You might feel that setting goals and resolutions at the beginning of a new year is a bit cliche. And its true, you should set goals throughout the whole year. But there’s a lot of power in both reflecting on the past year and creating a vision for what you hope the upcoming year to look like for you personally and professionally.
We, as a couple, have always done this together. We reminisce about the good things that happen each year, we celebrate our accomplishments, and we have even had years where we’ve cried about the losses and hard times that the year unexpectedly brought. Then, we build on those reflections and write down things we hope to improve upon and achieve for the year ahead.
This year, it’s a bit different for us. It’s the first year that we will not only be doing this as a married couple,but also as business partners. In the past year, SO much has changed for us.
It was this exact time last year that we started scheming up a life on the road. We were in the dreaming phase and contemplating if full-time RV life was possible for us. Then, come January, Lindsay did it! She quit her “dream job” in order for us to pursue RV life. By February, we had purchased our fifth wheel, by April we had remodeled it and were on the road.
So here we are 9 months later…
We visited 11 different states, traveled about 20,000 miles, and explored 10 national parks! We look back on all our photos and can hardly believe all the fun things we’ve done in such a short amount of time.
But that’s not all…
We launched our blog, Follow Your Detour, in January and have gone from 0 visitors to about 10,000 monthly visitors. We have built a subscriber list of 858 people, we have over 3,700 followers on Instagram and 1,070 likes on our Facebook page. We’ve consistently created new content weekly and have learned so much about blogging as a business. It’s been a wild ride, but it has been so much fun.
Since launching, we’ve managed to earn about $3,000 from our blog through affiliates, sponsorships, and through various products and services in exchange for content. It has also served as a “business card”, which has led to several other paid writing and promotional opportunities! If you are interested in learning more about starting a blog, you may want to check out our blogging resources page.
More importantly though, Follow Your Detour has connected us to TONS of amazing people who are also blogging and traveling! We’ve even done several guest posts on other blogs and have been interviewed on 3 podcasts. It has allowed us to network and make friends we would have never met otherwise.
We also recently helped organize and host an incredibly successful RV virtual event called Full-Time Freedom Week. In preparation for the event, we created our very first product called Finance Your Detour, a budgeting program we designed to help people eliminate money as the barrier to chasing their dreams. We share our budgeting tool, process, strategies, and tips that have helped us pay off $100,000 in debt, save an emergency fund of $25,000, and ultimately allow us to take the leap into full-time traveling. This program is simple, easy, and great for those that want to start taking control of their finances.
Phew! That’s a lot! We are super proud of our hard work…and a bit exhausted as well. Sure, there were things we could have done better and mistakes we made, but overall we feel it was a pretty successful year.
Our motto for 2017 was “own it”. We wanted to truly accept, appreciate, and “own” our story, our blog, our skills, our lifestyle, etc. We wanted to do the things that we used to think were only for other people! This year was truly the birth of following our detour…taking risks, living with passion, and embracing obstacles.
So what’s our plan for 2018?
2017 was a great year, but it was only the beginning! We have so many ideas for what to do in 2018 that we can hardly wait to get started! Here are some of our goals that we have for the next year!
We love getting to travel full-time, and we want to do a better job of inspiring wanderlust in our readers. We’ve slowly started to learn video editing in order to make awesome videos and grow our YouTube presence. We’d like to produce and publish at least 15 videos next year.
By the end of next year, we also hope to have 5,000 total email subscribers so we can reach and connect with people in a more intimate way.
Create another product and/or start a podcast
Now that we have created our first product, we have more confidence that we could continue to create other products designed to help people. We would love to write an ebook and are always brainstorming topic ideas.
We also have discussed how fun it would be to start a podcast. Our podcast could feature and interview people who have followed their own detours in life. Whether detours are unexpected or intentional, we love hearing how other’s have overcome adversity or chosen a different path that has lead them to a successful venture that would have never happened without that detour.
Run a half marathon
In February, we are attending the RV Entrepreneur Summit in Fredericksburg, TX. Several other RVers encouraged us to join them and participate in the Austin Marathon since it is the week before. At first, we just laughed. We’re not runners and the thought of running a half marathon seemed ridiculous.
The more we talked about it though, the more we realized it was the perfect challenge for us. We love stepping out of our comfort zone and we enjoy physical activity so we decided to give it a try! We’re excited, sort of, maybe.
Save $35,000 and purchase a mountain condo
If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we returned to Colorado to be close to family during a tough time. Being home for so long got us thinking how nice it would be to have our own space (outside of the RV). We love RV life, but we also enjoy being able to go “home” to be with family whenever we want. If we had a mountain condo, we feel we’d have the best of both worlds.
We’ve decided that 2018 is the year that we make this dream a reality and are ready to begin saving for a down payment. It is a really aggressive savings goal, but thanks to our budgeting process, we’re optimistic we can accomplish it. We’re going to have to both cut back our expenses and find ways of earning more money. We’re excited about the challenge!
Increase our income
When we hit the road, Lindsay had no plan for how she was going to make money. She had taught for 6 years and truthfully wasn’t sure what other skills she had outside of teaching. She definitely had no experience finding remote work.
But little by little Lindsay has invested her time and energy to learn new skills, develop her writing and blogging, and network with people. With each new opportunity, she works hard to showcase her dependability, her commitment, enthusiasm, and work ethic. This along with her dedication and tenacity to find work have led to more and more opportunities.
Lindsay’s income goal for 2018 is to be earning the same amount of money (or hopefully more) as she was earning during her last year of teaching. This is a huge goal but she’s anxious to start exploring ways of making extra money on the side and is even more anxious to share those ways with our readers in hopes of helping them achieve their income goals as well. So stay tuned!
We ultimately plan to explore ways of generating more money from our blog. Creating passive income streams is our greatest goal for Follow Your Detour, because it requires time up front, but eventually eliminates the need for trading time for money. So essentially we will be making money while we travel and continue living our dream lifestyle!
If you are looking for ways to find remote work and aren’t sure where to start, we highly recommend our friend Camille Attell’s Remote Work Package ecourse. Camille has been a great source of inspiration and encouragement for Lindsay and her course is a great place to start if you are wanting to find remote work. In fact, it’s included in the RV holiday bundle we put together so you can get our budgeting program Finance Your Detour, Camille’s Course, other great remote work resources, and TONS MORE!
Travel is always a goal for each new year, because its what we love and the experiences make us better people. Travel is the one thing we never regret spending our money on. 2017 was the first year in many that we didn’t travel internationally. So, an international trip is definitely in order for 2018. We also have a few U.S. bucket list destinations we are hoping to cross off, including Yosemite National Park, the Florida Keys, all the amazing parks in Utah, New York City, and the northeast for the fall colors. Canada has been on our radar as well!
As you can see our goals are pretty large, but specific. We will break these goals into smaller steps and each month, we will create a plan for achieving those steps to ensure we are making progress towards these larger goals. There’s no point in setting goals if you don’t have a plan for reaching them and aren’t constantly checking in with your progress and adjusting your action steps accordingly.
What’s the point? Why are we sharing all of this?
Now that you have read all of this, you may be wondering, “why did they just share all of this with me?”
We wrote this post because we love sharing our story and we want to be as honest and authentic as possible. We want to be a source of inspiration and we hope that by sharing our story, you take control of your detours and create your dream life. Reading other people’s stories was the biggest source of motivation and inspiration for us and helped prove that we could do it too. And now, if we can do it, you can do it too!
We also want to be transparent with our audience – the good, the bad and the ugly. Full-time RVing is an amazing lifestyle and we love it. We think everyone could benefit from experiencing the beauty of this lifestyle. But, not everything is rainbows and butterflies and we think it’s our responsibility to share that.
Lastly, there is great power in putting your goals out to the universe. Selfishly, sharing these goals with you is a deliberate way of putting our goals out to the world, which we believe is the first step to accomplishing them.
Will you help hold us accountable? Can we help you in the same way? We love connecting with like minded people and collaborating, supporting, and encouraging one another. So reach out to us! We hope you’ll also take the time to reflect on your successes in 2017 and start planning to make 2018 even better.