I am writing after a long break and this post is going to be a little fragmented – first, I will tell you why my blogging slowed down; then, I will provide a summary of how Stretch A Dime did in 2017 and lastly, how I performed against the goals I had set for myself in 2017.
Blogging Slow Down
You have the obvious right to ask – Why did you slow down blogging?
Several readers and friends have asked me this question.
Well honestly, I am going to blame a very profound question that I read – what will you do in retirement?
I have been pulling my hair trying to find that article so that I can refer to it here but I can’t seem to find it.
I have been so focused on my work / career that I haven’t given this question much thought.
The blog or article also asked me if I had three to five core activities that would fill my day if I were to retire today.
Then, I started exploring what kind of core activities could fill my day. I didn’t want to explore this question at the time of retirement.
Exploring Core Activities
To answer this question for myself, I have been experimenting a few things.
#1 Biking – I bought a mountain bike (~$100) and went on five to seven mile bike rides everyday in the fall of 2017. I had to hibernate on the hobby for winter. I learned that biking is something I enjoy and I can certainly incorporate into my life.
#2 HAM Radio – Long time ago, I acquired a HAM radio license. I never used the license or bothered to purchase a radio. Last fall, I purchased a cheap handheld radio to try out the hobby. I have been able to volunteer in public service since then periodically – supporting communications at Chevron Houston Marathon and other similar events. It has been fun meeting new people and it also feels good to give back to the community.
#3 Piano – you know about this one. I started learning the piano in March 2017 and I am playing modestly well now. I plan to continue in my piano learning journey.
#4 Blogging – I am planning to continue blogging. This one took a hit due to other competing priorities above. This year I plan to publish at least one post a month.
#5 Volunteering at my Church – this is something that I have always wanted to do but it has always been in the “good intentions” bucket. I am hoping to start out small this year.
These are the five core activities that I am have been evaluating. I am hoping all of these would become ingrained and stick to me. I didn’t list travelling – IMHO there is nothing to learn there – it comes down to money and logistics – and how much of it you are willing to do.
How about you? If you were to retire today, do you have three to five core activities that would fill your day / week?
Stretch A Dime Blog Update 2017
Stretch A Dime turned two in Sep 2017. I am surprised that I have made it past the two year mark.
I want to thank you for keeping me going.
In 2017, I did not spend much time promoting the blog.
I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my cellphone – I am still alive and the blog is alive and well too. In fact, I got my life back 🙂
It is one of the best things I have ever done. Limiting social media has helped me accomplish so much in 2017.
Give it a try, see what happens. You will be truly amazed at how much you can accomplish.
Show Me The Money
Okay, here is “Show Me the Money” section – while it is nothing to write home about, I am glad that I made some money, learned a few things, and had fun blogging.
If you notice, most of the income came from freelance writing. While I enjoyed the work, there just wasn’t enough hours in the day for me to sustain it. So, I parted from my clients after wrapping up the work.
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Most popular blog posts in 2017 were:
Check them out if you haven’t read them. Proceeding to the last thought fragment now…
2017 Goals Update
#1 Church Attendance – pass
I attended church regularly all through the year.
#2 Reading New Testament – fail
I read 62% of new testament. The good news is, I at least read 62%. If this had not been my goal, I am sure I wouldn’t have even read this much.
#3 Dates with Sarah – meh
Our goal was to go out once a month. We probably went ~7 times in the year. Not too shabby. We hope to do better this year.
#4 Family Outings – pass
Saturday family fun turned out to be a huge success. We overachieved here 🙂
#5 Vacation – pass
Our goal was to go for a week long vacation – we went to Puerto Rico in June 2017 and had a blast. It is very sad to see that the island was devastated by hurricane Maria.
#6 Health – fail
My goal was to lose 12 lbs in 2017. Towards the end of 2017, I saw some ray of hope. I lost ~3 lbs. Suffice it to say that I achieved 25% of my goal. This was a total disappointment for me. I am hoping to do better this year.
#7 Savings Goal – pass
We were able to save what we had planned to save for the year.
#8 Passive Income Streams – meh
I invested only once through the Kickfurther Crowd Funding Platform, got my principal / interest back, and didn’t pursue any other crowd funding opportunity.
Dividend income was my main source of passive income for 2017 – honestly, I am yet to find something as truly “passive” as dividend income.
#9 Reading – fail
My goal was to read six books in 2017. I only read two books. I accomplished 33% of my goal.
#10 Vocabulary – fail
My goal was to complete the Word Power Made Easy book. I only completed 20% of the book.
The goals I have listed here is where I have made at least some progress.
Even if you achieve only 10% of your goal, you are still 10% better off than you were before. Take the time to write down your goals for 2018 and start marching towards them. How was your 2017? What have you been up to?