I’m a little late to the goal setting for 2018. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I’m even ready just yet to set goals for this year. I’ve been reading Matt’s recent work over at Optimize Your Life on how to live a better life. It’s excellent.
It got me thinking about my goal setting for this year. I typically like to set SMART goals, ones that can be easily measured or at least have frequent check-ins to review their progress.
I haven’t done an excellent job of that lately. Consider the goals I set in 2017 have not been checked in on in some time, I figured a different approach should be taken for this year.
Following some of Matt’s examples, I want to baseline where I’m currently at first, make some adjustments and then move on to goal setting.
Where Are You?
Before I begin setting goals for 2018, I figure I start with a list of things I am spending time on currently, and see if there are anything that needs to be improved for removed altogether. There are 168 hours in a week and roughly 672 hours in a month. Here’s how I spend my time most weeks:
- Sleep – 56 hours a week
- Full-Time Job – 42.5 hours a week
- Maintain Two Blogs – 10 hours a week
- Cleaning House – 8 hours a week
- Surfing the internet – 8 hours a week
- Email – 7 hours a week
- Smartphone use – 7 hours a week
- Watching Sports on TV – 6 hours a week
- Cooking – 5 hours a week
- Shopping – 3 hours a week
- Walking dogs – 3 hours a week
- Watching TV – 3 hours a week
- Playing Video Games – 3 hours a week
- To Do List – 2 hours a week
- Volunteer – 3 hours a month or .75 a week
Now, these are just rough estimates, but when you do the math, it equals 164.25 of the 168 hours per week. Now the first bucket that gets cut into is sleep, more to do the less I sleep. Another factor is that my wife works in retail, which means she often works weekend hours, so on Saturday and Sunday, I take on extra chores around the house.
One large area of improvement is the number of hours I’m spending on my phone, email, and online that totals around 22 hours, add in TV watching and video games and its 34 hours per week. Now we all need some downtime, but maybe I am spending too much here.
I have tried to cut back on the number of blogs I read and comment on. I do not find value in reading as many FIRE blogs as I was when I’m not pursuing FIRE. Reading stories of people that enjoy keeping their house at a temperature of 55 degrees when trying to keep frugally warm in onesies is not in my wheelhouse.
I do try and read various blogs in different shapes and sizes because I do value advice and opinions from others, and it’s great to see how it might fit into my situation.
The other area I’ve considered making a change is in some of the cooking, cleaning, and to do list chores. Possible outsourcing them. I’ve just always feared the cost. I’ve never looked into the cost but only concluded it wasn’t worth it. I may need to evaluate the overall price, and the time I will save.
My next steps for goal setting in 2018 is to help validate some of those above time estimated to see if my initial swag is true. Similarly to the exercise of tracking all expenses for a period of a few months to understand where your money is going. It may be time to track my time spent to see if there are any leaks.
I tweeted on twitter just this week, about struggling to find my blogging voice for 2018. I’m not particularly inspired to write about a topic these days. I’m finding it the same for goal setting.
I am however still pursuing the financial literacy in the offline world. I have two “Get Out of Debt” presentation scheduled for the first quarter of 2018 at local libraries, I continue to work with my local school district on their financial literacy program, and I continue to work with a local 501c3 to looking for opportunities to educate our community.
So it’s funny to me to be floundering in one area and so focused in another. It might be time just to let Debt Discipline go, or at least not commit to a writing schedule until I’m ready. I’m just not sure. I plan on running through the above exercise and see what shakes out.
What tips or tools have you used to help gain some clarity in your goal setting? Any useful apps you can suggest to help track my time?