At the start of the year I published my goals for 2017. I also promised to keep you updated on my progress with them. This is the first update to see how on track I am, to keep my accountable and to show you how it's going. I had planned on breaking it down into monthly reviews for the first quarter of the year so you can see exactly how it all came about. However, when I wrote the January review, it got quite long, so I've decided to give you monthly reviews instead. Here is the March Review for you.
You can read the whole start of year goals post here, but as a quick reminder, here's what I promised. One blog post a week, totalling 50 this year; 3 niche sites up and running by the end of the year; all three credit cards cleared; save £1,000 and to finish the Insanity workout programme.
The Blog Promise
My blogging has been going really well this year. I've posted every Monday without fail and a review like this one on the 1st of each month. At the start of the year, I came up with 15 blog posts to go along with my 100 day plan and wrote them all in advance. As I've gone along, I feel like the quality of the posts have improved some. I have a better understanding of how the whole process works and have some extra software to help me optimise the SEO, add images, etc. and I'm getting a better idea of what I want the blog to be.
The last post was the last pre-written one, so I now have to spend some time on the next batch. For the next 100 days, I'm going to narrow down my focus and have themes for groups of posts to see how that goes. The whole process is experimental, but I'm enjoying it and I can see a progression in my posts and thoughts as I go through it.
Making Niche Sites
Writing for the niche site takes a lot of time and it's going much slower than I had hoped. My plan is to write myself for now and get used to how it's done and what I want it to be like. Then when the site starts making its own money, spend that money on a writer. The thing is, getting a writer will make the site make money quicker, so it's a bit circular on what's the best way to do this.
Anthony has a writer for his site so he has 20+ articles while I have 3, but recently the quality of those articles have been questionable. Three have been sent back because the English was so bad it was basically incomprehensible in parts and one of them was literally segments of his other articles that had been pasted together. Even the good articles, I can read them and know that they weren't written by an English speaker. I want better than that for my site, so I'm waiting until I can pay for a higher quality writer. But writing myself means that will take longer...
So 2 months in, the site is still an infant, but that's ok. It doesn't make it to Google for 3-6 months anyway so I still have a little bit of time. If you want to check it out and give me any feedback you can go to www.playrightmeow.com
The Money Stuff
Clearing the Credit Cards
This one hasn't moved significantly. The cleared credit card is still clear and the others are on their way down. Neither has been used in the last month. Otherwise, nothing else to report.
In 2009, I started a £2 coin jar. My partner at the time and I decided to put all of our £2 coins into one of those tins that you can't open without destroying it. The logic behind it was that £2 is a decent amount, rather than collecting pennies, but you didn't get them that often so you wouldn't be constantly emptying your wallet into the jar, like if it was £1. A few weeks ago, I opened it. It wasn't quite full, but I never get £2 coins any more. I rarely carry money and I decided that it was full enough. So 7.5 years worth of £2 coins went into my savings account and got me more than half way to my goal of £1,000 saved by the end of the year.
I picked up my first personal training client this month. Starting this week, I have a 3 days a week workout plan for him along with a food plan. I meet with him once a week to check on his progress, go through a workout to make sure his form is good and make any adjustments needed. I'm paid weekly, but I'll be making at least £100 a month from this so I'm on my way to my £500 extra goal. It's a 20% improvement on last month.
Organising My Food
I've actually started really enjoying this. On Saturdays, I plan my food for the week and I cook a bunch of stuff in advance. The last 2 weeks, I've made 5 of my meals vegan and have been experimenting with foods I would never normally eat, like curried carrot and green lentil soup, or vegan 3 bean chili. They've been pretty good, if I day so myself. I actually feel really good for it too. Not necessarily feeling like I'm noticeably healthier or fitter, but my mood has been better. I noticed this specifically after 2 days in a row of vegan food. We then had dinner out and had burgers and I just didn't feel so cheerful. Of course, this could be due to a number of things and the food was just coincidence, but I'll be keeping an eye on this.
The Insanity Challenge
I still haven't started this one. I get this weird thing where if I change or increase my workout I get ill. It's like having a cold, but it's not infectious and there's no fever. This happens whenever I stress my body in any way, like don't get enough sleep for a while or after any night out or changing my workout, especially if I've been less active before hand. So after 3 weeks of no exercise in South Africa, I ran home from work twice and got sick. I've been working out just every other day for the last couple of weeks and slowly increasing my activity so that I can start Insanity without having to stop a week in.
Some Unexpected Extras
Running home from work has been fun. I'm using the Couch to 10K app, so I'm running in increasing intervals. and timing myself to get home. So far I've knocked 10 minutes off my journey home. I'm aiming to get home in 30 minutes instead of 50. I like it because it gets me exercise and gets me home quicker all in one. It also means that I don't have to go to the gym that morning. I can get lots of stuff done in the quiet 2 hours before I go to work and start the day already ahead.
March Review Summary
All in all, March has moved me ahead in my goals. My savings have gone up, my earnings have gone up, my niche sites have gone up. I've made progress in the other areas too. Nothing is falling behind or even staying still. I'm optimistic that I'll make it to my goals before the end of the year and have to make new ones. I'm even considering moving my traveling closer by a year and going in December, but this is still a fledgling idea. There are several issues with this that I need to work out before I can make that decision.
How are you getting on with your goals from the start of the year? Share your progress in the comments!
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