It is the end of February, two months since I set my goals for 2016. It simultaneously feels like the new year started ages ago and just happened. I am continuing to work towards achieving my 2016 goals.
I established five goals for myself:
- Get back in Shape
- Expand Thomas Woodcrafts
- Continue Growing DadGoesRound
- More Family Time
- Smile More
Getting in Shape
I have continuing going to the gym most mornings this month, although I have missed more days than in January for various reasons. Sometimes sleeping through my alarm, in some cases due to work travel and some weather-related causes. One day we got so much snow we beat previous records for one-day snowfalls all the way back to 1912. The result of shovelling all that snow? I took a couple of days off the gym because my body, especially my shoulder and back needed to recover from the shovelling. I am also having some lower back issues that require some physio and on some days that preventing me from going to the gym. In spite of missed gym days I have made an effort to build more exercise into my days – running up and down hotel stairs and doing push ups in the evening at home.
I have fallen off of calorie counting, although I am still doing a relatively good job avoiding sugary snacks and other high calorie foods. I will be restarting the calorie counting in March to make sure I stay on track. My weight continues to drop, I’m down almost ten pounds now from the start of the year. I can see and feel the difference in how my clothes fit and at the same time I know I have more work to do.
Expand Thomas Woodcrafts
Thomas Woodcrafts got more focus this month. I developed three new products and tested out some new marketing ideas. I tried out Facebook Ads this month for the first time – to no avail. I am participating in a session in early March and hope to learn more about what I can improve to make them more effective. I also started writing a semi-monthly blog over on my site. I started with a post on the Benefits of Balance Boards. Next I will be writing a piece on how to estimate how tall a child will grow as an adult and looking at some of the myths and stories about that topic. The post will of course include links to my growth chart product listings. In March I plan to finally launch my Thomas Woodcrafts newsletter. I will be using these semi-monthly posts and information about new products as my content foundation for the newsletters. I have also started making my Thomas Woodcrafts Facebook page more active. I have started finding content that I think my audience might find interesting to help draw more people to the page. I have only been doing this for a couple of weeks and need to do some thinking on what kinds of content I need to find to share on this page. I expect this will come more into focus in March as I do some more planning.
This month I branched out from my focus on kid’s products and introduced bread/cutting boards to my product mix. Each one is one-of-a-kind as they are all handmade and the dimensions and appearance all depend on the piece of wood I am starting with. My first two boards are an Oak Baguette Board and a Cherry Bread Board. I am very happy with how they turned out and will definitely be making more of these products.
I also made my first step stool. I am going to do a few variations on this one and then make a larger one with a fold out smaller stool. This particular version is sold unfinished so that customers can finish it to suit their own decor. It might also make a good decoration project to do with a child so they can make it their own.
Grow DadGoesRound Blog
My primary focus this month has been consistency. Most weeks I have published two posts and I have several more in development that should help me to stay on target now that I have some ideas and posts in development for those times when I run into writers block. I also wrote one review of a museum exhibit and one guest post on another site.
Like my Thomas Woodcrafts Facebook page I am curating more content on my DadGoesRound page and have been building my follower base. This has resulted in more engagement on my page, some good conversations and helps my blog content get seen by more people when I publish it. In March I am going to continue this approach and start adding in more of my older content as I clean it up and make sure that all the older posts have images that will make them more shareable.
More Family Time
This is a constant challenge. How do I carve out more time for my family and also achieve other priorities and goals. I think this falls into the category of dad guilt – there will be a post on this topic coming soon. I am doing a better job of saying yes when my kids ask for my time regardless of what else I am doing. I also feel like I am having some success managing our seven year old’s temper tantrums by paying more attention to the emotions she is feeling and acknowledging those feelings. It doesn’t always result in an end to the tantrum, but it certainly does help me manage my own response. If I am focused on what my daughter is feeling I am less likely to get into a competition to see who can be more stubborn. By no means have we stopped butting heads nor have her tantrums come to an end. I do however feel like we are starting to make some progress in a baby steps kind of way.
I am making a concerted effort to smile more. There is no way to really measure this or prompt myself. It is usually when I am sitting on the bus commuting to work that I think about this and so I smile, even if it is just to myself. It helps me start the day in a better and more optimistic mood.
Some ups and downs this month. It has been a financially challenging month, however I am making progress on my goals. In March I will put more focus on Thomas Woodcrafts to help bring in more revenue and reduce some of our financial stresses. Now that I have some new products available and in development it is time to step up my marketing efforts so I can actually sell these products.