Mike’s very real (now very public) 2018 goals

2018 objective: To actually write down tangible and somewhat attainable goals for the most important aspects of my life. Nothing is off limits… And with the article below, I’ve achieved my first goal of 2018 (actually writing them down).


You are required to do it for most regular jobs and studies show we are more successful when we do it in any aspects of our regular lives… Also, all the other kids (fellow financial bloggers) are doing it, so I’ll also hop aboard this train – and in doing so I think I’ll be better for it. I’ve been thinking about ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ for a little while leading up to this new year but it was a post by Mustard Seed Money that actually sparked me to write my 2018 goals down and to share them with you (thanks, MSM). And to you – my loyal and amazing readers –


I have 2 requests:


1) Please check these goals out and if you haven’t done so already, come up with a few yourself. For the kicker – if you’re serious about your goals write them down in a place you’ll be able to reference them throughout the year. Bonus points if you share your goals in the comments below.


2) Indirectly hold me accountable. Read/share this article and drop me a line throughout the year to the tune of, “Hey, man. How’s the debt payoff coming???” Thanks in advance, all.


Alright, now for the meat and potatoes. Here are my 2018 goals separated by category.


Business/Financial goals


Grow business by 15% (Method – track production)


I’ve beat you over the head with this fact in recent articles but here’s a brief summary for those not in the know: we bought a dental practice in June 2017 and (by a sick twist of fate) have to relocate the office early 2018 (targeted for early April). To put it concisely, building a new office and relocating all of our equipment and other assets to that office will cost us a little bit more than we paid for our house. In order to afford that debt, make the purchase a successful decision, and achieve the goals we have set for ourselves as a business – we need to achieve a certain level of growth.


Projections from our accountant told us that we should expect to see about 12% growth from 2017’s pace as compared with 2018. I think 15% is within reach. We will be measuring daily production as our growth metric and our plans to propel this growth include providing the best possible care to our current patients, recently hiring a marketing company, actively managing our own social media profiles, asking our patients to refer friends and family (with incentives as well), and other ideas.


There is definitely room in our schedule and with our office’s current capacity to increase our production numbers, so now it’s just a matter of making that growth happen.


Pay off 13.2% of total debt (Method – track all debt payments made on an e-file)


The total debt here includes student loans, our house, and the business. All tallied up, this number is heart-palpitation inducing, so the more efficiently we can crush this debt – the better. If we were to make the minimum payments throughout 2018, we’d pay off 12% total. So, a 1.2% increase over the minimum, eh? Yea. The near 5-figure sum that 1.2% represents is just what we need to get our debt avalanche plan moving forward. So, for the record, I’d be thrilled with anything over 12%, but 13.2% should be an attainable goal if we live life according to the guidelines we’ve set for ourselves.


To monitor this goal I will be tracking each debt payment in a spreadsheet (us money geeks love us some spreadsheets) that way we’ll be able to adjust as necessary throughout the year.


Blog/Personal development goals


Grow blog traffic by 100%


(Based off of 67 subscribers, 9,578 total page views, and 343 Twitter followers)


100% Blog growth wouldn’t be setting the world on fire here, but it sure would be exciting for me to see. The goal is to help and/or entertain others, so who won’t love more of that, right?? In order to help propel this growth, I’ve made a few minor changes already with some additional sweetness to come. What changes, you ask…?


For one, I will be posting twice per week rather than once. I can already hear those keys typing about my ‘burnout article’ from last week. Take it easy, guys. The second posts will be a new wrinkle to the blog that shouldn’t require much more work than I had already been doing in the past. “Saturday Shout-outs” will be a short (250-300 word) article highlighting something great that I’ve read recently. The hope is to share other awesome bloggers and authors with you while also promoting communication between MikedUp and those authors. Additionally, I have been making a conscious effort to be more active on Twitter. Giving opinions, likes, and shares have helped to gain some decent traction already. Lastly, I will be making more of an effort to share my articles on other sites, as opposed to mainly inviting other guest bloggers to MikedUp. While guest posts will still be an occurrence on MikedUp Blog, I’ll be working to get my content on other sites just as hard.


This one will be simple to monitor. I’ll check in on NYE 2018 and if I’ve eclipsed 134 subscribers (2 gained already!! Thank you!!), 19,156 page views, and 686 Twitter followers, I’ll earn a passing grade.


Thanks in advance for spreading the word and sharing a post with a friend! (My Mom calls that the ‘assumptive sale.’)


Read a book each quarter


Lately, I’ve been reading at a pace of one book every 6 months. Sure, I’ve been crushing podcast episodes and blog posts but there something pretty sweet about pouring into a book that you can’t put down. I enjoy reading and if we’re talking good books, then there’s also so much for me to learn out there (or to at least be entertained…).


No worries, I’ll be shouting out which books I’m reading in my Saturday Shout-outs. First one up on the list is waiting for me at the library: The Exceptional 7 percent. Stay tuned but I’ve heard this is a great one that uncovers main consistencies across some of the happiest and longest tenured couples surveyed. My wife recommended this one and we’re excited to dive in.


Fast one day each month


Fasting is something I’ve heard about quite a bit over the last 2 years. Specifically, Jocko Willink and Tim Ferriss (two podcast hosts that both bring their own credentials to the table) have detailed their regular fasting at length in previous podcast episodes. They tout potential health, psychological, and spiritual benefits, so much so that I’ve been compelled to dip my toes into the water already. In 2017 I had tried ~3-4 fasts that would last from sun-up to sun-down. My wife and parents think it’s a bit out of the box, but I do somewhat enjoy the experience.


Here are my reasons:
  • Both individuals listed above discuss inoculating yourself against fear to the best of your ability. In this case, I would be inoculating myself against the fear of failure to the point of homelessness and poverty. If I know that I can handle not eating for 24 hours, that would be a great ability to shift stresses out of the fear of hunger (at least for a while) to focus more on other pressing matters. Of course, I will do whatever necessary to feed my family, but knowing that I am capable of more can be an empowering feeling.
  • “If I’m ‘starving,’ sometimes I’ll just have to eat what’s available.” Jocko talks about this all the time. If he’s traveling and all that’s available is expensive and bad-for-you airport food, rather than biting the bullet and straying off the diet plan – just don’t eat. Challenge yourself to skip lunch, enjoy the hurdle, and get yourself to a healthier (or less expensive) option.
  • I am interested to explore the spiritual side of fasting and, admittedly, I don’t have a ton to say about this at the moment. Stay with me though, and that may change.
  • In just trying the few daylight fasts last year, it helped me reduce the constant urge to snack at work. After going all day without eating something, it was much easier to put the handful of mixed nuts back into the tin rather than into my mouth. Was I hungry? Maybe. Did I need the extra calories? Negative.


I’m going to start ambitious on this one. I will be fasting for 24 hours (excluding water, coffee (small problem here), and maybe a few sunflower seeds), and to keep it simple, I’ll go with the 5th day of each month. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will do the trick.


Family goals


Take my wife on a date at least once a month


With parenting, the business, and regular life this could be one area that gets neglected. Both Monica and I are on the same page here, and we’re not talking extravagant. Just a few hours together, not as parents, business partners, or dueling domestic engineers, but rather a couple of kids young and in love.


To track, I will be listing the event and date, and I’ll be honest – this may be the most important goal on this list. …Surveying… It definitely is.


But it is followed closely by:


Take my daughter on a ‘date’ at least once a month


I love a little daddy-daughter time and although there are selfish reasons at work here as well, there are studies that show the importance of nurturing a relationship between father and daughter. I’m all over those studies and all over this goal. I see a lot of splash pads, parks, ice cream shops, and YMCA swimming pools in our future, Clara!


Same as with Monica, I’ll be listing the event and date here.


…Also followed by:


Pray with my family each day


Non-negotiable and something that we do a pretty good job at as is, but I will list this goal here to make sure the importance is stated. We pray before meals and at bedtime, and the process has helped bring our family closer together. No listing required on this one, as the relevant party doesn’t need my record to know if this has been done or not.



There you have it – Mike’s 2018 goals. What do you think?? Too optimistic, cautious, or just right? What did I miss or what’s important to you? I’d love to see your comments below or in an email!!


Thanks for reading!


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I’m glad you’re here. Thanks again and talk soon!


– Mike
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