happy with my progress on my goal of learning about investing. I’ve been reading a bunch of blogs, books and I have an interesting app from Udemy that I’ve been working through too.

My other financial goals are on hold at the moment, including making money online, but I have opened another savings account that I intend to use as soon as possible.

Fun

I’ve been reading a lot about calligraphy, I especially like this bloggers guide, it’s really accessible and straight-forward. I just need to get the instruments and start using them.

Another one is to go back on holiday. I’ve been planning a Disney World holiday for next year which is exciting. I want to go back to Port Orleans Riverside, but I think we’ll stay at Pop Century to save some money. I love all the Disney hotels so I don’t mind one bit!

Life & Health

Get weight loss surgery. I’ve had the first three appointments, I just need to lose a little weight now before surgery by following a meal plan. I’m unsure if I will go through with the surgery, as it’s quite scary and I’m not too far gone that I couldn’t lose weight myself with good old old-fashioned willpower – but either way I’m going to the lose weight.

This year I want to learn to drive, right now I’ve started to look at instructors and ask around for the best local one.

Personal Development

I want to release an ebook. I have actually drafted a few, but I’m going to step on my game on this goal.

One big goal that’s been important to me for a while, is practice mindfulness regularly. I splashed out on the Headspace subscription when it was on offer (keep an eye open for voucher codes) and I’ve been using it regularly. I figure a year’s subscription would be worth it if I used it every day and got a lot out of it. I’m happy so far and I do feel less anxious than I was before.

Read as much as possible. Before my head injury, as an English Lit student I used to be able to read a novel a day – well of course that changed when post concussion syndrome reared its ugly head! But I’m happy with my progress from what it was, so far I’m on my fifth novel this year. But I dip in and out of non-fiction.


There you have it. I’m happy with what I’ve made progress with but I would like to step my game up on some of my goals.

Goals for March

It’s really hard to write goals when you’re ill. I want to push myself but I know I should be taking it easy!

  • Enter 1000 competitions – this might sound like a lot but that’s about 32 a day.
  • Read two books.
  • Finish my Udemy course.
  • Start using MyFitnessPal again.
  • Train the puppy. I just got my first ever puppy last week, training’s going well already!

What are your goals? How are they going?

balancing your social life and your financial goals

Your finances and social life can often clash. You want to be a good friend, but you also want to meet your financial goals. Sometimes our family and friends may have the best intentions, but they can come in the way of our financial goals. Staying in and keeping your pennies safe may seem tempting, but sometimes it’s just not realistic.

You can meet your financial goals, and have fun. No need to become a social recluse! So, if you find yourself always feeling tempted to spend more, or pressured to part with your money around certain people, then what can you do to stick to your financial goals?

Balancing your social life and your financial goals

Know what your goals are

Make a mental note of what your savings goals are. Better yet, write your goals down and how they will benefit you when they’re reached. It’s easier to stick to your goals if you have a precise number in your head.

Remember why you’ve set these goals

It’s always good to remind yourself why you’re saving. Keep a reminder somewhere; set a reminder on your phone, or have a note or photo hanging in plain sight. It’ll help you keep your goals in you mind and encourage you to stick to them.

Set firm boundaries

If someone’s always trying to persuade you to go out and part with your money, let them know that you’re on a financial fast and you’re not spending money. Be firm about your goals, if someone can’t respect your wishes then they might not be the best person to be around anyway.

Suggest to do something free instead

If your money gets eaten up, try to find a cheaper alternative instead; if you like your takeaways why not buy takeaway ready meals from the supermarket or create your own ‘fakeaway’ at home.

Are you on O2? Take advantage of the freebies on 02 Priority, like free coffees, and use these times to catch up with friends. Even better, invite them round for a good old cuppa and a natter.

Set an amount for monthly leisure activities

Give yourself an allowance! Saving money doesn’t have to be boring, allow yourself a set amount for fun every month, and decide which of your plans are worth spending money on. Balance really is the key here, you don’t need to stop doing everything you love.

Start mystery shopping

With mystery shopping, you can save money and get paid. MarketForce is a great site for mystery shopping, there’s assignments for pubs, restaurants, shops and more.

Start comping

There’s no guarantees with comping, but there’s the potential to win anything. Set your sites on winning days or meals out and do what you love at little or no expense to you.

Make money online

You can commit to making some extra money online specifically to put aside for your social life. There’s any number of ways to do this. Sell your unwanted items, do surveys, usertesting, sell a skill and more.

There is really something for everyone. You can balance your social life and your financial goals.


I’d love to know how you balance your social life and your financial goals! Let me know below.

Realistic financial goals to set in 2016

Realistic financial goals to set in 2016

With the new year just beginning there’s still time to make some resolutions. Financial goals can sometimes be overwhelming or feel difficult to achieve, but you can start small and still make a big difference to your finances.

If you’re unsure what kind of financial goals would be realistic for you in 2016, here’s some inspiration:

Always use vouchers and cash back sites where possible

A nice easy one. If you’re going to buy something always check first if vouchers or cashback are available.

Cashback

Vouchers

Put every £2 in a piggy bank

A simple undertaking that can really add up over the year is putting all your £2 coins in a money box. You could make it £1 coins if you’re feeling adventurous!

Keep track of your budget

It’s easy to overspend if you’re not on top of your finances. If this sounds like you, make a resolution to keep a regular watch on your finances.

There are numerous apps available, or you could keep track on a spreadsheet or good old-fashioned paper.

Save X% every month

Once you’ve figured out your budget, make a goal of how much you want to and can save each month. Put this in a savings account and vow not to touch it.

Make £50 online every month

This a completely achievable goal; every month you can make hundreds, if not thousands online (depending on how much time and effort you want to spend.) Take a look at the make money category for inspiration.

Use cash instead of cards

Some people swear by the cash envelope system to stop them overspending. Simply take out as much as you need every week or month, and put your allowance in envelopes.

Not having the backup of your debit card when you’re out shopping stops you from overspending.

Switch from satellite to on-demand services

Satellite TV can be an expense and a half! These days there are a lot of cheaper alternatives. If you don’t watch much live TV, consider switching to a cheaper on-demand service such as NowTV.

For a small expense you could buy something like Amazon Fire TV and watch Amazon Prime Instant Video or Netflix and other on-demand services on your TV. This is my current set-up and I’m always spoiled for choice.


 

Hopefully this has given you something to think about. You really don’t need to do anything drastic to make a nice contribution to your savings. I hope 2016 is kind to you, and you have a wonderful year!

What are your financial resolutions?

2016 goals

2016 Goals

It’s that time of year again; new years resolutions! Eek! The phrase alone is enough to fill most people with dread, but fear not, we can make them bearable.

I’ve written about goal setting before; goals need to be achievable and risk free in order to be successful. I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART goals before, but if you haven’t, you want your goals to be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

Basically you want to know exactly what your goals are, and be able to measure your success. Your goals need to be something you can achieve, relevant to your life and ambitions, with a set time frame.

Pretty easy right?

I know the basic things I want to achieve in 2016, but I have yet to set any specific dates. I’m sure I’ll add to these throughout the year.

My 2016 goals

Career

Go fully freelance.

Start work as a freelance writer, with some virtual assistant stuff thrown in.

Create a proper schedule for my blogs. (I want to up my blogging game in a big way in 2016! I love the creativity and community involved with blogging, and I want to set myself clear plans and goals.)

Financial

Learn about investing.

Start a proper saving plan.

Start a private pension(?)

Make as much as I can online every month. (not sure how much to aim for at the mo.)

Fun

Learn calligraphy

Go on holiday, or put away savings for next year.

Life & Health

Get weight loss surgery. (So, a pretty big one! My life is about to change in a huge way and I can’t wait.)

Join a gym.

Learn to drive.

Personal Development

Publish an ebook.

Practice mindfulness regularly.

Read as much as possible. (Still a bit slow reading after my head injury, so won’t set exact figures.)

Get out more, do more things I love, be as happy as possible!


I want 2016 to be: A year of grafting, change and happiness.

I will start: Taking concrete steps towards my dream future.

I will stop: Staying in so much!

Top 5 Goals

  1. Get weight loss surgery.
  2. Learn to drive.
  3. Go freelance.
  4. Regular savings.
  5. Blogging plan.

 

To help you get started with your goals, here’s your free 2016 goals worksheet.

2016 goalsI hope this worksheet helps! Feel free to download and print, and scribble all over the sheet to get your ideas out.

What are your goals for 2016?

Goal setting for success

Do you find it hard to focus on your ambition? Goal setting could be for you.

Being able to know exactly what your goals are and when you’ve achieved them is powerful. Setting goals can make you more focused, organised, and motivated. Goal setting for success can make your ambition attainable. Learn how now:

SMART GOALS

How then should goals be successfully made? The answer lies in SMART goals. Smart goals are (as you have probably heard!):

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time-bound

Set Specific Goals

Write down your goals. What is it you want to achieve? Have a concrete target to make your goals real.

Set Measurable Goals

Use specific measurements to know when you’ve achieved your goals.

Set Attainable Goals

Goals need to be achievable. Make your goals realistic and attainable.

Set Relevant Goals

Align your goals with your values. Relevant goals take you in the direction you wish to go.

Set Time-Bound Goals

Set some time-constraints on your goals. As you get closer to the finish date you will be able to anticipate the celebration of your success.

Breaking down Goals

Break your goals down into smaller goals. For example, say your long-term goal is to learn how to drive: a mid-term goal could be to book driving lessons, while a short-term goal could be to put money aside for lessons.

By breaking your goals down you can make the larger goal more attainable, every short-term goal achieved is a step towards achieving your long-term goal.

Recording your goals

To better understand your goals start with good old-fashioned pen and paper to get your ideas down. Scribble away making mind-maps, lists, the odd doodle, and then you could be left with a clear goal.

Why not try creating Pinterest boards to remind you of your goals. A cork-board also does the trick! A quick look at the board and you will be reminded of why you set your goals and refocus. You can also use goal-setting apps, such as: Strides, Balanced, and Coach.me.

Write, draw, record your goals. Leave it somewhere accessible so you can be easily reminded of your goals if you go astray. Find what works for you!

THE SCIENCY BIT

Research from Harvard Business School suggests that the act of setting goals can be dangerous and should come with a ‘doctor’s prescription’ to ensure correct dosage. According to Harvard Business School our goals should be achievable and our methods ethical and risk-free. Don’t set your goals so high that you can never successfully reach them, this is detrimental not only to our perception of ourselves but to our future behaviour.

In setting your goals take care to you avoid being narrowly focused and ignoring outside information. You may need to alter your goals slightly to align with whatever’s happening in your life, but that’s OK! Flexibility is the name of the game.

What are your tips for goals setting?