2014 Goals

Yes I know most people/bloggers set their goals for the year back in January but since I just started here at the Starting From Zero Blog, here are mine for 2014. Better late than never right? 🙂

Financial Goals
-Spend only 50% of my net income per month and save/invest the rest.
-Contribute the max to my Roth IRA ($5500 again in 2014).
-Get net worth up to $40,000. This will be a tough one to accomplish but might as well try to aim high for these things.
-Increase emergency fund to 7k up from 4500 (need to cover those new apartment costs and all).
-Receive $1000 in dividend income for the year.

Education Goals
-Expand my knowledge of REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and MLP’s (Master Limited Partnerships) as alternatives to traditional dividend growth stocks.
-Complete 2 classes towards my Bachelor’s in Business Management (working 50 hrs. a week, I think this is a doable goal, 1 per semester).
-Read more. It seems like I used to go through several books each month. Lately it’s been maybe 1, sometimes none. Time to get back on track with that.
-Learn more about the technical parts of running a website. The writing seems to come fairly easy. The hosting part? Not so much. Self-hosting is way more different than the “Blogger” blog I used to run a few years ago.

Fitness Goals
-Get to 5% body fat by the end of 2014, currently around 8-9% (let’s go 6 pack 😉 ).
-Run a sub-10 minute 1.5 mile on my annual fitness test. Managed to do this for the first time last year and would like to maintain that.
-Bike more instead of using my car for traveling around town. Saves money and helps me work towards my other fitness goals.

Blog Goals
-Publish 15 posts per month.
-Gain some subscribers (kinda boring just talking to myself in the beginning ya know 😉 )
-Improve the site design and add in graphics instead of just this default WordPress theme.


Well here are my goals for 2014. Did any of you make goals for the year and how are you doing on them? Leave a comment below.


  1. If you are going to be looking at MLP’s, you might want to give KMI a hard look. They’ve to a strong yield, great inside ownership, and have be beaten to all hell recently.

    They have a great history of increasing the dividend as well. Its a little bit complex to understand as there are a lot of moving parts, but I think its worth investigating.

    Long Term Brian

    1. That’s actually the stock I started with and picked up some shares around $32 in March. With the shares being beat down, like you mentioned I figured it was a good time to initiate a position. I’ve still got a lot to learn about the business model though so that goal is ongoing.

      Best wishes,

  2. Nice looking blog. I like no-frills, content-focused designs.

    Constructive criticism: Many of your goals are well phrased, but some of them are lacking the hallmarks of well specified goals: measurable, actionable, attainable, and be in line with larger, overall goals.

    Things like “read more” isn’t a goal, it is aspiration.

    A 5% bodyfat is not an attainable goal. That is about what a professional bodybuilder would walk on stage with (and in an incredibly unhealthy state). 7-8% is super lean, 10% is about when most people have easily visible abs (while typing this, I just realized I’m assuming you’re male. If not, then the percentages get bumped up a bit due to females carrying more fat in certain places).

    15 posts per month is quite ambitious and could compromise quality. This wouldn’t be inline with your overall goal (I’m assuming) of increasing earnings from your blog. It would be better to have a goal about making x of a certain type of blog post (maybe short updates), y another (maybe investing strategy), z of another (maybe how you’re managing to save a large amount of your income, the problems and presumably amusing situations this might put you in. I’m imaging dumpster diving, getting out of expensive dinners with friends, drinking cheap beer on the porch, taking sugar packets from Starbucks,…). That way you’re not left with the choice of: do I meet my short term goal and make a half-hearted post some day when you’re tired or break my goal.

  3. Thanks for the comments Darren, I appreciate the feedback. I probably should have set actual numbers like you mention to make it more concrete, especially with the reading goal.

    Yeah now that I think about it that 5% bodyfat isn’t going to happen. Just seems like I’ve been stuck around 8-9% over the last few years and can’t get rid of that last bit around my stomach. Maybe its just genetics, my father was the same way, always fairly skinny but whatever fat he had was on his stomach. Oh and I am male by the way, I think I just realized I never really wrote anything on the site here to clarify that. I guess I probably should since I’m doing this anonymously with no picture or anything.

    Regarding posting, when I first began to think about doing this blog I spent quite a bit of time writing posts before I even set up the site. A lot of them came pretty easily so I figured it’d be no problem continuing that trend and getting a new post up every other day. I kind of thought I’d do like what you mentioned, more of a mix between shorter posts and longer investing analysis ones. Then life happened, as they say and I’ve just been swamped with work and school work here over the last month. I tried posting M-F for a while and then one day wrote a really poor quality post just to get one done to meet my goal and then decided it wasn’t worth it, so I’ll shoot for 1-2 a week now going forward plus my normal Sunday blogging recaps.

    I don’t think I’ll ever get into dumpster diving, but there’s nothing wrong with drinking cheap beer on the porch with friends. 😉

    Best wishes,

  4. SFZ,
    Nice site buddy! Fitness test is 1.5 miles? My time used to be 2 miles, my best was 15 minutes I believe, I really don’t remember anymore coz that was ages ago. Putting your goal in writing helps motivation and keeping track on our goals. Best of luck to us achieving them!

    1. Thanks ogie dg!
      Yes sir, 1.5 miles is the distance for the Air Force’s test. I’m running it in about a 10:30 right now so need to drop a little time before my test at the end of the month to hit this goal.
      Cool blog man, I just briefly checked it out. Congrats on August’s dividend income, pretty impressive.

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