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. I have missed a couple of these, but here is the October 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 (this has now been edited to 2 sites after I discovered how much time/work 1 site requires!); all three credit cards cleared; save £1,000 and to finish the Insanity workout programme.
The Blog Promise
In July, I decided to back off a bit from the blog as I'd taken on too many things. The blog was the one thing that wasn’t making any income yet. I decided to focus on my Upwork writing and PlayRightMeow. My Upwork contract has now ended so I can come back to the blog a bit more now. I have to admit though that I’ve gotten out of the habit of it. I’m having to come up with a new system to make sure that I get some writing done for you. I got a few blog posts up last month and have a couple waiting to go in November so I’ll be back on track soon. My goal of 50 posts may not be met, but I’m now at 36 and if I hadn’t been aiming for 50, there’s no saying that I’d have gotten this far.
I’m also working on another project of my own that you’ll be hearing a lot more about next year. In the meantime, just watch this space and go and like the Facebook page to get some sneaky updates.
Making Niche Sites
My cat niche site has made sales for the last 5 months in a row! I think that’s pretty awesome. The only problem is that in October I made $0.97… Not quite a life changing amount. However, I haven’t been working on it very much so that fact that it’s consistently making money is very encouraging. I’m now going to be working on link building for it so that it can be found more easily on the web. That should mean that more people will go there and click on things. This should then equate to more sales and more income, theoretically. The system is tried and tested, I just need to get on and do it.
The thing that has been holding me back is that most people want you to pay them for putting links/articles/infographics on their pages. Ideally, I wanted the site to make money before I spent much on it. I am coming around to thinking that I’m gonna have to invest some upfront to get it going. And I need to do it now while I still have a full time income.
The Money Stuff
Clearing the Credit Cards
I cleared my second credit card in August! But I didn’t post an update for that month so we can celebrate it now 🙂 Woot!! That just leaves one to go and it’s going down. I don’t think I’ll make it by the end of the year though, but it won’t be far off. I now have a spreadsheet for my money and am saving much more and losing less than before. So I now know where my money all goes and don’t have any going missing throughout the month that I can’t account for. This budget includes a good credit card payment every month so it’s going well.
I’m debating whether to take some of my savings and pay off extra so that the credit card is less or whether it’s better to keep making the payments and topping up the savings. What do you think? What would you do with this situation? Leave me a comment at the bottom of the post to let me know!
ACCOMPLISHED - MAY 2017
Now that my Upwork contract has ended, my out of wages earnings have gone down. I’ve applied for a few other contracts, but nothing has come from them yet. I’m starting to see that this is like applying for actual jobs as well. You have to go through a whole tonne of applications to get just a few responses. I’m now putting aside an hour each week to apply for something. Eventually, I have to find one that I like and that will take me!
Organising My Food
I was really pleased with my food in October. I cooked twice and made enough food each time for 2 weeks. There were a couple of eating out incidents, but generally I’ve stuck to my meal plan and not wasted nearly as much food this month as has been known in the past. I also ate hardly any meat last month. I had chicken twice and a burger once when we ate out and I had 3 pieces of chicken leftover from cooking a while ago that I incorporated into my meal plans. Otherwise I didn’t cook meat apart from on one occasion where I used pork mince to make an oven bake and I then decided that I didn’t like it and picked all the meat out again. That hasn’t been a conscious decision, I just haven’t wanted it.
For October, I came off keto and went back onto carbs for a cycle. I was so excited to have sweet potatoes again! But I also had stuffed pasta and vegan ice cream (cause we got Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream in the UK for the first time last month and I HAD to have it) and one oven pizza. A week into this, my skin had broken out with spots that I still have! Mostly on my chin and down my neck behind my ear. I knew that my skin had cleared up on keto, but this was further proof that my diet had a direct effect on my skin. I need to work out how to carb cycle without binging on stuff I missed, but generally I did really well with October’s food and towards the end of the month I was getting the hang of it.
The Insanity Challenge
I started this twice and got sick twice. I was starting to think that I’m just destined to not get through the Insanity programme, but then I came down with keto flu and upon researching this, I discovered that the cold symptoms I get are due to an electrolyte imbalance. That was why keto flu felt exactly like my workout sickness. Because it was the same thing! So now I’m pretty sure that I can get through it without being sick as long as I supplement properly during the first week or so to make sure that I keep my electrolytes in check while my body adjusts.
The issue here is that I’m going to be away for the whole of December and there are now not enough days left in the year for me to complete the programme. So I’m re-doing the Ashy Bines Ab Challenge for now and have moved Insanity to next year.
Some Unexpected Extras
I went back to meditating last month and am currently on a 25 day streak. There was no real conscious effort to do this, I just managed to find a bit more time in the day for it. Usually I’ll do it before bed so that I can let go of everything from the day before I go to sleep and that seems to work well.
I’ve also been drawing more this month. I’ve been trying out using different pencils for different effects and I found an app that I can draw on my iPad with. This will come in really handy for making my comic story as we got a bit stuck with having to draw on paper and scan. A lot of the detail was lost during the scan and vectoring process so it got messy and difficult. Hopefully this will solve that issue as the image is already digital. I just need a good stylus and a bit of practice, but it’s been really fun learning it. Not like learning Illustrator. That’s just painful.
October Review Summary
October has been my “get back on track” month. I’ve been writing more for the blog, I’m setting up a system to give me dedicated working time and I’ve found some time to do the things I love more often. I got a good hold on my food and while I didn’t get through the Insanity workout, I still exercised enough and I feel good about life. I’m ready for November.
How are you getting on with your goals from the start of the year? Share your progress in the comments!