Home > Accountability, Goals, School > Happy New Month! (April 2011)

Happy New Month! (April 2011)

It’s been some time since I successfully repeated my one monthly feature…and since I’ve been wanting to start other monthly features, it’s probably pretty important that I get my 1st-of-the-month-goal-check out of the way.

Now, due to the fact that I haven’t HappyNewMonthed (that’s a verb, right?) in quite some time, I never explicitly stated any goals for the month of March, but I did indeed have a few floating around in my head:

March

  1. Not fully understanding how the ranking system worked or what to expect from it, I set myself a goal for No-Kill Finance to rank above (or would it be below?) #10,000,000 on Alexa by March 31st.  Clearly, I was in the dark in setting this goal, because in spite of some generally unimpressive visitor numbers, I’m currently at #1,965,559.  Apparently that’s nothing to be proud of…but good for me, anyway!
  2. In terms of those visitor numbers, I didn’t have very high hopes and didn’t know where to set my sights, so for the first month, rather than setting a numerical goal for pageviews, I just aimed to post 4 entries per week…not a difficult goal for a guy who only works one job and has a fair amount of typically-wasted free time.  I succeeded at this goal, but only technically…I posted 17 entries in March, but only one in this most recent week.  Shame on me!
  3. I wanted to try to keep my grocery spending below $200 (spent $220.70…FAIL!).  My problem with these goals is that I don’t operate on an envelope budget, or really anything similar.  I just tally them up at the end of the month to see how I did.  Not effective, in terms of budgetary planning.  I should work on that.
  4. Other budgetary goals:  under $30 on alcohol (I spent a whopping $48), under $40 on “entertainment” (a wide-reaching category of my budget that includes newspapers, magazines, books, concerts, board games, and various costs associated with hosting parties/gatherings…I spent over $100…epic fail), under $30 on dining out (I spent $71), and under $20 on transportation (I spent $16…hey,a success!!!).
  5. I hoped to pay off 100% of my credit card, which as of March 8 stood at $281.37.  Well, that was a stupid goal to set for myself, since I had an LSAT prep class that I knew I was going to charge.  So, now that my credit card bill has almost passed the $1000 mark, I’d doubt I’d be able to pay it off before summer if not for the previously discussed estate money coming my way.
  6. I wanted to get rid of some of the crap that litters my apartment.  The specific goal I set for myself on March 9th was that I wanted to get rid of an average of 1 item a day.  Well, from that day, I purchased three new items but “got rid of” (or set aside, at least…with the intent of selling) a whopping 84 old ones, averaging out at over four per day!

So, a somewhat disappointing showing in numbers for the month.  Perhaps a mid-month check-up (a “Happy Ides” post?) would help me keep these goals in sight?

Now, to set up some content for discussion in next month’s (fingers crossed) monthly feature:

April

  1. Given that No-Kill Finance had 373 visits in the month of March (a small number, but not bad compared to a whopping 36 in February), I’m going to try to reach 500 in April.  So long as I can keep spending time on maintaining at least decent writing quality (I won’t claim to have mastered the art of blogging just yet) while I’m taking my two-month LSAT prep class, this shouldn’t be too lofty a goal.
  2. Oh yeah, I’m taking an LSAT prep class starting next week.  While I previously thought they were a horrid waste of money, I now see the value in overcoming test anxiety and maybe boosting my critical thinking skills a touch, as well.  As a very rudimentary goal, I’m going to not miss any of those very pricey classes.  (The only partial exception to this will be the final hour or so of April 21st’s class, which is most unfortunately the same night as a concert by one of my favorite bands of all time, to which I purchased a ticket a couple of months ago.)  As a more long-term goal (the test is in June), I’m aiming to increase my score by 8 points from last fall’s rather disappointing result.  Note that 8 is my minimum expectation for myself…I wouldn’t mind increasing it by 15 or 20, either.
  3. I want to find a reliable method of stress relief by the end of April, leaving myself all of May to learn to relax in the face of June’s LSAT, July’s move, and all of August’s associated stresses of relocation.  If anyone has any suggestions for calming myself down (last time I meditated and failed miserably at not freaking myself out on the morning of the test), I’d love to hear them.
  4. I need to plan a pre-move trip to the coast to look for work and housing.  I’m extremely concerned about the former, and mostly confident about the latter given the wide variety of badass awesome neighborhoods that Portland has to offer.  Both a job and an apartment in one trip, though, justifies at least a 4-day stay, which will probably require some bargain shopping.  (I have almost $550 saved for vacations – a funny word to use for such a stressful trip – and will have $650 by the end of April…hopefully that will be enough.)
  5. While I should up my writing goal to “1 entry per weekday,” I’m concerned I might not be able to sustain that rate with 8 hours of class each week, so I’ll stick to aiming for 4 per week.
  6. #1,500,000 or better on Alexa?  Note the question mark, as I’m still not totally sure what to expect from sustained effort.  Hopefully, by the end of April, I’ll have hugely underestimated this goal again.  (Last month I went from #11,633,004 to #1,965,559…if I see another drop like that, I should be outranking Google and Facebook by the end of April, right?  Oh, that’s not how it works?)
  7. I want to accomplish a hefty number of moving-related goals, perhaps too large a number to list here.  Highlights, though:  schedule a yard sale, continue to get rid of at least 1 item a day, and find a motel around Salt Lake City that will let us stay there with three cats.

Tune in May 1st to see how I fare.  Or don’t.  I don’t much care…this entry is much more directed at myself than at you.  In fact, why have you even bothered to read this far?  You’re weird.

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