Being the shortest month of the year, February was here and gone in an instant! I have to admit, I did ok on my goals this month, but feel that I could have done better, especially towards the end of the month.
Why am I discussing my goals on my blog?
These monthly check-ins are going to be where I show you my successes and failures over my seven areas I'm working in. Those being:
I feel that by setting goals in each area of my life, I'll be working on my whole person instead of just one specific area of my life. I think when we focus on our whole self, we will be less likely to sabotage ourselves due to getting over excited about one area or another and we will see some great balanced growth through the year.
2017 Goals: Spirituality
Read the Bible in one year devotional
This month, I really started out strong, but did not finish well. Honestly, I haven't been in my Bible since February 23rd. I managed to complete 24 days this past month, but there were five days that I did two devotionals in one day. I will have a bit of catching up to do this month and need to work harder to get back to my habit if I want to get through the Bible this year. Altogether I'm 51 days into the 365 day plan, or 13.9% completed.
2017 Goals: Career
Take a writing course or two.
No progress this month in this area. We've been so busy running around, I've been spending a lot of my time catching up with blog posts, lining up guest posts and commenting on other blogs.
Increase my online connections to over 10,000.
I've seen some great growth this month, growing from just over 3,500 connections to over 4,100! This was a 11.7% growth over last month! If I can grow this number like this each month, in ten more months, that would be roughly 6,000 more connections and that would put me over my goal of 10,000 connections! Most of my growth came from Twitter again this month, growing itself by almost 500 itself!
Here's the chart for the numbers and how they broke down:
Hit 50,000 page views.
Even though February was shorter than January, my page views ended up being higher, which is great news! We grew from 2,689 page views in January to just over 3,000 in February! With these two months in the bag, I'm sitting at roughly 11.41% of my goal. I'm behind by a little over 5% right now. Doing a lot more blog commenting this month and updating some of my old posts to rank better for SEO this month should turn up some extra traffic. I'm also hoping that I will be able to bring in more traffic through my social media networks and connections as well! Here's my chart comparing last month to this month:
2017 Goals: Family
Preschool Home School Course
Being that it's been so nice this month, we didn't get as far as we would've liked. We made it through about week nine of the course, roughly 3 more weeks in the books for the month. This course has been great for teaching many different skills that are age appropriate to our four and two year old! I highly recommend it and will be using it until they are both in Kindergarten.
One date night per month
As far as dates go, we had a nice lunch together while my sister watched the girls. It was kind of spontaneous, since my wife had a Dr. visit and I was just going with her. Another "date" that we got to do was we had a get together with another couple from church and took the kids to their local YMCA where they had a nice toddler area for swimming.
Afterwards, we went back to their place where they showed us how to grill pizza the right way! I think I've changed to liking frozen pizza as much as delivery again! Especially for the price. Basically, they bought some decent frozen pizzas and then just add some extra cheese and some spices and it really adds a lot to the pizza! We have already done one of these at our own house this month!
February, we didn't have any vacations yet. But we did sock away some more money towards our vacation fund so that we can take them all debt free! We are on track in this area.
2017 Goals: Financial
Contribute 15% of gross income to investments
We made a little bit of progress here as we were able to put $45 into our Roth IRA this month after canceling Netflix, Sling.com, and renegotiating our Internet bill down $10 a month. I'm hoping to start putting this $45 a month savings towards our retirement investing at least for the rest of the year.
Grow Net Worth to $120,000
February we tacked on another $1,800+ gain to our net worth, bringing our total net worth to $104,979.59. This puts us at 24.89% towards our goal. This is going to be tough goal to make this year though since we will be purchasing a new roof pretty soon. That alone is going to set us back around $8,000.
2017 Goals: Intellectual
Read seven educational books
No progress this month as I read two books last month. I am going to need to get back into the swing of reading though this month to get my next book read. The next book I'm looking to start is going to probably be Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey or Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker.
2017 Goals: Physical
Lose 20 pounds
I had another stellar month this month in this area as I was able to come in and really get going on this goal. I started the month at 238.8 lbs and was able to get it all the way down to 228.9 lbs as of Feb 28th! That's almost 10 lbs!!! Awesome in my book!
I do really owe a lot of the progress to my new diet though. I decided to take the plunge and get back into using Herbalife again. If you haven't heard of Herbalife, basically they are meal replacement shakes and supplements that you take for 2 of your 3 meals per day. Then you just eat a good meal for your third meal and you end up winning big time! I used to sell Herbalife a long time ago and remember how great the products made me feel then. I started on them on February 18th and plan to lose my forty pound weight goal with the two shake a day plan and then cut back to just one shake after that.
Honestly, I don't really miss my food all that much. For my breakfast shake, I've been doing a chocolate shake with peanut butter powder and a banana that tastes kind of like a Reece's cup. For lunch, I do a vanilla shake with a bunch of fresh fruit and I make both shakes with two cups of water rather than milk to help me get to my water goal of 101 ounces daily. The flavors are good and I can change them up as I need to to vary my shakes too. The best part is I'm not having to worry about what I'm going to make or have for two of my three meals, which frees me up to get other things done.
Go to the gym 3-5 times per week
This has been going really well for us too. By us, I mean myself and my two girls! We have been able to make it work that I get to the gym pretty regularly five times a week this month. My new schedule that I've come up with as I'm starting to transition from just doing cardio is:
- Monday: Circuit lifting and then swim with the girls
- Tuesday: LesMills BodyVive Fitness Class (although I haven't made the class the last 2 weeks, so I technically haven't started this yet...)
- Wednesday: Circuit lifting and then swim with the girls
- Thursday: 45 minutes on elliptical
- Friday: 45 minutes on elliptical
- Saturday: (make up day) 45 minutes on elliptical
I've found that I can burn almost as many calories lifting as I am while on the elliptical while still toning my muscles, so it's a win-win! And with the girls having swim lessons Monday and Wednesday mornings, we got the extra swimming exercise in too!
2017 Goals: Social
Staying In A Small Group
I only made it to two out of five of my small group sessions this week due to not having anyone to watch the kids twice and once me being sick. Hopefully, I'll be able to have a better record for March!
Making Time For Fun
I've done pretty good about not using social media as much this past month, although I did reinstall Facebook on my phone two days ago to get news updates about some bad weather we were having. I just took it back off again today and really haven't missed it. I find that I've not been scrolling as mindlessly on there lately which is a great thing. I've been able to disconnect and play more with the kids this way as well, so I think I'll be leaving it off my phone long term now as I'm already seeing the benefits!
Wrapping up February 2017 Goals
We were quite busy during February, but I think I'm making great progress towards my goals for the year! I need to get back on my Bible reading schedule and book reading, but those are doable!
How did your February end up? And don't feel like you can't get started again in March! Don't neglect your goals if you've felt like you're getting beat up by them! You can always start fresh today!
Are you ready to finally take control of your finances? Let my budgeting spreadsheets help!
Just fill out the form below and I'll send you the link to get the same exact budgeting spreadsheets that I use each month!
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Love reading these updates Steve! You are making progress. Keep up the great work! I need to post some personal goals myself just for the accountability factor. That has to be a huge motivator!
It’s awesome because it actually forces me to go back through my month and look over how I spent my time and think it through! Reflection is one of the great things besides accountability now that I think about it a little more lol! Thanks for reading and I would love to see you start doing this as well!
Congrats on your progress so far! I love the diversity of your goals and how they hit all areas of life, not just finance. It looks like you’re doing quite well and holding yourself accountable! Keep up the great work! Side note-I’ve found that the more I track things-the better chance I achieve the goal. I first noticed this when I began tracking my fitness-so it was cool to see you included that.
Thanks Kyle! When I heard the 7 areas on a Dave Ramsey podcast, I knew I had to incorporate it! I find that anything that I track seems to do better since I’m so competitive and always like to outdo myself. The fitness tracking is probably the easiest since I have the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Aria Scale and they automatically write my data in every session for me!
I enjoy these updates, Steve. Well thought out and balanced approach. We could all learn from your example!
You’ll be happy to know I got my first outdoor swim in this week. 50 degree water, perfect for a cold water swimmer! (Post coming soon…)
Keep the focus.
Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto recently posted…Becoming A Mustachian!
Thanks Fritz! I love that I have the progress locked into these updates and the accountability to do better for the next one!
As far as the outdoor swim, you are a beast to be getting in the water at 50 degrees! I complain getting in on Monday mornings and it’s like 78 to 82 in there LOL! I’ve never been a great cold water person! Can’t wait for your post! Have a great weekend!
Great updates, Steven! Awesome to see you make progress and it’s cool seeing how diverse they are. Keep up the great work!
I haven’t fully analyzed my February yet, but I like to believe that I made some progress. 🙂 I’ll find out a full answer over the weekend though.
Smart Provisions recently posted…The Power of 50,000 Miles
Thanks SP, I think that by focusing on my whole wellness versus just my finances, I can grow pretty well this year! Glad to hear you are analyzing too! I’ll have to hop over and check your stuff out! Have a great weekend!
Sounds like a great month! Its easy to start out January with enthusiasm and so I’m glad you could keep the momentum going in February. Congrats on the weight loss!! I love how health goals and finance goals are so interconnected. For me, if I focus on eating healthy, I spend less money going out to eat, or if I walk to work instead of taking public transit, I get some exercise. In both cases the financial benefits follow, but the more valuable part is taking care of yourself! Anyway – keep up the great work!
Hey Frugalelle! Yeah, January seems to be a gimme usually for resolutions! But, the true resolution keepers are those that are still going strong for the next few months at least. It’s during the second to forth month that I feel that the real habits are created and where you will see what you are actually going to be sticking with throughout the year!
The interconnectedness is awesome! I think in weight lifting they call them “super sets”? Where you are working on multiple things during one workout to maximize efficiency. I would love to do this more as I get further in to meet my goals!
Sounds like you had a great February! Did you get a chance to get out to the March meetup? Had a commitment so we were not able to make it.
With all those blog goals hope you are enjoying the process.
Steven recently posted…Simple is Always Better
Thanks, we did have a good February!
I did make it to the meetup! Missed you and your fiancé there, maybe the next one! I’m working hard to meet the goals I’ve set out with! Thanks for stopping by Steven!