Quarterly Goals 2018, #4

Last quarter, I said the previous quarter was the hardest I've pushed through since I started listing and posting my quarterly goals. Apparently, I hadn't yet realized the complexity with which 2018 was going to level-up my life. If this were a game, I'd be tripping over bosses and battles almost constantly, and I'm pretty sure I'd have a record number of respawns by now. (Pretty sure all it took was that one sentence for real gamers to be able to tell I'm not part of that particular club.)

That being said, I still find keeping these lists to be incredibly helpful in keeping myself motivated to try - even on days when the thing I do most spectacularly is fail. On those days, listing my goals and taking time to look back through those lists helps me take time to think about where I want my life to go - and what I need to do in order to move forward.

And, in quarters like this one where I managed an incredible amount of failures, these lists are also a great way to remind myself of my successes, regardless of how small they may seem.

Still, tracking my accomplishments is something I have really struggled with, because when I miss a goal one day, I allow myself to "make it up" on another day - but I also tend to allow me to beat myself up over missing days to the point where I end up missing more days due to the mental health hit. I think changing up my tracking method would be really helpful with this because it will allow me to focus on where my interests lie, with respect to the variations in my interests and the changing demands on my time. So this quarter I'm going to be trying something new - stay tuned to my Instagram stories and highlights for more on that, but in the meantime, let's start this new quarter!

Last Quarter's Goal: Keep up with my daily devotionals and continue focusing on my trust in God's provision for my family. HALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Stay focused on God and attentive as He continues to work in my life, building more dedication to spending devotional time daily.

I'm not giving myself a fail on this one because I did actually work hard to foster my trust in God's presence and provision in my life. I also made a point to spend time in my Bible, though it wasn't quite as regular as I would have liked. Still, there was a marked change in my focus and my prayer life, which is why I'm giving myself a "half-ass pass" - to acknowledge the progress even as I acknowledge the incompletion.

Last Quarter's Goal: Rebuild the habit of listening to a personal development podcast daily. HALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Focus more on making sure I spend time learning and growing - listen to 90 self-help and/or personal development podcasts.

This one was a struggle for me, not because I wasn't listening to podcasts but because my tracking fell off almost completely this quarter. So I can't say I listened to a podcast daily, but I can say that I listened to a crapton of podcasts during driving times, evenings, etc. Which is, again, why I'm counting the "half-ass pass." In the next quarter, instead of counting this goal as a daily to-do, I'm just going to keep a 90-block tracker - which I'll be sharing on my Instagram stories as the quarter goes on, so that I can stay accountable for my progress.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: Drink 75 ounces of water every day. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Purchase and implement medication organizersPASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #3: Address better pain management options. PASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #4: Continue intermittent fasting 3x weekly. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Drink 50 ounces of water every day.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Get back to intermittent fasting 3x weekly - complete 15 16-hour fasts.

This was a big quarter for me, health-wise. I got a lot of answers about my health issues and made a lot of progress in finding the right treatments for my individual issues. That being said, those issues weren't helped by my addiction to caffeine, my inattention to drinking enough water, or my loosening of the intermittent fasting habit. Still, part of this was just due to my not being as able to track things regularly in this last quarter - I was struggling quite a lot with my mental health issues as well, so I'm just feeling happy to have made it this far and progressed as much as I have.

I did end up getting some medication organizers for the girls and I, and they have been incredibly helpful - both in the point of reducing the daily med-stress as well as in helping with my effort to coordinate all of our prescription refills. I know myself well enough to know that dropping caffeine isn't really an option at this point, but what I am going to do is turn my focus back to water in a more conscious way. And of course, I'm excited to get back to intermittent fasting - I really had missed it, but simply didn't have the motivation to discipline myself into it.

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

I'm still choosing not to put much focus on setting goals for this part of my life - I've got loads going on right now with my health, my kids's health, financial changes, and the upcoming move. Am I interested in dating and that sort of thing? Of course I am, and I wouldn't turn down Mr. Right if he happened to show up in my life - but right now, I'm not searching.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: One weekly family fun day. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Secret family goal. HALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Plan and execute 10 or more fun family outings with the girls!
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret family goal, not daily but at least 70 times.

This was another area where tracking my goals based on certain time frames increased the challenge on my mental health in ways I couldn't really handle. I also struggle to cope with the warmer summer weather, and I tend to stay in as much as possible - but as fall rolls in and winter approaches, Knoxville will come alive with festivals and opportunities for outings in the cooler air. I hope to take advantage of that in this quarter, getting my girls out of the house for some fresh fall air.

As for my secret goal, attempting to accomplish this daily last quarter was eventually so damaging that my daughters were commenting on how it impacted my mental health. However, while it isn't a goal I can simply stop pursuing, it's definitely one I'd like to get more balanced control over

Last Quarter's Goal: Write at least 10,000 words on SFFF. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Catch up all writing tasks and Patreon rewards. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Write at least 10,000 words on SFFF.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Catch up all writing tasks and Patreon rewards.

While I didn't accomplish either of these goals completely, I did make small progress on both of them, which I am proud of. Acknowledging the struggles with my mental health and the goings-on in my personal life, I'm choosing to see this failure with grace and give myself the compassion I need in order to be able to keep moving. In the coming quarter, I hope to increase my writing output in a way that will allow me to finally check these goals off and set some new ones.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: 2500 page views a month. PASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goalHALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal #1:  3000 page views a month.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goal - same as last time.

It so excites me to be able to say I accomplished my page view goal every single month in the last quarter. I love that this blog is growing, that people are seeing my content and coming back for more - because in sharing my story I'm hoping to do so much more than make money and sell books. What I want is to share in a way that offers hope and companionship to people like me, people who have suffered and struggled, people who need a boost, people who need to be reminded that they are worth so much more than they've accepted. People who want to learn, grow, and improve. Through this blog, I hope to encourage the Undaunted - and I can only do that when I'm being seen. That being said, I'll be shooting for 3000 page views each month of this quarter!

My book sales goal will stay the same. I set a total download goal each month, including consideration for the fact that one of my books is actually free - but I also set a paid sales and income goal to keep myself consciously growing. In the last quarter, I hit various levels of success with both of those goals, so I'm going to keep them the same as I attempt a more regular pattern of success with this. After all, slow and steady wins the race, right?

Last Quarter's Goal #1: Improve more regular accomplishment of my secret self-care goal. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Read four books. HALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Keep working on making my secret self-care goal a more solid habit.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Read four books.

This quarter was rough on these goals. I spent a lot of time feeling overwhelmed and completely swamped - for a while, I was actually attending various routine appointments 4 times a week, not including other incidental appointments and obligations. I got to the point where I was cancelling or rescheduling things, sometimes because I was double-booked, other times because I was so exhausted or upset, or in such severe pain that I just couldn't bring myself to leave the house.

I did, however, get some reading done - though the books I read were combined purpose. I did enjoy reading them quite a lot, but the original purpose of every book I read this quarter was to generate income as a freelance proofreader. I love the connections I've made, I love the way that has been working out, and I'm looking forward to seeing continued growth in that area of my life. That being said, I'm still shooting for four pleasure-reads this quarter - and I'm determined to check them off.

Last Quarter's Goal: Tell someone I'm thankful for them daily. HALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Make a consistent effort to build up the people around me.

In the last quarter, I did pretty well at taking the time to express gratitude to my favorite people - but I can't say with honestly that I did it every day or that this effort was as balanced as I would have liked it to be. So this quarter I'm changing it up a little, and while I still plan to tell my loved ones how thankful I am for their presences and influences in my life, what I want most is to make sure I've done something daily to make someone else more Undaunted. The world around us is becoming more and more ugly every day, with a toxic spread of pettiness and anger fueled by resentments, misunderstandings, and an unwillingness to hear each other out. We aren't focused on encouraging each other to grow and thrive - we're too caught up in the desire to bully and badger each other into becoming what we want them to be. In this quarter, I want to make more of a point of finding the traits inherent to the people around me and what they naturally relate to and thrive in, and I want to water those seeds in the people I love.

Because yelling at a rose for being a rose won't make it a daisy. It's much better for both the flower and the gardener if the rose is appreciated for what it is rather than shamed for what it is not.

If you've been following along with the PASS/FAIL ratio, you'll have noticed that we're at 3 passes, 6 half-ass passes, and 6 fails, which is quite a mix-up. Depending on how you look at it, we can call it either a solid win based on passes + half-ass passes, or we can call it a solid fail based on half-ass + fails.

Me? I'm just calling it an effort - one in which I gave the best I could, even when that wasn't a lot. Moving forward, I'd really like to focus more on consistency, and I think this is a going to be a great quarter of change in my life. Good or bad remains to be seen - but today, I'm optimistic.

What are you working on in your life? Do you set quarterly goals - or goals at all? If so, what goal is heaviest on your heart right now, and what are you doing to accomplish it?

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