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This year has been a whirlwind.  We had no idea what a complete impact a simple phrase would make on our whole lives a year ago.  But I’m so happy with how far we’ve come.

Barring something big happening, we aren’t likely to reach our entire BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal).  But we’ll be closer than we’ve ever been.  We’ve made changes that will last well beyond our #yearofno.

Because this post has become long and sort of intense, my plans for 2017 include breaking these goals into two posts.  I’ll continue to post updates of our family and debt goals.  But I’ll be breaking off my blogging goals into a separate post.  I might even share income reports from the blog if that’s something my readers would be interested in reading.  Let me know what you think!

In the meantime, let’s check out where we are on our goals for 2016.

One more check in of our 2016 SMART goals. We have a BHAG for paying off a big chunk of debt. I've also set goals for my blogging journey. See how I'm reaching my goals and which ones we won't quite make in 2016.

Family & Personal Goals

Home & Barn

We had set these goals for updating and repairing our home and barn this year.  As the year wore on, we decided to put most of them on hold in favor of using those bits of money to pay off debt instead.  No change.


  • Get a water plan in place.  Our weird water set up certainly needs some changes made.  But not this year.
  • Barn driveway.  Tabled.
  • Improve goat pens and fencing.
  • Finish the bathroom project.
  • Paint baseboards and staircase.  Tabled.


  • Swimming.  Three of the kids are pretty decent swimmers now.
  • Vacation.  You can read how I saved on camping here.
  • One on One Time with Each Child Once+ per Month.  We’re getting one on one time in conjunction with sports.


  • Date nights.  We actually had another date!


  • Faith.  I’m reading The American Catholic Almanac and daily Bible readings.
  • Read.  Continued When We Meet Again.  It’s set in the World War II era.  It’s been a while since I read fiction, but I’m really enjoying it!
  • Exercise.  Didn’t do much this month.

Blogging Goals


  • Improve social media.  My goal is 5,000Twitter followers, 600 Facebook likes, and want to have 3,500 pins to my Pinterest page by year end.
  • Learn.  Take 12 classes on ways to improve my blogging.
    • I continued to work through the resources that came in my Genius Bloggers Toolkit.  I also learned about affiliate sales through the Ultimate Bundles team.
  • Views.  In January, I had about 6,000 pageviews per month.  I’d like to increase that to 18,000 pageviews per month by the end of the year.  Goal!
    • 9974 in February
    • 8990 in March
    • 10,236 in April
    • 11,102 in May
    • 14,063 in June
    • 13,434 in July
    • 16,899 in August
    • 22,820 in September
    • Something is up with Google Analytics and I’m still working on correcting it.  They claim my numbers for October are 37,224.  Jetpack says 19,637.  It’s discouraging not to know!
    • I changed my Analytics plugin, and it seems to have helped.  But I didn’t get it fixed until part way through November.  I guesstimate my views to be around 16,627.  I hate to see it going down, but I did take some time off Thanksgiving week.
  • Guest post.  I’d like to start writing at least 1 guest post per month.
  • Monetize.  I need this blog to earn some money to help with our BHAG, so I’m always exploring ways to monetize.  Since I’ll only share things that I truly find beneficial, I pass on a lot of opportunities.
    • Learn more about the ways I’m making money in this post.
    • I’ve been getting more Linqia campaigns and other opportunities to bring great value to my audience.
    • I had a few campaigns in September.
    • In October, I had another Linqia campaign and video, which you’ll find here.
    • In November, continuing to work on freelance writing.  This is definitely something I’d like to expand, so if you’re looking for freelance writing or blogging, let’s talk.  Had a sponsored post with a new company and got on with Blogher.  Also earned a bit more in ads and affiliate sales.


Our family has a BHAG this year.  A big, hairy, audacious goal.  That goal is to pay off some debt that amounts to 19% of our take home pay.  Our plan for this goal is…

  • #yearofno  This has become our mantra, and the whole family is behind it now.  They know that if they are asking for an extra (Can we have fast food? Can I have this toy?  etc) that the answer is going to be #yearofno.  It’s kind of turned into a running joke, and it needs no explanation.
  • Be prepared.  Not eating fast food is a running theme on this blog, because it’s always been a problem for us!  Pizzastopping for drinks, these things are our family’s worst habits.  (Check out this free challenge to help you identify and destroy your own budget busters!)
    • In November, we did get some fast food on one busy day.  I’ve been able to keep convenience foods on hand for most busy nights.
  • Bigger pie.  I brought in extra money through freelance writing.  But it went into the Christmas fund we’re building to keep ourselves out of debt this year.
  • Get creative.  We’ve done some creative basketball uniforms, though that was mainly with the frugal cooperation of the coaches.

So how did we do on our BHAG?

To bring down 100% of our goal this year, we need to be paying 8.3% on this debt every month.  Here’s how it’s going.

In January we were able to bring down our debt by 8.2%.

In February we took it down a by 12.9%.

In March we brought the balance down a running total of 22.2%.

In April we were able to get our balance down 29.1%.

Chart for paying off credit card debtIn May 
we were able to get the balance down 41%.

In June we got down 46%.

In July we pulled the number down 51%!

In August the stars aligned and we brought it down to 62% paid off!

In September Due to maintenance costs, we only got to 63%.  But we didn’t add to debt!

In October our debt came to 68% paid off.

In November we got it down by 72.5%.  I had hoped to have a better number than that, but I can’t be too disappointed at knocking out this much debt.  One thing I’ve come to learn is that life constantly throws things at you.  It really emphasizes the need for an emergency fund as well as a sinking fund.  I’ll be focusing on both of those later this month.

The plan for December

If you’d like to help us meet our goal, it’s easy.  Share this (and other Medium Sized Family posts) on your favorite social media accounts!  And any time you shop through my referral links, that helps us to dig out of debt without costing you anything extra.  We always appreciate that!

Only one more check in on our 2016 goals!

It’s time to start thinking of what we want 2017 to look like.  That’s tough in the busyness of the Christmas season, but we will carve out some time for it.

How has your 2016 been?  Are you reaching your goals?