Quarterly Goals 2019, #1

It has been maybe two solid years since I started taking the time to actually sit down and write out my quarterly goals, inspired by Jenna Moreci's now-retired video series sharing her own successes and failures with her goals. Over the time I've been making these lists on my own, I've seen my own fair share of both failures and successes, including one quarter when I was one hundred percent expecting a major fail and still ended up coming out on top.

One thing I've learned from these lists is that I really tend to be incredibly hard on myself; it was only in actually tracking my goals and my progress that I realized how skewed my own perspective of my effort was - and how truly discouraging that perspective ended up being.

So with that in mind, here are my first quarter goals as we make our way into this new year:

Last 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. PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Actually read, write, or listen to at least one devotional program 90 times (once daily, with allowance for "catching up).

This goal was much more specific, which helped a lot with trying to decide on a pass or fail. Last quarter was hard for me in terms of writing and staying focused on moving my blog forward, but it was a good quarter for moving closer to God and making an effort to strengthen my faith. This quarter I'd like to keep that going by making sure to spend some devotional time with God every day - whether that's in reading devotionals, listening to my favorite biblical teachers, or simply sitting down alone to study the Word.

That being said, I am still allowing myself space to catch up on teachings I might have missed or days when I didn't have as much time to read.

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

Next Quarter's Goal: Listen to 90 self-help and/or persond development podcasts.

I did make the effort last quarter, and I think this would have been a pass if I had simply had less going on in my life. Still, this quarter I'd like to work on managing my stress better so that I can manage my time more effectively - and one of the best ways to do that is just to give myself time, space, and encouragement to grow.

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

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Drink 50 ounces of water every day.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Complete 20 16-hour fasts.

I'm not at all surprised at the way these two goals ended up, honestly. With my Grandmother's death, my mother's series of hospital stays, my daughters' various health issues, and my own physical and mental health probums, this was a hectic couple of months, so it's no wonder I struggled to drink enough water but had no probem at all skipping meals to adhere to my fasting program.

In this new quarter, I'll keep my water goal the same in hopes of actually accomplishing it, while bumping my intermittent fasting schedule slightly to keep it challenging.

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

No comment here, because not much has changed. I'm still seeing prospects come and go, but mostly I just don't have a lot of time in my life right now for pursuing this actively.

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

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Plan and execute 15 or more fun family days.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Same as last time - accomplish the secret family goal 70 times or more.

These two surprised me, actually; I had expected them to be relatively easy with all the fun, free events and festivals coming up in our area over the Christmas holiday. But then my Grandmother died just before Thanksgiving, and after that all thought of hayrides and light shows totally fell away. Still, we did manage a good number of fun outings, and the craziness of everything going on actually helped me manage my secret goal as well!

In this new quarter, I'll be shooting for 15 or more fun family days with my kids - days which can be as simple as hanging at home playing cards or board games, or as thought out and planned as a wandering day spent exploring our city. I'll also be keeping my secret family goal as well - 70 seemed like a good shooting point last quarter, so this quarter will be the same.

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 5,000 words on SFFF.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Catch up all writing tasks and Patreon rewards.

The best report I can give here is that while I was horribly overwhelmed and deeply depressed, I did want to accomplish these two goals. That being said, I failed with embarrassing thoroughness.

So with that in mind, I'm adjusting the SFFF goal slightly to give myself some space, and I'm keeping my "catch up" goal the same. Hopefully accomplishing the second goal will give me the boost (and the free time) to accomplish the first.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: 3000 page views a month. FAIL.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goalFAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1:  Get back to 2500 page views a month.
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Secret book sales goal - same as last time.

The first month of last quarter was actually great, and I hit all of my goals in this category. Then the holidays hit like a whirlwind, an appointment at the end of October had me stressed, the results of that appointment took a huge load off my shoulders but still left many things I'd been waiting for at a standstill, and things got a bit stressful. I was short on cash, short on time, and long on obligations - and it was maybe the worst possible time for a family death, a family hospitalization, a PTSD flare-up, and holiday stress to converge.

By the end of the quarter, not only was I not hitting my goals anymore, I was too messed up to really even care - even as I hated the mess I was making.

To those who stuck with me, reached out, checked in, and kept believing ... thank you. You're the reason I can stay undaunted - and the reason I keep wanting to try.

Last Quarter's Goal #1: Keep working on making my secret self-care goal a more solid habitHALF-ASS PASS.
Last Quarter's Goal #2: Read four books. FAIL.

Next Quarter's Goal #1: Make my secret self-care goal a more solid habit - shoot for daily this time!
Next Quarter's Goal #2: Read five books.

The theme here of last quarter being very difficult to cope through sticks with this area of my goals too. My self-care wasn't great and I didn't put as much effort into better habits as I had intended. Some of this was just due to being busy and overwhelmed, but there was a definite mental health factor involved as well.

In fact, the dip in my mental health in the last quarter is why I didn't meet my reading goal, too. I was having enough trouble just making it through each day; I just didn't have the soul energy to care all that much about reading. At one point, it got so bad I could barely even tolerate music.

I did, however, make some progress toward my self-care goal, and I also ended up finishing two books:

  • Slow Hands, by Leslie Kelly: A sweet, quick read with several steamy hot moments, a couple of laugh out loud misunderstandings, and more than enough charm to make it worth the read. This book was a great escape from the stressors of my life lately, and the reading gave me both time to decompress and a reminder of why I'm so in love with writing romance myself.
  • His Lady Mistress, by Elizabeth Rolls: This was a sweet read that had a beautiful balance of cheesy romance and heartrending character development. There were places in this book that had me smiling, places that had me laughing, and more than a few places that had me crying silently as I lay in bed reading. There was one particular part in the book where the male MC asked the female MC what she really wanted out of life, and as she told him her longing to simply belong, I had a moment of absolute ugly cry. Being a creative romantic with a heart probably somewhat too full of hopes and dreams wasn't easy in a family full of hard, traumatized people with too much experience and often too little compassion … I was quite different, and I knew I was, and it took a long time before I learned how build what I call my "found family" - the people who love who and what I am regardless, the people who take the time and make the effort to understand, the ones who go out of their way to let me know I do belong and am wanted.

Both books were great reads, and I'm looking forward to getting my groove back as I seek renewal in my life in this new year.

Last Quarter's Goal: Make a consistent effort to build up the people around me. HALF-ASS PASS.

Next Quarter's Goal: Thank someone around me at least once daily.

The only thing really wrong with this goal in the last quarter was that I found it to be a little too unspecific. I was consistent, I did make a serious effort, but this goal wasn't exactly measurable last quarter. This quarter I'm going to be more intentional and more specific - and I hope that little change is what it takes to pull a success on this goal.

If you've been following along with the PASS/FAIL ratio, you'll have noticed that we're at 4 passes, 2 half-ass passes, and 7 fails, which is a fail for this past quarter. Here's hoping this first quarter of 2019 is set to be less eventful, more hopeful, more successful, and all-around spectacular for all of us!

What are the goals you're working on in your life? Do you set quarterly goals - and if you do, do you use categories like me? Or do you just wing it? Either way, what goal is heaviest on your heart right now, and what are you doing to accomplish it?

If you liked this post, drop a comment below to tell me what you'd like to see in future posts and what your goals are this quarter. I'd love your feedback and the chance to interact with you! It would also be great if you took a second to share the link to this post with your friends - it helps me connect with new readers, which is always a win-win!

I would also like to invite you to become a member of the Undaunted Army! In joining, you'll agree to receive a free monthly email that'll keep you up to date on all the latest in nurturing your mental health, well-being, and self-empowerment. I know how hard it can be to keep going - but there is strength in numbers, and as a member of the Undaunted Army, you have the assurance of knowing you will never fight your battles alone again because I'll only be one quick email away! Let's keep in touch!

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However we stay connected, always know that my brand and the Undaunted Army are built on what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman" isn't just a slogan or a tagline - it's a purpose and a goal, which is why whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being here.