Welcome to the monthly goal update series. At the end of each month I’ll write a wrap-up post on how I am tracking with my goals. I know the only person interested in this much detail about my life is my grandmother, however science says that you are more likely to achieve something if you have to share your progress publically, and who am I to question science?

March in a nutshell

I can’t believe we are already a quarter of the way through the year! March was a month filled with new clients, mostly short term, though one longer term. Regular trivia nights, and another famous $5 dinner party- this time with a Spanish theme! These are always great fun and bring out the creative side of our friends without adding a financial strain to the relationships. There has been a lot of rain in Sydney this month, so having some low key, indoor social events has been great for building relationships – not so great for my fitness goals.

The goal review

To check out what my original goals were go here.

1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night 

spanish serano ham and melon $5 dinners

Our $5 dinner contribution – Spanish theme

I must say I’m pretty good at this 😉
I’ve been consistently able to get 8 hours of sleep per night, especially with all the rain to lull me to sleep and that it is getting darker in the mornings. Perhaps my new goal should be to get up for work on time in the mornings when it is cold and dark.

2. Do more physical activity

I stuck to my plan of asking for a training buddy and joining a local sports team. I also asked Mr Balance to start a weekly training session with me and this happened a total of 1 time (in the rain) and was never to be seen again due to work and conflicting schedules. I also contacted my netball association and asking if they needed drop-in players and they said yes. I was able to play 2 x 1 hours games 2 weeks in a row, it was great.

And then the constant heavy rain came. Netball was cancelled for 3 weeks in a row, putting a big dampener on my enthusiasm.

While I have also signed up for another season of soccer (football) and it is due to start in April, however I am unsure if there will be enough player interest to form a team – still waiting to hear on this one.

Overall I’m still disappointed in my progress in this area. I made a small effort in asking for help and joining up to sports, though I didn’t follow through an have back up options to reach my goal in the event of cancellations. If the soccer team doesn’t go ahead I will take the money spent on registration and either join a local gym or hire a personal trainer to kick my butt into gear. I still believe that if I make a habit of exercising regularly it will become easier.

Are you a fitness enthusiast? I’m looking for a guest post to offer hints and tips for training in the rain and suggestions for indoor activities in a small space. Contact me here to discuss your ideas!

 3. Find a way to ‘give’ each month 

In an unfortunate turn of events one of my friends was diagnosed with an aggressive case of Multiple Sclerosis after beginning to show symptoms late last year. This has lead to her not being able to work for several months, a few hospital admissions and a major lifestyle change for herself and her partner. It is times like these that we are reminded to be thankful for our health each day as well as considering how we can support those in need to overcome such life changes.

Although treatment has come so far in the last 10 years there is still no cure and much more research needs to conducted. I am blessed to know such strong and resilient people and be in the financial situation to be able to donate to such a worthy cause.

4. Increase my savings rate by 1% each month   

With a saving rate of 50% in February, the goal for March was 51%. Each month I charge every expense I can to my $0 annual fee credit card in order to get maximum rewards points, and pay off the bill in full each ’55 day interest free’ cycle to avoid any extra charges.

Expenses were low for March with most of the month spent on low key activities and working with new clients taking up a lot of time. There were also 3 fortnightly pay cycles in March as opposed to 2 in most months so that is always a nice little boost.

March was also my best dividend month ever! While this is technically income, all dividends are put back into the market so I have decided not to include this in my income/savings rate and will simply count this as an extra on top of my savings rate as it only happens a couple of times a year and I would like to build my savings rate up to 60% by the end of the year and see if it will be sustainable long term.

5. Learn as much as I can about blogging and update this blog at least once per week

In March I spent a bit more time learning about how to use Canva to create pictures for social media with specific sizes to ensure the best results. I also created my first opt in incentive. I know I can improve on this and plan to expand it out to be a full workbook, however I’m happy to have gotten one thing ticked off my list.

I’d like to learn more about how to create writable PDFs to create the workbook as well as create some other printables to offer subscribers. I will also be working on a more thorough introduction email sequence and offering more value to new members of the balance community.

Got some tips for other ways I can improve my blog and offer you more relevant content? Let me know in the comments below or contact me here.

That’s a wrap!

Bonus content

How I’m keeping on track with my goals – and you can too!

Lock and Key - unlock your potential

Unlock your potential

Consistency

Just do something. That has become my mantra each day. When I’m feeling terrible or tired from a long day at work, I remind myself that making a small contribution to my goals will make a bigger difference over time.

Have a support system

Sharing my goals with family and friends (and everyone on the internet!) has kept me going in the moments when I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve got an especially awesome personal cheerleader in Mr. Balance, who will happily go on walks to help me reach my step goal, or have dinner at home to keep the savings rate high.

Accept there will be hurdles and failures

Sometimes life gets in the way and doesn’t work out exactly as we’ve planned, be grateful for the learning experience. Each hurdle you come across will help shape the way you work moving forward.

Review and adjust

I regularly evaluate if each goal is working, making sure they are still achievable and relevant. As well as writing these monthly updates, each Sunday I asses the week that was, focusing on the goals I didn’t achieve and the reasons why. This helps me highlight and plan a strategy to reduce any foreseen hurdles in the week ahead.

Celebrate the small wins

With life moving by so quickly, sometimes we can forget to take stock of what we’ve achieved. Each week in my review, I congratulate myself on what I have achieved so far. Even on an average week I acknowledge that each small step towards my ultimate goal is worth celebrating (with a pat on the back, not a bottle of champers ;)).

Did you set goals for 2017? How are you tracking? What have been your major hurdles and how did you get back on track?