January Focus Review: My Morning Routine

I had planned to have the conclusion of my Mins Game published today, but I’m still behind… So that will have to wait… Doesn’t really bode well for my year of monthly challenges… But we won’t think about that today… Anyway… Let’s discuss something else…


When I published my post on my updated morning routine, I had no idea what sort of response it would get, and I was definitely not prepared for the popularity of that post. It was a Pinterest sensation! Remember when I mentioned that I was getting near 10,000 views for all of 2016?  Yeah, with that morning routine post, I have already almost reached that in just a month. I even had a couple days with over 1000 views each!  Craziness!  (I realize that this might not be a lot for other bloggers, but it is a huge jump up for me!)

Anyway, the point is that it was obviously something that many people were interested in, so I figured that I should do a follow up to discuss how my January focus went, and what I learned from it.

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Tracking My Friends & Family Goal in My Bullet Journal

A couple weeks ago, I posted my personal goals for 2017.  The first of these goals was to visit or spend time with family and friends at least 2 times a month.  The intention of this goal is to be a better friend and a more active participant in these relationships.  It does sort of go back to the post that was the inspiration to my first goal like this for 2016.  I have less and less time to spend with these people who are so important to me, so I want to make sure to take advantage of any time I have.  And I know that my friends make me a better person, so if I can be a good friend and add value to their life, they will add value to mine.

Anyway, so far in January I have definitely been successful with this goal, but I wanted a way to keep track of what I’ve been doing and also to see the holes where I need to improve.  The solution came, as it tends to do these days, with my bullet journal. Continue reading

A New Morning Routine


On Tuesday, I posted about my personal goals for 2017.  Goal #4 was to complete a monthly focus.  For January, I have chosen my mornings.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my old morning routine is no longer working out as well… The new puppy has added in a whole new set of tasks and requirements.  And I wanted to re-think it, and re-work it to fit my life now… Of course, as she always seems to do, just when I needed some inspiration on the topic, Cait Flanders posted about her slow morning routine that she is working on for January.

Unlike Cait, however, I am not trying to slow down my mornings… As much as I would love to…  I’m more interested in making sure that I get the important tasks completed.  I already naturally have very slow mornings… If I make a cup of tea, I sometimes just sit and drink it staring out the window…  And that is fine, if it fits in to the timeline of getting to work on time.


So, what do my mornings need?

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Personal Goals for 2017


Last year I had financial goals and miscellaneous goals… This year I’ve decided to rename the miscellaneous goals to personal goals… But the content of them hasn’t really changed much.

2017 Personal Goals

I’m always wanting to improve myself in all aspects, as I hope is evident from the name of my blog, but we aren’t really capable of concentrating on too many things at once, so it is better to focus on one or two things at a time and really get a hold on them before moving on to the next thing… I tried to keep that in mind when I was making my personal goals for this coming year. Continue reading

Financial Goals for 2017

Last year I laid out 4 financial goals, but also added another goal of keeping our monthly spending below the average of the year before, and we reviewed them on Tuesday

So, now it is time to discuss what my financial goals will be for 2017.

2017 Financial Goals

When I sat down to write out these goals, I had so many things I was dreaming of and wanted to do (imagine if I could be mortgage free and retire early and travel the world and… and… and…), but I really have to make it realistic if I’m going to accomplish anything, so it took some calculating, instead of just pulling numbers out of a hat like last year.  After all my brainstorming and figuring, my goals for 2017 don’t look all that different from the goals I had for 2016… Just slightly different numbers… Continue reading

2016 in Review: My Misc. Goals

Happy New Year!  And, another delayed post… Holidays and schedules really don’t mix… I hope you had a great new year’s eve and had a fun time welcoming in the new year.  Hopefully I’ll be more successful this year in keeping my Tuesday/Thursday schedule.  Anyway… 

I went over Goal #1 & Goal #2 for 2016 in my last post, and I’m leaving my financial goals (Goals #3 to #6) for later in the week when I can get actual year-end numbers, so that leaves the last 4 goals to review… the random miscellaneous goals… So, let’s quickly go over these now that 2016 has ended so I can move on to my goals for 2017.

Goal #7 – Visit 1 Family Member per Month

As I mentioned when I started this goal at the beginning of the year, I figured that this goal would be pretty easy and fun to do.  I did a mid-year update on this goal in June.  I felt good about it at that point.  Since then, I have done at least one family related thing each month.  Some months a bit more.  So I totally met this goal.  I am not sure exactly what I was exactly hoping for with this goal in terms of feeling, but even though the numbers show I was successful, sometimes I feel like my intention wasn’t quite there or that I took the easy route, rather than actually take this challenge and roll with it.  But we will call this goal a success in any case. Continue reading

Goals #7 & #8: mid-year update

In January, I posted my goals for 2016.  Included in those goals were two goals relating to my personal relationships with family and friends:

Goal #7: Plan 1 visit with family (outside the usual special occasions) per month.

Goal #8: Make an effort to reconnect, visit or stay connected with at least 1 longtime friend per month.

This all stemmed from an article I read over the Christmas holidays and how I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t missing out on limited time with my family and friends.

So, now that we are mid-way through the year, I figured I should probably take a look at these goals and see how I am doing…

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March Habit Tracker Check-In

I’m going to continue with my monthly check-in on my habit tracker in my bullet journal (see last month’s post), as that is where I am keeping track of the various smaller goals (in the form of my giant Goal #2) that I’m working on…

How did I do in February?

Feb 2016 Habit Tracker

I started the month with 8 habits to work on… and then part way through I added a 9th.

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February Habit Tracker Check-In

At the beginning of January, I introduced the habit tracker that I have in my new bullet journal.  It’s nothing original, so many bullet journalists are using the same idea or something similar, but I was pretty proud of it, and was motivated to keep up my new good habits… until I went on vacation…

Okay, if I’m really honest I never did have a single day where I fully did every habit… so I can’t really blame my vacation…  And I started this blog to keep myself accountable, so let’s take a look at how things went…

Here’s how the January habit tracked ended up:


#1 – Morning Routine: 8 half successful days… and 1 success… Basically, I have a really really hard time getting up at 5:30am.

#2 – Exercise: 16 successful days.  I was doing very well, and then I went on vacation.  It is true that while on vacation I did do a lot of walking… but didn’t count that… But I also don’t really count that as a failure either.  It’s just the way vacation is…

#3 – At Work by 9am: 10 successes.  2 half-successes. (I had planned appointments that made me get to work late.)  But I wasn’t expected at work on weekends, or during my vacation… so… really, there were only 2 days of the month that I didn’t do this when I should have… So, that’s a huge win.

#4 – Blog Posts: I did 6 blog posts in January.  If I was following my Tuesday/Thursday scheduled, I should have done 8… and they weren’t always actually posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays like I want either.  Some work to do here…

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2016 Goals #7, #8, #9 & #10

Misc. Goals

As I  mentioned in my last post, I’ve messed up my categorization of my goals for 2016 (compared to 2015), so this post will have the rest of my random personal goals for 2016.

Over the holidays, my sister shared this article with me:  If you’re 30% through your life, you’re likely 90% through your best relationships.  Though I followed the links there and found the original post here: The Tail End.

I found the article interesting, and eye opening, and the graphics were pretty mind-boggling.  If you don’t want to go over there and read the article, basically it is laying out visually, the amount of months, weeks or days that are contained in a 90 year life.  And it has fun by looking at your life in terms of other events, like number of US presidents or Superbowls or swims in the ocean…

But then it goes on to discuss how the 34 year old author only has about 300 days total left with his 60 year old parents (assuming they live until 90 and he continues with the approximate 10 days a year), which compared to the amount from his youth is only about 5% of his total in-person parent time left.  That doesn’t sound like much, does it?

Similarly, he discusses the amount of time left with his sisters (about 15%) and with his high school buddies (about 7%)… It’s an interesting concept to think about, and it got me wondering… How much time do I have left with my family and friends?  Am I making the best of it?

As I was thinking about that, I got to thinking about the different relationships with members of my extended family.  I have a coworker who is best-friends with her cousin, and they were each other’s maid of honour at their weddings.  (I guess technically, one was a matron, since one was married before the other.)  I live in the same city as most of my cousins, but I barely know them and don’t see them other than at large family functions.  To be fair, my coworker is the same age as her cousin, and the closest cousin to me in age is 8 years older than me and the next is 12 years younger than me… but still…

Anyway, this thinking has brought me to decide on my focus for 2016, which is relationships.  I want to nurture and grow my relationships, with a focus on my family and my longtime friends.  The ones that I may be in the “tail-end” of our time together. So I made two goals for 2016 relating to that:

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