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It’s July, Y’all!
How in the world is it already halfway through 2021?! Time feels like it is speeding by as evidenced by my giant tomato plants- they are already growing past my six-foot-tall posts! I’m already getting a few purple tomatoes ripening that I’m thrilled to try!
Recently I read this fantastic blog by the Fioneers regarding conducting a mid-year goal review for your financial life.
The Fioneers are one of my absolute favorite financial blogs; you should check it out for great discussions on saving money and creating slow, manageable progress towards financial freedom. I’m crossing my fingers that they write a book soon to add to my favorite financial books post!
In the blog post, Jess (one of the badass creators of the Fioneers) looked at reviewing her annual goals at the mid-year mark. She noted her progress on each of her financial and business goals, created new strategies for goals that weren’t progressing, and envisioned brand new goals for the next six months.
Why You Should Review Your Goals
Maybe you created some badass goals for the new year that you were thrilled to start back in January. However, as the months speed by, you weren’t making any progress or WORSE, you had completely forgotten about them.
Sitting down and reflecting on our goals is a great method to keep the momentum and to reexamine where our goals made in January fit into our life today. I can tell you that the goals I made in January 2020 had to be completely altered to fit in the mess that was the rest of 2020.
Different Strategies for Your Goal Review
Jess from the Fioneers looked at reviewing her goals at the 6-month mark. This is certainly not the only strategy that you can entail for conducting a Mid-Year Review.
For some reason, we have ingrained in our minds that resolutions and goals have to be created at the beginning of the year.
NEWS FLASH! January is not the only time to sit down and create a plan. I think it puts even more stress on ourselves to come up with the perfect new year’s resolution.
I have one friend who reviews her goals on a monthly basis in 10 different themes (health, wealth, relationships.. etc) which may seem overwhelming at first glance. I have to come up with 10 goals?!
However, she only focuses all her attention on one or two areas at a time each month. At the beginning of each month, she conducts a brief overview in her journal about how she is progressing in each area and decides on just one or two small goals to really focus on that month.
What I love about this strategy is that it keeps all of her goals in the forefront of her consciousness butttt she is only implementing one small goal each month which feels incredibly doable.
Now that we are learned the why behind goal review; let’s sit down and look at creating and reviewing goals, specifically, BOOKISH goals.
Creating And Improving Goals At The Mid-Year Mark
We are going to use Alchemy Bookshop and some of my own bookish goals as an example of how to conduct your own mid-year review, and a better way to create measurable goals.
The most important step to goal setting is writing them down. In a 2015 study by Gail Matthews, writing down your goals (rather than just having them swirling around in your head) made it 33% more likely you would achieve your goals. Whether you use a journal, blog or iNotes, write them down!
However, one big problem with the goals we create is if they are too vague, it makes it harder to create a plan and then accomplish those goals.
- Okay goals: lose weight, be happy, start exercising.
- How do you know if you accomplished the goal? Make it measurable
- Better goals: lose 5 pounds by December, start walking.
- Now the goal is measurable but how are you going to accomplish the goals? Create a plan
- Best goals: lose 5 lbs by December by eating 5 servings of veggies a day and only drinking zero-calorie drinks.
- Now that is a specific and measurable goal with a PLAN!
We are going to examine our progress (or lack of progress) and create a plan for the rest of 2021. We are going to be very specific with all goals and plan on a review in December!
Our Progress on our Yearly Alchemy Bookshop Goals
Waaaaay back in January, we published a blog post discussing our business goals for 2021. The biggest negative that stands out to me is that none of the goals are particularly measurable. Our goals were not very specific due to the combination of not knowing what was a “good goal” and privacy concerns. Today, we are going to ignore both of those concerns and talk concrete numbers, baby!
Original Goal #1: Grow the Blog
What does “grow the blog” even mean?!? (Totally aside, I made these goals up in January so I am completely making fun of myself here:D)
To be honest, the blog fell by the wayside for the last 3 months with some months only having TWO blog posts. The combination of demanding jobs, job loss, health issues, and family dynamics made this winter/ spring HARD (oh yeah, and that little thing called the COVID-19).
New goal for 2021:
4 fantastic blog posts a month with the eventual goal of being 1 month ahead on the writing.
Original Goal #2: Focus on Pinterest
Sigh… Another vague goal. Pinterest brings in most of our views (Hi, all you lovely Pinteresters!!) and when we are consistent with it, our Pinterest views and clicks climb up! And when we don’t pin for 2 weeks, they go down….. really down.
New goal for 2021:
Currently, we are sitting at between 400-500K impressions per month on Pinterest. Our goal for the next six months is to grow our Pinterest views to 1 million. Doable? I think so with consistently pinning 10-15 pins a day.
Original Goal #3: Be Active on Instagram
Vague goal #3. The problem with Instagram is even though I LOVE the bookstagram community, unfortunately, it does not seem to bring people to our home base, the Alchemy Bookshop website. The biggest negative is that it tends to be a time vortex for me too.
3 hours later, I surface from Instagram reels…
New goal for 2021:
Have fun with Instagram but… don’t spend more than 15 minutes a day on the app. No pressure or number of posts per week
Original Goal #4: Pop-Ups Versus Physical Bookshop
Our original goal was to start Pop-Ups Bookshops this summer as the pandemic was making the question of a permanent location a little iffy.
We ran into a couple of problems in this regard.
1. Almost every outdoor festival we looked at required a registration up to a year in advance and/or waiting lists.
2. With vaccine rates going up and life returning to “normal”, should we simply focus our time and energy on the original dream, the permanent store, rather than spending our limited energy on pop-ups?
We actually looked at one turn-key bookstore in a vacation spot, but it was very $$$$ and did not include housing. Buying or renting for the store manager (likely Jane) was going to be prohibitively expensive.
We are currently opening our search a little further with the hopes of finding a downtown location with an apartment on top if it is in a pricer locale.
New goal for 2021:
Continue the location hunt for the physical shop as more and more properties hit the MLS. Already, there seems like at least double or triple the number of listing compared to last Fall!
Review of Alice's Bookish Goals
Enough about business goals, let’s dive into some bookish goals!
I started this year with a few goals in mind to expand my reading life a little more. My number one vice is re-reading my favorite fantasy books. They are like comfort food to me!
Have a bad day (or week!), pull out the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It feels like a warm, badass hug to my stressed-out brain. However, I spent the beginning part of 2020 ONLY re-reading comfort books.
There are TOO MANY fantastic books out there to only reread Ilona Andrews (as absolutely amazing as they are… have I convinced you to pick up one of these books yet??)
Goal #1: Minimizing Re-Reads
Welp, I feel pretty accomplished in this regard! I did not reread ANY books in 2021 until I re-read the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews in my last 3 stressful weeks of work. So let’s make it more specific for the rest of 2021.
Re-reads only consists of 10% of my total books read
Goal #2: Expand My Reading Into Different Genres that I Don't Typically Read
New Goal:Read 5 Thrillers and 3 literary Fiction Novels by the end of 2021. Thrillers I have in Mind: The One, Home before Dark, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and at least one of Jane’s Creature Features. Literary Fiction that I have been meaning to read: Beloved, Sharks in the Time of Saviors, The Shadow King, Less. Comment below if you have a great thriller or literary fiction rec!
Goal #3: Read One Long Classic
I have never loved classical literature, but I felt inspired to read a classic or two after I watched some movie adaptions, namely Les Misérables and The Count of Monte Cristo (which Jane adores).
However, it’s July and I haven’t started either book. I recently read Anne Bogels’ (Modern Mrs Darcy) experience with the Count of Monte Cristo audiobook, and I think I found my classic for the year.
Finish the Count of Monte Cristo audiobook. Only 52 hours to go!
Our plan for the rest of the year is to perform monthly reviews on our goals but we will wait until December to discuss further progress on the blog.
If you made any Bookish Goals for 2021, what were they and how is your progress? I would love to hear from you!