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This year is really on the move, isn’t it?  It’s hard to believe we’re already an entire month in, and it’s time for a check up of our yearly S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timed) goals.  You can find the list of our yearly goals here if you missed it.

Each Monday I list out the baby steps I am planning in order to march us towards these bigger yearly goals.  I consider it my accountability check in.  If you’d like to join me, you can always leave comments or links to your own goals.  I’d love to build a community of people encouraging one another towards their goals.

Smart Goals February Check In

February Check In Time

Home and Barn

  • Get a water plan in place.  Have not done anything here.
  • Barn driveway.  We need to make some calls to get this ball rolling in the spring.
  • Improve goat pens and fencing.  Another spring and summer project.  I’ve cleaned up the barn and we are considering how to configure the pens.
  • Finish the bathroom project.  Have taken some baby steps towards this, and I’ve chosen a paint color!
  • Paint baseboards and staircase.  Finishing the baseboards is on my list of goals for this week, and I’ve chosen my staircase color!  Goal is to paint the stair area by the end of the month.


  • Swimming.  This will be a summer goal.
  • Vacation.  Need to start discussing a destination and date.
  • One on One Time.  I have made effort to spend some one on one time with the kids, but I think I can make this goal a little more SMART than it is right now.


  • Date.  We have a date scheduled for this weekend!  Hopefully no one gets sick…


  • Faith.  I’ve been doing my daily Bible readings more often than not, but room for improvement here.
  • Read.  I should have gotten through a book in January and I didn’t!  Goal is to read a book this week.
  • Exercise.  If you count hauling a lot of water to the goats, then I’ve totally done this!


I did not make blogging goals on my yearly post, which was a fail.  I want to be more specific here, so let’s try this:

  • Improve social media.  Would like to have 5,000 Twitter followers, 600 Facebook likes, and want to add 2,000 pins to my Pinterest page by year end.
  • Learn.  Take 12 classes on ways to improve my blogging.  (Did one in January.)
  • Views.  Right now I have about 6,000 pageviews per month.  I’d like to increase that to 18,000 pageviews per month by the end of the year.  I’ll do this by adding the best content I can write, encouraging my readers to share when they like what they’ve read, and getting out into the blogging community as much as possible.
  • 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 will be exploring ways to monetize when I can.  The main goal of this blog is to help people as much as possible, so I will only explore ways to earn money that are truly beneficial to my readers.  (Otherwise, I’m sure I won’t have those readers for long!)


[Tweet “Do you have a #BHAG? Here’s an update on how ours is going.”]

You might remember that our family has a BHAG this year.  A big, hairy, audacious goal.  That goal, for us, is to pay off some debt that amounts to 19% of our bring 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!  Pizza, stopping for drinks, these things are bad habits.  I’m so excited to tell you that we made it through January without any fast food or pizza runs!  I’ve started planning ahead for all of our trips.  It doesn’t take that much effort to bring extra drinks along.
  • Bigger pie.  I have listed several things for sale and tried for some market research studies without a whole lot of luck.  But I’m going to keep trying!
  • Get creative.  We didn’t need a lot of creativity last month, because there just isn’t a lot going on in January.  More than anything, we just said no a lot.  Which is fine by me.

So how did we do on our BHAG?

The Good:

This month we were able to bring down our debt by 8.2%.  We still have 91.8% of the debt to go.

BHAG February Check In

This is not too bad for one month!  We need to pay off at least 8.3% of the debt each month in order to eliminate it by the end of the year, so we nearly met those expectations in January.

The bad.  (Well, not bad.  The meh?)

The reason we were able to hit the expectation is that January was a 3 paycheck month.  This isn’t a bad thing…much better than letting the extra paycheck go to waste.  But it’s just a little discouraging that we were only able to get to this number due to an extra paycheck which I can’t replicate every month.

Also discouraging was the fact that all of our paycheck savings from cracking down on excess spending actually had to go toward supplies for the goats.  It seems like it’s always something!

But, to focus on a more positive spin, we didn’t have to put the goat spending on a credit card or rob our savings account to cover it.  So that’s still a win.  And there won’t be unexpected expenses with every paycheck, so at some point we will get ahead.

The plan

For February, the plan will be to continue our #yearofno as much as possible and try to throw some extra at the debt.  Additionally, I will need to bring in some extra money either by selling items or using other creative forms of income.  I also want to keep up our penny mindset.  (If you missed this post on the power of a penny, be sure to check it out!)

If you’d like to help us meet our goal, remember that any click through referral or affiliate links on this blog gives us a small payment without changing your out of pocket costs.  (However, I would never ask you to buy anything that would put a speedbump in your own frugal journey!)

How are your yearly goals or resolutions going?  Let’s support each other!  Be sure to like MSF on Facebook to keep up with our goals and get more money saving tips and stories.