Not long ago I wrote a post on how to achieve your goals, with a free goal setting sheet.
To grow a business or a life you love you need to create goals and plan how to reach them.
Which also means to achieve any goals you need to create a plan, and most importantly do the work.
Here’s the truth. It’s not easy. You have to choose. You have to spend time working out your goals, planning and scheduling the work. Then you have to do it. There’s no short cuts here.
So I have decided to start publishing my monthly goals and updates.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who reads about people who ‘quit their job and travel the world’ and think – ‘But how!?’
I have been transparent on this blog about how I have got the money to travel the world. Now my goal is to create an income that allows me to continue this location independent lifestyle.
I’ve owned this domain since 2011 and have invested money over the years into building the website, hosting and on blogging courses.
I’ve spent countless hours blogging, guest blogging and all the other stuff that goes along with building a brand. This includes social media, networking, marketing meet ups and research.
When I decided to start the site fresh for this trip five months ago I knew it was time to really take my dreams seriously.
How I am breaking it down.
I’ve talked in the past about being goal orientated and planning for success, and I truly believe that we can achieve anything that we want. But we have to do the work to get there.
I’m breaking down my monthly goals into Wellbeing, Minimalism, Money, Work and Travel – which are the different areas of this website.
I figured as I define the betternotstop ethos this way it would be a good place to start!
As it’s the first month I’ll be doing this I’ll start with my plans for August. Moving forward I’ll be accessing how I did the previous month before making goals for the next. This will give you a real time access to the things that I am doing to create a life I love.
I worried a bit about creating this blog post, as it is so accountable – but I truly believe that if you do the work then nothing is impossible. I wanted to put my words where my mouth is and share with you my plans, dreams and goals.
Get the FREE Year Goal Planning spreadsheet emailed to you!
Wellbeing & Minimalism Goals:
If you don’t know already, I suffer from Chronic Pain and manage this through plenty of walking, yoga and a healthy diet.
In the past I have been on a cocktail of 30 painkillers a day for this, and for a period in 2016 had to use a walking stick. For me it’s a daily issue still.
1. Yoga Every Day. I often have hard shooting pains down my legs from trapped nerves and acute back pain making it uncomfortable to walk and sit. Recently I have a new pain, a crushing cramp in my left arm which has reduced me to tears.
I still walk 10,000+ steps a day as being active is important to reduce this happening at all. I’m hoping 30 minutes yoga and physio every day (rather then just when I hurt a lot) will remove daily pain from my life completely.
2. Only drink once a week. Alcohol can makes my pain and sleep worse, so I have already greatly reduced the amount I drink. However it’s easy to get in the habit when you eat out a lot to have a drink with every meal.
3. Stop looking at my phone when I wake up. I’d like to pretend that this is because we are seven hours ahead so I need to check how work and my family are. But to be honest, I tend to be aimlessly scrolling through email, Facebook and instagram for at least 20 minutes every morning.
4. Daily Meditation. I suffer from anxiety and I think a lot of this has to do with trying to do too much. By replacing my aimless scrolling with Meditation I hope to start each day more mindfully. I use the Headspace app often anyway, and paid for the year subscription so plan to work through some of the courses this month.
Work & Money Goals:
I treat both betternotstop and Stag & Raven as my work projects, so I will break this down under both.
I’d really like to increase the amount of people I connect with through my blog. I currently have Facebook and Instagram which I post to regularly. I recently also started using Pinterest and Twitter which I have found super useful.
However throughout August I am in China, where all of these are banned! So my plan to connect more is slightly different this month:
1. Schedule Facebook and add content regularly (338 Fans). I don’t expect a huge increase in followers on Facebook until I make sure I’m adding useful, helpful content. I plan to make sure I have scheduled new content every week. You can follow me here.
2. Create Pins for all Articles on Pinterest. I want to create pinnable images for all the articles on betternotstop so that our stories are easily shared on pinterest.
I’m still trying to figure out Pinterest, but making sure I have the right assets ready to share for when I leave China will be super helpful. You can follow me here.
3. Get 1 month ahead on blog posts. Lots of bloggers talk about being three months ahead on blog posts but that feels a long way off. Phil’s weekly trip updates need to be done on the road. I want to try and write at least my weekly posts a month in advance. Then I will also look at guest posting again as it’s a great way to share our story.
4. Publish all our Articles on Medium. I read recently that you can publish your wordpress Articles onto Medium, another online platform which I use regularly. I want to share our writing as much as possible so my focus this month is to make sure all our articles are on this platform too.
5. Site Redesign. I want to add more information about Stag & Raven on the site, as well as make it easier to navigate and follow.
You’ll notice that none of these are based on me selling anything or making money through affiliate marketing like a lot of the monthly updates available online.
I want my blog to add value to my readers and show insight into how I am trying to live a creative life. Long term I hope to make an income through the books and courses I create for this community.
Blog Posts that were popular in July:
We travelled through Russia and Mongolia in July which was a real cultural change. We also wrote guest posts for Coffee and Passports and HomeworkingClub.com.
You can catch up on all the articles below!
- Coffee And Passports 10 Ways to travel Europe on a Budget
- HomeworkingClub.com Making Money from Shopify Stores: A Study
- Week 16 Trip Update Travelling on the Trans-Siberian
- Week 17 Trip Update Mongolia – Naadam Festival
- Week 18 Trip Update Mongolia – Modern Mongolia and Playtime Festival
- Travel Tips 5 Things I’ve learnt from 100 days non stop travel
Stag & Raven
My best friend Kate & I run a Tattoo Art Brand Stag & Raven selling Art online. We recently collaborated with Inkluded, an Award Winning Tattoo blog and have just released a new wave of exclusive clothing.
We have grown from 6 Artists to 60 in the last two years. But I am still living on savings so the next stage is to build the brand so that I can start taking a wage.
With running Stag & Raven, Accounting, cashflow, invoicing and communicating with our sixty Artists are all part of my role. But I also need to focus on how to grow our income and our customers.
My goals focus for the last four months of 2017 is to market our business to a wider audience.
1. Create Pins for all Collections on Pinterest. I want to create pinnable images for all the collections on the website so that our Art is easily shared on pinterest.
This will mean I have the right assets ready to share for when I leave China. You can follow me here.
2. Work with 10 new Influencers. As we have such a niche product, I want to work with more micro influencers & bloggers to share our work online. I have been reaching out to people recently and I’m hoping to set up product reviews and Ambassador programmes with the right people.
3. Update Accounts and create year end cashflow plan. (YAWN)
As Mr Micawber’s famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”
I plan to review the year so far and make predictions for the last four months to see how much I can invest in a new Marketing Campaign for the last few months of 2017. As I have mentioned before I am living on savings so hope to start taking a wage shortly.
Phil and I will be spending August travelling through China before heading into Vietnam in early September. Sharing our trip may be difficult as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are all banned in the country!
My goals for August for travel are pretty simple.
1. Walk the Great Wall of China. I’m slightly nervous about this as I hate big crowds but we’ve found a few options to visit quieter areas of the wall which are less ‘touristy’. I’m excited about seeing this though as it’s such an iconic wonder of the world!
2. Have a spa day. Since we arrived in Asia I’ve been dreaming spending a day lying by a swimming pool and having a deep tissue massage to escape the heat. It’s our two year anniversary this month so we plan to have a spa day to celebrate.
3. Try new dishes. I love trying new food and I’m sure China is going to blow my mind. I want to make sure I push myself to try new things while I’m away and hopefully discover new favourites.
4. Journal every day. While I’m sure Phil & I will plan a trip full of amazing sights and sounds, I am all too aware of my memory. While Phil creates weekly trip updates for the blog I have been keeping a bare bones diary. This needs to be improved for when I sit down and write a book about this adventure at the end of the year.
Just fifteen minutes at the end of each day should work. I’m furious I never did this when I lived in Malaysia, travelled Africa or any of my other trips!
So what next?
Phew, that was a long old post wasn’t it! Thanks for making your way through it and getting to the end.
As I’ve said before, You don’t get healthy by writing a meal plan then not sticking to it. You don’t clear your debts by writing down how you can clear them. You don’t magically get more Customers and you definitely don’t magically have money appear in the bank.. (I wish!)
To get to where you want to be, and to get to who you want to be…. You must do the work.
I have created an easy to use free planning spreadsheet. So you can create a plan, set your goals and turn your dreams into solid, real possibilities. So if you want please feel free to join in!
I’m interested to know what you think? Writing this post has been a huge motivation for me so I’d love to hear your thoughts?
Looking forward to catching up with you next month on how I have got on and setting my September Goals.
Get the FREE Year Goal Planning spreadsheet emailed to you!
Also published on Medium.