In this series, I’ll recap my 2018 goals and how I did each month.

Woah, it’s already February. Which means it’s time for the first installment of my monthly reviews for 2018.

If I had to sum up January in one phrase, it would be “Shoot for the moon and you’ll land on the stars.”

Cheesy, I know. But I was slightly off track for my annual goals in many categories and I still feel like I had a pretty good month compared to my “average” month last year. It makes me confident that I set good targets for myself. They aren’t easy to hit, but still within reach, which is exactly the range that will help push me forward.

In other categories like Merch uploads and Instagram posts, I realized I may have set my annual targets too low. While I’m not planning to officially adjust my annual targets, I am adjusting the numbers I’m holding myself accountable to in my head.

Here are my results:

Health:

WHY: I want to feel good all the time, be able to support my loved ones now, and have the longevity to support them in the future.

2018 goals:

Eat a minimum of 1,400 servings of fruits and vegetables:

I ate 114 servings of fruits and veggies in January, averaging about 3.7 per day. This was below my daily target of 4 servings. I had a bit of a rough patch with eating healthy at the beginning of the month, but I turned it around the last 10 days. I’m not that disappointed with this result considering 3.7 servings on average is still better than I did throughout most of last year.

One tweak that has boosted my performance this year is upping my smoothie game. I started making my green smoothies at night for the next day and this has helped me become more consistent with getting in 5–6 smoothies per week (worth 3 servings each).

Get a minimum of 2,700 hours of sleep:

I slept for about 223 hours in January, averaging about 7.2 hours per day. This was below my daily target of 7.5 hours. I’m still having trouble staying asleep at night and I obviously want to get this number higher, but I still feel pretty good getting 7 or more hours of sleep. Lately, I’ve had more nights of close to 8 hours of sleep or more than I can remember having in a long time, so I feel like I’m moving in the right direction.

Get a minimum of 3.1 million steps:

I took about 240,000 steps in January, averaging about 7,755 per day. This was below my daily target of 8,500 steps. I was pretty good about going on my daily walks, but even that only gets me to around 7,500 steps on a typical day, so I need to do a bit more here. I’m not worried about getting my step count up this month because I’ll be training for a 15k in March and playing in two different soccer leagues.

Fitness:

WHY: I want to get stronger and fitter so I can look good, do athletic things, and maintain my physical health and well-being.

2018 goals:

Perform a minimum of 1,225 training sets:

I performed 103 workout sets this month, about 3.3 on average. Even though I’m setting a weekly target of 25 sets for training, I find it helpful to evaluate this goal against a daily average target of 3.5 because of the uneven number of “weeks” each month and also because I’m trying to move in the direction of more frequent workouts with lower volume during each workout. I feel like this is more enjoyable (and better for reinforcing a daily exercise habit) than trying to cram a bunch of sets into only a couple of workouts each week.

Go for a minimum of 100 runs:

Sticking to my running schedule of running twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, I should have run 9 times in January. But I only ran 6 times. Not great, but better than nothing. This isn’t a super high-priority goal and I’m happy that I even ran 6 times during the most difficult month of the year for me to run (because I hate the cold). Even living here in Florida, I’d say all of my 6 runs were in 30 to 50 degree weather. The good thing about this was that I forced myself out of my comfort zone. I never would have voluntarily gone for a run in sub-60 degree weather even a year ago.

Do a minimum of 5,000 push ups:

Another “for fun” goal, but I did really well on this one. I did 600 pushups in January vs. my goal of 620. This has been a pretty easy habit to build as long as I remember to drop and do my 20 first thing in the morning when I get out of bed or before I head out the door. If I forget for some reason, it’s still easy to make up later in the day. I remember doing “makeup” sets on several occasions this month at the end of my workouts at the gym, at my sister’s house, and in the bathroom at an Airbnb beach house we rented for my wife’s birthday.

Personal Finance:

WHY: I want to provide wealth, security, and experiences for myself and my family. I want to be financially independent as early as possible because having total autonomy over my time will maximize my quality of life.

2018 goals:

Upload a minimum of 350 designs to Merch by Amazon:

My annual goal suggests one upload per day. But I’ve been shooting for maxing out my daily allowable uploads, which is currently two, because… why not? I uploaded 52 designs this month vs. my “unofficial” run rate goal of 62. In the past month, I’ve already doubled the number of designs I have live on Merch. Unfortunately, my sales have not increased in proportion. This is a little frustrating, but I have to continue to remind myself that I need to just keep doing what I can control, which is uploading.

Writing:

WHY: I want to share my best ideas and build a strong personal brand.

2018 goals:

Write a minimum of 125,000 words:

About 9,700 words this month vs. my target of 11,000. Once again, I fell short of my target even though my writing output this month was pretty good. Anything near 10,000 words is a respectable month. My Quora views have increased due to my writing output and I’ve also grown my Quora following by about 20% this month, which is pretty cool. I’m confident I will hit my annual word goal if I can keep this up.

Write another book:

Haven’t started yet, but I do have a couple of ideas.

Publish a minimum of 365 Instagram posts:

Another “fun” goal. Like Merch uploads, my annual goal suggests one per day, but I’ve increased my current target to two since I started another Instagram account for my t-shirts. So now, my goal is to publish once a day on my writing IG account and once per day on my Merch IG account.

Since I started the Merch IG account about halfway through the month, and I published 54 posts, I’d say I probably met this goal. I’ve also grown my following on both accounts. I’m interested to see how this will continue if I can remain consistent with my posting throughout the entire year.

That’s all for this month’s update. Until next time, keep crushing your goals!

AlyG

First published on Quora.


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