As the end of the year approached I began to think about goal setting. I talked about how to set goals last year in an article called: Setting Goals for Your Writing Business
The process I described there is a good one, and I actually started down that path earlier this week. I was starteled when I looked at the total I earned last year because it was not quite $2,000 less than I’d earned the year before. The thing that still puzzles me is that I lived better, and saved more even though I hadn’t earned as much as I thought. And I didn’t do it on credit either. I don’t have credit cards or much other debt and none incurred in the last several years.
A Couple Of Approaches
So this goal setting session has become for me a lot of contemplating just how much money is enough money for me?
It’s so easy to toss out figures like “I want to make $100,000” or “I want a million dollars.” While there’s not a single thing wrong with wanting either dollar amount, when I’ve used those in the past for goal setting or figuring out how to fund my Vision, I’ve realized that I hadn’t put enough thought into them. They were just meaningless numbers to me, and those don’t work when it comes to goal setting.
Since I track all my income and expenses I can use those records to figure out what I’m actually spending a month. December was an expensive month, partly because of my move in late November.
Another method is to multiply my rent (or mortgage if I had one) by three or four. That number feels a bit low for me even when I use four.
So for the moment I’m going to average the two. And then, for the heck of it I’m adding a bit to round it up.
Now that’s a number that feels about right. It’s more than I earned last year, and it seems totally possible. It leave room for saving for myself, for taxes, for emergencies and to tithe at about 12%, which is one way I keep the flow open.
More Than Money
But I want my goal setting to be about more than just money. Last year I created six categories that pretty well cover my whole life. I like them:
- Residual / Retirement Income – I really don’t want to be ghostwriting when I’m 95 years old.
- Clients – Income – ghostwriting and coaching clients will make up most of this category
- Excellent Physical Health – here’s where I urge myself to exercise, to eat well, etc.
- Living Well – this covers everything from new clothes and office equipment to vacation and trips with the grand kids. Getting a haircut can fit here, so can visits to the chiropractor. It’s also where I put keeping track of money and keeping the house clean – a true catch-all but all about living well for me.
- Rest, relaxation and fun – lots of what falls here could also go under Living Well, but I seem to need to remind myself to have fun and relax so it’s got it’s own category.
- Spiritual Practice – this is for me my ground of being.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu