2013 in Review, and my Goals for 2014

Every year, and especially since I am working for myself as an entrepreneur, I am a doing a review of the year, where I look at where I was at the beginning of the year, compare what I actually did to my goals for this year, and make new objectives for the next year accordingly. Let’s dive in!

Situation at the beginning of 2013

In early 2013, I was still a PhD student working on my thesis, and at that time I only had a vague idea of what to do to get money online. Compared to many people that leave their job to pursue their passion & start a business online, I was not unhappy at all. I loved what I did during my PhD studies. But I also knew that pursuing a career in academic research (or in a company) won’t get me to the lifestyle I wanted: running my own business, working on exactly what I wanted, and deciding how I am spending my time. So 2013 was really the year to get myself started on running an online business & on reaching financial independence. You’ll see that my goals for 2013 were really in that direction.

What I achieved in 2013 compared to my goals

Every year, I set myself a set of goals in each category of my life. I will mainly speak about three of them on that blog, the rest being more personal. The one category is of course business. For this first year, my only goal was to become financially independent and have a sufficient income to be able to live without struggles either in Eastern Europe or in South East Asia. After doing the maths inside a spreadsheet, I decided that my goal for this year would be to reach 900 euros/month of income. However, as  I quickly reached that goal during the beginning of the year, I switched this goal to the next financial goal which is for me 1720 euros/month.

My second goal was in health: I am already eating Paleo full time and I am in my best shape ever, but I wanted to take it to the next level and reach the weight of 77kg with my six pack visible. You will ask: why 77 kg ? Well it’s pretty arbitrary, but I am training in Muay Thai and it corresponds to the upper limit of my weight class, so I imagined that would be a good goal to reach.

Finally, on the category I call lifestyle, there are all the travels I wanted to make during 2013. For that year, I wanted to go and live in New Zealand, Canada, and South-East Asia.

So how did 2013 go when I compare what I did during this year to these goals ? First, the business part. I have launched several businesses that are still running, including a business around home automation and one around the Paleo diet. I also developed my freelance activity using Elance and oDesk, and I have several contracts of paid writing about electronics & home automation. I launched a book in the home automation field & published it on the Kindle platform, and the second book for my Paleo diet business which will actually be published in paperback in 2014.

I also got so much better in the fields of website creation, WordPress, electronics, and marketing, finance & entrepreneurship. Finally, where am I compared to my financial goal ? Well, I got to an average of 1600 euros per month of income during the last 3 months of the year, which is not quite my revised goal of 1720 euros/month, but I am definitely getting closer.

The health part ended up being pretty good as well. I still ate Paleo most of the time (with maybe one “cheat meal” per week), and now have a regular routine of working out at the gym three times a week and doing abs exercices every morning. However, I didn’t quite reach my goal of 77 kg, finishing the year at around 74 kg.

On the lifestyle side, things were great! I started the year by traveling to New Zealand for 3 months. The trip was fantastic, I have been able to work on my online businesses while enjoying the country, but thinking back about I should have spent less time in Auckland and more time in the countryside visiting that amazing country. But that will be for next time! I also lived in a very cool location in Montreal for the whole summer, and met with many old friends & entrepreneurs over there. The entrepreneurship culture in this city is just fantastic.

I also had a small change of program and lived in Eastern Europe for the 4 last months of the year, instead of going to Asia as I initially planned. But the experience was amazing and I really don’t regret it, Asia will be for 2014! I also traveled to several locations in Europe, including Bratislava, London, Stockholm, Czech Republic,  and Poland.

My goals for 2014

I set goals every year for the year to come, but this year I want to change something: I want to become accountable for my goals by using this blog.

My main goal for this year will be to take my businesses to the next level. I want to achieve the number of 2250 euros per month of income at the end of 2014. Still on the business side, I want to connect with more entrepreneurs this year. For that reason, I plan to attend to at least 5 relevant conferences during 2014. What I have in mind is conferences like MicroConf Europe.

On the health side, I want to achieve my goal of getting 77 kg with less than 15 % of body fat. One of the problem that I had last year was not to put a number on the body fat I want to achieve, and as a result I couldn’t track my progress correctly. To be accountable for that, I will also regularly post about my progress in that field and how I achieved it.

On the lifestyle side, I want to finally make a one month travel to South-East Asia (which is already done actually, as I am writing this from Bangkok).

Finally, there are other minor goals I want to achieve this year. Reading is a very important part of being an entrepreneur, and I feel that I didn’t read enough books last year. To read more this year, I fixed myself a goal of reading at least one business book per month, and to keep myself accountable for that goal I will post a summary of the book I’ve read every month on that blog.

I also want to increase my productivity when I am in front of the computer. I know that I already managed to reduce the time I spent on distractions like Youtube or Facebook, but I want to actually know how long I spend each day on my businesses. This is why I will be using the Rescue Time tool to track my productivity. My goal here is to reach 5 hours of pure productivity per day, and less than one hour of distractions.

That’s all for my goals regarding these areas of my life for 2014! As I said many times in this post, I will be constantly posting about my progress on these different goals to keep myself accountable and actually reach the goals.