It's a new year, and I have a lot of plans! I've had a run of pretty great years (all things considered), and I'm going into this year with a positive mindset. I wanted to run through some of my 2023 goals, so I can look back a year from now and see how far I've come.
Do you have any goals for 2023? Let's work on them together. Feel free to leave your specific goals in the comments below.
First, let's start with financial goals. I honestly feel like I took many steps back in the finance department in 2022. For most of 2022, I was a freelancer. While I made around $4,000 every month, there was a lot of insecurity in my career. There were definitely a lot of feast and famine cycles in my freelancer career, and I couldn't seem to stabilize. I got a full-time job in August, but I've mostly been adjusting to my check and catching up. We recently switched to a semi-monthly pay schedule at my day job, which will help me a ton.
Here are my 2023 finance goals:
Start An Emergency Fund
First, I need to start an emergency fund. My job is stable, but 2022 taught me that you must look out for yourself, especially in the technology world. There have been a plethora of layoffs over the last year. While I am thankful that I could probably conjure up some work in my time of need, I don't want to have to do that.
I want to end the year with at least $5,000 tucked away for emergencies. The goal of that money would be to continuously grow it until I have about three months of pay saved there.
Pay Down My Credit Card Debt
I amassed quite a large amount of credit card debt this year, and that's not something I'm proud of. When I was freelancing, it was often easy to throw something on a card when my money didn't line up exactly how I wanted it to. My higher credit limits, thanks to my work to improve my credit, didn't help. Thankfully, I feel like I'm in a much better place now, and I don't rely on cards as much as I did in early 2022.
I may not be able to pay it all down, but it would be nice to spend $15,000 on credit card debt (outside of my typical minimum payments.) These payments would reduce most of my credit card debt and set me up for a great 2024.
Start A House Fund (Again)
In 2020, I wanted so badly to own a home by this year. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Circumstances arose, money was shifted, and I never put the money back in the housing fund. Life happens, but I can't let that get me down forever. Now that things have steadied, I want to start working on my house fund again.
I am not sure how much I can put toward my house fund. I'd love to save somewhere between $2,500-$5,000 for the house in 2023. I know this isn't enough for a good down payment, but it's a start. It all depends on how much I can earn from sources outside my day job (more on that later.)
Now, let's dive into some of my life goals. I'm hoping for 2023 to be a big year in my life. Along with more time for family, I want to dive deeper into hobbies I've picked up over the last few years and explore new ones.
Read 30 Books
My first goal, which is pretty audacious for me, is reading 30 books. I spent a lot of the last decade trying to read all these fancy books that were mostly boring. These books made reading feel like a chore and, ultimately, the last thing I wanted to do after writing for hours. So I decided that 2023 is the year I read for fun.
Ultimately, this goal means I will have to read a book every 12 days. I am excited about the challenge. I hope to keep you all updated with my reading challenge with quarterly book review posts. You can also friend me on Goodreads to track what I'm reading every week.
If you have any books you like (especially in the romance 20/30-something trying to adult genres), let me know.
Continue My Daily Duolingo Streak
If you didn't know, language learning has been a big part of my life since 2020. I currently have a 600+ day Duolingo streak, and I have no plans to stop that any time soon. I've even roped my parents into using Duolingo with me, thanks to a family plan.
By the end of 2023, I should be well over 900 days into my Duolingo streak, and I'm looking forward to that.
Travel To 3 New Cities
Traveling is fun for me, but the pandemic has halted my ability to have fun traveling. However, I did get a chance to get out a bit last year, and I even visited Pensacola, Florida in summer 2022. I'd love to visit three new cities this year.
We have loosely begun planning our summer vacation, and we're thinking of Boston. My day job is based in Utah, and I'd love to get out there at some point this year to work with my colleagues. We could also be planning a winter trip for 2023, as we often have time off (just nothing planned.)
I'm hoping to get a more updated COVID booster before this travel, though. I am excited about what 2022 can hold.
Celebrate My 30th Birthday
2023 is a big year. As of March, I will no longer be a 20-something. I'll be 30! That's hard to type since the pandemic has destroyed so much of my late 20s, but I have a lot to look forward to. In many ways, it will be like my 20s but with more cash flow and less school.
Next, let's cover blog goals. The Happy Arkansan is important to me, but I haven't treated it well. Now that I have a stable full-time income that I can live on comfortably, I have a lot more time to focus on building this blog. Here's how I'm hoping to accomplish that.
Publish 50+ Blogs On The Happy Arkansan
First, I'd love to publish 50+ blogs here in 2023. Thankfully, this is one of them, so I have one less to do. Essentially, I want to post here at least once a week. I'll cover a wide array of topics that all 20/30-somethings should care about. Career, fashion, beauty, travel, adulting, etc. It's going to be fun, inspiring, and ever the destination I want it to be. I'm excited to regularly serve this space I've built with fresh content.
Make $5,000 With Sponsored And Affiliate Content
In 2020, I made over $16,000 with sponsored and affiliate content. Sure, it was 30% of my income, but it was so nice to have that income streaming in regularly. I was even able to make around $7,000 in 2021, which was so helpful. Unfortunately, my blog income tanked in 2022, which makes sense because I didn't pay a ton of attention to the blog. I would love to turn that around in 2023.
For the first quarter, I'll likely focus on some affiliate content and getting used to posting content regularly again. During the next three quarters of 2023, I'd love to get sponsors for the blog again. I loved taking photos for brands and working on projects with companies like A&W, PayPal, and Kohl's. I'm excited to see what kind of partnerships I can drum up in 2023 once I'm back on solid ground again.
Work With A Content Writer To Publish Content
I don't think I'll be able to publish 50 pieces by myself in 2023 (you'll find out why in a second.) It would be nice to work with someone again in 2023 to publish consistent content. I'm not sure when I'd bring that person or agency on to help. It probably won't be until mid-year. I'm interested in getting back in the habit of regularly posting before I hire help.
Overall, it would be nice to have some help getting my publishing goal over the finish line, but all the details are a bit blurry right now.
Last but not least, I want to go over my career goals. As you may know, I got a job as a Content Marketing Manager for an HR tech startup in 2022. I'm excited to continue my work in that role in 2023, but there's so much to do! Here are my main goals for that work in 2023.
Publish 100+ Blogs
Okay, this is a huge 2023 goal. I've never published 2x a week as a B2B brand, and I want to try to tackle this goal in 2023. It's going to take a lot of work, but I know I'll look at the year with excitement if I can complete this goal. Thankfully, my job provides a monthly budget so that I can hire writers to help me with this goal. I'm excited to tackle this big project and put out a quantity of quality content in 2023.
Write 12+ Guest Blogs
Part of my job is also helping with our SEO strategy. I'm excited to build some partnerships with other content managers in the tech space. My goal is to write at least one guest post every month. We have so much to say, and it'd be nice to connect with other audiences and get backlinks in the process.
I also have a looser goal to increase our backlinks in 2023. I haven't defined where I'd like to take our number of backlinks in 2023, but I know we need all the backlinks I can scrape up in 2023 to compete.
Get 5,000 LinkedIn Followers
Over the last few years, LinkedIn has become a favorite social network of mine. Yes, there are so many corporate bros and gals, but there's tons of great information. My job has been really supportive of employees growing their LinkedIn accounts. I've managed to grow my LinkedIn account to 1,400+ followers, but I'd love to expand that in 2023. As I consider what my career will look like in a few years, I know building a professional/personal brand will help me command more money and take on bigger challenges.
Take An Editing Course
Last, I'd love to take a good editing course in 2023. Specifically, I'd love to find a program that helps me give good editing feedback. I find myself tackling edits on my own vs. showing writers what I want. Personally, I know how challenging it can be to get feedback, so sometimes I avoid giving it. I need to get out of my head about providing editing notes, but I don't think that will happen overnight.
I'd love to take a course at some point in early 2023 to show me how to give good editing notes without feeling like a jerk. I know it will strengthen my relationship with my writers, but it's challenging for me.
2023 Goals: Here's To A Productive Year 🥂
We're finally at the end of my 2023 goals! I have a lot going on with my finances, life, blog, and career this year. I'm excited to create something special in 2023. I am proud of where I want to go, and I think I have the right support system to do it. All these pieces falling into place feels good.
What are you planning for 2023? I'd love to know what you're anticipating. Leave your ideas in the comments below.