I usually don’t do two personal updates in a row, but that’s the way the editorial calendar
bounces, crumbles, flows, I guess. On Friday, I published my March Passive Income report. I really like how that update keeps me focused on passive (or passive-ish) income and gives me a chance to share with you a slice of life (This is usually a bunch of pictures of kids and things that we did).
That update doesn’t cover mid or long-term goals. I made some goals to start the year like I do every year. However, year after year, I fail to make any consistent progress on my goals. I know I always plan to do too much. I also know that I forget to put the time and effort into the goals given the short-term life errands.
My hope is that doing this every month and a half will have me moving in the right direction. If nothing else, these goals get on my radar around 8 years a year.
April 2021 Goal Update
Before we get started here’s my spreadsheet. It’ll be helpful to follow along. If you have ideas on how this system could be better I’d love to hear them in the comments.
Is it possible to make “making good goals” a goal? If so, that is one of the things I’m hoping to get out of 2021. My goals are all over the place. Some of them are boolean (you either went to Europe or you didn’t). Some of them based on numbers. Some of those numbers are very strange because we already had some progress. My hope is that the act of working through this will help me improve and making the goals themselves and making them make sense.
Make $60,000 – I have $13,534.59 so far and I’m on pace for a little under $50,000. This is an aggressive goal and I wasn’t sure that I could do it with no dog sitting income (due to no travel due to COVID). However, people are starting to travel more, so I might be able to get closer to this. Realistically, the best way for me to get there is to come up with an additional source of income. I’m stretched thin in some places already, so it could be tough.
Wife Retirement Savings – My wife’s retirement fund is $5,000 bigger this year, but we are still behind the pace on this one. We might be able to get a little closer, but while my wife is deployed, we aren’t shifting money around too much. In March we spent a lot more money than we usually do. I’ll have more to write about that in the Family Goals section below.
Content Audit/Article Refresh – I’ve completed 8 of the 40 articles that I hope for this year. I have a lot of articles from around 2006 and 2007 that are very short, filled with a dozen of spelling/grammatical errors, and not very well put together. One of my goals this year is to take 40 of them, a little less than one a week, and update/refresh them as something new and useful for readers.
7,000 Twitter Followers – I lost 11 Twitter followers and now have 6634. It doesn’t seem like being more active on Twitter gets me more followers. It feels like this number only moves a fraction of a percent in either direction.
Minor Website Design – I made no progress on this one. I think the only way to move forward on this one is to put on a short-term to-do list, rather than this mid-long term one. Unfortunately, that short-term list is full right now.
Article for New Website – Zero. I didn’t write anything for the new website. I have been pushing back the launch of this for months and months now. My best hope in moving forward with this is that I schedule a solid hour or two every day without interruptions. I think we need vaccines to allow the library to open full-time for that to happen.
Lose Weight – I’ve lost about a pound of the 15 that is part of my goal. It seems like losing weight is always the toughest goal for everyone. I’m eating better and getting out more with the better weather. However, a weekend at a Bed and Breakfast with the wife meant eating out all the time. I skipped lunch and still gained weight. A March trip to Hawaii meant many plate lunches and that set me back. I’m optimistic that I can make gains in the next month and a half.
Bucket List/Dream Board – I’d say I’m 65% done with this one. I have a list of around 20 items that I gathered from searching around other people’s bucket lists. I was even able to cross one-off. My 7-year-old wanted to swim with sea turtles and I added that to mine. Well, the weather didn’t cooperate when we got out to sea and the captain didn’t feel it was safe enough to swim with them, but we saw a few close-up from the boat. He’s counting it, so I’m counting. As for the 35% that I have left with this, I want to create a dream board to make it more visual. When these things sit in a spreadsheet on a hard drive, they just don’t get done.
Professional Skills – Zero. I had a list of things that I’d like to learn for blogging, but also included a couple of non-blogging things. I don’t think I made any progress on any of them. I think I’m going to have to make this more specific for 2022.
Travel to Europe – Nope. My wife had big plans to do a Greek cruise this summer. That wasn’t realistic, so she pivoted and came up with the idea of our Hawaii trip. We were able to get tested and fly over many states that would have forced us to quarantine. We had a great time. Remember above when I explained that we didn’t make much progress on our money goals, this was one of the main reasons why. We have no regrets.
Finish the Basement – We made a little more progress by removing an old water heater and a boiler. I saw someone with random Dollar Store sticker numbers on the side of a truck of someone who hauls it all away and sells it for scrap metal. I guess scrap metal prices are good these days and these were heavy items. The guy was a unique character, perhaps one of the most “unique” I’ve met. I won’t share them on this blog, but ask me in person some time and we can talk about it over a beer.
YouTube Channel – I’m not sure if we made any progress on this. I got a book from the library about making movies. It was very high level and the 8-year-old read it but said it was boring. I don’t think he enjoys planning, creating a script, etc. We may just point the camera and shoot and see what happens. Any practice is good practice, right?
Drone Flying – We’re just getting around to drone flying weather, so maybe we’ll start this over the next month or two. Since my kids are very young, we have a very cheap (~$25), basic drone. If they get good with that, I have a more advanced one (~$75) that features a camera. We’ll just work our way up and see if it’s something they enjoying doing.
Outdoor stuff (hours) – I originally had 40 hours outside as a very minimum goal because the kids rarely do much outside. However, when we were in Hawaii we were outside almost all the time. (It’s one of the best ways to stay COVID-19 free, right?)
Computer Programming – I didn’t make any progress in teaching the kids this, but the 8-year-old has picked up Scratch at school and played with it at home a couple of times. This is another area where I got a book from the library, but for now, Captain Underpants and Dog Man have the kids’ extra-reading interests. I’m not going to push it, but just leave it around and see if they pick it up.
Specialty Camps – We’re half-done picking camps. There aren’t a lot of options because of COVID and space filled up quickly. I think we lost out on some as we were in Hawaii (and preparing for Hawaii) when all the camps opened. My wife caught up with her work only to get deployed soon after.
Overall, I’m not feeling like I’ve made much progress, but there are pockets of progress. Unfortunately, the next update probably won’t have more progress. My wife is deployed getting vaccine in peoples’ arms, so I’m trying to make this time extra fun for the kids. I won’t be doing much to finish the basement or explaining how recursion works (programming). Our travel is planned for most of the year (annual trips to Block Island and Hershey Park). That leaves personal and business goals left to focus on. Hopefully, I can make some headway there.