2016 Goals – How did I do?
Last January I set some general goals for myself to achieve during the year. In June I got more specific about my goals and made them into goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. I did a reasonably good job reviewing and reporting on my progress every month. Some months I didn’t have time to write, but I did review and continue working towards my goals.
Here is my wrap up on how I did before setting out on new objectives for 2017!
Get Back in Shape
SMART Goal: My goal was to lose 10 lbs. by the end of 2016. I was going to do this by tracking my food intake, reducing my snacking and eating more appropriate portions of food. I was going to increase my physical activity by going to the gym, Aikido training and biking to work.
I did track my food intake, but not consistently throughout the year. I went to the gym regularly at the beginning of the year. In the spring I stopped going to the gym after I started Aikido training with my eight year old. It was challenging to maintain the schedule of classes and when we stopped for the summer, we never got around to restarting in the fall. I started a new job at the end of the summer and our office is on the 8th floor so I climb the stairs pretty regularly when I am in the office – although most days I work from home. I try to do the stairs two-three times a day when I am in the office. When I work from home I sporadically go for walks at lunch.
I didn’t achieve my weight goal. I don’t have a scale so I don’t know what I was down to at the beginning of December, my clothes were fitting better though so I know I had dropped some weight. Weighing myself at the end of December after two weeks of gorging on chocolate and several large festive meals is probably not the right time to do it. I am up a couple of pounds since my last measurement. I do feel better than I did at the start of the year and I am generally eating better and somewhat more active physically.
I have work to do in 2017 and this will be an ongoing project with a more specific plan and realistic objectives.
Expand Thomas Woodcrafts
SMART Goals: Rebuild ThomasWoodcrafts.com to improve site management, customer experience and marketing platform; write promotional blog posts and send out a monthly newsletter; Exhibit and sell at three – four craft shows in the fall; develop an online marketing strategy and implement it; sell at least $500 worth of product per month by October.
It took me a while to get around to rebuilding the website, but I got it done and then I got hacked and had to rebuild it again. The end result is a cleaner site both in terms of appearance and on the administrative side. I still have some cleaning up to do and I need to rewrite the product descriptions to make them more appealing and informative. That will be a project for 2017.
I have produced four newsletters since early November and now that I am through the fall promotional period I will settle into writing one per month. I had written several promotional blog posts prior to November, but lost all of them when I had to rebuild my site. I forgot to copy and save them before deleting and rebuilding the site from scratch. Since November early November I have written three posts and will continue writing one – two posts per month.
I exhibited at four craft shows this year, one in the spring that was a complete waste of time for all vendors. There was very little traffic through the show and most of us lost money at that show. I did three shows in the fall with varying degrees of success, all were worthwhile and I made money at all of them. One of the shows provided a space for a conversation with a mum who was looking for small wooden cars and that conversation resulted in a new product. I know make purse cars, which has provided me with another avenue for using up scrap wood. I sold 20 of these cars in the last few weeks of December.
I achieved my goal of at least $500 in sales per month started in September and already have orders for January that will almost get me to that goal.
I did not get around to putting together a marketing strategy. I do have one that is partially developed. I did test out some different types of marketing in December that will help to inform the strategy that is in development for 2017.
Grow DadGoesRound Blog
SMART Goals: rebuild DadGoesRound.com; write evergreen content in the form of Dad Guides; make my Dad Guide: Your Daughter and her period available as an e-book for sale; clean up archive posts to add images where they are missing; submit guest content to other sites; increase readership to 10 000 by the end of 2016; publish one to two sponsored blog posts per month; generate revenue from the site through affiliate links and advertising on my site.
I rebuilt my site and re-oriented my site in March. I was struggling with what to write for the previous six months or so since I had decided to reduce the amount of information and number of images I provided about my kids to respect their privacy as they get older. I started producing Dad Guides on a weekly basis for several months and then life got busier and it got harder to find the time to produce them on a weekly basis. I will continue writing the guides in 2017.
The first of the Dad Guides was a series of four posts to help dads learn about menstruation and prepare to support their daughters when they got their first periods and puberty generally. I then edited them all together into a .pdf with the intent of converting it to an e-book format for sale. I still haven’t completed the final step of editing and making the e-book available for sale. This will be a project to complete in early 2017.
I am almost done cleaning up the old posts to add images. I was doing two a week and now I just do them as I encounter them. This task will be completed early in the new year.
I have started submitting older content to other sites and had one published on the Good Men Project in December. I am making a shift in strategy in 2017 that will give me more time for submitting content to other sites in the new year.
I had increased my readership to 6000 by June and expected to see growth continue for the rest of the year, but that didn’t happen. In part because life happened and my posting schedule became irregular and I had less time to focus on driving traffic. I am seeing regular traffic every day to my evergreen dad guides and some of my older content that I have been promoting through Pinterest and other platforms. I am taking lessons learned from this year to inform my approach for 2017 to increase traffic to the site.
I was producing a couple of sponsored posts a month for several months and I have written posts that include affiliate marketing and will continue to produce these posts. The job I started in August pays better than my last job so I feel less pressure to generate revenue from my blog. I will be writing these types of posts as I find opportunities of interest, but without a specific target.
More Family Time
My SMART Goal was to sit down as a family and develop a plan on how to spend more quality time together.
That didn’t happen.
My new job offers the same kind of flexibility as my previous one, with less travel so I am around more and working from home more often. The lunchtime walks with my partner were a great way to spend time together without kids when we were taking them. We fell out of the habit over the past month or so as the weather got colder and I needed to use most of my spare time to make products ordered from Thomas Woodcrafts before Christmas.
I did also make more effort to spend more time with my kids throughout the year and say yes more often to their request to do activities together. I have some thoughts on how to do a better job of this in 2017.
It took a while to land on a strategy for how to achieve this goal. Then I hit on a simple SMART Goal – schedule reminders in my calendar to smile. It did it and it works. I see the reminder and regardless of what I am doing or how I am feeling I smile. It improves my mood every single time. I can put this one in the win category with a smile on my face.