Happy Q4 everyone! The third quarter of the year is done, and the fourth quarter is upon us. That means its time to take an in-depth look at where we at CMO Central stand with our 2018 goals.
I’ve found the process of writing goals, and tracking them, for this site to be a HUGE benefit. How so? When I don’t remember exactly what I set as new year goals, I just pop on back to my January post and *pow* instant refresher. This has been a helpful lesson – keep my goals for the year front and center, and in a place I can easily go back to them.
I’ve tried to make my goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. I also am a fan of re-visiting my goals throughout the year to make adjustments as needed.
Today you’ll find out how things are going with family, work (including me answering – am I going to quit work to blog?), health, money, and travel so far in 2018.
How are you doing with your 2018 goals? Be sure to leave a comment to let me know, as soon as you see how we’re doing.
CMO 2018 Goals
How’s It Going? Family Goals
Oldest – Complete. Last year my oldest son went from First Class scout to Star Scout. This year his focus is achieving Life Scout, which is the final rank before going for the one most people know – Eagle Scout. More about the financial side of scouting can be found in my prior post here.
Awesome news everyone – HE’S DONE. He finished up the Life Scout rank, completing tons of merit badges, campouts, community service, and helping lead younger scouts. He now has to complete his last four merit badges, a position of responsibility in his troop for six months, and the big one…the service project. And then – he will be an Eagle Scout.
The Eagle Scout rank is known by almost everyone, but most folks don’t know much about it. Heck, I didn’t before my son started working on his, many years ago. If you do know about it, you likely know about the service project. An Eagle Scout candidate must complete a substantial project (requiring fundraising and leadership of other scouts) that benefits the community. This is on top of completing the 22 merit badges, and many pages of other requirements.
Now that he’s thinking of his project, he’s decided that he wants it to be something of real, tangible, long-lasting community value. He’s not sure what he’ll select yet, but has a few idea. Stay tuned for more!
Middle – Pass He already completed his Peter Pan play, played the drums until he finished elementary school, and joined the scouts. He’s achieved his very first rank in scouting, and has continued with the drums in middle school. After rushing back from FinCon, I mentioned how I went straight to the parade where he was marching with the band.
He’s also joined gardening club, where he stays after school once a week and picks vegetables. He even helps sell them at our local farmers market! Right now I have peppers and popcorn on my counter from his school garden.
Youngest – Pass The little three year old guy is just adorable! He knows his alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors. In fact, if you’re following me on Instagram (hint hint – go here so we can connect!) you probably saw my story of him counting ladybugs. He started preschool and just loves playing with all his friends. For the first week or two, he was amazed how everyone was “little like me!” I think he’s just so used to being with our family, where we’re all much taller than him, and he was astounded that other little kids exist.
Work – Definitely Not What I Expected At The Start Of 2018
Work – Work – Pass – I mentioned in the last update that I had moved to my companies international IT group. I’m still there, and slowly but surely making changes and improvements. I’ve had excessively positive feedback from the team on the improvements, which has been nice. I’ve had to travel for work quite a bit more often (although not actually internationally yet), which has been a bit disruptive. It should settle down the next few months of the year.
Blog – Work – Pass…ish – Frankly the “ish” here is because I took a two week break from my usual three times a week posting schedule. I actually heard from several people who missed me, which always surprises me (people are reading this???). I’ve reached way over 100k people this year through my work with this site, won the Plutus Award for Family Finance, and earned enough money to cover my expenses.
I’ve actually had multiple people ask me recently if I’m planning to quit work to run this site. And the answer is NO.
Why not? Isn’t quitting your job to travel the world as a digital nomad the new American dream?
It’s fine if that’s your dream, but it’s not mine. There are a lot of reasons. First, I love what I do for work. Also, I have three kids. One of my kids is in his second year of high school, and another in middle school. They love this home, and stability. I also have a husband who almost died of septic shock six years ago, and continues to suffer lasting impacts.
Also I think it would actually have a negative impact on my personal goals for this site. One of the reasons I started writing in the first place was because I couldn’t find blogs written by working moms like myself. Successful corporate moms, moms of older kids, moms with money nerd tendencies – I’m sure they exist but I couldn’t find them. Making blogging a full-time job would detract from being that person to others.
Creative – Hows That One?
Bake one new recipe a month – big Pass here. We’ve been baking and cooking dozens of new recipes each month, in an effort to overhaul the way we eat and get healthier. I’ll be sure to share some of my favorite homemade recipes we’ve been meal planning in a future post. By the way, that meal plan post has a free printable meal plan for you, no e-mail address signup required.
One New Art Project A Month – Fail. The first outright fail. Switching jobs, summer craziness, back to school, blogging, work, prioritizing things like walking vs. art – I could blame it all. But I take ownership of what I don’t do, and ruthless prioritization meant that this one fell by the wayside this quarter. I hope to make up for it in the next three months, but it’s not high on the priority list right now. Although I did make some jewelry one month.
Read Four New Books Each Month – Fail. I read about ten new books, falling short of my goal of 12. Same reason as the art project. I will likely cut back on this target through year end.
Re-Do One Room – Not Yet. I still plan to do this by year end, though.
Money – The Real Reason You Visit CMO
Mortgage Payoff Goal – Complete. Now I just have to debate my husband as to whether we should just bite the bullet and get rid of the mortgage this year, or wait until next year. My plan has always been next year, but he just wants it gone. So far I’m winning this one. It’s only 2.75%!
College Funding Goals – Watch Item The market is not lifting my oldest sons account like the other two, because his is invested more conservatively. Heck, he goes to college in less than three years from now (uuuggggghhhh). This means that additional funds have to be added by me. It’s a good thing in case something happens in the market, like we all know it will one day (but don’t know when), but a bit painful. I also think I was a bit overly aggressive with the little guys goal and may target 20% funding instead. He has a long ways to go, and plenty of time for compounding.
Max Out HSA and Retirement – On track. I should have this maxed before year end, meaning more cash flow to put towards the college goals. This has been part of my 2018 plan all along, and it’s looking like it’ll be right on target.
Travel – More For Work, Not For Fun
Road Trip – Not this year. My move at work meant that we weren’t able to take a long time off in the summer for a road trip. Instead, we’ll be planning on a vacation this winter as a family – and winters aren’t good for road trips here in CT. Maybe we’ll have a Western road trip instead!
Day Trip – Pass! – We’re having some fun adventures here. We’ve been to festivals, been hiking, went to a castle, a casino (not for gambling, for a comic-con), a kids museum, an old-time village reenactment, a dinosaur park, and more. Some of these were things my husband did with the boys during their summer vacation. They all had a blast!
Summer Camp and Scout Camping – Complete. My boys had a great time at camp, and we went camping with the scouts just a few weeks ago. We love tent camping over here.
Start Planning Post-Mortgage Payoff Trip – Not yet. Soon!
Health – Going Better Than Expected
Hubby Health Improvements/No New Surgeries – Pass. Generally his health has remained stable this year, with no new surgeries. Excellent news!
Work On Hiking Merit Badge – N/A. My son decided to get the Swimming merit badge instead, which he did!
Walk Three Times A Week – Pass! After having this goal for a long time and always failing, I finally succeeded! How? By not walking at lunch!
Instead of a lunchtime walk (which was never working with my schedule) I changed it to a morning walk. That finally did the trick. Imagine that! I’ve been trying to walk every single day, not just three times a week, and I’ve been doing pretty well. Now to keep it up when snow starts coming!
I Want To Hear From You!
How’s it going with your 2018 goals? Let me know in the comments!
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