Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quarterly Goals 2017, #2

In January, I shared my first list of quarterly goals, inspired by Jenna Moreci's series of quarterly goals videos on YouTube. She's been posting those videos for a while now, and every time I watch one, I feel totally inspired because it reminds me that I'm not the only one who has to actually set goals in order to make themselves get a haircut or go to the doctor - and it didn't take long for me to start thinking I needed to set my own list of quarterly goals. Still, I took my time getting into it, thinking about what kinds of goals I'd like to set, what number of goals would be right for me - enough to be challenging but not enough to be overwhelming - and how I might go about implementing various goals.

Finally, I was ready. I set my first list, I made it through my first quarter - and now, it's time for the recap. To read the full text of my goals for last quarter and why I chose them, please click here - otherwise, you'll get the basic lineup by continuing on. In the first quarter, my goals were:
  • SPIRITUAL: finally memorize my customized, non-denominational rosary prayer pattern. With everything going on, I didn't end up practicing as much as I had planned - I actually lost my handmade rosary bracelet for a few days when I took it off to wash dishes and fell asleep that night with it in my pocket. I was so upset thinking it was lost, but I mostly kept up my practice with using my (also handmade) necklace instead. For those few days, the necklace worked well enough, but honestly, it just wasn't as convenient for me - my necklace rosary is a stunning piece of jewelry (if I do say so myself), but I'm not really a necklace person so I bought myself a stainless steel decade ring that I could keep with me at all times. I did end up finding my bracelet (in my bed) later that week, but by then I had already received my ring and fallen in love with it. Anyway, this one is a FAIL.
  • PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: keep going to weekly therapy. This quarter, I missed one appointment because we had a snow day combined with a scheduling conflict, one appointment because my therapist was out of town, and one other appointment because ... I think I was sick or something. Three appointments out of three months? I'm counting this as a WIN.
  • HEALTH: get back to drinking 100 ounces a day. FAIL. I'm still drinking more water than before, but nowhere near 100 ounces yet. 
  • ROMANCE: N/A
  • FAMILY: make a point of complimenting my kids daily. I didn't actually do this daily, but the extra effort to notice and uplift my kids really paid off even with the things we've had going on in our personal lives, and I think this has had a major impact in their security and confidence levels. Both girls are (mostly) thriving despite the continued absence of their dad, and I'm proud to be one of the people they trust to coach them through life's challenges. So even though I didn't do it daily, my kids' healthy confidence won't allow me to count this as anything other than a WIN.
  • BUSINESS/CAREER: Write more. I definitely did this! WIN! I did more blogging in January than I had done in the entire last seven months of 2016! I also wrote several new short stories for my Patreon subscribers and worked to make progress on Still Fighting For Freedom, which is still coming along - slowly. 
  • FINANCE: hit 1500 monthly page views on this blog at least twice. WIN! January was a new top month for me, and I'm happy to report that February and March kept up nicely! Every month hit 1500 - by a landslide! In fact, I hit 5000 page views in March, thanks to you guys commenting and sharing my content! Thank you!
  • FINANCE: double my income streams from both Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliate marketing. This one is a WIN
  • FINANCE: attract new Patreon readers in hopes of hitting my first goal (enough subscribers to make $10 a month on that account). This was a FAIL - which is sad for me because those stories are so much fun to write, and I love being able to share them. However, I did add a few new things to my Patron rewards this quarter, which has been a ton of fun!
  • FUN/RECREATION: let myself enjoy life more and stop stressing over things that are outside my control. FAIL. I stressed about everything this quarter - including how stressed I was about my stress. PTSD/anxiety is a bitch. 
  • SOCIAL: reach out to loved ones every day. Just like with my daughters, I didn't accomplish this every day - but I'm choosing not to kick myself for that because I did do this most days, and my relationships are all richer for it. I've even managed to make some new friends, too! WIN!
It's a majority win and I'm feeling pretty good about this first quarter! So, in the effort to keep up and continue the momentum I've built so far this year - and under the weight of continued accountability to you, my readers - here are my goals for the second quarter of 2017 - using the same categories as last time, which I originally found here:

SPIRITUAL:
Since I didn't accomplish my spiritual goal from last quarter (although in my defense, I did make progress), I'm keeping last quarter's goal in hopes that I'll accomplish it this time. So this quarter, my goal is to pray with my beads often enough to finally memorize my rosary prayer.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT:
For this quarter, I'm planning to go easy on myself and recycle last quarter's goal. I'm going to keep going to weekly therapy sessions - and I'm not keeping that goal as a way of cheating, but as a way of continuing to treat myself like I matter, too. Going to therapy is a HUGE thing for me to do - despite my openness here, I am actually quite a private person, so going into therapy and choosing to discuss my issues in such intimate detail has been incredibly challenging. Doing it in an out-loud, face-to-face format has been one of the hardest challenges I've ever set for myself. So I'll keep doing it, even when facing my demons feels like it's killing me.

HEALTH:
Since this one was a fail last time, I still need to get back to drinking at least 100 ounces of water a day. Even with acknowledging that I'm closer than I was before, I'm still nowhere near close enough to count this as a success, and I'm honest enough to admit to myself that if I don't keep working at it, not only will the ounces NOT go up - they will go DOWN.

ROMANCE:
I'm still not really thinking about romance in a personal way right now - I'm actually enjoying being by myself, and while I do occasionally have bouts of lonesomeness, I like knowing that I don't need approval for every aspect of my life anymore. I'm getting used to feeling free again, which is nice, and I'm not ready to think about giving that up yet.  I'm still including this category for anyone who might want to use this list for their own quarterly goal-setting though, and also because it'll be a good reminder for me to keep checking in with where I am and how I'm feeling about my romantic standing when we get to the next quarter.

FAMILY:
My goal this quarter is to just keep lifting my daughters up. They're both still dealing with waves of sadness as they face their feelings of abandonment, and while it's not like their dad is totally out of the picture, the irregularity of their time with him has definitely led to some serious emotional suffering for them. Never knowing if or when he'll show up for them has been a major issue for both girls, and while I wish I could make this better, all I can do is continue to hold their hands and assure them that none of this is in any way their fault. I just want to keep raising strong young women - I spent a large part of my childhood feeling unwanted and unprotected, and my heart breaks at the thought that my daughters are walking around feeling that every day too. I want them to see a stark contrast between what it feels like to be abandoned, and what it feels like to have someone in your life who will NEVER abandon you.

BUSINESS/CAREER:
This quarter, I'm hoping to keep growing my blog! I've been having a blast transitioning into the lifestyle category, brainstorming blog post ideas, and networking with other bloggers. But while I still plan to write here every other day AND keep writing great new fiction content for my Patreon subscribers, I also plan to make a more significant dent in my current novel-in-progress Still Fighting For Freedom. My current circumstances have made this story an incredibly difficult one to immerse myself in, but with the help of my therapist and my own personal determination to heal and succeed, I hope to tackle this book and - if not actually release it - at least finish writing Still Fighting For Freedom. Which brings me to my ...

FINANCES:
I have some personal things in the works that I don't plan to share here, but my goal in this second quarter is to continue pursuing the changes I set in motion in the first quarter of 2017. I don't know how long this particular goal might take, but my intention is to keep pursuing it actively. While the emotional aspects of my breakup from the kids's dad are healing over (at least, for me), the financial aspects are still a challenge. In this quarter, I hope my writing will continue to grow to support my family.

To that end, I've continued to keep Google Adsense ads on this site, in a way that I hope will be effective without being intrusive. I've also continued to explore affiliate marketing, which has actually been a lot of fun - I joined an affiliate network, which has lots of different companies for me to choose from and work with, and I've spent the first quarter of the year looking into my options. Last quarter, I began to align myself with some really great and super fun companies, and this quarter I intend to keep creating content around promoting the products and companies I love. Also, as I mentioned before, I still have hopes of growing my Patreon account. Come check it out - you can have access to all of the monthly short stories for just $1 a month! And of course, I'm still marketing my books.

So to break it down, my financial goals for this quarter are:
  • Maintain monthly page views of at least 5000. I hit 5k last month, so I know I can do it again - my goal is to hit 5k at least twice this quarter. (I would love your help with this! If you like my posts, please share them with your friends - and always feel free to leave comments. If you like it here, spread the word to others who might like it here too!)
  • double my affiliate sales commissions. (Want to help with this one, too? When you see a product linked on my site, it's probably an affiliate link. If that's a product you think you'd like for yourself, buy it through my links. It doesn't cost you anything extra, and my family receives a small blessing commission. Also, feel free to check this page at anytime - I'll always have a current list of the companies I'm working with, along with any discounts I might be able to pass along to you.)
  • increase my Google Adsense pay by at least 50%. (Just like with the Amazon affiliate links, you can help me with this by clicking ads on this page - IF and WHEN they relate to you and your family. Don't do it just to do it, but if you see something you like, feel free to click on it and check it out. Another way you can help is just by being here to read my posts, and sharing them with your friends to helping me increase my traffic.)
  • Attract new readers to my Patreon account, in hopes of reaching my first Patreon goal. As I mentioned before, this is a great creative outlet for me, and I've really enjoyed working in the short story format. Some of you who have been with me for a long time might remember the PicPrompts I used to post here every week. My Patreon stories are just like those; each story has a photographic inspiration, which I'll share with the story. The stories are usually around 2000 words - quick enough to read while relaxing in the bath, waiting for dinner to cook, sitting in the parent pickup line, etc. And for just a dollar a month, this is a big help to me while staying super inexpensive for you. (You can help with this one, if you so choose, by signing up here.)

FUN/RECREATION:
Last quarter, I set myself a goal that really boiled down to one thing - get better at self-care. Not the health kind, but the kind that's fun. Still, I stressed too much, slept too little, and kicked myself too often. So in this quarter I'm going to keep focusing on healing myself - which means taking it easy now and then. Allowing myself some freedom. Listening to empowering and uplifting music. Giving myself time to read. Last quarter, I made sure I spent time slathering myself with lotion, pampering my feet, and testing out face masks with the girls - this quarter, I plan to keep that up and also keep practicing positive affirmations.

SOCIAL:
Last quarter, I made an effort to reach out more and to be more positive. This quarter, my goal is to maintain that effort - I want to keep reaching out, keep connecting, and keep ENJOYING the connection. In the past, I have a history of trusting the wrong people, opening up to the wrong people, and being so determined to see the good in others that I would sometimes ignore glaring signs that "the good" simply wasn't there. So this quarter, I want to keep reaching out - to the right people. I want to develop discernment. And I want to learn better ways to erect emotional barriers against people who are toxic to my mental well-being.

So basically, it's going to be one hell of a spectacular quarter. What are your goals?

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36 comments:

  1. You Go Girl! One foot in front of the other...

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  2. It's hard to drink that much water in a day. My doctor told me that we only need about 65 ounces, so maybe try that first :)

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    1. The general rule for water based on weight (the same as the way we do calories, but with water) is that you'll take your weight in pounds and divide it by two - that number is the number of ounces your body needs to take in on a daily basis. Since I'm a plus-sized woman, I need a plus-sized amount of water to keep my kidneys flushing and things like that.

      But you definitely don't go from just a little water to a huge amount like that - that can actually overwhelm the body, so you're meant to just work up little by little.

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  3. I love your goals. I would love to hit 5k page views as well! Keep doing what you're doing, and everything will work out <4

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  4. Great goals! Spending more time with family is always a goal of mine!

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  5. Good luck with your goals. I'm always working on drinking more water too. Some days are better than others.

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    1. That's where I'm at. Sometimes I'm thirsty and it's easier, but other days, I feel like I'm drowning. On those days I tend to lay off a little, give my body a break.

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  6. I think that giving someone praise everyday will definitely boost their self confidence and I know that it makes me happy when someone pays me a compliment. Hope that therapy is going ok x

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    1. I'm hoping it'll be a good way to boost my girls. They are regularly exposed to certain things I simply CANNOT cut them off from, things that I can see hurting the way they see themselves - and while I can't change it or stop it (yet), the least I can do is combat it by teaching them that they ARE valuable, beautiful, smart, worthy, and loved.

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  7. I love that one of you goals if to compliment the kids daily. This is something I want to start doing as well. It sounds like you have some really good goals set and I hope you achieve them!

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    1. Thanks - I hope so too! And if not ... well, there's always the next quarter, right?

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  8. Well someday this will work for me. This is my third pass at responding to this. Ah well. Given how lovely my comment section was I definitely cannot complain. Just going to say, I totally get the romance part. I think you have to love yourself. The N/A portion on this quarter did make me laugh. And the abandonment thing with the family, I wish I didn't feel like my ex wanted me to abandon my daughter so she could prove to be the self-righteous one. It's hard having that feeling. And it makes me feel awful on the inside. It also makes me wonder if I am set up for failure. Ah well. I hope your quarter is amazing this quarter. And good luck with getting 5000 visits per month. Just as a question, are you using Google Analytics to get those numbers?

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    1. Aww, thanks for trying so many times, David!

      The weird thing (about me) is that I DO love myself, and that actually was the problem in my case. I was supposed to be meek and mild, subservient in all things, the worshiping and adoring Stepford spouse who wanted nothing, needed nothing, and maintained nothing of her own. It wasn't until I really started to BECOME myself (in a more confident and self-assured way) that everything began to go south. And I don't think it was because I became difficult (although in some ways, I'm sure I did) - it was because ... well. Other reasons.

      I'm sorry you're feeling that kind of push from your ex - I would ask if she knows she's doing that, but knowing divorce like I do, I imagine it's possible that she does. Man, co-parenting is rough, huh? You just being there - as a girl who was once a daughter, I can tell you that your daughter will see your effort and if she feels secure in the fact that you love her, then you've done all you can as a Dad.

      Thanks for the good wishes! For the moment, I'm just using the built-in counters with Blogger. I know they're notoriously inaccurate, but they're matching up fairly well with what I'm seeing with AdSense stats too, and that's enough for me. I would use Analytics though, if I could figure out what I've done wrong in my quest to install it.

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  9. Oh my gosh, 100 ounces is a lot! I try to drink more water but then I see that big pitcher of sweet tea in the refrigerator and I drink that. I know it's really bad for me but hey, at least it's not soda with high fructose corn syrup or artificial (and cancer causing) sweeteners!

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    1. Haha, I'm with you - to some degree. Sweet tea isn't a weakness for me, since I tend to drink my tea unsweetened. But coffee? I LOVE coffee. And I love it with cream and sugar, even though sugar is bad and I'm lactose-sensitive! But I can't help it, I just love it.

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  10. Wow - those are some great goals to accomplish.. I'm lucky if I'm able to force myself to trick two cups of water a day.

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    1. Well, it's not without effort, that's for sure.

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  11. It is good to have goals set for a successful life.Hope you will achieve the goals soon.

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  12. I like goals like this, it's really going to allow you to improve as an individual in all aspects. It's okay if you didn't hit your goals for the last quarter so long as you're improving.

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    1. That's the idea, and I'm honestly okay with carrying some goals over as long as I can post a majority win. And I think that keeping the ones I didn't accomplish (so that I can try again) will keep them in the forefront of my mind. Beyond that, I'm hoping that keeping those goals in my focus range will help me accomplish them eventually.

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  13. I am sure you're going to do amazing! It's never easy to reach goals but we always give it our best. It's nice that you've reached most of the goals that you set out to do for the last quarter.

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    1. Thank you! I'm proud of having accomplished so many of my goals from last quarter, and if future goals go as well, then I'm thrilled in advance.

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  14. These really sound like great goals. I need to reevaluate my goals and make them a priority beginning with my health.

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    1. Thank you - I agree. It's so important to look after your health, because once it's gone, it's gone.

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  15. You might not reach this month's goal, but guess what? You still have many chances for the next month!

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  16. What a great list of goals! Congrats on reaching most from last quarter, and best of luck on this quarter!

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    1. Thank you - feel free to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss out on the next list! *wink*

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  17. I love how you broke these down into the different sections of your life! My goals right now? Keep my 7-month-old twins thriving, keep my husband happy and sell our house! (Those are the top three, anyways!)

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    1. Hey, those are all major goals! I'm pretty sure if I had 7 month old twins, that would be just about all I could focus on!

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  18. Theres a lot of good news in here... affiliate links and page views, help it up. I like the idea of setting down your goals and tracking progress.

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    1. Thanks! I hope I can accomplish them. I've already checked one off at this point, but at least one other one looks unlikely, which is discouraging.

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