It was earlier this year I shared the six goals I've set for myself in 2016 using PowerSheets from the Lara Casey Shop. Now that we are just about six months into the year I thought I'd share the progress I've made as well as the hurdles that have popped up along the way!
The six goals I identified to focus on this year are listed below. You can read more about each of these goal areas in my first goal-setting post here!
1. Create a routine with Kurt
2. Become more financially stable
3. Identify a space for creativity and exploration
4. Build and maintain relationships
5. Plan for a family
6. Find a community
The area in which I've made the most significant progress is financial stability. Using the tending methods from PowerSheets to develop better habits around spending, saving, and making payments I was able to pay off one credit card in it's entirety within the first four months of the year! I have also continued my progress in saving money weekly. I've achieved results in both of these areas using two different methods - one each for paying debt and for saving.
In forming my plan to pay off my debt I first identified the credit card that had the lowest balance. When considering options I felt by starting with that particular card I would achieve success quickly and boost my drive to continue with the plan long-term. I made large payments twice a month and for my other credit cards I set up recurring monthly minimum payments. Now that this first card is paid off I have snowballed those large payments into the next card! I'm continuing to pay the monthly minimum as well as the two larger payments, maintaining that balance. The next phase is to complete payments on this next card by the end of July and with this pattern it should be relatively easy to achieve!
Regarding the savings plan, I set up weekly deposits which increase each week by one dollar. So, the first week of the year, I moved just $1 into my savings account. The second week I moved $2. This pattern will continue until the end of the year when I'll move $53 dollars in the last week of the year. It may seem like a small amount but by the end of the year I'll have saved almost $1,500! When I realized how such a small financial change could result in large gains I knew that this would be a great method for saving. By establishing this pattern and pre-scheduling all of the weekly payments I'm making saving a habit I don't even notice - it just happens!
Another area of success I've noticed is the increased feeling of community I have at the Pure Barre studio in Tallahassee where I attend classes. I am not going quite as much as I would like to but seeing familiar faces and being able to have those connections with other women is something I really need on a weekly basis. My hope is that I'll be able to continue growing that community throughout the rest of this year!
When it comes to hurdles, there have been more than I anticipated. Because I felt so confident about my goals after the initial PowerSheets prep process, I didn't expect to not succeed right away! During the last three months, I struggled most in the following areas:
In trying to create a routine with Kurt we struggled to find consistency. As he finished one academic term only to move into another, more chaotic, schedule the little bit of consistency we cultivated seemed to evaporate. I'm finding that with this goal I can't think on a long-term basis, but need to consider how to break the year into smaller parts that we handle more easily. Something else I've been struggling with is my desire for independence. This continues to be something I greatly value but sometimes I feel this internal pressure to abandon those feelings now that I'm married. I haven't yet found that balance of honoring my own values and maintaining my independence because this feeling of guilt creeps in and tells me I shouldn't need to feel that way anymore.
Regarding building and maintaining friendships I sometimes wonder if the expectations I have of myself are too high. In my relationship tending lists in PowerSheets I list these grand plans for surprises in the mail and lengthy phone dates that I have struggled schedule and to keep. I know that it's not from lack of wanting - I truly think about my long distance friends every day! But I haven't found a way to consistently carve out that time each week to send notes and making phone calls. I also have to remind myself that these friends don't operate on my schedule but have lives of their own. Sometimes coordinating schedules and finding time for lengthy catch-up sessions just isn't that easy to do.
Overall, I've struggled with consistency in the month of May. During my extensive traveling I didn't really reference my PowerSheets at all. So I got out of the habit of referencing my goals and identifying the steps I need to take each week and each month to move toward success. While my travel isn't really slowing down this summer I plan to shift my approach and begin blocking time in my planner for PowerSheets. That way I can resume the productive habits I was starting to form closer to the beginning of the year.
As I mentioned in my post last week, this summer I am giving in to grace instead of guilt. So rather than listen to my lesser angels insisting that I can't maintain the level of progress I had established at the beginning of the year I'm choosing to use the month of June to start fresh.
How does the summer impact your goal setting and achievement? Do you find you've hit your stride by this point in the year? Or are you hitting the bumps along the way like I have? I'd love to hear more about your goal setting and achievement process in the comments!