You know why April is the best month?
Yep! It’s my birthday month. I’m 25 years old. Quarter of a century. I can rent a car without paying an extra fee. All that fun jazz.
Now, I’m really not a big celebration kinda guy but my last three birthdays have been pretty awful.
2015: Loaded up a uHaul and moved on to Houston
2016: Moved again within Houston and the freaking axle on my truck had to be replaced
2017: Wife totaled her car
When this year’s birthday came around I had low expectations.
My one desire was for nothing to go wrong. I went to my favorite coffee shop, posted up with my puppy, and blasted out a list of 25 goals I wanted to accomplish this next year.
Setting Life Goals: 25 Goals for My 25th Year
I’ve broken up this list into the 5-6 areas that are most important to me! These are the areas of life that I’m most passionate about and feel called to really lean into more. When I think about my life purpose, these goals are each helping lay the foundation for a life well lived.
So here’s the list! These are the 25 goals I hope to accomplish by April of 2019. I probably could have written out a hundred because I’m a serial goal-setter, but I liked the sound of 25 x 25.
Every 3 months I’ll be doing a quarterly report to track my progress, see what’s working, and hold myself accountable. One of the reasons I set goals is to make sure I’m making progress and not making choices that I’ll regret.
Over the past few years since graduating college, my health just hasn’t been a priority. I’ve gotten married, moved twice, started grad school, and have spent the whole time working in ministry.
My main form of exercise is definitely lifting weights. I usually hit the gym around 4x a week and hope to maintain that consistency over the next year!
25. Lift 10,000,000 pounds
I track almost every single workout I do. Week to week I aim to always increase either the number of sets, reps, or the weight on the bar. Over the next 12 months I hope to lift a total volume of 10 million pounds.
24. Diet down and maintain at 230
After seeing my weight creep up over the last few years, it is time to finally get things under control! When I got married, I weighed around 230 so that is my target weight! I’m currently about a month into dieting and am sitting around 253.
My plan for this is to diet hard down to around 240 by the end of the summer and then maintain for the better part of the Fall. When January 1st comes back around I’ll do my second phase of dieting to drop the last 10-15lbs.
Here’s my progress so far!
23. Bench 365, Squat 405, Deadlift 495
These numbers are definitely not a stretch for me. I’ve hit them all before and now it’s just a matter of building my strength back up. However, if I am able to complete these lifts at a bodyweight of 230 then that will be a personal best for me. I also want to be able to hit these 12 months from now which means I can’t just hit it hard for 8 weeks and slow down.
22. Consecutive pull-ups: Twenty
This one doesn’t take much explaining! A few weeks ago I added pull-ups into my routine and started doing 5 sets till failure.
This has been my progression so far…
Week one: 5, 5, 5, 4, 4
Week two: 6, 5, 5, 4, 4
Week three: 7, 6, 6, 5, 5
Week four: 7, 7, 6, 5, 5
Week five: 9, 6, 6, 5, 5
My goal is to be able to hit 20 consecutive pull-ups a year from now.
I launched my blog back in October of 2017 and after a strong start, I slowed down when I moved from part-time to full-time work. Last month I began posting again consistently!
I have a MUCH longer list that goes into a lot of depth, but here are 5 of my blogging goals for the next 12 months! The first three are process goals that will ultimately lead to the success of the next three outcome goals.
My goal setting process is usually to start with outcome goals and work backwards to identify the daily and weekly tasks that will drive results.
21. Write 52 articles for a total of at least 104,000 words
As a first year blogger, the primary driver of any success will start with creating an incredible bank of content. This might seem strange but I’m only partially writing with my current readers in mind.
Here’s what I mean…
I’m looking two years down the line. When people come to my site a year or two from now I don’t want them to just read one article. I want them to spend their entire lunch break blasting through 5-10 of my best posts and have them email one to their spouse, send one to a co-worker, bookmark a page, and subscribe to my email list.
Yes, I absolutely want to help people today! But my entire focus is how much can I help someone a year from now. How can I take that reader from point A to B?
20. Talk to at least 100 readers via phone, email, or other mediums.
One of my favorite parts about starting this blog has been the chance to network and build real (online!) friendships with other people who are passionate about personal finance.
However, most of my time has been spent with other bloggers. This year I want to talk to at least 100 readers in a personal way–either over the phone or email.
19. Join or launch my own mastermind group
For months now I’ve felt the need to put together a core group of blogging friends to take it to the next level. Just this past week I listened to an awesome podcast by Pete McPherson interviewing Aaron Walker all about the power of masterminds. It was definitely the kick I needed to add this to my goals list for the next year.
18. Reach 10,000 visitors in one month
This one is pretty arbitrary, but nice round numbers are fun to aim for! This will probably take a combination of growing organic traffic over the next year and lining up some guest posts or big features!
17. 60,000 page views this year
I’m a metrics guy and at the end of the day I get fired up about seeing progress. Here’s the key though…
I know that behind each of those page views is a person looking for an answer to a question, advice on their finances, or tips for their marriage.
60,000 page views means 60,000 chances to help someone.
16. Email list of 1,000 + Create a Defined Strategy
I’ll be honest! Social media isn’t my thing but I actually enjoy emails. Building an email list is one of those things that all the pro-bloggers tell you they wish they had started earlier, so I’m doing it!
I don’t have much of a strategy for collecting emails or interacting with those on my list, but for now I’m hoping to keep creating great pieces of content and offering them to people as a free download. I have a couple of bigger projects in mind for possible opt-ins, but I’m going to hold off before investing the time.
Foundation for Long-term Wealth
In my eyes, wealth is a means to an end. For my wife and I, as 25 year olds, the more aggressively we save now, the bigger of a head start we have. We’re doing our best to save now so that when we have kids and get older we’ll have already done the heavy lifting for our retirement and life planning.
We have some pretty audacious giving goals, but for now we’re happy to be giving at least 10% of our income to our church and we also support a missionary in the middle east. Hopefully as our income increases, we’ll be able to increase the way we support others. Setting life goals for our wealth has given us some concrete goals to chase after!
15. Reach $75k Net Worth
Our current net worth is hovering in the $45-50k range depending on the markets. With our aggressive savings rate, we should have no problem crossing the $75k mark and we may be able to stretch close to $100k if the markets keep their pace.
We also don’t include the value of our cars in our net worth, however we would include home equity if/when we buy a house!
14. Get a raise of $1,500
We aim to see our household income increase every year, even if it just a little bit! These raises add up. Over the past couple of years we have gone from earning $41,500 when I was unemployed to over $90,000 as a dual-income household.
We only have a couple more years before we expect to start having kids and we want to stockpile as much as we can before then!
13. Look into a side hustle that isn’t blogging
There are a bunch of bloggers out there who make serious money selling the dream that blogging is a get rich quick scheme. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great bloggers out there who DO make a lot of money from their blog, but that isn’t the norm.
I want PF Geeks to become a business. I want it to be a source of income for my family and I. However, I know that the only way that would ever happen is by truly helping people. Blogging is a long-term game though and in the meantime I want to find a side hustle that can bring in a steady stream of monthly income.
We are looking to buy a house this year! We’ve been saving diligently and have enough to put 10-20% down depending on the purchase price. We have our eyes on a few neighborhoods in Houston and hopefully I’ll be able to share in our first quarterly report that we are new homeowners!
Career / Seminary
Unlike a lot of personal finance bloggers, I absolutely love what I do for work. I get to spend my time investing into the lives of middle and high school students and teaching them about God. It really is a joy and I have no desire to retire early or “escape the 9-5”. If anything, the longer I work, the more committed I am to the task at hand.
I’m also pursuing a Masters in Theology which is a 4 year full-time program that I’m doing part-time while working. I should graduate in December of 2021! There’s a good chance that I pursue doctoral work someday and I could see myself teaching adjunct in seminary environments.
11. Initiate regular job performance reviews
One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for future job raises is to get in the habit of having regular job performance reviews with your supervisor.
If you are consistently outperforming in your work and doing an excellent job, then these are chances to show off! The more often your boss notices your hard work and performance, the better!
Some employers have these, but if yours doesn’t then try to initiate them! You’ll get bonus points for asking for feedback and it will show that you care.
I’ve been in my current role for two years and have only had one job performance review–and that’s because I sought it out right before asking for a raise. I’m hoping to initiate these more often to lay the groundwork for future raises.
10. Preach through a book from the Old Testament
This summer will be a new adventure for me when it comes to preaching! Over the past couple of years I’ve taught through the book of James, the Sermon on the Mount, and multiple other studies.
I’ve never had the chance to preach through a book in the Old Testament so this should be a good challenge!
9. Take on one more key area of responsibility
I’ve spent the last two years serving as our church’s youth pastor. While I love my role, I do want to gain experience in other areas. Currently I’m overseeing two volunteer teams and our website refresh.
Ideally, this next year I will take responsibility in one more key area. My hope is that this would be with our missions & community pastor.
8. Develop 2-3 great resources for church-wide use
This year I’m hoping to develop a couple of resources for either staff-wide or church-wide use. As of now, I don’t have any ideas but my hope is to create some “evergreen” resources to encourage and equip people. My two current ideas are putting together a handbook for our youth volunteers and a 6-8 week launch curriculum for our church-wide small groups.
7. Maintain a 3.8 GPA
I’m about to start my third year of seminary and I currently have a 3.92 GPA. My hope over the next year is to maintain this!
Here’s a snapshot of my curriculum:
Faith / Family
Faith is by far the most important thing to my wife and I. It forms the foundation for our marriage and our love for each other. Everything else is secondary to this. It’s definitely a bit awkward to be setting life goals for our faith because it is so intangible, but I also know the things that help us grow and dig deeper in these areas and want to pursue them.
6. Make prayer with my wife a part of our daily rhythm
One of the things we’re both trying to improve on is our prayer life, especially praying together. Our goal for this next year is to make prayer together part of our daily rhythm of life and marriage.
5. Put together a “just-in-case” folder for my wife
This is morbid, but one of my family goals this year is to put together a “just-in-case” folder. I handle most of our finances and have a roadmap in my head of where we’re heading over the next 5-10 years.
I’ve been slowly teaching her about finances and trying to get her more involved in our financial plan, but I’d love to put together a master document detailing what to do in case anything ever happens to me.
4. Lead a community group
Our church has community groups that meet during the week where families come together to fellowship, grow together, and “do life” together. One of my hopes is to help lead a group starting this Fall.
3. Develop mentor / discipleship relationships
For most of my life I’ve always had great mentors and coaches in different areas! For the first time, I really don’t have that and it might be the time in my life when I need it most. Over the next 12 months I hope to find some older guys who can pour into the key areas of my life and in turn do the same for others.
2. For my wife to be able to confidently say that she knows she is the number one most important thing to me.
My wife is the most important person to me, but too often I let the busyness of work, school, or my desire to build a business get in the way of me loving her well. This year, I want her to be able to confidently say that she knows she is the most important thing to me.
I never want her to doubt that.
1. Glory to God in all things
At the end of the day I believe my ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God. More having the “perfect family”, making money, having a great career, or leaving a legacy–all of that pales in comparison to our ultimate purpose. However, each of those things and everything on this list are means to the end of making God known in this world and honoring him every day.
Over the next 12 months I’ll be sharing my success, failures, progress, and lessons learned chasing after these goals.
I recently read an awesome post by Adam at Minafi on setting keystone habits. He wrote:
“A keystone habit is a behavior that amplifies success in downstream activities. The idea is if you perform this one habit, you’ll be more productive, happier, more energetic or some other metric after that. If you can identify what your keystone habits are, it can be empowering to understand what you need for better self-care.”
Essentially these are the absolute most basic tasks that lead to the success of others.
One example for me… If I want to see this blog grow, I KNOW I need to write and publish regularly. If I want to successfully publish 52 articles this year, it is going to require me to get in the habit of writing before work each day. A keystone habit for me will be going to bed by 10pm and waking up at 5am as consistently as possible.
In my first quarter goals report, I hope to share some of the keystone habits that are driving my success and goal achievement.
SHARE: I’d love to see what all my readers are trying to achieve this year! Do me a favor and share in the comments below what some of your goals are for the next 12 months?