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Happy October!  I’m personally not a fan of the cooler weather, but there are plenty of things to love about this month.  Campfires, pumpkins, and fall festivals top my list.

September was a doozy for us.  I was disappointed that we weren’t able to make bigger strides towards our main #yearofno debt payoff goal.  On the other hand, we managed to not add to our consumer debt.  That’s a strong check in the positives column!

Let’s do a check in on our S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2016.

SMART Goals for 2016 October Check In. This family set goals for the year, but their biggest goal is to pay off debt. Find out how they're doing in their October check in.

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.

  • 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.

SMART Goals for 2016 October Check InFamily

  • Swimming.  This went well!  We had an opportunity to go to an open swim in September, but I #yearofno-ed that, too.  We might hit it in October to keep swimming skills fresh.
  • Vacation.  You can read how I saved on camping here.
  • One on One Time with Each Child Once+ per Month.  Bits and pieces here and there, but September has been crazy.


  • Date nights.  I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with this word you speak of.  😉  I’m working to put a date on the calendar for October, though.

SMART Goals for 2016 - October Check InPersonal

  • Faith.  I’m reading The American Catholic Almanac and daily Bible readings.
  • Read.  Finished Being George Washington.  If you like American history and positive living, you’ll like this book.  I started 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.  I’m feeling the effects of not making this a priority this year.  Planning to add some simple exercises to my routine this month.

[Tweet “Like to read about blogging goals and debt goals? Learn how this blogger is reaching her BHAG.”]

2016-analyticsBlogging Goals

  • Improve social media.  Would like to have5,000Twitter followers, 600 Facebook likes, and want to have 3,500 pins to my Pinterest page by year end.
    • In September, had 5,944 Twitter followers (goal!), 529 Facebook likes, 4765 pins (goal!) (and 1978 Pinterest followers).  I’m thinking I should have dreamed up bigger goals for the year!  I’m happy with my Facebook increase, but there’s more work to do there.
  • Learn.  Take 12 classes on ways to improve my blogging.
    • I was able to make it through the first module and began the second one on EBA.
  • 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.
    • 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 – Gooooooooal!  I’m so pumped about hitting my goal early!!  My big increase is due to Pinterest (Tailwind and group boards), guest posting, and creating relationships with other bloggers.  It takes time and energy for sure.   Important note for bloggers – If you disable your Google Analytics plugin for any reason, always go back and reenter your ID numbers.  I missed 3+ days on my analytics, so it doesn’t officially show the number you see here.  It makes me a little sad.
  • 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!)

SMART Goals for 2016 - October Check InThe BHAG

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!  Pizza,stopping 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 September we ordered pizza once.  We also started to stray from our #yearofno mindset.  After realizing our many errors, we reset ourselves back to no spending.  It’s so easy to fall off the wagon!  But it’s nice to know how to get back on.
  • Bigger pie.  September was an expensive month.  We ended up buying tires, paying for some home maintenance things, and more.  I wasn’t able to earn any extra money.
  • Get creative.  Not much of this in September.

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%.

In 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 I’m rather sad to report that we only got the total down to 63% paid off.  However, that’s because we used the money to replenish our poor savings account after it took a few hits.  The good news is that we were able to handle expenses without relying on debt.  So that’s a positive.

The plan for October

  • Reset our #yearofno.  Small purchases here and there have begun to slip through our budget.  It’s amazing how quickly they add up!  It’s been a long 9 months, but it would be such a shame to lose steam now.  We’re pushing on.
  • I keep hoping for time to do some freelance blogging and freelance writing.  October looks like it will be busier than ever.  (I’m helping with a big school project and it’s taking a lot of my time.)  That said, I’m hoping to make the time to bring in extra income this way.

If you’d like to help us meet our goal, it’s easy.  Just share any Mediums Sized Family posts you find helpful!  Getting this blog in front of a wider audience will help us reach our goals more quickly.

Are you reaching your big goals?