Mid-Year 2013 Blogging and Personal Goal Setting Check-In and Progress Update

Back in January of this year, I laid out some personal goals for my life in general and blogging goals for My Personal Finance Journey for the 2013 year.

As I experienced in 2012, (click the following link to view my 2012 blogging goals and year-end progress updates) by tracking these goals periodically, it provides me with more accountability and visibility to what I am doing and where I want to go with this community/blog and in my life. As such, the purpose of this post is to review how I’ve been doing so far in 2013 in reaching the aims I set up for myself.

As far as life goes from a personal and blogging perspective, the first half of 2013 has been very successful in my opinion. As usual, graduate school has taken quite a bit of time/effort, and as such I wasn’t able to spend quite as much time on my blog (and we’ll most likely see this reflected by a good number of Not on track status updates below). But, such is life I suppose, so I’m not too disappointed about it all!

I’ve really been glad during the times that I’ve gotten busy with graduate school to have a solid group of staff writers to continue producing top-notch content. However, in the madness of it all, I have had some time to do around 5-10 back-test/historical pricing analyses to analyze the various asset allocation components that I employ.

So, here goes! An update on my progress so far in 2013 for my blogging and personal goals, with updates highlighted in bold text below. This should be fun! yakezie writing contest yakezie challenge yakezie carnival tour de personal finance personal finance speaking service guest posting carnival of passive investing blogging goals blog carnival   


The blogging goals for 2013 were as follows:

  • Read and interact with (comment) 25 partner blogs per week.
    • Not on track. 
  • Continue active participation as a proud Yakezie Personal Finance Blog Network member.
    • On track. 
  • Publish 3-5 blog posts per week.
    • On track, thanks to MPFJ’s great staff writers! Thanks everyone! 
  • Obtain 600 unique visitors per day average by end of 2013.
    • Not on track, but hopefully the recent move to WordPress will help with this! 
  • Host all personal finance blog carnivals (Festival of Frugality, Cav of Risk, Carnival of Personal Finance, Totally Money, Carnival of Retirement, Carnival of Financial Planning, Carnival of Passive Investing, etc).
    • On track. 
  • Continue organizing Carnival of Passive Investing in 2013. Offer hosting of the 12 editions for 2013 to guest hosts. If you’re interested in hosting, shoot me an email! You can view the schedule by clicking here. Also for the Carnival in 2013, my goals are to a) continue getting passive investing authors involved and b) start reaching out to financial journalists (maybe from Kiplinger’s or Money Magazine, etc) and/or financial reporters on TV.
    • On track. Thanks to all of our guest hosts so far this year! We were able to fill up all of the slots. 
  • Continue to spread word about benefits of passive investing over active investing. Get involved in BogleHeads forums as well.
    • On track. I have been reading more on the Bogleheads forums this year and was able to comment a few times a couple of months ago. It’s pretty awesome to know there is such a good base of knowledge over there to run ideas by if needed! 
  • Write 1 guest post for another blog per month to expand reach of my ideas.
    • Not on track. I have been slacking badly this year on the guest posting! 
  • Create an eBook on one of the following topics – a) Ways to be Frugal, b) Investing Strategy, c) Steps to Buying a Home, d) Getting out of Debt, or e) Financial Prioritization / Account Hierarchy. Once create book, market it afterwards.
    • On track.
    • I actually made quite a bit of progress putting together an e-book on “31 Days to a Financial Revolution” over the 2012-2013 Christmas Break. However, work has gotten in the way since then, and I haven’t had time to work on it more. 
  • Possibly transfer blog to WordPress hosting. First, migrate Carnival of Passive Investing for practice before do My Personal Finance Journey.
    • Done.
    • I transferred MPFJ.com to WordPress self-hosted a few weeks ago. It is quite a bit of work, but I am very satisfied with it so far. I may switch Carnival of Passive Investing at some point, but since it isn’t my main site, I don’t feel as big of a need to move it.
  • Create and publish monthly newsletter – “Intelligent Financiers Newsletter.”
    • Not on track. 
  • Attend blogging, marketing, finance, or real estate classes at local community college or nearby conference locations. Particularly, I would like to take a class or two to learn more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and also how to publish a book in hard-copy.
    • Done. I attended a local blogging conference in the Spring of 2013 called BlogVille 2013. I learned a lot of cool things! 
  • Submit blog posts to blog carnivals every two weeks to expose my blog to new audiences and build links.
    • On track. 
  • Successfully execute Tour de Personal Finance in July this year. For 2013, plan further ahead of time to gather more entries (max = 64) and get some sponsors involved.
    • Done. The event is going on right now! Head on over to one of the Stage posts and get your vote on! 
  • Do Easy Like Sunday Morning Roundup and Recap 1X per month minimum.
    • Not on track. I need to do one soon! Lots of new stuff to report! 
  • Continue social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. I would also like to try to incorporate some use of Pinterest as well.
    • On track. 
  • Feature one Cheapskate Jake Frugal Ramblin’ per month.
    • Not on track. 
  • Run 10% Blog Income Give Back Project each month. Continue teaming up with local charities to build relationships. Focus on visiting the charity personally after each give back concludes. Try to get other sites interested in doing something similar and also begin to look for sponsors for 1-2 of the giveaways.
    • On track. MPFJ is almost up to surpassing the $1k total mark of money given to charity with the 10% give back overall! 
  • Start and grow personal finance group speaking service. Generate ideas for speaking topics. Offer to local community first and build from there. Create page promoting service on My Personal Finance Journey.
    • Not on track. 
  • Continue to try to find other ways to help people with their finances away from the blogosphere. One thing I’ve applied to do is become a volunteer credit counselor with Credit Education.org. However, I have not heard back from them, even after submitting my application multiple times. Another option I could pursue is offering general advice on finances from a life coach perspective – lifestyle, frugality/money-saving tips, life values and dreams, etc. You have to be very careful in making it clear to not offer advice on specific financial instruments since you must have the correct certifications for that (which I do not have). This might be hard for me to resist delving in to the specifics, but it could be fun! I would definitely need to learn more about the legal aspects first though.
    • Not on track. 
  • Start building smaller sites – one about blogging tips, finance from a scientific perspective, running, and my family’s genealogy as time allows (this is a lower priority goal).
    • On track.
    • I recently decided that my day job is such that I don’t think I will ever have enough time to focus on building the content on secondary sites in any significant way (at least for now). As such, I want to just focus on MPFJ /Carnival of Passive Investing, and the family genealogy site as time allows. 
  • Network with other bloggers, with a particular focus on physically meeting them to build relationships. The bloggers I have met in person so far are really interesting people!
    • On track. I attended a blogging conference in town earlier this spring, and got to meet some very interesting bloggers and social media / website experts.
  • Incorporate affiliate resources in to posts where relevant.
    • On track. 
    • However, I still haven’t found a way to discuss affiliate-related content very often on this site, and to date, really haven’t made any money with this.
  • Negotiate advertising deals for other sites.
    • On track. I’ve been enjoying doing this quite a bit lately! 


In addition, my personal goals for 2013 that I set were as follows:

  • Get to bed at midnight or earlier.
    • On track. Been doing very well at this! I don’t seem to have the energy to stay up until 2am every night anymore! haha
  • Take 1 day off per week (Saturday or Sunday) completely from doing work on my blog or from my graduate research job to keep my mind feeling more “fresh.”
    • More or less on track.
    • Instead of taking an entire day off each weekend, I’ve been focusing on getting out and doing a big bike ride once per weekend. Afterwards, I generally am pretty tired, so even though I might answer a few blogging emails or do a few things, I don’t work all that much. 
  • Become better at following the Getting Things Done email/work flow management system to focus my time and energy on high value projects first and avoid distractions.
    • On track. 
  • Hike or bike ride 1 time per week with a group.
    • On track. I’ve been doing quite a few 4-5+ hour rides recently on the weekend! 
  • Do a bike race if my Achilles starts to feel better.
    • My Achilles has been feeling better, but I haven’t felt the need to do a real bike race yet. I’ve just been enjoying doing it recreationally on the weekend. 
  • Hike more with the Charlottesville Hiking Group.
    • I have not been doing this very much since I’ve been biking a lot.
  • Read one personal finance book per month.
    • On track. 
  • Go backpacking one time per month in warmer months.
    • Now that it’s summer, I’ve started to think about doing this soon! 
  • Take a trip out-of-town 1 time per month. Visit sister’s new home in Raleigh. Visit one of the beaches in Virginia.
    • Not on track. As usual with the biological/cell-based nature of my experiments in graduate school, it’s been hard to get totally out of town during the weekends.
  • Learn how to build a group speaking business.
    • Have not done. 

How about you all? How have you been progressing on your personal/professional goals you set for yourself in 2013? 

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of http://www.ff.uni-lj.si/Fakulteta/fakulteta/SkupneStrokovneSluzbe/racunalniskicenter/computer.jpg