Goals serve two primary functions: They act as maps, saying something about where we want to end up at a particular point in time. And, more importantly, they give us the required information to create our itineraries and evaluate our progress compared to the plan as we go along.
While setting objectively good goals is important, creating goals only to see if you reached them at the specified time is akin to travelling blindfolded. Sure, it is possible to end up where you want to go, but it is much harder than it would if you just removed the blindfold. And when it comes to our personal goals, we rid ourselves of the blindfold by regularly measuring how we are progressing compared to the plan.
As we are heading into the Easter weekend, I find it is a perfect time to take advantage of the peace and quiet that usually accompanies the holidays to reflect on how I am doing so far concerning my goals for the year. It is barely a couple of weeks since we closed the door on the first quarter of the year, and I find evaluating your progress quarterly a fine way of balancing the lackadaisical forgetfulness of my personal goals even existing against the compulsive thinking about them far too often.
In the post Better Goals for A Better Year I outlined my personal goals for 2017, and I will go through them one by one, and share my thoughts on how I have been progressing through the first quarter of the year.
Read at least 20 books from cover to cover: I barely read at all through January and February, but thankfully I was able to get back into the habit in March. According to Goodreads I am more or less on track to meet my goal after completing five books so far.
Write at least 50 posts for Abovare: I published ten new articles in the first quarter of 2017, putting me on track to publish only 40 posts throughout the year. Here, I am quite clearly lagging behind if I still aim to reach my goal. Given that I want to spend more time marketing and promoting the site over the summer, as well as exploring other ideas for the site in addition to just content production, I need to act. I will be using the next couple of months to build a reserve of finished, but not published posts. Doing this will allow me to spend time elsewhere later on, but still publish new posts according to my set schedule of about once every week.
Practice the guitar four days of the week: I failed. Miserably. Not much more to say about this one, other than that I have had to come to terms with the fact that I just haven’t been willing to prioritise putting the required work in to become a better guitarist. I consider this goal more or less on hold at the moment, and I will at some point reevaluate whether I truly want to pursue this further, or instead just want to pick up the guitar whenever I feel like it.
Health and Fitness
Complete at least 120 workout-sessions: Throughout the first three months of 2017 I completed no less than 37 training sessions, putting me on track for nearly 150 sessions in 2017, and well ahead of schedule. The vast majority of these sessions were running, and I have been thoroughly enjoying measuring the progress I have been making and feeling my capacity increase from week to week. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do as many strength sessions as I wanted, and with the cross country-skiing season coming to an end, I can only admit that it was a paltry season for me this time around.
Run at least 1,000 kilometres: Strava tells me I am no less than 137 kilometres ahead of pace already, so barring any unforeseen events, I am confident of reaching this goal.
10K and Half-Marathon Race Goals: I am hoping to complete a 10K in less than 40 minutes, and a half-marathon in less than 1 hour and 40 minutes. Currently, I am pretty certain that I will be able to reach the latter goal, whereas the former will require some more specific pace-focused training.
Increase year-over-year net worth growth with 50%: This goal is a bit of a dark spot, because, as I’ve mentioned several times before, our family is extending come summer, and I am not entirely certain how that will affect my financial situation. Overall, I would consider myself well on track to reach the goal after the first quarter of the year, but I suppose I will only know towards the end of the third quarter how I am really doing, and what the effect of having a child has on my finances.
Invest 10% of my take-home pay in the stock market: Because of the family expansion taking place this summer, I have been hoarding up on cash with reckless abandon, investing the bare minimum every month. Whether or not I can realise this goal very much depends on the unknowns listed in the above point, but as it stands right now, I am planning to invest significant portions of my cash reserves towards the end of the year. Does that count as being on track?
Establish a concrete plan for building a new source of income: This goal was set from a long-term point of view, and I am grateful to myself for that. I keep working away at Abovare, without having any concrete plans on monetizing the site through ads or otherwise at the moment, but towards the end of the year, I should be able to formulate a coherent plan for turning using it as a springboard for a new income stream.
Those were my goals and a status report on how I’ve progressed throughout the first three months of the year. All in all, I am giving myself a job pretty well done so far. I have been enjoying the start of the year, and if I can continue the year in the same trajectory with regards to goals, 2017 should end up being a good year. And I have a feeling that the birth of our firstborn child will add to that as well!
How have you been doing so far in 2017? Are you meeting your goals for the most part, or have you identified that you are way off track and need to take corrective action? Be sure to join the discussion by leaving a comment below.
Title photo by Qubed Steak.