Category: Blogging

Summer 2017

Summer 2017 turned out to be an unintended break from blogging. I am so sorry for disappearing without notice. With a day job, blogging, freelance writing on the side, coaching two couples, planning for a family summer vacation, and kids being home, I ran out of steam.

One thing led to another and I kept thinking I will get back to blogging but never did. I also realized that I had bitten more than I could chew and it was time to slow down because what I was doing was not the least bit sustainable.

 

 

 

What I felt and what I still feel lousy about is the fact that I didn’t let you know.

Mea Culpa!

(I apologize, literally translation from Latin – “through my fault”)

In future, if I am taking time off from blogging, I will let you know in advance.

I am going to try to pick up from where I left and I thought it would be good to start out by providing a quick update on the progress towards my goals for 2017. I am going to share where I have succeeded and where I have failed miserably.

 

GOALS 2017 UPDATE

SPIRITUAL

#1 Attend church every Sunday – PASS

I have been attending the 7 am mass as well as going to church with family at 11 am on Sundays. My older daughter, Teddy, started joining me for the 7 am mass. It was her decision and I didn’t ask her even once to join me.

I am certainly happy about it and it sure has been a blessing.

 

# 2 Read the new testament – FAIL 

67% of the year is over.

38% is my reading progress. I have fallen behind.

Oh well, there is still hope, and I need to get my act together.

 

FAMILY

3# Dates – the lunch dates with Sarah were working great when kids were at school. With the summer break, it has been a bit of challenge. We plan to make up for it when school starts. FAIL 

#4 Family Outings – Saturday for the family continues to work great. Teddy and Otter are growing up and have a strong influence on where we go out for dinner on Saturdays. PASS

5# Vacation – my goal for 2017 was to go for a week long vacation with the family and have a blast. – PASS

I would say we hit it out of the park on this one.

We went to Puerto Rico for a week and had so much fun!

This is by far the best vacation we have ever been on.

We spent six weeks to prepare for the vacation and I plan to write a separate post on Puerto Rico.

(Puerto Rico – a view from the high rise condo we were staying at)

 

HEALTH  

#6 Lose 12 pounds and reach 190 lbs – FAIL!

Let me tell you that sipping pina coladas and rum punches are not the recipe to lose weight.

Is there a grade below F?

In summer, I have gained a few pounds from my baseline weight. My doctor friend tells me that in summer people generally gain a few pounds due to the body retaining more fluid. A quick google search revealed it is the fault of aldosterone, a hormone that helps the body retain fluids in hot weather.

I have a renewed focus on returning to my baseline weight before the end of this month.

After that, I am going to continue my pursuit.

 

CAREER / PERSONAL FINANCE

7# Work – as I had mentioned in my earlier post, overall good and the raise I received was greater than what I had conservatively hoped for. – PASS

I have a new boss now and am learning to work with him.

8# Savings Goal – we have achieved our savings goal for 2017 – my fiscal calendar starts in October and ends in September. A long time ago, I started tracking my finances and it happened to be an October when it all began. Hence I just stuck with a 12 month window to measure my progress. I achieved my savings goal in 11 months.

Now, I have started focusing on the 2018 goal. -PASS

9# Investment Project – I am making a slow and steady progress on this front. -PASS

10# Passive Income Streams – The passive income streams have been dividends from my investment portfolio and the “investment project”. I have not broadened my passive income stream any further.

Overall, On Track!

 

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

#11 Complete two courses on Coursera (my choice) – FAIL

I started a course of Javascript / HTML / CSS and did not finish it.

Right now, I am in the middle of  “Introduction to American Law” from University of Pennsylvania offered via Coursera. It is very interesting and my goal is complete it before the end of September.

I think I still have a chance of completing two courses this year.

 

#12 Read 6 books (my choice – fiction / non-fiction) – FAIL

I have completed reading 1 of 6 books – 17% progress towards my goal.

The jury is out on this one – I am not sure if I will be able to meet this goal by end of year.

 

#13 Complete reading / working Word Power Made Easy and improve my vocabulary. -FAIL

I have not paid any attention to this goal since my last update in March 2017.

As of my last update, I had completed 7 sessions in this book.

Once again, jury is out on this one as well. I am going to make as much progress as I can. Any progress in improving one’s vocabulary is good.

If I don’t finish it this year, I will carry forward the reminder of the goal to next year.

 #14 Learning Piano -PASS

I started learning to play the piano in March, and to my pleasant surprise it has been a very rewarding journey.

If all goes well, I will record a piece and share it here before the end of this year.

At the beginning of the year, I had no plans of learning to play the piano. However, learning to play the piano is one of the best things I have done.

It is never too late to start learning something new!

 

FRIENDSHIPS

#14 Stay engaged with my current circle of friends (meet at least once a month) -PASS

We are meeting our friends and summer break made it easy to meet this goal.

#15 Connect with 5 personal finance bloggers and get to know them. -FAIL

I connected with 1 personal finance blogger at the beginning of this year – 20% progress towards my goal.

The obvious fact is that I have work to do here 🙂

 

BLOGGING

# 16 Publish a blog post very Sunday – FAIL

Honestly, the summer break from blogging was excellent.

With everything going, I was killing myself.

I spent a lot of time with my family and slowed down and enjoyed life.

I am still thinking about my post schedule. My hope is to write about 3 to 4 blog posts per month.

 

FREELANCE WRITING

I took a break from freelance writing. Honestly, I am not sure if and when I will be getting back into it.

 

COACHING

I continue to coach couples for free on budgeting and debt management on an as needed basis. Being able to help others has been a very rewarding experience.

 

That’s it for me.

 

How was your summer? What did you do? What did you learn? Are you still tracking your progress towards your 2017 goals? 

 

 

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