Well, we’re almost halfway through October—that means there are only 79 days left in 2021. I’ve been reflecting over the past two weeks on the goals that I set for the third quarter of the year (or as I was also referring to as—my second attempt at a 12-week year).
I’d mentioned in a post over the summer that I was combining the ideas of two books together and using those as ‘stepping-stones’ for goals in different areas. The ideas that I’m combining are ‘choosing focal points (or specific areas)’ to focus on (‘The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life—A Creative and Practical Guide’ by Margaret Lobenstine), and the goal setting method from ‘The 12-Week Year: Get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months’ by Brain Moran and Michael Lennington.
The four areas that I’ve decided that I’m currently focusing on are: professional development, personal development, health, and hobbies. The plan is to blend them together enough that I’ve created a career that is semi-location independent, and is focused on freelance/remote/contract writing/blogging with the possibility of adding in data analysis and/or consulting in the future.
The one thing that I’m still working on is figuring out how to divide the goals that I pick for the each month into weekly and then daily goals.
I’ve usually been trying to set four to five goals per focal area, with the possibility that one or two may have several ‘sub’ goals associated with them.
Instead of listing out every single goal that I set for the summer, I’m going to summarize the areas instead.
In terms of professional development, I had the lofty goals of completing at least two Cheeky Scientist advanced programs, learning python (coding), working through another three small e-courses on Udemy, and continuing to read/share science news and network on LinkedIn.
In terms of personal development, the lofty goals included refreshing Spanish, reading at least one (or two) non-fiction books a month, working through even more e-courses on different sites, and coming up with my own vision of minimalism and how I was going to diversify my income.
In terms of health, I was planning on continuing with BOD workouts (LIIFT4 and then Morning Meltdown 100), meditation, gratitude entries in the journal, oracle card drawings, working through a couple of courses, and trying to find new recipes to try at dinner.
In terms of my hobbies: at least one nature walk with the camera at Boomer Lake, reading, working on a cross-stitch project (or making some jewelry), and then again working through more e-courses.
So how did I do with my various goals?
In terms of professional development:
I’ve been fairly good at reading and sharing new on LinkedIn and twitter (I try to share at least one post Monday to Friday), and I’m working networking more and adding value to connections on LinkedIn.
In terms of the various programs, courses, and programming—I didn’t really get to any of them. Though I have most of the editing assignments for the Medical Writers Organization done—I just need to work on the writing assignments, plus finish up the sixth module.
I would say that I managed two out of the five professional development goals (so forty percent completed).
In terms of personal development:
I think I’ve managed to read possibly two non-fiction books over the past three months, I’m slowly working on my vision of minimalism (I need to go through the clothes and DVDs in the bedroom—and then tackle everything in the storage unit), and I’m slowly working on the ideas for generating varied income sources.
Again, the computer work hasn’t been completed.
Therefore, I probably managed another two out of the five goals (so another forty percent completed)
In terms of health:
I managed about 26 days of the oracle card sharing challenge. While I enjoyed it in the beginning, it was starting to become more of a ‘chore’ and I wasn’t getting that many interactions on the posts. I will probably share a reading here and there on Instagram, but probably won’t be daily.
With having messed up my wrist mid-June/early-July, I’ve been giving it time to heal, so I really haven’t been doing anything that requires lifting weights. I will be trying to start a second round of Morning Meltdown 100 during the fourth quarter of 2021, knowing that it will run into the first quarter of 2022.
I’ve been good with my evening meditations and daily gratitude entries in the journal. I’ve done a little over half of the explicit tarot course, and in terms of cooking—I couldn’t find any recipes that appealed to me this quarter.
I would say that I managed about half of the health goals for the third quarter.
The best area was hobbies:
I managed a walk every month at Boomer Lake with my camera, I read at least two or three fiction books a month, and I finished two cross-stitch projects and started a third. The only goal that I didn’t really touch was the one in regards to the e-courses.
Therefore, I would say that I managed three of the four goals (or seventy-five percent) for hobbies.
Overall, I would say that I managed to reach fifty percent of all the goals (and sub-goals) that I set for the third quarter.
There are several reasons why I only managed to meet half of the goals:
September was spent dealing with an ill dog and not knowing the outcome/prognosis. While we now know the prognosis, it may still be touch and go—especially when she starts to get weaned off the medication.
I also quit doing my weekly to-be accomplished lists in September (see above about the ill dog), and the daily to-be accomplished lists in August. The reason why I quit writing these out—I let the inner critic/imposter syndrome win a fight. I’m slowly working on getting back into the habit of doing both of these (slightly better with the weekly to-be accomplished lists).
Finally, when the weather is fairly nice—I’d rather be sitting outside enjoying the weather and possibly reading or journaling than being inside and working on the computer. I know that this is something that I need to work on improving (time/project management) as we move into the fall/winter months when more time will be spent indoors than outdoors.
So what are my goals for the four different areas moving into the fourth and final quarter of 2021?
Professional Development (This area is focused heavily on computer work):
- Finish at least two of the following Cheeky Scientist advanced programs:
- Medical Writers Organization
- User Experience Squad
- Regulatory Affairs Council
- Business Development Federation
- Finish the following short courses:
- 15 errors in scientific writing and how to correct them on Udemy
- How to become a freelance editor on Udemy
- How to become a freelance writer on Skill Success
- Read and share science (and other news) on LinkedIn and Twitter
- Network and add value on LinkedIn
- Finish Write Your Way to Freedom course
- Finish Writing Patient Materials course
Personal Development (A third to half of the work will be computer based):
- Read one-to-two non-fiction books/month
- Draft ideas on how to implement diversification of income streams
- Work through the following short courses:
- How to work for yourself on Udemy
- Complete personal finance course on Udemy
- Freelance writing 101: build a successful career on Skill Share
- Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth on Skill Share
Health (Possibly a third to half could be computer based):
- Start a second round of Morning Meltdown 100
- Daily mediation and work through the course: Mindfulness for Anxiety on Udemy
- Daily gratitude journal entries
- Daily oracle card drawings and finish the course: explicit tarot: learning tarot through storytelling on Udemy
Hobbies (possibly a quarter could be computer based):
- At least one walk per month at Boomer Lake with camera
- Read two-to-three fiction books per month
- Finish the third cross-stitch project, possibly start a fourth or design/create some jewelry
- Work through the following courses:
- How to start a creative business through blogging for beginners on Skill Share
- Modern copywriting on Stack Skills
There are still quite a few e-courses that I’m hoping to finish before the end of the year—I may or may not get through all of them, but I’m hoping to have worked through at least one in each area (bonus points if I can finish all the e-courses under a specific focal point).
I mentioned in my October New Moon Goals—that I was going to be trying to face one ‘big’ fear during the next phase/month. I decided that the fear is starting my freelance/remote/contract writing business. Therefore I’m probably going to focus a little more on the courses that deal with that topic (which all but the two under health). The name of the blog (a little bit of this, a little bit of that) will probably stay the same—I may just change the website address (all depends as I work my way through the various courses).
This also means that I may having more posts written in a specific area (such as science/medical education/communication), but at the same time keeping other posts coming throughout the month (such as book reviews, photography, and crafts).
I realize that getting things up and running will take time (especially when it comes to marketing my business, billing, and creating/sticking with a editorial schedule)—but I currently have the time to do this, so I’m going for it: the overall goal is to reach at least fifty-percent in each area and an overall all progress rate of seventy-five percent for the last quarter of 2021.
Do you use the 12-week method for planning? Best tips? Or is there another method you like?