My plan this year was to do eight updates of my goals, spaced out every 6 weeks. I thought that doing it more often would keep me focused on the long-term plans instead of getting lost in the daily routine. The last update was in April – I’ve missed two updates and I’m a week late with this one. It’s been a struggle.
I have been keeping up with my passive income reports which includes a little slice of our lives (pictures and things we did) over the last month. I add that personal stuff in for the voyeurs out there, because the math can be boring. This goal update is a mix between the two, some money and professional as well as family goals.
For 2021, 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 fail to review my progress and make corrections.
With the failure to review progress and make corrections for four months now, let’s see how it’s going:
August 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.
I don’t think I made very good goals this year. They are all over the place. Some of them are boolean (we either went to Europe or we didn’t). Some of them are based on numbers and others are based on percentages. If I can take a “win” out of these goals, it’s that many, many people were screaming, “Don’t make goals for 2021!” When the year started we didn’t know when we’d be eligible for vaccines or if there would be enough of them. At the time, Delta sounded like more of a college sorority than something that would threaten to spin us back to square one.
Make $60,000 – I’ve made $48,266.97 so far and I’m on pace for almost $75,000. In April, I declared this an impossibility since my dog sitting income was close to zero due to COVID. However, vaccines, summer travel, and pandemic dogs have been amazing! I’ve been hustling and my wife calls me the Walter White of dog sitting (not sure if this is a good thing). Anyway, the dog-sitting income will probably drop down for the rest of the year. There’s always a seasonal drop-off when the kids go back to school, but add in the Delta variant and the dog sitting income will start trending down.
Wife Retirement Savings – My wife’s retirement fund is $15,000 bigger this year, but we are still a little behind what I had hoped on this one. We’ve had a few months where we spent more money than we usually do. The travel section below covers most of it.
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. I haven’t been able to keep up with this over the last four months. The scheduling of 40-50 dogs a month is a full-time job. It’s not so much the dogs as it managing the owners. This goal will most likely get pushed to whatever seasonal downtime we have coming up.
7,000 Twitter Followers – I manage to lose a few Twitter followers every update. I’m going to need some tips or something. It may help to have some big media coverage.
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 – Five. I’ve gotten a couple more articles written for the new website I’m planning. This is not great progress. As with the content audit above, I’ll have to put more of my time towards blogging instead of dog sitting.
Lose Weight – I’ve lost 4 pounds of the 15 that is part of my goal. I’ve made some gains this year and then lost them while traveling and getting out of my routine. This is a long-term average throughout the year as measured by my Fitbit scale. It’s great to see the line moving in the right direction even if I had hoped to have more progress.
Bucket List/Dream Board – I’m still where I was in April with this one. That’s about 65% done with creating something. 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. As far as checking off items on the Bucket List, my wife booked tickets for our flight to D.C. in November. There’s a military dinner where it is tradition to meet the Vice President and there’s a rumor that the President himself may be there this year.
Professional Skills – 20% done. I had made a list of blogging professional skills, but I’ve accomplished none of them. However, I’ve certainly made great progress when it comes to my dog relationship skills. I’m going to count it. I’m also better at working with people, which is a skill that has atrophied a lot when I transitioned to blogging.
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 in April. We were able to get tested and fly over many states that would have forced us to quarantine. We had a great time. In June we went to Block Island, which is a local staycation. Rooms are expensive, but it’s great to get away from technology and hike around in nature. In July, just before Delta got bad, we went to Hershey Park and the Cartoon Network Hotel (it’s a motel) in Lancaster, PA. With Delta as bad as it is now and knowing that even though I’m vaccinated, I can get my kids sick, I treasure these trips more.
Remember above when I explained that we didn’t make as much progress on saving my wife’s retirement goals? This was one of the main reasons why. We have no regrets – in fact, my wife planned all these trips and the spending that went along with them.
Finish the Basement – We’ve got half of our basement cleared out as of a few days ago. We just need to make a call and get the contractors scheduled. We got pricing several months ago, but we got busy and didn’t have the basement where it needs to be. We’re there now, so hopefully, they can get started. The plan, for now, is to do half the basement and see how that room serves us. The other half is being used for storage for now.
YouTube Channel – I bought a green screen. That’s all the progress I’ve made on this. I think I just need to point the camera and get the kids posting content no matter how unprofessional it is. It’s not like we have a plan to make millions. I’m just hoping they get some experience and we get a few laughs along the way.
Drone Flying – We went drone flying once since the last report. My youngest (7-year-old) got to be quite good with it. The drone they are using is about $25, so it lacks features that help with flying. I have a $75 drone that I got on an Amazon Prime Day that we can upgrade too soon. If they can fly these terrible drones well, they should be great with the expensive ones, right?
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. This summer the kids have had camps (see below). The weekends have been tougher to get out because of the dog sitting, but we still managed to get some activities in. I got my first surfing lesson in. It didn’t go great, so I’ll have to practice a lot more, but it was a lot more physical work than I thought.
Computer Programming – In April the kids were reading Captain Underpants and making comic books and I thought this was a good enough learning activity. In the last week, the kids have had some time off of camps, so I got them started on Tynker.com’s computer programming courses. In one of the camps, one of the kids had some computer programming with Lego WeDo. If that’s all we get done this year, I’ll consider this completed.
Specialty Camps – We missed out on some camps because we were preparing to go to Hawaii (and going to Hawaii) and my wife deployed soon after. However, we got a couple of building camps, art camps, and cooking camps. This covers most of their special interests. My 8-year-old was the youngest in the cooking class and he loved being with all the older kids. Next year, my 7-year-old will be old enough to do cooking class too. It’s expensive, but it’s a good skill to learn, right?
Back in April, I wrote: “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 the vaccine in peoples’ arms, so I’m trying to make this time extra fun for the kids.”
The progress was so bad before that I couldn’t put out an update. However, as you can see, things have turned around significantly. I should be able to make (or come close) to everything but the blogging goals this year. Even those have a chance in the next few months. Whatever gaps I have in those business goals should be filled by the ones I’ve added with the dog sitting skills.
Impersonal Finances says
Walter White of dog sitting is pretty great. “I am the one who walks.” I can’t believe how much of a hustle that has turned into. What an incredible income for something enjoyable!
Lazy Man says
It’s a good amount of work and at this level, it isn’t as enjoyable as it might seem. It certainly isn’t for everyone.
Congratulations on the progress you continue to make on your goals. I’m annoyed at myself for just “treading water” since the pandemic hit. The three stressors currently:
1) Wife that works part time at an acute care hospital that is currently overrun with unvaccinated Covid patients. This requires us to be hyper vigilant.
2) An adult child with some mental health issues living with us during this stressful times(she does have a decent job);
3) Job changes. I work for an outsourcer and we just outsourced most of our work to another outsources, but I stayed with the company and that’s weird.
Hoping I’ll get past the mindset of getting everybody through the day at some point.
Lazy Man says
That’s a really tough situation. I know you are in Texas. The personal finance convention is going to be Austin in late September and I backed out of it. I feel for you and your wife.
I’ve spent many says as you say, “getting everybody through the day”, and it can be depressing to look back after all that and think, “What have I really done?” The day-to-day stuff kind of fades away from me when I take a long look at it. However, it’s important to remember that stuff is all there. It’s why I almost always remind myself that there’s dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. to do.
Great news about the dog sitting business. That’s a lot of income. I’ve been really busy with scooter charging too. It’ll slow down significantly once the weather turns cooler.
I made easy goals this year because last year was so bad. I need to feel good about something. :)
Lazy Man says
Maybe I need to make easier goals. However, I have a really difficult time being accountable with them. I figure that if I make hard goals and I miss them, I still do pretty well.