July marks the middle of the year and we’re more than halfway though that. That means that I better have made some serious progress on my 2022 New Year’s goals/resolutions. My first update was in March and my last one was in May.
Setting goals feels useless if you don’t review them. Reviewing them now gives me time to refocus and adjust.
So let’s check in where I am now. As I write this, it is July 18th. About 54% of the year is over. I should be a little more than halfway done with all my goals.
Here’s my updated spreadsheet:
(Click for Larger Image)
Make $70K of income
The dog boarding business is going great as usually does in the summer. With my other income streams blogging, and a part-time customer service gig, I’m 68% toward my goal. It’s looking like I could get to $90,000 this year, but we have a big vacation coming up. We’ll see how it goes. So far the vacations haven’t derailed my income goals yet.
Save Money for Wife’s Retirement
We are stuck at only having put $5,000 away in my wife’s retirement. She’s back to maxing out her government TSP account (similar to a 401k), so she’s still saving money for retirement. However, this goal was about saving cash for use before then.
We’re spending a lot of money this year. We finished a basement and our vacation spending is high. This summer we’ve gone out to eat a lot, but some of that is due to local staycations.
We’ll likely miss this goal, but maybe we can at least make it close near the end of the year.
I’m at only 5% of my goal to get to 50,000 page views. That’s not good enough. It only takes one article to go viral though, so you never know. I was starting to see some good growth, but it started to trail off. In the summer, I’m very focused on the busy dog boarding season and the good weather outside. We also go on more vacations (two weeks in June!) and the kids are in camp for only 5 hours of the day.
My goal was to have 75 articles published by the end of the year. That’s roughly 1.5 a week. I’ve published 45 articles. That’s 60% of the way to my goal, which is a little ahead of where I need to be. I’m surprised because it feels like I’ve been writing less.
Recently, I posted an article that highlights much of the content that I’ve written for the first six months. Here’s what I know about teaching kids about money so far.
Content Audit/Article Refresh
I’ve made no progress in refreshing articles for Lazy Man and Money. Creating content for two blogs is a lot of work. I don’t see having the time to go back and rewrite old articles too.
Look into Dog Training
Earlier in the year, I looked very briefly into dog training. It seems there are a hodge-podge group of certifications. It’s hard to find out which ones are useful. I suppose I could do the very easiest ones that seem a little like window dressing and add them to my dog boarding profile. I’m not too excited by that idea and right now the dog boarding is going well enough without it. If I were to train some of the dogs that I’m boarding, I wouldn’t have any time left to blog.
I think I’ll have to pass on this for now.
My last update was great and losing 13 pounds left me with only 4 left. However, the vacation set me back and I gained 6 pounds back. It’s hard on vacation because I don’t want to control my eating much. I also don’t have the good habits that I formed at home.
I will need to refocus, but even if I lose weight now, I’ll likely put it on by September. I’ll explain why in the vacation update below.
Over the last couple of months, I added around 50 alcoholic drinks. Almost all of them are light beers with little alcohol and calories. While on vacation, it’s easier to have a drink. I also like to have a beer in the inflatable hot tub at night. It’s a great way to relax from a busy day.
My goal was to limit drinking to 5 a month and I’m way over that. Overall though, I’m far under what I have been and I generally feel healthier and happier.
Make a Bucket List
I made no progress on my bucket list. I didn’t even look at it.
However, I put a lot of effort into helping the kids with theirs. After a few rounds of revisions, it’s looking good. You can read more about how I went : Making a “Things I Like” list for kids.
One takeaway: Next year we should leave a week free in the summer with no camps and no travel. I feel like we are overscheduled, so there’s no flexibility to add a fun day in-between.
Programming with Python
I was going to order this Python Programming for Beginners: A Kid’s Guide to Coding Fundamentals on Prime Day, but it wasn’t any cheaper. It seems that Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction To Programming is a highly-rated book along the same lines. I would pick a book aimed at kids because I could then pass it on to them when I’m done.
I’m not making much progress in this one. My wife organized a yard sale. I didn’t end up helping too much because I was focused on the dog boarding. We didn’t get a lot of traffic, but we sold a few items. We’ll need to run a few more.
I posted my first item on Nextdoor a few days ago, but I have no takers yet. It’s a big set of wooden pallets that we inherited when we bought our house. So far there are no bites. They take up a lot of space, so if I can move them to a new home, the garage will look a lot cleaner.
I haven’t been pulling my weight here, so I’m going to give myself a bad grade, but thanks to my wife, we’re doing okay in this area.
Travel Four Times
In March we completed our Puerto Rico trip. Everyone in the family loved it, while I thought it was just kind of okay. After we got back we learned that our kids’ school is switching languages from French to Spanish. Looks like we’ll be going back more often.
In June, we went to Block Island and New Hampshire as I mentioned in my last passive income update.
We booked a European Disney Cruise in August. It’s a bucket list life event. I have only been to Europe once and it was around 20 years ago. I’m not a big travel person, but this has something for everyone. The kids will be in the ultimate heaven with nothing, but an overload of fun. My wife is excited to visit all the different countries. I’m a little excited by both, but mostly just happy that everyone else is happy.
The downside is that Disney Cruises are very expensive. That’s one reason why aren’t saving as much cash lately. In addition to that, there’s going to be so much free food around all the time, so I will likely be very behind on my weight loss goals by the next update.
That would be our fourth travel, but we might also travel in November around Thanksgiving. Maybe we won’t because the Disney Cruise counts as at least two normal vacations.
The kids got their final report cards and they were awesome. They’ve always done well, but this seemed better than usual.
We’ve done nothing in this area. We haven’t even uploaded a bad video. Our 9-year-old finished theater camp and loved it, so maybe that will be a springboard to getting them to work on this.
I brought my DJI Mavic Mini to Block Island but never got it in the air. So far I’ve only got it to hover in my living room for a few seconds. That took about an hour of learning how to set it up and about regulations and things like that.
My 8-year-old is doing the Lego camp that the 9-year-old loved last year. He’s loving it. I signed them up for the local Lego robotics group that starts in September. I’m going to volunteer to be a coach, but as you can tell from many items on this list, I’m perpetually busy.
This may not be full-on computer programming, but it’s a start and the kids are interested in it.
We’re about 40% through the summer camps and so far they’ve been a great success. The only blemish so far is that the first day of sailing camp hasn’t gone well with the older kid. That’s the camp that I picked. He has a few friends in the camp, so I thought that would be helpful. Our area, Newport, RI, is a big sailing city, so it makes sense to have some basic sailing knowledge. Sometimes new experiences don’t work out, but you have to give them a fair shot.
Once again, there were a lot of things that came back with “no progress”. However, I made big progress on the items that are “work hard, play hard”. The business and family goals are good, so minor things like not flying a drone very often seem petty.
I went through “Python for Kids” with at least two of my kids and they enjoyed it. Another python related book you might try is “Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game!”, also from No Starch Press. It walks you through building a computer game, line-by-line. At the end they have a game that’s playable and in between my kids learned how they could tweak the game to cheat. Fun while learning.
Lazy Man says
I’ll check it out. Thanks!
Tagging on to what David commented… LEGO’s robotics stuff is incredibly impressive–and–can also incorporate Python. Look up the module for that with their EV3 system.
I’m sure there’s a lot of opportunity to learn basic programming all the way up to modern code like Python with their newest bots. Plus, you get the additional physical and mechanical experience in the real world, seeing it come to life! Really neat stuff.
Lazy Man says
Looks like they just discontinued the EV3 last year and the Spike Prime is their path forward. We’ll see how the robotics after school thing works in September, but maybe we’ll invest in a Spike Prime. I’m a sucker for learning kits.