I hoped to do eight updates of my goals – an update every 6 weeks. I’ve failed at that spectacularly. The first few updates took a long time to write, but I’m getting better at it and now it’s easier. This is the fourth and last one until next year when I have the data for a final round-up.
For a little life update, things have been busy here. My wife has deployed for a month and we’re almost through the first week of that. It’ll be a different kind of Thanksgiving this year We enjoy many military benefits, so all part of the deal we’ve agreed to. She should be back for Christmas. Many families aren’t that lucky.
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 – the math can be boring. This goal update is a mix between the two, some money/professional goals 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. I’m a little better at reviewing my progress, but it is still too inconsistent.
November 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.
In January everyone was saying that we shouldn’t make goals for 2021. Everyone was hungover from 2020 and we didn’t know when anyone in our family would be eligible for vaccines or if there would be enough of them. I made goals anyway. I figured that it gave me a built-in excuse if I failed. I also wanted to have something else to focus on to help me feel like things are normal again.
Let’s get to the goals:
Make $60,000 – I’ve made $71,640.32 this year. At the start of the year, there was no dog sitting money due to COVID, and making $50,000 could have been a stretch. The $60,000 target looked like I’d have to start a new business. However, vaccines came and everyone, after getting pandemic dogs, abandoned them to catch up on travel. Dog sitting became the old hobby making $1000 a month that was now a new business making several thousand.
I expected a seasonal drop-off, but that hasn’t happened. We’ll see how long this lasts.
Wife Retirement Savings – We are hoping to put aside $35,000 this year. On the last update, we only had $15,000 and it didn’t look like this would happen. However, we’re now at $30,704. She’s been putting more of her paycheck away for savings as I’ve been able to pay for more things with the extra dog sitting money.
We’ve got a chance to complete this goal, but we have big expenses coming up. I’ll have more to say about that in the vacation and basement finishing sections.
Content Audit/Article Refresh – 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. My thought at the beginning of the year was to fix them up and make them relevant for today, if possible. I had hoped to do 40 articles, about once a week, but I only got 8 done. I have too much dog sitting work to devote time to this right now.
7,000 Twitter Followers – I manage to lose a few Twitter followers every update. I got a few tips on what I would need to do, but, it was more involved than I thought. May I can try again next year.
Minor Website Design – I made no progress on this one. Editing the design of my website is such a chore now. The code is glued together from many different places and even finding small parts to edit has been a treasure hunt.
Articles for KidWealth.com – This is a new website that I was looking to launch this year. However, it looks like I might launch in January. That’s one reason why you’ve seen more articles about parenting and teaching kids money here.
I’ve outlined around 40 articles and I’ve been working on getting them ready. I’ve gotten around 15 close to ready. I think (hope?) this is enough to launch with. I don’t know how much more writing I’m going to get done why my wife is deployed. We have only about one week of the year left when she’s around and it isn’t a holiday or travel for us.
While on the topic of kids and money, MoneyTime has a 50% off Black Friday promotion. That’s an affiliate link, so I’ll make a little money, but you’ll still save a lot. Here’s my MoneyTime review, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Lose Weight – When is losing weight easy? I can’t seem to make progress on this one. I’ve been executing a lot of my Lazy Man diet over the last week with my wife away. I started to make a little progress in the first few days, but it has reversed since. It’s still early, so we’ll see how it goes over the next month.
Bucket List/Dream Board – I’ve made no progress on this. One of my goals was to meet the Vice President of the United States as I had a reasonable expectation that would happen. My wife is president of a military organization that generally meets the VP once a year and spouses are invited. However, they changed things up this year. Kamala was in France mending our relationship with them. My wife met with the President of the United States at the White House instead, but I couldn’t go.
Professional Skills – 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 sitting business. 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 online.
This month I met a group of entrepreneurs that share business referrals and things like that. I’m going to join the group and it should help grow my dog sitting business to the next level.
Next year, I’m going to have to do a lot more in the blogging skills like becoming good with Canva to make better pictures. I want to learn Tailwind and get good at marketing on Pinterest. I may also hire a social media person for a few hours a week. If you are interested, contact me.
Travel to Europe – Nope, not going to happen. 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 was 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.
We were planning to go to Vermont to the Von Trapp Family Lodge in late December. It’s on my wife’s bucket list. It’s up in the air now because we have so little time after my wife is back before Christmas. It was still an amazing year of travel when you consider what the options available were.
Finish the Basement – We’ve got the contractors called and scheduled. They wanted to come in late December when we’d be in Vermont. That won’t work, so it’s another reason to cancel the trip.
I would have marked this as 100% done, but the contractors still have to do all their stuff.
Kids YouTube Channel – I made no progress on this. It will be easier to do something when we’ve finished the basement and the kids have a place to film. Our third grader did win a competitive role in the 8th-grade school play, so maybe that’s a step forward. Our second grader had stage fright and didn’t want to try out, so maybe that’s a step backward. He is good in front of a camera though.
Drone Flying – We only got a little drone flying in. Maybe we’ll get some more this weekend since the kids have some time off from school.
Outdoor stuff (hours) – We spent a lot of time outdoor with the weather was good. The kids can still watch TV and play video games for hours, but we have enough other things to pry them away. It’s difficult because they seem to have activities all the time and I think they enjoy some quiet time.
Computer Programming – The kids had some time with Tynker, but they thought it was a chore. I think if I set it up with the Minecraft course they’ll like it much more. One kid also had a summer camp week with Lego WeDo, which was good.
I was looking into some kind of class and there’s nothing in Rhode Island. I reached out to Code Ninjas to inquire about starting a franchise in the state and they were fairly rude. Of course, I was probably not their ideal franchisee since I introduced myself as someone who could help them out. I also asked for more numbers than what they provided because I didn’t want to invest hundreds of thousands to buy myself a job.
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?
While nothing is perfect here, I think there’s some steady progress being made. The Business section is empty, but the pivot to focus on the dog sitting has worked out well for us.