Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Results For My Lofty 2011 Goals

How do I think I did with all the SMART goals I outlined for this year? Truthfully, I don’t see any progress on all the fronts I tried to attack. Some I ignored completely, which carried over to how I ignored writing this post over the holiday break. My willpower petered out for doing anything on my list and I ended up watching BBC series of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries made in the 70’s (and 90% accurate to the books).

Let’s see what I managed to accomplish.

Show progress on paying off debt load
  • Specific: Follow budget every month. I tried, but picking myself up when I fell off the rails proved to be a barrier. I’m too close, I want to take care of the here and now annoyance, and usually go off the rails due to frustration. 2012 tweak: The next exercise the Credit Counselor and I will do is to set up a budget I can live on and make headway with. I’m hoping it’ll trigger I’m-getting-graded-for-this behavior in me.
  • Measurable: Update Quicken every day. Now this I think I have finally beat. As long as I don’t go over 15 minutes a day, I haven’t shoved it aside as the dreaded chore and let it build up until I have no idea what’s going on. 2012 tweak: Maintain this progress.
  • Action-oriented: Find a part-time job to increase income. We all know how well that went. First, I helped Mom with housework for my grandfather until the S.O.B. did something that Dad put his foot down about and got us fired. I was surprised by how long it lasted. Second, the sales job with no demos that I quit in November. At least I did get my parents a vacation out of that. 2012 tweak: As mentioned above, I’m seeing a credit counselor to find a new plan for tackling my debt and budgeting issues. I’m going to be referring to her a lot so she is now dubbed the CC Fairy. I also put in an application but I don’t expect anything to come of it.
    • Bring all bills current by Jan. 28, 2011. I got them current and now they’re not current. It’s a merry-go-round chase. 2012 tweak: Girls Just Want To Have Funds: Four Reasons to Stop Scrambling To Feed Your Creditors Before You Feed Yourself: I have to remind myself of this every time they call to harass me. I Come first. Granted, one of the steps with the CC Fairy is to restructure my debt to what I can afford, but I’m a few months away from that step.
    • Put the budgeted amount into savings out of the first check every month. If there is overdrawn issues to pay for, it comes out of what should be saved. I never got to the point where I could budget savings. 2012 tweak: Find some money for savings and keep it there.
  • Realistic: Pay off what I owe Mom, Dad, and Republic Finance using the debt snowball method by Dec. 31, 2011. *Hysterical laughter* Okay, that’s not really fair. It was doable with more income and more income never materialized. 2012 tweak: I’m working towards taking out a loan with my credit union to pay everyone off with a note I can afford to pay. The CC Fairy is one of the steps I have to work on to make this happen, and one I’m rather gung-ho about because I can’t see the forest for the trees at this point. So far we’ve discussed hypothetically refinancing my mortgage to do this, but if I take that route, I’m getting enough money for a temporary roof too.
  • Trackable/Time-based: Update my NetWorthIQ badge and show the progress. Or lack there of. I haven’t updated it since June. 2012 tweak: Update it only a monthly basis.
    • Save $1000 emergency fund by March 25, 2011. *Blink* I don’t even know how the math said that was doable. I did set up an ING Direct savings account and have $12.50 out of each paycheck going into it. However I had to raid it twice to try to reach my monthly expenditures. So I’m $944.50 short of the goal as of today. 2012 tweak: Budget in savings. My credit union is also running a savings challenge that I’m looking into. The Balanced Money Formula recommends 20% Savings (which includes retirement accounts, emergency savings, and debt repayment). I would be happy to set aside 10% each paycheck, but I can’t afford it yet.
Take health seriously This is the category that fell into the black hole of can’t-concentrate-on-this-with-bill-stress. Once I have a grocery budget, I’ll be concentrating on this in 2012.
  • Specific: Follow Primal guidelines on food and exercise
  • Measurable: Weigh every morning
    • Take body measurements once-a-week
  • Action-oriented: Exercise every day. Use outside play with Atticus
  • Realistic: Lose 4 pounds by next check-up with Dr. Miller
  • Trackable/Time-based: Keep a food diary and measurements at FitDay.com
    • Fill out the workout log book every day I exercise and show progress at Joe's Goals
Write 182,500 fictional words between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011
  • Specific: Write at least 500 words every day. I didn’t write every day and it stresses me out to see me not working by quantitative standards. 2012 tweak: Count by projects, not daily word count (unless I’m in a challenge that requires it).
  • Measurable: Post the weekly total every Saturday at DUF using the Writertopia progress bar. This year I’ve been fairly good with keeping this updated. 2012 tweak: Continue with this progress.
    • Keep track of daily progress with a marathon spreadsheet. This year I’ve been good at keeping this updated too. 2012 tweak: Maintain this progress.
  • Action-oriented: Finish Stellar Gift of Death by March 20, 2011. I’m still writing this story. 2012 tweak: Finish it already!
    • Finish a 5000-word short story for Triangulation submission by March 31, 2011. “Words of Parting” I actually finished and submitted. 2012 tweak: Use the helpful feedback and revise it!
    • Finish steampunk mystery Never started.
    • Finish another story in the Piper of Shadows universeNever started.
    • Finish the "Blue Man on the Porch" Never started. 2012 tweak: All of these projects should be listed under “Specific” and “Action-oriented” should be write every day.
  • Realistic: Finish four original stories before any fanfiction. *Snort* I so didn’t follow this 2012 tweak: Write what I want to write. Yes, it would be nice to have a stack of stories to throw at the markets, but if I don’t have the how-will-this-turn-out itch, I drag my feet.
  • Trackable/Time-based: Each story has a marathon tracker of its own, and metrics are posted daily at DUF. This has worked out really well. I have remembered to do this, even if I’ve been a few days late on the postings. 2012 tweak: Continue with this progress.
Submit enough stories to get rid of the anxiety over it
  • Specific: Submit to six markets by Dec. 31, 2011. I submitted to two markets before I got bogged down with Stellar Gift of Death. 2012 tweak: Submit to three markets, which means I have to get three stories ready for submission.
  • Measurable: Find a tracking method that I can update without fuss. Sonar3 is fitting my needs at the present. 2012 tweak: Get some data to put in it.
  • Action-oriented: Look for 12 markets. *Snort* Stellar Gift of Death has been quite the distraction from this. 2012 tweak: Do it.
  • Realistic: Send out at least one story in February, April, June, August, October, and December. So this wan’t realistic for me at all. 2012 tweak: Base the submission deadlines off the markets I fine.
    • Have conversations with the Fear Monger; it helps. Ole Fear Monger has been distracted from my writing by the debt crisis.
  • Trackable/Time-based: Honestly note the anxiety over each submission on tracking method. Sonar3 lets me keep whatever notes I want on each submission. 2012 tweak: This is a valuable tool, so use it!
Read Free!
The BookWorm

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