How to reach goals: one bite at a time.

So, how to get to your goals the best way possible? This is a new theory that I’ve been testing out (and will keep the blog updated on as it progresses), and I’m excited to share it!

The idea behind this process is the tracking of your goals, and also making goals bite-sized. There is nothing more overwhelming (to me at least) than the thought of Goal #1: Conquer the World.

How on earth would that be accomplished? Laser beams? Death-ray? Dr. Horrible? It’s too broad of a goal, and though it may be someone’s, it thankfully isn’t mine :)

So how do you get to your goals? I do think one of the best ways is to start out with an overreaching goal, like $30,000 in revenue. Okay, cool, so how does one get from $0 to there? The same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

So let’s say the goal is $30,000 in revenue, and let’s use a product priced at $100 to make our lives hella easier.

300 units sold at $100 each = $30,000 in revenue. That makes things seem more reachable, doesn’t it? That’s only 300 units that need to be moved, now how to go about that?

If this is our goal for the year (and okay, I know it’s a little into 2016, but still, plenty of time for 2016 goals), then we would divide the 300 units sold into 12 to see how many units we need to sell each month, which by the luck of the math gods equals 25 units a month.

But what if you are selling zero right now? How do you get up to 25 a month and maintain that? Well, we’re going to break it down further, but before we do that, let’s take a moment to consider breaking that 25/month goal into more measured chunks.

We know that we need to see 300 units/year, but that doesn’t mean we need to move that equally across 12 months to make it a success. Let’s make the goal:

Month 1: 5 units sold.

Month 2: 10 units sold

Month 3: 20 units sold

Month 4-12: 30 units sold

Know what happens under this scenario?

You would have sold 305 units — over the 300 goal! Woohoo!!! Time for some new boots, mama 😉

But how do you get there? 10 units, even 5 units can seem overwhelming at the beginning.

So break the goals down further: Plan what will be done each month, and what will be done each week to hit those numbers.

Then break it down further to what needs to be done each day.

At last! We have gotten to the crux. Planning each day’s goal with the larger goal (300 units sold) is the best way I’ve found to reach my goals.

Then, as you run into challenges or find that a tactic isn’t working, you can pivot and change the approach to something that will keep you on track.

But if you know that you need to sell 5 units a month, that means 1 product a week (or 2 if you are at the 10 unit stage). If you aren’t hitting those numbers, the approach needs to be changed or else the numbers for the year will be thrown.

How do you make sure you are on track? Monthly and quarterly assessments. Time for a glass of wine and to sit down with the data and crunch it.

How many phone calls or emails have been sent? Have you hit your numbers? Do you need to increase them?

This is a good starting point, and the goal and strategy can be changed along the way to adapt for the circumstances that you are encountering.

Would love to hear what you think, if you’ve tried this or another way to hit your numbers.

Goals for 2016

This is scary for me. For some people, it’s planes. For others, it’s spiders. For me, it’s laying out my future plans (my planned goals, if you will) for all to see and then to be accountable to them.

I get freaked out and I don’t want to do it. Instead I want to avoid it and read about the Kardashian’s and bury my head in the sand.

But here’s the thing about that approach; as lovely as it sounds, it gets no one anywhere fast. And that sucks.

“Do something that scares you everyday”

So instead, I try to abide by the famous words of Lady R (Eleanor Roosevelt, if that wasn’t clear) and do something every day that scares you.

Today it turns out, is telling the the blogging world all about my business future.

There are a few different business ventures that I work on and I love each of them for different reasons.

StarryWriters.com lets me write professionally, which is something that I love to do.

Neuth.com helps the world be a better place by providing lux, organic skincare products in a market dominated by synthetics.

GoldenSparrowDesign.com teams me up with a BFF to craft beautiful websites, because I must admit that nothing drives me quite so crazy as an ugly site.

So here we go:

Professional Goals for 2016

— StarryWriters: acquire 1 new client a month, building an on-going relationship

— Neuth: place products in 1 spa/shop per month

— GSD: work with 1 new client a month

Now how do I get from A to Professional Goals? And how long will it take me to get there?

Good questions. Tomorrow’s post will have more details on this.

The Journey of a Thousand Steps…

I was so scared when I finally sat down to look at all of my credit card debt in 2007. I knew I had a lot, and honestly, I had a good idea that it was bad.

I had started supporting myself at 16 and moved on to college knowing that I would put myself through. Once in college though, I met a bad influence who started bemoaning all their credit card debt, and as silly as it seems now, it looked to glamorous. To have “real” problems — to have moved on from the little woes of college, onto the adult thoughts of debt and minimum payments. And so, I started to dig myself into debt.
Out to dinner with friends? No worries, guys — I’ll get it, plus an extra generous tip. New bikini? Of course! With a bag, sunglasses and a towel to match. Nothing was too much, and I didn’t quite get the memo that I was living dangerously beyond my means. I remember one night, when I was rushing to an ATM, so I could withdraw cash on a credit card, to deposit in my bank account to pay a credit card that I thought maybe this was not the only way. I remember that night so clearly, and thinking that I was literally robbing Peter to pay Paul (though not my Paul, I wouldn’t meet him until a few years later).

My sister gave me a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I graduated college in May of 2005. I gobbled it up, but it wasn’t enough — I wasn’t ready. First I went through 2 difficult years working in politics and earning around 30K and living in one of the most expensive areas of the country. At that point, I wasn’t thinking of gorgeous dinners, only about how to pay for basic groceries and my gas bill while I drove an hour each way to and from work.

Then finally, a break through. It was the summer of 2007 and I decided I didn’t want to continue on this path of self destruction. I’m not sure what it was that pushed me over, but I had decided that I was done.

I sat down with my (then) lovely boyfriend and weeded through all the credit cards. I devised a plan to put the entire balance on 0% credit cards (lucky me, my credit was still good enough to do this) and pay them off, in order of when the 0% promotion would run out. I was putting more than half of my salary to accomplish this, but I was also beginning to sleep better. This process started in July of 2007. I will have everything paid off, along with comfy savings, as of July 4, 2008 — my own Independence Day. Promise, I did not plan for the 7/4 date, it just has worked out that way with the aggressive pay-down approach I have taken.

The 1st credit card was easy — I paid off $2,500 and felt proud. The next one, my Discover card, had $1,600 but I was getting my holiday bonus which made that one feel easy too. When I looked at my Chase card, the one with the largest balance, my reserve quaked. I had started off at $4,200 and just by paying the minimums each month while aggressively attacking the credit card whose 0% was going to run out next, I had reduced it to $3,600.

Still, I was terrified. It was at this point that I really thought I could not do it, could not pay it down and might as well go back to my old ways. But I hung tough and decided to just make the payments that I had planned for myself and would see how it went. On Friday, April 18, 2008 I will have paid off the Chase card. I have 3 more cards to go.

There have been slip-ups too. Days that I will wander into Target and buy things I don’t need; but those days have decreased rapidly. And I get a kick out of being able to go into a store, look, and not buy one thing. The days when I run over my budget, I write down how much I owe myself, and I take it out of extra bonuses or other unexpected money. When I first wrote this post in April of 2008, I owed myself $12.15.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

I am working to put together my future, and it feels so good. My sweet boyfriend will be starting law school in the fall, and we are planning on buying our first piece of real estate so we can live close to the law school. My mom would always say, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Growing up, that saying drove me crazy. But with a few more years under my belt and a bit more experience, I now believe that the only way you will succeed with anything is by planning goals. And the only way to accomplish your planned goals, is by taking the first step.

I have let the faith in myself guide me, it has been scary and hard at times, but it is well, well worth the reward.

Hello, World.

I’m so excited that you found my little bit of the Internets.

Welcome!

I started this blog way back in April 2008, back when it was on good old blogger.com.

Ah, 2008. Remember those days? Before the financial crisis, before I got engaged, before my husband (Paul) went to law school and before we got serious about our financial future.

Everything in retrospect seems so lovely and idyllic, yet I have no doubt that in 8 more years, 2016 will look like a cake-walk.

So much has changed since I started the blog in 2008; Paul went to law school, we got married, we backpacked through Cuba, Mexico and South America for 3 months, and we dived into our finances like never before.

Now we have even greater adventures for 2016 planned: a move to NYC for Paul to take a dream job, a baby on the way and business plans galore. It all seems like a bit too much, but also like everything is going to work out.

I’m excited to share how we got to where we are, and were we plan to go. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s mostly been fun — and having thought about it long and hard, I’m convinced that’s because of the the attitude that we have as we approach the challenges.

Let’s go! :)

Getting to those goals…one step at a time.