April 13, 2011

2011 Goals Update

On December 28th I listed my goals for 2011. Hard to believe, but in less than three weeks the year will already be one-third gone. That is long enough to judge my progress. Let'[s take a look.

Goal #1 was to publish an e-book by March 1st. My reading and study of successful blogs make it clear that just blogging is probably not going to be enough to push any blog to the next level.  Its goal is not to make money, its goal is to increase awareness. So, it must be worthwhile and it must be free.

  • Goal accomplished. Building a Satisfying Retirement  became available  February 27th. As of today over 1,100 copies have been downloaded.

Goal #2 was to start a web site to sell my wife's abstract photographs by May 1st.  I wanted to work toward developing a web site that sells her incredibly inventive abstract photographs. With a digital camera and Photo Shop she produces true works of art.

  • Goal not accomplished. Even though it isn't May 1st yet, this isn't going to happen. A major project for church has occupied all her free (and not so free) time. That wraps up April 22nd. Maybe this summer. We'll see how she feels about the whole thing after a month to decompress.

Goal #3 was to become one of the top 3 blogs in the non-financial retirement lifestyle  niche by my one year anniversary of June 23rd.  I'm not quite sure how I'll measure this. But, it is goal I'd like to set for myself. Why? Personal satisfaction primarily. If I'm involved in something I want to keep growing and developing.

  • Goal  is a work in progress. I'm comfortable with the progress the blog has shown. Whether there is way to quantify this goal is yet to be seen.
Update: As of April 15th, out of 4.9 million results for search term "Satisfying Retirement" on Google, this blog holds the first 3 spots. Maybe I can move this goal into the accomplished column. Thank you readers!

Goal #4 was to take another extensive driving trip like last year's 5,000 mile jaunt. I refuse to wake up some day and be upset that I waited too long to get back on the road.

  • Goal  has been changed.  Instead of a driving trip next fall we have decided to spend 3 weeks on Maui instead. We both love Hawaii and haven't been back for much too long. A driving trip is still going to happen, but maybe not this year.

Goal #5 was to simplify/downsize one aspect of my life. I want to eliminate cable TV from our house by April 1st.. We watch so little that paying that bill every month is silly.

  • Goal accomplished. Cable TV went away in mid-March when the company wanted to raise my costs by 20%. An antenna now picks up local channels for free and the Internet and Netflix does the rest.


   2 - Goals accomplished
   1 - Goals not accomplished
   1 - Goals changed
   1 - Goals too early to tell

Since 2 goals were accomplished I should set 2 new ones. Here goes:

New Goal #1:  To produce a 2nd edition of Building a Satisfying Retirement by year's end. Besides fixing a few typos and some sloppy writing, I would like to include some pictures and maybe some graphics to make the book a more enjoyable read. This time, my goal is to sell the book on Amazon, as a e-book download. Price? Probably no more than $5.

New Goal #2: Make the second half of this year more focused on us. Betty has had a massive project at church that has consumed most of her time, energy, and attention since late last year. It ends April 23. I have been spending too much time on the computer working on developing this blog, putting the e-book together, developing a Twitter & Facebook presence, all while working at a part time job.

The concept of "we" has suffered. Time together as a couple has been in short supply. Starting May 1st the emphasis will turn back to why we has lasted 35 years together: spending our time and energies on each other.

What about you? Did you set some goals at the beginning this year? How is your scorecard looking? Time to redouble your efforts, refine your goals, or set some new ones?

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  1. Maybe time to make some goals:>)

  2. Good morning, Janette,

    Hard to believe we are already so far into 2011...kind of depressing, actually!

    Go ahead...set some goals. Any time is the right time (is that a cliché?)

  3. I hope this goal-setting/achieving project isn't taking away the essence your retirement in any way. I thoroughly believe in goals and structure, yet I see retirement as the time to pursue one's (new/old) goals without the kind of pressure that is reminiscent of the old "hamster treadmill".

    Actually, as I reread, I'm impressed in particular with your New Goal # 2 - a very smart move/adjustment, indeed.

  4. Hi Steve,

    No, I am not overly structured with goals. They are larger things I would like to do this year. There is still plenty of time to do fun things, like fix the sprinkler system which I am working on this afternoon!

    Yes, New goal #2 is the most important of all.

  5. Blogging has become a very intellectually stimulating part of my retirement life. But I don't gauge its success by the number of hit or the rankings. I personally have five blogs that span a pretty wide range of areas.
    I am also an avid list maker. I think I can pull up with a list of activities from the last 35 years or so! It is good to have goals but freestyling is also a great part of retirement. I am no longer constrained by time.


  6. Good morning, RJ,

    I actually check all 5 of your blogs on a regular basis. You are certainly quite a blogger.

    I like the term "freestyling" as a way to describe the freedom available in retirement. My goals give me large, overall targets to strive for. But, most of my day is more open to the moment: picnic if the day is nice, meeting a friend for coffee, working in my garden, going to the gym, reading on the porch....I like the blend of structure and openness.

    If I ever started 5 blogs, though, I think my wife would have some serious words with me.

  7. As was posted elsewhere, it's impressive what a little effort & time from a creative intelligent mind can accomplish! I would say this experiment of yours has been quite a success!

    I also think the encouragement from two of my favorite cousins has helped too!

  8. Hi Darren,

    Encouragement from a whole bunch of family members has certainly helped.

    Thanks for your support, and say Hi to Evan and Dafina for me!

  9. Good for you! I didn't set out specific goals, which is a good thing since the surprise announcement by two of my daughters that they are pregnant would certainly have derailed at least some of them!

    My retirement plans (not goals) are on track. The end of May will be here soon!

    Instead of goals, I have a word or the year. This year it's Yield. Given the surprises I just mentioned, yield seems like a good "goal."

  10. Hi Galen,

    Yes, families and all that comes with them have been known to sidetrack a goal or two. When both my Mom and oldest daughter broke bones on the same day, the next 6 months didn't look anything like I had planned!

    "Yield" is an interesting work. It can mean give in to pressure or changes. Or, it can mean to produce, as in a crop yielded lots of apples. In your situation it can actually mean both: yield to your daughters' needs which will yield two new grandkids!

    BTW Galen, tomorrow's post will include your comment on the "experiment" post of last week.

  11. Bob,
    I think you are an inspiration. You have clear objectives and you focus- not as an end in itself but to help you see you position on the trail you selected. Talking about your progress is very helpful.


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