The Obligatory 2012 Goals Post (And a Look Back at 2011)

Happy New Year! For the past week or so (and probably for the next week or two to come), you’ve been beaten over the head with everyone else’s goals.  Now it’s my turn!

There’s nothing wrong with the overwhelming amount of “goals” posts out there – I love reading others’ goals and resolutions, even if we all know that 25-50% or more of these goals won’t be achieved throughout the year (as much as we’d like to believe that isn’t true).  To me, having goals is more about the journey and the path – even if you never arrive at your destination.  No one likes to fail, but I think the value of goals is that they help keep you on track.  Even if you don’t fully accomplish a goal, you can still be successful.

A Look Back at 2011

It’s always good to reflect on your previous year’s goals so that you can see where you were successful and where you may have strayed from the path you originally set out on.  Personally, I do better with short term goals (i.e. goals for the day, week, or even month) because I often lose sight of the broader goals.  I still think it’s important to have long-term goals, but it’s equally important to remind yourself of them, and to make sure your shorter-term goals are helping you achieve the longer-term goals.

Anyway, here is a brief look at how I did with my 2011 goals:

1) Dominate and enjoy my new “9 to 5” job – I can’t determine whether I failed or succeeded here. On the one hand, I did “dominate” the job in the sense that I was very successful for my first year, but the enjoyment wore off rather quickly.  There may be some changes coming soon regarding my status with this job, but I’m not yet at a point where I can share it.

2)  Start  a new authority site that will eventually earn $2,000/month – This goal was partially achieved given the fact that I started the site and have it fully up and running now.  However, I failed in that this site has only been earning around $10/month.  Part of this is due to the fact that the niche is competitive and I’m still only on page 3 for my primary keyword.  I’m definitely not giving up on this though, and still plan to grow the site in 2012.

3) Lay the foundation for my own “real” business – I can confidently say that I did not achieve this goal in 2011.  This is still a long-term goal, but very much “on the back burner” for now.

4) Continue delivering high quality content on My 4-Hour Workweek at least 1-2 times per week – Success! This was one goal that I definitely achieved.  Regardless of how busy I was throughout the year, I didn’t feel comfortable going a week without posting something on this blog.  This blog is one of the main reasons I stay motivated with my online projects, so it’s important that I maintain regular updates.

5) Finish my Amazon Niche Site Challenge by the end of 2011 – This was a failure, not because I stopped creating niche sites altogether, but because I shifted my focus to AdSense-monetized sites.  I am still creating Amazon niche sites, but not at the pace I originally planned.  There is still a lot of money to be made with Amazon-monetized sites, however I’ve found it’s easier to find keywords that work with AdSense, which allows me to produce new sites at a faster rate.

6) Earn $100,000 between my online income and offline “day job” income – This was a failure.  I think my offline income was fine, but my online income definitely failed to live up to my expectations.

As you can see, my success with 2011 was mixed.  The good thing is, I did something related to each of my goals, which allowed me to progress further than if I didn’t have the goals at all.  While this is nothing to celebrate, it still shows the value of having goals in the first place.  I’m not one to dwell on the past, so let’s move forward with 2012 goals!

2012 Goals: Simple, Challenging, and Achievable

You’ve probably heard about S.M.A.R.T goals before, and while I think those are great criteria for creating good goals, I like to simplify it even further and aim to create goals that are simple, challenging, and achievable.  The reason I want simple goals is because I have a tendency to lose sight of long-term goals (as mentioned before), and I believe that having simple goals will allow me to keep my eye on them better.

Challenging goals are important because your success will be limited by how much you push yourself – if your goals are all “slam dunks” and easy to accomplish, you will be limiting your success.

Finally, I want achievable goals because I believe goals are only motivating if you really believe you can achieve them.  I could set a goal to play for a Major League Baseball team in 2012, but the reality is that I probably wouldn’t even attempt it due to the fact that I don’t view the goal as achievable.

Here are my 2012 goals:

#1 Earn $100,000 between my online projects and offline “9 to 5” job.

I didn’t achieve this goal last year, so I’d like to go after it again this year.  $100,000 is an arbitrary number, but I view it as a milestone for one’s annual income.  To reach this amount would mean that I have truly pushed myself to go above and beyond where I’ve been in the past.

#2 Have 250 niche sites created by the end of 2012.

I already have over 50 created, so I’ll actually need to create less than 200 in 2012.  Most of these will be AdSense focused, however I am still creating Amazon niche sites as well.  This is no small task when you don’t have a dedicated VA and you work a full time job, but I’m going to prove that it’s still possible to do.  As a side note, this goal is going to be an instrumental part in me achieving goal #1.

#3 Create a Facebook fan page for this blog.

It’s somewhat insane that in our social media-obsessed culture, I still haven’t created a Facebook fan page for My 4-Hour Workweek.  I do have a Twitter account with a decent following, but never really got around to creating a Facebook page.  The benefits of having one are obvious, provided you stay active and actually interact with your fans.  More than just creating a fan page, I’d like to add a unique element to it, such as sharing good, available niche site domains much like I did with the “newbie niche site month” in the past.

#4 Do some form of exercise every single day in 2012.

This is what I mean by keeping things simple.  It would be unrealistic for me to run 5 miles every single day or even attempt to complete P90X again (as much as I’d like to).  However, I think I can manage to do some form of exercise every day, whether that’s running 10 miles, or simply doing 10 push-ups.  Each day’s exercise amount will depend on how busy I am, but by keeping this goal fairly flexible, it’ll allow me to stick to it on a daily basis.

#5 Earn $100/day across all online projects by the end of 2012.

This goal will go hand-in-hand with goals #1 and #2.  If I am earning $100/day online by the end of this year, I will consider the year a fantastic success.  It’s not that $100/day is a tremendous amount of money, but if I can get myself to the point of earning $100/day, it will mean that $200 or even $300 per day will be a very achievable goal in 2013.

That’s all for 2012!

As you’ll notice, I only picked goals that were very measurable.  At the end of the year, it will be easy to determine whether or not I’ve succeeded or failed with each goal.  Obviously there will be levels of success and failure…for example, if I am earning only $98/day by the end of 2012, I will technically have failed goal #5, but at the same time, I’ll have accomplished a lot during the year to get to that point.

What are your goals for 2012? What do you think of my goals?  Share your comments below!

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22 Responses to “The Obligatory 2012 Goals Post (And a Look Back at 2011)”

  1. all the best in 2012 buddy. looking forward to updates…
    Sunil l Expediting Wealth Through Extra Income recently posted… Emergency Fund Fundamentals, Benefits & Unconventional Uses


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Sunil, I appreciate the comments as always.


  2. Good luck with the Goals Eric!

    I haven’t made all of them this year myself but I have learned a lot :)

    Started in May last year with a more professional approach (sort of) on my online projects and just missed the $1000 mark in revenue.

    2012, is the year I have to beat that :)
    Ralph | Social Media Explained recently posted… FBinfluence Review – Facebook Marketing Success


    Eric G. Reply:

    $1,000 is a great milestone, Ralph. I’m hoping to cross the $1,000/month threshold soon as well. 2012 will be the year! Best of luck to you.


  3. Can you tell me more about the niche sites? Have you written about them before? I would be interested in knowing how that works and why you are pursuing 250 of them.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for stopping by to comment. You can read all about my process for building micro-niche sites here, in a series of posts I’ve written as part of a public case study:

    I’m pursing 250 because I know micro-niche sites are a “numbers game” in that not all will be successful, so in order to find a lot of winners, you need to create a lot of sites (understanding that many will fail). The idea is that, in the end, the winners far outweigh the losers. As I’ve said several times before, success will depend greatly on how well you research your niches and target keywords.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!


  4. I started buiding some AdSense sites last year, and then moved onto trying to build Amazon affiliate sites, but I’m still only earning from AdSense so maybe it’s time for me to flip back to creating more AdSense sites for the time being.

    More sites definitely means more opportunities for earning money so that’s a good way to go to achieve all your other aims.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, Adem. I think depending on the site, AdSense can work better because it can be used with more niches (almost any niche). Right now, I will say that my Amazon sites still earn more than my AdSense ones, but that’s only because I’ve had them a lot longer. I expect that to change soon.


  5. Very clear goals, I switch from adsense to amazon due to low earning. Thanks for your insight.


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Alam!


  6. Kent@Niche Marketing Tips Reply January 5, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I have a goal to maKe $100 a day too. i am doing this as part time. How many hours do you plan to put in this year?

    200 sites is a lot. At least it is $2k for domain name this year.

    I’d sugguest to build fewer, more content n build up the traffic instead. I agree you want to find out the winners. I have experienced 80/20 rule on mine too.

    So I prefer to focus on a few authoritie sites that are making hundreds.

    Only 10 to 20% of my sites have the traffic n income. :)

    I will catch up your update.
    Kent@Niche Marketing Tips recently posted… How do I make extra money online as an Amazon Affiliate


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Kent. I’m not sure how many hours I will ultimately put in for the year, but on a weekly basis, I will probably aim for 5-10 hours per week.

    I agree 200 sites is a lot – my goal is to build up the ones that appear to be “winners” after 3 months, and stop working on ones that appear to be going nowhere after 3 months. (The 3 month time frame assumes that I have completed my backlinking process within a month of setting up the site.) I have a couple authority sites that I will be working on too.

    This will definitely be a work in progress all year, and I’ll need to make adjustments along the way based on what’s working (and maybe more importantly, what isn’t working). I’ll be sharing my income progress each month with my income reports (showing income on a site-by-site basis so you can see exactly how the income is distributed by site), and then periodically writing more in-depth posts about what I’ve learned along the way.


  7. Eric, this is lovely. I came to your site from Pat’s site I guess.

    I wish you success in 2012 and keep on creating those great adsense optimized sites.

    Aal Izz Well
    Sheyi recently posted… What The Hell – $1Million Online?


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Sheyi, best of luck to you too!


  8. Eric,
    Fantastic post! I really like your goals. I’m most intrigued by goal #2. 250 sites is a lot of sites. :-) Currently I have about 130 sites (since I started building sites in 2007) so I understand just how aggressive your goal is. Can’t wait to read about your progress. There’s no doubt that, with a goal like that, you will set yourself up for some serious long term success. Happy 2012!
    All the best,
    PPC Ian recently posted… Blogs With Top Commentators Are Now Rare


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Ian! I agree that 250 is a very aggressive goal – fortunately, I have a solid process in place that allows me to create sites in batches of 20 fairly efficiently (it’s not some special software or anything – just a manual process that I’m getting good at).

    Obviously, we have yet to see how well these sites will do, but out of 250, I’d like to think there will be a good handful of winners.

    Best of luck in 2012 to you too!


  9. Hey Eric, just started reading your blog. Really love your content!

    Exercising everyday is one of my goals too. It’s pretty important considering our jobs basically consists of us sitting around all day.

    Best of luck in 2012!
    Tony Wang recently posted… Optin Bottom


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Tony! It’s tough to exercise every day, but I think if we can make it a habit, it’ll become easier and easier. Best of luck to you too!


  10. That was really an impressive collection of words of previous year, thanks for sharing these information. Actually I’ve recently joined your blog and it is like a recap for me.
    Arjun Rai recently posted… Scrap Cars


  11. I’m not one either for goals normally, as the last few years have seen my income climb nicely each year. All that changed in 2011 after moving to Thailand and getting Panda Slapped and losing 60% over night.

    The simple fact of setting out a few things to do then documenting them “on my blog” will more likely than not allow me to return to Pre October levels, even if I fail with 50% of them.
    neale recently posted… Friday Wrap: Manageable Lists


    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for the comment, neale. It’s great to see that you’re still motivated despite the setback with Panda. It’s unfortunately, but I think you have the right mindset to get back to work and get back to where you were at before. Best of luck!



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