At the beginning of January I posted my goals for 2018. It helps to actually define them and write them down, and posting them online will keep me accountable.
I thought about posting quarterly goal updates but frankly if things are going off track waiting three months to take action is simply too little too late. So I am going to go with monthly updates instead. That will definitely keep me on my toes!
So here is my January goal update.
Health and Fitness
I have 4 health and fitness goals for 2018.
|Join a running club|
|Run a 5k and finish in 35 minutes or less|
|Run a 10K (just get to the finish line!)|
|Attain a BMI of 22.6 and maintain it|
I am happy with the progress I made on my health and fitness goals this month. Last year I started running using the NHS C25K podcasts, which took me from being a total couch potato to running continuously for 30 minutes. That was a really big achievement for me, but once I finished the NHS C25K programme I was lost. I needed to have some structure and guidance in order to progress.
So I joined a running club and am attending weekly coaching sessions. Much to my surprise after running a Cooper test the coach put me in the Intermediate group. Over the last few weeks I learnt a lot about target heart rates and pacing. Obviously it is still to early for me to run a 5K in 35 minutes or run 10K, but I am working on it.
I am also delighted to report real progress on the weight loss / BMI front. This is something I have been working on since September, although I fell off the wagon big time over Christmas. I have never seen a mince pie that I do not want to eat!
In September 2017 my BMI was 26.28 . I was overweight and totally unfit. By the 1st January I was just within the healthy weight range with a BMI of 24.67. One month later I’m delighted to report that I am now at a BMI of 23.45, well on the way to getting to my target 22.6.
I give myself a big thumbs up on my January goal update for health and fitness!
I have 3 self improvement goals this year.
|Join a book club. Make new friends AND read interesting books!|
|Read at least one educational book a month and review it on this blog.|
|Read and learn about robotics and automation, and how these will impact society|
So how did I progress this month when it comes to self improvement?
I did indeed join the book club and I am looking forward to finding out what the first book for the year is. They are off to a slow start after Christmas but hopefully things will pick up soon.
Good progress on the educational books and reviews on the blog. I read and reviewed two books in January – Happy Money : The Science of Happier Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton; and I Was Told to Come Alone, by Souad Mekhennet.
I read a few articles about autonomous cars and also the Amazon Go store in Seattle where customers can just grab food off the shelves and walk out without needing to checkout their purchases . However I decided to dedicate more time to reading up about blockchain, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ether and Ripple XRP. The cryptocurrency has been dominating the headlines with its price swings so it was a topical subject. In fact I wrote a post about the blockchain and another one asking if I should buy Bitcoin. Watch this space for posts about Ether and XRP over the coming weeks. So I did not give myself a Smiley face for this one but no regrets frankly 😉
I’m giving myself a thumbs up on my Self Improvement January goal update.
I tried to blog two years ago and I failed miserably. This time I know what I am letting myself in for and I am determined to avoid the mistakes of the past.
|Post an article a week|
|Reach 500 subscribers|
|Achieve 5000 page views a month|
I posted a total of 7 posts in January, so I deserve a big smile next to that goal. Obviously the real challenge will not be in the very first month of my return, but will come in a few months’ time when the novelty will have worn off. In order to prepare for that I am trying to establish a routine, with one major post every Sunday and a lighter topic mid-week when I have the time.
One of the lessons I learned from my previous stint blogging is the importance of discipline. I am always tempted to click publish the second I finish a post, but now I am resisting the urge. Instead I schedule the posts according to my new mid-week and Saturday night schedule. At this rate I will soon have a nice buffer of posts in case something comes up to prevent me writing anything new for a few days.
The other two goals refer to subscribers and traffic. Clearly I have a long way to go to get to those numbers. That said my traffic numbers did increase thanks to a share on Firehub.eu. Thank you Mr and Mrs W!
This month I invested considerable time in optimising my blog for search engines and prepping my posts for social media. I strongly recommend Yoast as a WordPress plugin – it really has made all the difference. Hopefully I will start seeing some organic traffic coming from search engines in the months to come.
I award myself a thumbs up for my Blogging January goal update.
Over the last five months I discovered a love of knitting. I started off a total beginner, watching videos on Youtube to learn the most basic of stitches. However I am now moving on to more complex patterns and this year I have some interesting projects lined up!
|Try knitting in the round.|
|Build a stash of knitted gifts and surprise everyone with a handmade gift next Christmas.|
|Make an item of clothing and actually wear it!|
I’ve knitted up a storm this month. I started off knitting fingerless gloves, then moved on to beating stress knitting knot stitch coasters and I am now working on a cushion cover. These are perfect for my family and home and will also make great gifts.
I have also made progress on the other two goals. I found a really cool pattern for a tank top knitted in the round, so I plan to hit two birds with one stone, learning how to knit in the round and making an item of clothing that I will wear. I’ve ordered the required circular needles and yarn off Ebay and will get down to work as soon as I have all the kit I need.
Thumbs up on my Creativity January goal update!
I set up a foundation in 2016 to launch projects targeting underprivileged children in the community. It is sometimes difficult to keep up the momentum with these projects but this year I want to increase our reach and launch new services.
|Expand the service offered by my foundation by recruiting more therapists|
|Promote the foundation by writing articles and posting more frequently on social media|
In January we signed a contract with an experienced counsellor who retired a few years ago and is available for a few hours every Saturday. She will be supporting the existing team by leading development sessions for children who need help on their interpersonal skills and confidence. The goal is happy, resilient children who have the skills required to be happy and successful in life.
Signing on a new counsellor was great, but I feel that there is still a lot to be done. Work was crazy this month and took up so much time that I did not have much mental energy for the foundation.
I must do better.
My main financial goal is not to increase net worth but to build different and diversified passive income streams.
|Get planning permission to build a new office block, find a contractor and get started on the project|
I have had success with commercial real estate, with one building rented out and yielding 9.7% ROI, which does not include appreciation on the value of the property itself.
The plan is to repeat this success with another building. I met my architect and discussed some changes to the plans. He will now be running the changes by a structural engineer and if all goes well we will be submitting our application for planning permission in the coming weeks.
That said I am having some second thoughts about this project. I am concerned that we might be in the middle of a commercal property bubble in my area, so I am going to watch the signs carefully before committing any real funds. Will keep you posted.
Thumbs up on my FI January goal update!
So that’s it! Progress made on 16 goals 🙂 This has turned into a really long post. If you have read this far, thank you!
Do you have any goals for 2018? How are you getting on?