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.
(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
#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.
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)
#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!
#11 Complete two courses on Coursera (my choice) – FAIL
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!
#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 🙂
# 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.
I took a break from freelance writing. Honestly, I am not sure if and when I will be getting back into it.
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?