Monday, October 2, 2017

Quarterly Goals 2017, #4

Seriously, how sad is it that I'm super proud of having done this all year long without quitting, even though I didn't actually accomplish a bunch of this quarter's goals? I mean, I tried ... but there was a ton going on in my life, and some things (ahem, most things) just felt too overwhelming to really bother with.

With that being said, I did still keep my list of goals accessible on my phone, and I did still work toward them when I felt like I could. While I didn't complete all of them, I did make progress - and this quarter, I'm changing up the format to help keep these posts from being so long. From here on out, I'll include last quarter's recap and next quarter's new (or recycled) goal in the same section.

So let's break it down:


SPIRITUAL:
Last Quarter's Goal: Memorize my rosary prayer. FAIL.
Next Quarter's Goal: Memorize my rosary prayer!

I'm a good bit closer on this one, actually. I've got most of the prayer patterns memorized, and I've practiced enough that now Eden's interested too. She's not all that serious about the specific prayers (which is fine with me, as I chose them for my own personal reasons anyway), but she likes the feel of the beads in her hand and how it helps her stay focused in her conversations with God. Same reasons as me!

Hopefully by next quarter, I'll truly be able to check this one off and move on to the next goal. I'm so close, and I love how using the rosary helps me stay focused in prayer. Before I started doing this, it was pretty common for me to pray about four words, get lost in my running mental list of "must-dos," and have a totally interrupted stream of uselessness that broke up my time with God. Memorizing might be a struggle for me, but the payoff here is amazing in my spiritual life.


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT:
Last Quarter's Goal: Listen to a personal development podcast daily. FAIL.
Next Quarter's Goal #1: Listen to a personal development podcast daily!
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Increase accountability by tracking goals.

I did this about half the time, I think, so I'm calling it a fail. Half is more than none, sure - but a half-cooked chicken will kill you, and a half-accomplished goal doesn't move you forward. These moments spent soaking up the wisdom of others are powerful moments indeed, and when I'm not spending them, my spirit gets hungry for the teaching. So this quarter, I'm going to feed the need.

I'll also be tracking my goals to help keep myself more accountable - and to help me more accurately choose whether each one is a pass or fail. From now on, each quarter's recap (of most goals) will include an actual success percentage, based on my tracking beginning yesterday. I'm using a free Android app called Loop Habit Tracker, and I think it'll not only help me remember to work on my goals daily, but it will also force me to be more conscious about my time management choices. On goals that can be tracked in this way, anything more than 75% success will mean the goal is accomplished.


HEALTH:
Last Quarter's Goal: Work up to drinking 100 ounces of water every day. ALTERED.
Next Quarter's Goal #1: Drink 75 ounces of water every day.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Remember to take my Prilosec.

I'm still loving my 26-ounce MyBevi tumbler, and it has actually made a huge difference in my ability to make sure I'm drinking more water. But I've started to notice that when I hit about 75 ounces, I sortof feel ... not thirsty. For a day or so. So in the interest of not only staying hydrated but keeping my hydration levels from fluctuating so much, I'm dropping this one back a bit. It seems my body thinks 75 ounces is plenty, so I'm gonna stick with that as my water goal going into the next quarter.

As for the Prilosec - taking this medication literally changes my quality of life and gets me through the day, so much so that when I forget it for even one day, I pay two days worth of a miserable price. The problem is I forget it all the time, so I'm going to be setting a reminder this quarter and building this medication into my usual morning routine.


ROMANCE:
Last Quarter's Goal: N/A
Next Quarter's Goal: N/A

Despite my neuroses, I am still a somewhat normal woman, and as such, I do still miss male companionship from time to time. But I'm still not in a place where I'm setting specific goals in this area of my life. Momming and writing and getting from one moment to the next is usually all I can manage, and while I do think that having a partner in life might make some of that a little easier, I'm in no rush to partner up just to have someone standing next to me.

But if I were to stumble upon my perfect match ... I could definitely like that. I mean, I'm a romance novelist, right? Gotta keep believing in love stories - even if mine is in a really long, really slow, really dry chapter. Sometimes you just have to keep reading the book to get to the good parts, so I'm gonna do that.


FAMILY:
Last Quarter's Goal: Keep guiding and teaching my kids. SUCCESS.
Next Quarter's Goal #1: Plan more outings and have more fun.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret family goal.

Last quarter, I said, "I hope I can continue to mentor Joey as she works to be a positive influence on those around her, and that I can keep boosting Eden's sense of self as she continues to thrive and make friends in her age group."

These were pretty solid #momgoals at that time, too - at thirteen years old, Josephine has been through her own share of hard times and she's got a super sweet heart underneath what I like to call her "hard, crunchy exterior." And as such, she tends to relate best and be most attracted to the kids I wish she wouldn't hang out with. We therefore spend a lot of time talking about how important it is to be a light to others without being swallowed up by their darkness. Thirteen is an impressionable age, where girls want to do whatever their friends are doing to fit in. But since she has a lot of friends doing things I'd rather my daughter not get into, I'm making an extra special effort to remind her that she can control what direction the influence goes - and to teach her that while it's okay to feel for and want to help others, she must be careful not to soak up other peoples' problems and make them her own. With Eden, the goal is a little different - she's eight and struggling mightily with her abundance of ADHD/Anxiety and her underdeveloped coping mechanisms. These things tend to make her a little challenging to be around because her energy and her constant chatter simply don't allow for much back-and-forth with others. Despite this, she craves that back-and-forth and is always seeking it - which gets overwhelming even for people who take the time and have the ability to understand it. But as her mother, I want to teach her to control the impulses so that she will be able to form and maintain healthy friendships with her peers at school.

But despite the seriousness of these teaching and the later impact they'll have on my daughters as women, I want very much for them to learn that life isn't always about being serious and looking forward. Our little family has a pretty complicated life these days, and I don't want that to be all they remember from their childhood - so as we move into the next quarter (and beyond), I'd like to make more of a conscious effort to coach my kids into having fun as a family. Obviously, our family outings are infrequent due to our school schedule and litany of various appointments, and with my single-mom budget our outings have to be super affordable - but having fun is free, and that's another lesson I want them to learn.


BUSINESS/CAREER:
Last Quarter's Goal: Finish writing Still Fighting For Freedom. ALTERED
Next Quarter's Goal: Finish writing Still Fighting For Freedom!

This one was a miserable failure - again. It was actually for a good reason this time though, I swear! At first, writing Still Fighting For Freedom was left on the back burner because I was overwhelmed with summertime and everything going on - but as the third quarter of 2017 progressed, I left Still Fighting For Freedom consciously on the back burner because I had an opportunity come my way that simply couldn't be ignored. Through this opportunity, I was able to obtain brand new, completely stunning, utterly unbelievable new covers for ALL of my books. Including Still Fighting For Freedom, which isn't even written yet! This has been the biggest blessing of the entire quarter for me, and I'm still in shock over it. All of the new covers will be rolling out to the various book markets in the next few months, but the new Selkie covers are now LIVE! (Seriously, go look. They're amazing!)

Which means that I've still got a book to write - and this quarter, I hope to write it.


FINANCE:
Last Quarter's Goal #1: 1000 page views a month. SUCCESS.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Increase affiliate commissions by 20%. SUCCESS.
Last Quarter's Goal #3: Increase Patreon income to $40. ALTERED.
Next Quarter's Goal #1: 1250 page views a month.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goal.
Next Quarter's Goal #3: 10 patrons on Patreon.

This was a good quarter for views, and I was super thankful to have so much help with post shares, as well as the interaction I had with readers through comments left on my posts. It has been an incredible year for this blog so far, and even when I get a little discouraged at the speed of growth, I am still always amazed at how much fun it is to watch this community grow. The little bump in affiliate earnings was much appreciated too - these little bits of income all add up to a big difference for my family - I've even started adding a monthly PhLog on Patreon, telling my patrons a little about how the income impacts the girls and I.

And speaking of Patreon - it didn't hit the $40 goal, but that's partly because I took some time to totally revamp the page and how the goals there are set up. Now they aren't set at $$ values, but on Patron numbers - because I'm changing up how I do things there. The way it's set up now, meeting the goals on Patron will mean a content/value increase for every patron! For example, I'm currently posting one new fiction chapter/story a month (on the $1 subscription tier) - but when my Patreon community hits 50 patrons, I'm going to double the output, which means for the same $1, every patron subscribed will have access to twice as much content! (Obviously, patrons subscribing at higher levels will have more rewards as well.)

With my new goals, I'm really looking forward to the next quarter! I'm hoping the increase in page views and blog traffic will help me continue to grow my community here as well as on Patreon, and hitting my book sales goal each month this quarter would be a major encouragement as I look toward making time to write another book.


FUN/RECREATION:
Last Quarter's Goal: Make more "Me Time." SUCCESS.
Next Quarter's Goal: Read at least one book every month.

I didn't manage to create "me time" every day - but I did do it often enough to help myself make it through a quarter that was hard emotionally and full of unexpected challenges. Taking the time to paint my nails or spend a day vegging out watching YouTube made a huge difference for me, and on days when that simply wasn't possible, a few minutes in the sun, an extra cup of coffee, or switching my usual shower products for my "nice" lifted my moods and helped me so much! In the coming quarter, I'd like to keep working on maintaining the balance of self-care - it makes me both a better person and a better mother. But I miss reading too, and when life gets overwhelming, I forget to take time to enjoy books. This quarter, I'll be making a point to read at least a little every few days! (Keep an eye on the sidebar for what I'm reading as I go along!)


SOCIAL:
Last Quarter's Goal: Nurture my social circle. SUCCESS
Next Quarter's Goal: Quiet the "noise" of social media. (Follow less than 100 accounts on Twitter/Insta, and more effectively utilize my FB newsfeed controls.)

This quarter I continued to see fluctuations and changes in the people who were part of my daily life - some changes were good, and others saddened me deeply, but in the end I felt much better about the people in my life and much more blessed by them. I'm still making a point to reach out to the kinds of people I want in my life, and still distancing myself slowly from people I no longer want in my circle - but this is a process that's not always easy and is often painful. Still, the changes are worth it, and the results are encouraging - which leads me to next quarter's goal - to take the noise of my social media accounts and turn it down.

How so? Well, I follow 129 accounts on Twitter, many of which post about 70 times a day and most of which I don't really care about anymore. Several are accounts that actually post so often they end up drowning out everything else, and even if each account only posted once a day, 129 tweets is a lot to scroll through on my newsfeed - I can't possibly see everyone I follow. So I'm going to follow less people, more carefully picking and choosing who I follow. I follow 125 accounts on Instagram, and I'll be working to bring that down a bit, too. As far as Facebook goes - I'm going to be more careful of what I see there, because the multitude of rude and ugly people has completely stolen the joy of Facebook for me. I've actually lost friends in the last few years - not because I can't respect other people's opinions, but because they don't respect mine. And it's not about silencing or not hearing other people who have differing opinions ... it's about shutting down the way negative people and overabundant posturing impacts me personally. To me, it's the same thing as turning off a show I no longer want to watch, or muting a commercial that doesn't interest me. And I'm going to stop feeling bad about doing it.

Well, so much for keeping this post short, huh? I guess I'd better sign off - I ended up with 13 goals, so I've got a lot to accomplish! What are your goals for this quarter?

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Quick Disclaimer: Since I am using affiliate links here, remember that if you choose to click product links on my site and end up purchasing through them, I will receive a (very) small commission for referring you. Rest assured that this is at no extra cost to you, but my family and I appreciate your support. (If you'd like to see a list of other companies I'm currently working with, click here.)
Thanks for following along and letting me share my goals with you! I hope they inspire you to set your own list of quarterly goals, and that if you do, you'll come back to share them with me! In the meantime, if you had to set just one goal right now, what would it be? Drop it in the comments, and lets see if we have any goals in common! If you enjoyed this post, please take the time to look around - and if you find something that really resonates with you, I'd love if you shared it with your friends!

While you're here, I'd love for you to hang out and follow along with my journey; if you subscribe to this blog by filling out the "subscribe by email" form in the sidebar, you can rest assured you'll never miss a post. And while the darker content of this blog may not always be easy to read, I truly hope that through the light days breaking up the darkness, we'll learn from and inspire each other - not only through my stories, but through those of the undaunted women who choose to participate in the Undaunted Interview series.

Come on over to Patreon too - you can sign up to sponsor my writing journey for as little as $1 a month, your dollar gets you access to all sorts of content - including photos and mini-blogs from my personal life and advance peeks at my fiction writing, which is a pretty slick deal for just over $.03 a day. Want a little more,? For $2 a month you'll also get to vote for upcoming content, read my upcoming poetry release as it's written, and have access to weekly L.A.F.F.S. - and the best part is that as my patronage grows, so do the benefits for every patron! Our goal right now is 25 patrons, and when we hit that goal, my PhLogs will start going up daily!! (Click that link. Most are subscriber-only, but one each month is marked public - there's even a little tribute to my favorite "person!")

However we stay connected, whether it's through my books, this blog, my social media profiles, or even Patreon, you can always rest assured that my brand is built on the concept of what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman." So whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here.

2 comments:

  1. What a great way to set goals. I find it hard to determine what I want to achieve in the upcoming months when I tend to look at it in more broad terms but this allows me to break it down into more bite size pieces that are both focused and measurable. Thanks for the great idea.

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    1. No problem! I got the idea from an author I follow, actually - she does them and it really helps her stay on track. Just one small little goal at a time. I tend to get overwhelmed if I look at my life as a whole and compare where I am now to where I'd like to be, but breaking it down and just saying, "Okay, here's the thing I'd like to do next," really helps me look at the smaller pieces of my "bigger picture."

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