Six Months of Goal-Mongering

July 1st, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

Since 2005 is halfway over, I decided to review my progress.

Here’s what I’ve done so far this year:

Physical
- completed a 30-day challenge to kick start a new exercise program
- revised exercise program to six days per week, mixture of running and weight training
- gradually extended distance runs to 8 miles (will probably hold off on distance running til after summer, since it’s 107 degrees outside right now, and I don’t want to become a puddle)
- worked on posture correction with a chiropractor for a few months, which totally eliminated knee pain during distance running
- increased my normal running speed by about one minute per mile
- lost 8.8 pounds and 2.0 percentage points body fat
- established the habit of getting up at 5am every morning, now sleeping about 90 minutes less than I used to but with more energy
- found a really nice hiking trail in Red Rock Canyon that leads to a natural spring (great place to meditate)
- maintained ability to do 20-30 push ups (not my personal best, but adequate)

Work/Career
- wrote a 2005 business plan
- started writing my first book (detailed outline and several chapters done, but not close to finishing yet)
- increased StevePavlina.com traffic by 600% (June 2005 vs. December 2004)
- hit my Q2 goal for total newsletter subscribers (to the exact number on June 30)
- made dozens of new blog posts, including a six-part series on self-discipline and another on the meaning of life
- saw a couple blog posts take off via word of mouth: How to Become an Early Riser and How to Give Up Coffee
- added a few new articles to the articles section
- made many minor improvements to the site/blog
- did some new marketing for the site/blog (without spending a dime)
- published a new game for my games business
- put together a workable plan to go from free to fee as a professional speaker
- saw a few more of my articles translated to other languages (mostly Russian)
- did an interview for an article in a major magazine with about 5 million readers (won’t be out til Q4)
- found a local professional speaker to mentor me in going from free to fee
- began developing topics to speak on professionally

Toastmasters/Speaking
- earned my CTM award (Competent Toastmaster, for doing 10 speeches)
- 30% of the way towards earning my ATM-B (Advanced Toastmaster Bronze, for doing 10 more speeches)
- earned my CL award (Competent Leader, for serving as a club officer 6+ months and doing two presentations on leadership)
- awarded 2004 Spark Plug of the Year for my club
- awarded 2004 Toastmaster of the Year for my area
- served as club Treasurer (since July 2004)
- elected club VP of Membership for next term while continuing to serve as club Treasurer
- joined a second advanced Toastmasters club for people who want to go pro (had to earn my CTM to be eligible)
- competed in 2005 International Speech Contest (1st place in club, 1st place in area, 3rd place in division)
- gave a 30-minute speech on self-discipline for a local business incubator
- gave presentations on goal setting & planning, delegation
- had a letter to the editor published in Toastmaster magazine

Mental/Skill-Building
- read about two dozen new books and listened to several audio programs
- read a few hundred articles and blog posts, mainly on personal development, productivity, and blogging
- attended a 3-day personal development seminar
- saw live speeches by Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Les Brown, Stephen Covey, and many other top speakers
- made improvements to my Personal Accountability System that helped increase focus and clarity
- improved my communication and leadership skills via Toastmasters
- studied ancient Greek philosophy
- learned some new vocabulary words
- attended a humor workshop
- practiced what I learned from the humor workshop on my wife

Social
- made more local friends/contacts via Toastmasters
- made more internet friends/contacts, mostly via blog
- participated in a meeting of the Las Vegas Futurists
- went with family to “Family Fun Day” with the Greater Las Vegas Jaycees, won first place in the water balloon toss with my wife (then put the winning water balloon to good use)
- had dinner and some fun on the Strip with an old high school friend in from out of town
- built up a decent social calendar, averaging a couple outings per week (right about where I want it)

Financial
- wife and I bought a new house in January, which has already appreciated 10-15%
- began generating income from StevePavlina.com via Google Adsense; through tweaking and traffic building, earned more in June than in Feb, Mar, Apr, and May combined (not enough to live off but enough to matter)
- reduced expenses to provide more of a cushion as I work on building an income from speaking/writing

Personal/Home
- moved into our new house
- completed serious amount of purging, packing, and unpacking
- setup internet phone service and modified home wiring so all phone jacks would route through it
- did lots of minor home repair/improvement projects (I think the house is about 50% spackle now)
- converted a lot of my CDs to MP3s, so I can listen on my new iPOD Shuffle when I go running

Family
- saw my daughter graduate from preschool (OK, I can’t really take credit for this)
- saw my son take his first steps and taught him to play catch (I will take credit for this; ignore whatever my wife says)
- taught my son to say the word “yes”
- learned that the secret to taming my wife is a foot massage (she is pretty well pwned now)
- setup a workable daily routine with my wife to balance work time and child care
- helped my wife setup/upgrade her own blog

Fun/Interesting
- gave a speech inside the paw of the Sphinx at the Luxor Hotel
- saw the Blue Man Group at the Luxor with my wife, half-price for Vegas locals (a most bizarre experience — I can’t believe they TP’d the entire audience)
- got a professional massage (I should do this more often)
- met Dr. Barbara DeAngelis in person and talked one-on-one for 10-15 minutes
- beat my wife at air hockey while pulling a man-in-black vs. Inigo Montoya (I’m left-handed but played right-handed w/o telling her)
- played blackjack (100% session win rate) and poker (50% session win rate) a few times with a net win overall (I learned card counting at age 21 and poker at age 18)
- went to a fun joint meeting with another Toastmasters club and moderated a two-person Table Topics (impromptu speaking) based on The Apprentice, with me playing the role of Donald Trump and the two speakers acting as members of the team who got called into the boardroom to explain their miserable failure; then I mock-fired one of them (for spurious reasons to be consistent with the show)
- went to the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum at the Venetian and learned about ancient Egypt as narrated by Jeremy Irons
- went to the newly opened Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas and learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

Overall, I’d give myself a 9 out of 10. I didn’t achieve all my goals for Q1 and Q2, but I overachieved in some areas that more than compensated for the deficiencies. I’m not as far along with my book as I wanted to be by this time, but I greatly surpassed my web traffic goals, and I’d rather have the traffic than have the book if I had to choose one or the other — writing the book is more under my direct control, and I’m glad to have the riskier traffic goal behind me.

Onward to Q3….


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