The thing about making goals (resolutions, etc.) is that they are not set-and-forget sort of things. In order to keep up with them, we actually have to look at them and, you know, make an effort!
I don’t know if I’ll post about it each month (unless you want to read it, then absolutely), but I figured at least right now, after the first month of the new year, I’d do a public check-in on all those goals I set last month and see how I’m stacking up.
First up was house projects, and we’ve definitely gotten the first big one underway (our downstairs bathroom remodel progress so far can be found here: week 1, week 2) and we’re still trucking right along with another update to come this Friday. The smaller project for the beginning of the year was a recycling sorter and that’s functionally done.
Our semi-finished but fully functional recycling sorter
By that I mean the sorter is up and in place, though it technically lacks the hinged top and front pieces. Still, we’re using the bins and even made our first trip to the recycling center last weekend on our way to Lowe’s for the umpteenth time (okay, only the 4th, for January). Todd can take his time on the finishing touches to the sorter once the bulk of the bathroom work is completed.
So far we’re 2 for 2 (the other house projects being for later in the year).
On the family goals front we’re still not to those tasks, yet. March and April for the birthdays (though planning is definitely underway) and we’ve been hunting through the dog listings on about 4 or 5 sites looking for a likely candidate but it’s not realistic to bring one home in the messy middle of the bathroom project. For this category I’d say we’re on track.
Career-wise things are a little slower. I’ve been checking listings regularly (and have a saved search over on Indeed) and almost got an interview, but the position didn’t pay near enough to cover my bills. Shame, the hiring firm really liked my resume. BUT! They did ask if it would be okay if they kept in on file in case something else came up that fit both my skills and my salary requirements. Of course I said yes! I also put in for some part time work and created an account over at 99designs and UpWork (though I need to update my portfolio that came over from eLance) for freelance work. I’m still not 100% sure about 99designs–it’s technically spec work, but the jobs do pay out as opposed to the contests for **exposure** that I flat-out refuse to participate in. We shall see.
The Crafty Branch released it’s newest kit yesterday, the Print Your HeART Out kit is all about monoprints and the gelli plate and I’ve had loads of fun using the plate myself to make kit samples as well as a couple of other projects. The gelli plate is definitely not going to be leaving my work table any time soon (though I may move up a size since I’m enjoying it so much). And I’ve begun implementing my social media strategy, but realize it’s something I really need to work up to rather than jump in with both feet (because the latter is rather overwhelming). I’m also looking into a VA for those tasks.
No movement on the book projects, yet–I need to start putting that on my to-do lists or it’ll never get anywhere–but the house project updates are helping me keep my weekly video goals (though I need to get quicker on the editing) and I created my 2016 Editorial calendar for Scraps Of Life.
For career I’ll say 3 out of 4 in progress. That’s not bad for the first month.
Finally, in personal goals, I had three: move more, be more productive, and art every day.
I know that the remodel is definitely getting me more active on the weekends but I’m not even up to an average of 7,500 steps a day with the activity band, much less the 10,000 “norm” so I’ve got a ways to go. What IÂ have noticed is that it’s going to take a little bit of a mindset shift, but not the one you might expect. I’m really big on efficiency, so I group tasks together: everything from stacking items to go upstairs together so I only have to make one trip (usually when I head upstairs for bed) or grouping tasks away from my desk at work so I can minimize time away from my computer (and the space where I do much of my work). This efficiency of tasks is costing me movement! Now, sure, it’s well-reasoned, but is it what I need to stick to or can I change it without losing the “grooves” I get into on tasks that increase how much I can get done.
Good question. One I don’t yet have an answer for.
Speaking of productivity, we’re going to go about 50/50 there–I’ve gotten a fair amount done this month, but I know I’m capable of more. Take Sunday, for instance–we had things we wanted to get done, both Todd and I, but we independently and simultaneously decided that a 2 hour nap was what we were going to do. Productive? Nope! But it felt really good!
And then there’s my Art Every Day personal challenge. Yeah, I know this one hasn’t happened, I’ve missed some days. But to figure out just how many I missed, I had to flip through my photos and journal to see how many days I was creating something versus not.
My Art Every Day Results for January
If I count things like video (which I do, because it is creative in its way) I managed definite creative pursuits in at least 18 of the 31 days, or 58% of the month. Not stellar, definite room for improvement. Of course, some of those days I worked on multiple projects but only listed the larger one. But the point is to make a conscious effort to exercise my creativity EVERY day. So I’ll work on that for February.
I have one other goal that I didn’t actually list in January but it’s one that I’m actually doing well on, so let’s end on a high note: I’ve gone 34 days without impulse shopping or superfluous spending of any kind! More than a month–that’s a record for me, I’m sure! I’m being very strict with myself over my budget right now (it needs help) but I’m really committed to it so it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it might. And it’s not that I can’t buy anything fun, I just have to plan and budget for it (hence the no impulse shopping). And I didn’t use my credit cards this month, either (well, okay, less than $5 on my Kohl’s charge because it was tied to the discount code I was using, but the other $50 of the purchase was covered by a Christmas gift card and it was a planned purchase on top of that; so I’m not counting it against my record). Remember my budget worksheets? All of the balance trackers will show down arrows on the February sheet and that’s definitely a good feeling!
Have you checked in with your goals so far? How are you doing with them?