January 2020 Monthly Update of my Personal Goals

It’s that time of the month again to reflect on my goals I set for this year. Preferably I should do this on a fixed date because living a day to day life it’s pretty easy to push off mundane things and focus on more instantly satisfying items that require less thought like watching YouTube or Netflix.

Anyways on to the goals I’m working on this year.

Grow Leadership

This goal has still been going well.  I have a lot of high visibility assignments I’m working on this year for work that have been making steady progress.

I also am reading through more Stephen Covey personal development books to center myself and my principles. I’ll go through this in more detail with blogs specific to it as I begin to really understand the habits to the point they are second nature.

Lose 10 lbs before June

Short answer is my weight is the same as it was a month ago which definitely isn’t progress.

I’ve been going to the gym more often and picking up the intensity.  The draw back is I’ve used this good work as an excuse to eat more “reward” foods which completely ruins the balance. Now that I’ve identified this sticking point I can correct it and still have enough time to keep making progress towards the goal.

Reduce how much soda I drink

No progress, the convenience of having soda at my office doesn’t help either.  I’ll make a goal to drink Tea at lunch this next week instead of soda! I’ll let everyone know how that goes in the next update.

Gain twitter followers

I’ve gained 10 followers in the past several weeks.  Completely passively from the blog.  This is not what I would call results but people are taking notice. I need to put in some active work to think through motivating tweets that can help my desired audience of people out there that want to grow themselves and keep making steady improvements do their lives and those people around them.

Learning Chinese

Next subject.  Really though there is something else I’ve been spending a lot of mental energy on lately.  Which goes back to the point of the struggle of trying to do too much at once.  Maybe just doing a few of these goals at a time would have been better.

In reflection these are not really SMART goals since they aren’t time based and I didn’t assign a measurement to some of them.  I will have to redefine the goals and prioritization of them before my next update.

Finish four coding problems per week

This is going strong and I’ve actually been doing more than four coding problems per week. Hopefully soon I can slow down and just participate in a few coding contests per week to keep growing my skills and algorithm knowledge.

I have noticed when I focus on coding tasks at work after doing this I’m able to be more productive there.

Once a week journaling

Seeing as how my last article was 6 weeks ago, it’s safe to say I haven’t been achieving very well on this goal either.  But we are back at it!  Again there have been other things adding stress that came up that I didn’t originally count on when I made this list which isn’t an excuse.  It’s an opportunity to pivot goals and realign efforts.  It’s easy to look at a large item of things to do and get overwhelmed.  As a result of the pressure of failing it’s also easy to fall back to ‘easy’ habits.  When we can recognize when we are doing this and giving us a kick in the ass to get back to doing first things first is where the most beneficial progress can be made.  I’ve made this epiphany right now which is why it’s good to do this kind of thing. Whether it’s an online blog or a personal journal, giving yourself 15-30 minutes to write down your thoughts and give yourself a kick in a butt can be extremely motivating.


Reading six books and watching less youtube

More YouTube than books but i’ve read the first two chapters of “First things first” by Stephen Covey.  It promises to be a helpful read in remember how to do things that will present long term value and focus less on not immediate and low impact items.

He goes on to explain that every person has 24 hours in a day and that you will find someway to fill that time. Without prioritizing that time will likely be filled with Youtube, social internet browsing, or Netflix, nothing against those items, I do them too often myself. Instead it’s better to focus on boulders in your life such as maintaining good relationships, good health, and developing your mind.

YouTube is definitely one of those ‘easy’ habits to get into, especially when you may feel stressed or on the edge of burn out.  There’s so much different content there that is more relate-able than some shows on TV and you can say to yourself well this is only 10 minutes; it’s not as bad as watching a whole 30 minute TV show. Then one video turns into 3 and it ends up being the same thing, and if what you are watching is not at all educational or personally motivating then it really is just wasting time that could be used to incrementally grow your mind, body, soul, skills, etc…

As a personal action item maybe I should log how much time I actually do these time waster activities a week and track trends. Also set a metric to watch 10% less youtube each month and figure out what that number is.

Write better technical articles

Last month I wrote “M-Co. A practical Example of What Does a Professional Python Developer Do for a Business?”

I was really happy with the way this article turned out and thought it would be a very good and insightful read.  I posted the link on Reddit and was excited for people to read it and be moved by the story, and thought I’d have 1000 page views the next morning and social shares and all the fun stuff.   I woke up the next morning and only 100 people read the article with two up-votes. Not one of my finer moments.  I still believe in the story but I guess the branding on the article was wrong, my only hope is that google finds the right audience in the next 4 months through algorithm tuning.  Otherwise it will just sit in my ghost town like this article for me to read and review.

At the very least, the article helps me think through alternative writing styles, being aware of audience, and get in a better rhythm when writing. It may not win a Pulitzer anytime soon but it at least provided a small bit of progress towards me becoming a better technical writing.


Build up passive income streams

This is the section that all 5 of my viewers per month really come for I bet!

Let break down the numbers shall we.

  • BeAPython.dev blog: -150$ for writing, no affiliate income.
    • Roughly 37 organic viewers per day at 37 articles.  I’d expect it to be more but I think my keywords may not be highly searched.  Will be putting time into keyword SEO and writing some content around stuff that people are more actively looking for. Hopefully the other articles continue to keep getting indexed better and people find them useful.
    • Found another site called iWriter to find additional writers that may be more comfortable writing more technical content and for a cheaper price. The first article with them was reasonable.  Still looking for someone that can write core tutorials while my time is focused on other things.
  • Stocks: 826.61$  mostly holding facebook, alibaba, store capital, and spy
    • No major changes in January to holdings
    • Month has been really good and I definitely don’t expect that kind of result every month
  • Dividends: 37$ STOR, MGP, DIS
  • Real Estate: -700$
    • Still not making any money here from the get ready fees and the tree falling on my shed.  Also I offered a half price first months rent offer to bring attention to the listing.  The new tenant has moved in and I really hope he ends up being a good responsible person.
  • Youtube: -150$
    • How on earth do you lose money on YouTube?
    • Answer: Be Me
    • Really though I bought some camera attachments and batteries to start recording things. I’d like to create financial advice to supplement this blog as I get more time.  I’m also working on making supplemental python videos for my main blog, which I don’t expect to get many views for my current articles but it will at least help me learn to make the videos and get comfortable on camera.

Be more intentionally mindful

I acknowledged this wasn’t a goal in my last review post and it looks like I’m still carrying it over as a goal that’s not a goal as a reminder to myself to make this a goal goal instead of a vague priority.  After looking through this list again it seams perfectly reasonable to break this list up into goals and priorities.  For the next article I’ll come up with measurable goals for the things I need to and create a priorities section.

Maybe I should create a follow up blog next week “The differences between goals and priorities”.  That would be a good opportunity to reflect on that myself as well as writing a good personal development article that could be searchable!

Thank you all for following along and I hope you are setting your own goals and priorities as well as setting aside time to reflect on those!

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