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My Goals for 2012: Biannual Progress Report

We are approaching the halfway point for the year (scary, isn’t it?), so I thought this would be an appropriate time to assess my progress in reaching my goals for 2012. I have to say I think this is the most headway I have ever made since tracking my goals, and it is all because of the approach I took in setting them back in December. Due to failing pretty miserably at completing my plans for 2011, I had to really focus on ensuring my goals for this year were realistic and attainable. That’s not to say it’s been easy. I really am proud to be crossing many of these points off my list. But enough banter, let’s get to it.

My goals for 2012:

FINANCIAL

–          Pay off my student loan in full. Holy shit, I really did it. This has been at the top of my list since graduating in April of 2010. I knew it would take a lot of hard work and determination. Originally I had planned to have it paid off by December of 2011. This was a classic example of an unrealistic goal for me. I had put way too much pressure on myself to get a high paying job in my field right out of school. I quickly realized I couldn’t have the best of both worlds. So this time around, I put my focus on my finances first, and gave myself permission to focus on my career later. And it worked. I actually reached my goal one month sooner than anticipated.

–          Find a full-time job in my field or pick up a part-time job on the side. I gave myself two options here, because I’m aware of how quickly things can change. Last year I managed to land an ideal freelance writing opportunity. But I quickly learned the freelance route can be quite unpredictable. And I also realized how much I craved some financial security at this point in my life. I have big financial goals for the future. There are also many other appealing factors to a full-time staff writer position, which I hope to share with you in future posts. I didn’t expect to complete both of the options for this goal, but the world works in mysterious ways. I had already crossed it off when I picked up a part-time serving position back in January. But I feel much better about it now that I’ve landed a full-time position writing for a magazine called IT in Canada. I couldn’t be happier about the direction my writing career has taken in the last couple of weeks.

–          Set up a Retirement Savings Plan. X Now that I have paid off my student debt and have landed a stable, full-time job, I can really start to focus on my savings. I think I will be able to cross this one off very shortly.

PROFESSIONAL

–          Pick up two new freelance writing contracts. Well, I picked up one new contract. But I wasn’t necessarily considering the work load of a full-time staff writer position when I set this goal. My plate is definitely full with two writing jobs. I also have a secret project on the go, which I am counting toward this bullet. (I hope to share it with you eventually)! Fortunately, I like to keep busy.

–           Blog more.  I think it’s fair to say I have made the necessary efforts in improving my blog. I try to post at least two to three times a week. I’ve also been making a habit of preparing posts a week ahead of time, which has really helped me in keeping organized with frequent posts.

–           Network with other writers in person. I blogged a little while ago about finding a writing community in my area. I continue discovering new reasons to be amazed by the power behind a room full of writers. I couldn’t imagine a better writing community to be a part of and I am constantly inspired by these individuals who have also become my friends. I also volunteered as a board member for this group, so extra points for me!

–           Guest post for other blogs. I’ve written three guest posts so far this year for other blogs. I love guest posting—it’s the best way to be interactive in the blogging realm. I also enjoy posting guest posts by other writers on Charlotte’s Web. I plan on writing at least three more guest posts before the year is over.

PERSONAL

–          Find more opportunities to meet people in my community. This is an ongoing goal of mine, but it was still appropriate to cross out as I feel I have been taking the steps in reaching it. I met a great group of people when I picked up the serving job at a local chain restaurant, and even though I will no longer be working there I hope to continue many of these relationships. But I am always on the look-out for further opportunities to meet new people in the neighbourhood!

–           Stick to a workout schedule. X Yikes. Big time fail here. I really need to step up my game this summer, as there is no excuse. I was hoping to join a sports team of some sort, but I’m not sure if my busy work schedule will allow it now. I do plan to do a lot of hiking and bicycling with my boyfriend, as well as kayaking adventures and volleyball games at the cottage. I love being active outdoors, so I need to set a schedule and make sure I stick to it!

–          Cook at least one meal per week via recipe. X Another fail. Part of the difficulty here was the hours I worked when serving, so hopefully a “normal” work week will let me focus on experimenting in the kitchen. Then again, I am preparing myself for an intense schedule and it’s hard to feel like cooking after a long day. It will take some determination to reach this goal, but I’m still going to try!

–           Find a yoga studio.  I’ve found an awesome studio and I am excited about making my return (I’ve only been to one class). Unfortunately I recently injured my knee so I haven’t been able to commit to much extracurricular activity, but as soon as it heals I plan to get back out there.

–           Travel to B.C. to visit my brother and my childhood best friend. Woohoo!! It was such a blast crossing this off my list. I had an amazing trip and I can’t wait to go back.

–          Enhance my photography skills. Practice makes perfect, right? I just have to keep at it. I’ve been taking lots of photos but I need to experiment more and research some stuff, or perhaps look into taking a class of some sort.

Overall, I feel like I am on a roll. It’s been an incredible year so far and I look forward to what’s to come!