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checklist-1402461_1280Since this week marks the halfway point for the year, I thought it would be a good time to do a goal check-up and see if I’m on track or have some catching up to do. (Of course, I have a strong feeling that I’m behind, but I’ll try to be objective about the whole thing if you promise to do the same in your life. Deal?)

First off, what were those goals anyway? The goal-achieving experts say to post your goals in a place where you’ll see them and then review them every day. So I don’t have to go very far to find my goals list because right above my computer is a sticky note with the following six words.

Focus: Faith. Family. Fiction. Fitness. Finances

Back in December, I blogged about my goals for 2016 so you can see what I meant specifically, but essentially I planned to focus my attention on five key areas in my life where I wanted to either see change or make a priority. So, the real question becomes how am I doing halfway through the year and what changes do I need to make in order to give a better report this December?

Let’s start with a good one to make this evaluation process a little easier. Finances. After reading a Dave Ramsey book, I set aside a small emergency fund from our tax return. Turns out the timing was perfect because my son’s truck died a week later and we had to replace one beater vehicle with another one and the cash covered the bill without stress. Since then, we’re on track to save more towards upcoming expenses (like braces and college tuition) and padding that emergency fund even more. Between a specific focus on this area and a few other blessings like a basketball scholarship for my oldest son and starting a consulting business, we’re on track to be in a good position by the end of the year.

Next up, fitness. Rather than focus on a number like a weight loss goal, I wanted to get and stay active on a regular basis. Beyond counting steps for each day, I’m enjoying Fitbit’s new activity goal where I can strive to get at least 250 steps per hour during the work day. As a writer who spends way too much time sitting in front of my computer, that feature is making me set a timer and then get up to move around.

What about family? Well, with my oldest son’s graduation from high school last month and leaving for college in two months, I’ve naturally been focused on creating and savoring each memory and moment. We’ll be shifting gears this fall to a family of four at home so that natural transition to create new habits should keep a focus on family. And I’m sure my college son would appreciate some focus as well in the form of care packages from home!

So far, so good. Now on to the area of faith. This one is harder to measure but I know I still need to work on setting aside dedicated and focused time in the Word either through an audio Bible or a Bible study. Between times of worship with others at church, intense prayer for scholarships and business direction, and a few podcasts I listen to while walking, I haven’t slipped in my faith walk. But it’s always important to grow closer to God and learn how to trust Him more, especially with the crazy uncertainty in our world thanks to terrorists and even elections. Enough said.

Last, but not least, fiction. I already know that I’m far behind my writing goals for this year and am focusing on that turtle power of making the first things first. I’m going to a writer’s conference in two months and am launching my second novel a month after that so the next few months will get a little crazy with marketing and networking. But as long as I can keep adding a little bit each day to the word count, when the dust settles after the book launch, I should have at least one novel ready for the publishing queue. Honestly, one reason I’m more than a bit behind my goals is that I’ve also been busy starting a coaching business to help other authors with things like websites, blogs, and social media strategies. That’s been good for the financial goals, but it’s also been distracting as I strive to find a balance in my daily routines.

Whew. So maybe I’m not as far behind as I thought. Just keep pounding out those words and saving money. Keep learning and growing in faith while walking. And keep on spending quality time with my family when I can. How’s that for a mid-year goal check-up?

What about you? What goals did you set for 2016? Do you have them somewhere visible so you can easily review them? Are you making progress? What changes will you need to make in order to reach those milestones by the end of the year?

 

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