It is that time of the month again. I feel like I’ve overcome that hump in the blogging cycle where after two or three months you start loosing steam. Ever felt like that? I feel I’m finding my rhythm and finding more of a balance in my life.
It seems to me that crafting goals at the start of the month is a good way to align my effort with my intentions that matter the most. This is also a way for me to dream big and stay focused. I started setting goals this last month in September. These are the blog and personal goals for October. Comments in bold are updates from last month.
I. Blog Goals
1. Focus my Blog
I need to continue to dig deeper and focus my blog. I’m going to focus on personal finance and blogging tips.
A. Study my niche. ~ I joined several more personal finance & frugal living Facebook groups. I revised my goal to dedicate one night a week to read comments on personal finance blogs and Facebook groups to simply reading 10-15 minutes a day. I’m also attempting to participate in my own personal finance related groups I’ve created. See picture and brief description below.
Brief description of the groups:
DR Total Money Makeover – people following the Total Money Makeover book and 7 baby steps.
DR Financial Freedom – people on the journey to freedom, general questions, typically have read TMM or taken FPU, etc. Secret group by invite only.
The No Spend Challenge – people who want to no spend or other challenge for that month.
Book Worms, Book Club – people reading and discussing the personal finance or leadership books listed.
Making Cents – Online Facebook group 8 week version of Financial Peace University. Secret group by invite only.
B. Blog S.W.O.T. Analysis. ~ I didn’t do a S.W.O.T. analysis on my blog last month. S.W.O.T. stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. When I started working on my S.W.O.T. analysis I decided to create a blog post about this type of analysis tool which I published yesterday. I’ll do the exercise and share my results likely next week.
2. Blog Schedule
Daily posts. ~ I believe I bought off more than I could chew. Between my family, work, church, and other commitments perhaps 2-3 posts is more reasonable. I’ve scaled down to re-balance what I think I can handle.
Tuesdays – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog & Blogging tips: Weekly Posts
Wednesdays – Journey To Financial Freedom Stories: Once or twice a month as articles are available.
Thursdays – Experimentation Day: Likely once or twice a month I’m going to try different types of posts. ~ I feel like a majority of my posts are currently list posts. I guess it’s just how I think and write. I need to work on adding variety to my posts.
Saturday & Sunday – Spend time with family, friends, & local church.
3. Professional Photos & Logo
I had some head shots taken by a friend on my iPhone. I’ll need to revisit this again later on this year perhaps in December or January 2016. After further review I like the logo I have for Eagle Soaring Higher. ~ I’ve completed this for now.
4. Free PDF(s)
Start working on a new free PDF to offer my subscribers and attract new subscribers. I’m even playing with the idea of writing an eBook at some point. This could be potentially personal finance related or blogging related. Perhaps there will be two free PDFs! ~ I’ve started working on this. The free blogging PDF is practically finished. It’s going to include an Editorial Calendar, Blog Reflections, Monthly Goals & Results, a Daily Check List, and much more! I need to work on the personal finance PDF further this month.
5. Financial & Blog Services
Start working on a page to describe what resources I can provide to help people needing help with budgeting or finances. Start working on a page to describe what resources I can provide to help new bloggers. ~ I haven’t started this. Something I hope to start on in October.
6. Editorial Calendar and Blog Posts
This next month my goal is to have all the posts written for the following week by Sunday night. I did this the first full week of August on a trial basis and it was fabulous. This will reduce my stress level and allow me to spend more time with my family. It will also help me be able to focus on building community the rest of the week. ~ I started off well with the editorial calendar at the beginning of the month. However, towards the end of the month I fell off the bandwagon. Going to renew my efforts on this goal for this month in October. I did try out Buffer and Coschedule. I decided to signup for Buffer “Awesome”.
II. Personal Goals
1. Focus Spiritually
I really want to get back to reading the Bible and praying more. My goal will be a minimum of 10 minutes in the morning first thing when I wake up or in the evening before going to bed. This will be a bit of a sacrifice particularly if I do this in the morning for anyone that knows me. In order to lead my family well, I want to once a week get in the habit of having a 10 minute family worship. This is something we’ve wanted to do with our kids for a long time but have been inconsistent on. I also plan on helping facilitate a stewardship course my church is offering called Financial Peace University. ~ Personal study was okay. However, I ended up finding time for this during the day. I figured out if there was any doubt I’m not a morning person for sure. The family worship goal is a work in progress. Renewing my resolve to improve this in October. The Financial Peace University is going well. We are having between 12 and 16 participants for each session. I believe people are learning a lot. I know I have benefited from the sessions.
2. Family Time
My wife and kids are my top priority besides my relationship with God. I want to make time to hear my wife’s heart and grow with her. I also want to continue to engage my kids and love them well. I don’t want to just resort to watching TV, Netflix, or movies when we have time together. I also don’t want my blog to take precedence over my family. So I need to learn a balance. Family outings are really good. But I don’t want to rely on those as simply time fillers until we put the kids to bed. ~ I think I’ve worked on improving this. Hoping to continue to improve in this area in October.
This month my goal is to come up with a budget together with my wife. We particularly need to allocate money towards adult allowances or “blow money.” Our goal as with every month is to come up under budget. ~ We came up with a budget but ended up in the negative this month. We had a large expense with car insurance which we pay every months. Thankfully, we had saved up the full amount in our car insurance sinking fund. In October we will have additional expenses as I’m buying a ticket to go to Brazil for my sister’s wedding early 2016. I’m also likely upgrading my cell phone. The current iPhone 4s I have has seen better days as the sound doesn’t work, applications are always freezing up, and it is very dated. We have saved up in our purchases sinking fund category enough to pay cash for the new cell phone. We also need to work on replenishing our emergency fund this month.
4. Research a New Digital Camera
Start research on buying a digital camera. This is actually something I think both my wife and I would like to get into more. With a decent digital camera we can take better family photos. Any suggestions? I’m thinking maybe a Canon Rebel is a good starting point. ~ Decided to get a new cell phone with an upgraded camera feature instead. May revisit this next year.
Walk for at least 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week. Staying healthy physically is just as important as exercising the mind. I want to be there for my family in the future. ~ I’ve been walking throughout the day. Typically right before eating lunch. I’ve found that the walk is really beneficial in helping relieve stress.