Goals you either hate them or you love them. For me goal setting is what kept me on track once I got to university and had to be responsible for myself. With no parents around to make sure I did my homework and drank my milk I had to figure out a system. Back in university I would set goals every semester but now I simply set them at the beginning of the year. Goals are kind of like resolutions except they are less wishy-washy… Ever since then the habit has stuck because I have seen results.
This year I decided to try something new for my yearly goals.I decided not to divide my goals by categories as I have previously done. For example relationships, work, health. I wanted to really Previously I had chosen as many as 24 goals in one year and had to bow out of a few. This year I wanted to really focus on just a few. I feel like it part of the motivation was due to learning a bit about the ONE thing. But I also read a great post by fellow blogger who suggested focusing on one goal a month. Which means you would accomplish 12 “separate” goals in one year.
Since I was no longer working I figured this was the time to really focus on building out a business. Really going for it and testing stuff out. So most of the goals this year have to do with building out the blog and getting the ball moving on this work from home venture.
Of course I am me and so I still have 1 travel goal, 1 parenting goal, 1 health goal, and 1 finance goal ( of course) in there as well. So lets go down the list.
The first goal I tackled was the easiest for me. Setting up the financial goals for the year.
1. Financial goal
It took us 2 months to get this bad boy ironed out because Mr. Roamer only gets paid once a month ( that’s right only once a month). The goal this year is to max out his 401k , his IRA, my IRA , along with 100/month in savings. (We want to keep up the maxing out momentum for our 401K that we started in 2014) It took us 2 months because we previously got insurance through my job, but since I am no longer working we had to figure out how that cost would affect his pay check since it’s taken out before taxes. We also had to make adjustments to our 401K tactic. Where last year we front loaded the 401Ks and had to make adjustments mid year this year we simply spread it out across the entire year. This means we can set all our withdrawals up without having to worry about making adjustments later in the year. So this task is all done and we are meeting our monthly milestones, but of course we wont know for sure whats in the accounts until the year is up. Because well surprises happen, right?! (Hello Lay off, or getting in a Hit and Run, or any other such thing that impacts your savings). Oh and if you’re curious on my goal page this is worded as save 40% of earnings.
2. 700 words a day for a month
This was my most successful 1 month challenge so far. But it wasn’t actually successful. (Say what?!) The good news, is that I focused on it.I choose to take the challenge in March and told myself not only did I have to write 700 words every day for a month I also had to publish it. I think that is where I really put my foot in my mouth. I wanted to prove to the audience I was doing the work by publishing, so that you all could help hold me accountable. Hopefully pipping up with “Hey, hey? you missed publishing on Monday.” But what I found was that I never really felt comfortable just pushing publish. I needed to edit and apparently editing takes 3 times as long as writing.
The good news is that this challenge helped me create the habit of sitting down to do the work. Before this challenge I didn’t have a set schedule for my writing or any other related work. With this challenge we( Minnie and I) figured out what time worked best to sit down and write. My work time now, is right after lunch from 11:30-1:30 which was usually when I had to stop so that I could go pick up JR from school.
The bad news. It took me way too long to recognize that I wasn’t actually writing every day and that I was spending a good deal of time in the editing process. So I didn’t start tracking my actual writing until later. I was sitting down at the computer every day and some writing tasks were taking place, but I wasn’t creating 700 words of new content everyday. So I am not able to actually determine how successful I was at writing. The second bad news is that I seemed to have burned myself out on writing and that resulted with no posts in April…which is not good.
I decided to give each week a theme to help with my creativity. I wrote about Travel, Finance and Minimalism. Check out some of the posts from the challenge.
- Why a 30 day challenge?
- Minimalism without waste
- Vacations, where to stay?
- No employer match, Who cares?
After this point I seem to have lost my focus. I made several attempts at focusing on one item a month but failed. I dabbled on a few other goals.
3. Finish ZTL program
This has been a source of major disappointment for myself as I paid big money for the course. I am hoping it was an investment and that I will see some return but so far I am yet to finish the course. This is an 8 week program and I am stuck on week 3. But again I never followed through with making it the primary focus for an entire month( or in this case 2 months). I did log back in and started going through the sessions again but I am still not done.
4. Affiliate program earning
I finally checked into my AdSense account which I hadn’t done since setting it up. I wasn’t to concerned as I figure it was nothing amazing… But it was still cool to find out that I have made $13. Now this was very little work towards this goal as this is more about getting direct affiliate programs going. So I still have a lot of work to do here. Again, I haven’t yet made it a priority for a whole month.
5. Travel to 1 new place (4+ days)
I am currently in the midst of planning a fun ol’ rode trip through California for August, which is all very last minute and not my style. But I am getting very excited about the prospect of getting to know my home state of California a bit better. It’s very much going to be an adventure and I am excited. That’s the focus for this month of July. The majority of my time is focused on figuring out the details for the trip and planning it all out. The trip like I said will occur in August but it would just be irresponsible to wait until August to plan it. Or spontaneous…. I guess you could say it’d be spontaneous.
6. Read books, 2 hrs a day
I haven’t pick a month for this goal either but I am doing a lot more reading. It’s worked out that during the sometimes long process of putting Minnie down to nap. I now use that time to read. So instead of paying attention to her ( which really can be distracting to her). I just sit down near by and read. It’s a work in progress but sometimes I can read for up to 45 min, because yes sometimes it takes that long for her to fall asleep.
7. Write 4 Guest post
nothing to report
8. Email people (email 5 people a day)
nothing to report
9. Earn $1000 income in writing
I have something in the works but I’ll share with you if things go through. 🙂
10. Body Goal: Butt and Ab exercises
Using a video by Tim Ferris. Nothing to report
11. Parenting. Read just 1 post a day by Janet Lansbury
nothing to report
Well that’s all my goals. It’s July now and with half the year over I should have 6 of these bad boys under my belt. Tsk. So far I am way behind. To stay on top of this new system I set up a phone reminder on the 25th of each month. This was so that I could go over my goals pick one and know what I am focusing on for the next month. So far that hasn’t worked out well.
It seems it’s just not my style to sit down and just focus on one thing.
So lately I have been working a little bit on a few goals all at one. As I mentioned earlier I have been doing a lot more reading. I read for at least 30 min sometimes up to 1 hr as I put Minnie down for her nap. What I’ve learned so far is that I seem to want to chip away at each goal little by little instead of diving deep and drowning in it.
I think my problem is that these goals also don’t really follow the SMART goal format. They are so flexible that they just get push aside under the guise of I can do it later. The flexibility I think was part of the process since you don’t know where you’ll be at the end of the month (as in you don’t know what surprises/ opportunities your work will render) . But that seems to be too much mystery for me. I am going to look at all of them and decided what makes sense to do first and pick a month now for each goal. For example I should probably do some free guest posts as samples before hunting down paid opportunities to meet my earnings goal.
What else have I been up to?
Well as the year progresses I keep thinking about those posts where you name your year (and that is your main focus for the year). Originally I didn’t do it, but if I had to pick some thing I thought it would be BUSINESS. Since most of my goals revolve around the blog and improving it. And developing a business through the blog experience. But now when I think of this year, I think of me. That’s right M-E. This year has really seemed like the year to rejuvenate for me.
So far this year, I was able to enjoy a previous hobby known as rock climbing. It was a birthday gift and I made the most of it. It was great to be surrounded by climbers and challenging myself physical and mentally … because rock climbing does both. As a side benefit the climbing gym offered yoga some days and with proper planning I was able to enjoy a few sessions of yoga as well. It was amazing and so much fun.
Also on Thursday was the last day of another activity. Dance. I was able to sign up and attend a hip hop dance class 4 day a week for 4 weeks and I loved it!!!! I love dancing but it’s not something I have put as a priority but when some funds became available I was happy to attend.
It really wasn’t about the money for these things but as you know it’s something my brain does. So I found the best deals or methods to pay to maximize my spending. Really it was about the opportunity to have alone time, doing something I enjoy. Instead of counting time at work as alone time, which is what happens when you are a working parent. So maybe this year is the year of ME I guess we’ll see how the rest of it goes.
It’s July how are you doing on your yearly goals? Do you use the 1 month system? Can you share some pointers with me?
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