Today I’m taking a break from talking about insurance and identity theft to check in on how I’m doing with my 2017 goals. Now, I almost don’t want to do this because I know some are not quite where I want them to be. But there’s no time like the present to get back on track! So let’s see where I’ve succeeded, where I’m on track, and where I’m not on track.
Oldest – On Track – Oldest son had his First Class scout promotion earlier last month, and is now starting to work on Star scout. I’ve put him into the lottery for the half-day arts program in high school. If he doesn’t get into that, he’ll be able to go to the full day program.
Middle – On Track – Middle son continues to practice for Shrek the musical four hours per week, although snow days have disrupted this somewhat. He had a band concert earlier this month as well. We’ve started talking about what middle school he wants to go to (he’ll be a fifth grader this coming year) but no decisions yet
Youngest – On Track – Can count to 10 but not consistently yet. Sentences and physical coordination are getting better every day. No alphabet yet. He had a few days of high fever this month (up to 104!) but is all better now
Leadership Development Program – On Track – This will run through the end of the year. No activities this past month, although I did put in a request for an intern this next summer
Current Project – On Track – This latest project I’m in charge of is a big challenge for me. Not only is it larger and more complex than my prior projects, but I’m also heading up the whole thing vs. just one part of it. This involves new kinds of communications, conversations, and just overall getting out of my comfort zone. Good for me in the long run, but it can be stressful in the short term
Agile Transformation – On Track – Working with my particular group and the broader team on how to switch from waterfall to an agile software development and project management methodology. What does that mean in English if you’re not in IT? Essentially our entire technology organization is trying to develop technology faster and in smaller increments than in the past, when we took a long time and delivered it in larger increments.
Blogging – On Track – To date I’ve had over 1,400 visitors (over 4,000 views!), with 1,000 Twitter followers, 84 Pinterest, 30 Instagram , and 5 Facebook. Not bad considering that I’m still new at this and learning what I should be doing! I’ve also met my goal of posting four times per week, mostly to get in the habit and get practice writing. I may decide to cut down on this goal as the year goes on, but for now I think it’s a good habit and good practice. This next month I need to figure out Facebook. I have some ideas on how to grow my reach there but so far I haven’t done anything.
One New Recipe Per Month – Done for January! – I may have overdone this one just a little bit. Over this month I made white chocolate cupcakes with strawberry white chocolate and regular chocolate frosting; homemade donuts (including a maple bacon pecan donut); and pecan sandies. All of those were new recipes and were a hit! I did learn that the pecan sandies recipe made a bit too many cookies – next time I’ll cut it in half.
One new art project – Done for January! – OK, usually I buy Valentines day cards from Target because they’re inexpensive and easy. But with my middle son in fourth grade, I know I’m at the tail end of Valentines exchanges. So I saw this online and decided to make valentines this year as my art project of the month, and had my middle son make them with me. I think they came out great!
Create a New Section of Garden/Re-Do One Room in the House – On Hold – Well, it’s January here in Connecticut and the ground is frozen, so I can’t do much with the garden until April or so. And the room in the house I’m saving for a different month. So no progress on these in January, but I’m still feeling good about these being a 2017 goal
Determine FI Goal & Plan to Get There – No progress this month. Maybe next month?
Save 60% Toward Mortgage Payoff – On Track – I did decide to bump this to a stretch goal of 70%, but right now I’m directing about 13% of my after-tax income to this goal. I want to have this mortgage gone by the time I’m 40, well before my oldest heads off to college in order to free up cash flow. Want to learn more about why it’s important to me to pay off a 2.75% mortgage early? Check out my story here.
Save for College – 70% for oldest; 50% for middle, 20% for youngest – On Track – Continued automatic college savings draft for all three boys this month, and started setting aside some extra for the oldest. I’ll be able to assess these better at the end of March when I go through my quarterly net worth assessment.
Spring Road Trip – On Track – We’re planning on a road trip up north to visit the northern states (RI, MA, VT, NH, ME, upstate NY) in April. This past month I had the older boys take books out of the library on each state and make a list of the things they want to see or do. Next step is for my husband and I to make our own lists, then consolidate them and come up with a plan. I like to have the kids involved in this because they get excited about getting to choose where to go, while learning about the different states. Anything specific you’d recommend we check out in those states? Let me know in the comments.
Day Trip – Done for January! – We went to the CT Science Center and had a great time at all the exhibits. I had won an auction for an annual pass for four for half price at work last year (auction was for charity), so I expect we’ll be spending lots of time here!
Camping – On Hold – It’s winter! Still planning for summer camping.
Continued Health Improvement/No Surgeries – On Track – Knock on wood!
One Long Family Hike Per Month – Done for January! – On New Years day we went on a long (3 hour) hike with the Boy Scouts. The little one slept through most of it, but the rest of us had fun. Although my back protested from carrying a 30-something pound one year old! I need a better backpack for him.
Walk At Lunch Three Times Per Week – A big fat FAIL here – I didn’t walk at all. Too cold/snowy on some days, but the real issue was meetings. I have constant lunchtime meetings. I need to get better at going on a walk anyway! OK, I’ll try this again in February.
How Are You Doing?
Interestingly, over 40% of you may have already given up on your resolutions or goals for the new year. If that’s you, don’t worry about it – recommit. People who make resolutions or goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them than people who don’t. If you want that to be you, you can’t give up just because you may have had a day, week, or even several weeks where you went off track. Instead of giving up, use this time to reflect. Are you on progress to achieve what you set out to? Did you have some major fails? The past is in the past-the only thing you can change is your future. So go ahead and make it a great one!
What did you set your 2017 goals to be? Have you done a check-in to make sure you’re on the right track, and to either recommit or re-plan if you’re not? Let me know in the comments!