40 Goals for 2017: Week 52


This past year, I tracked my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week.  

Have you ever seen this article that floats around and gets posted on Facebook occasionally?The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness, or Friends: Pick 3. The idea is that you cannot excel in all areas at once. This year my choices were work (at my day job), family, friends, fitness, school, work (on my websites), home projects, and school. Sleep? What’s that???

I successfully completed my grad school teaching practicum by March and I graduated with my master’s in nursing in August with a 3.83. I still squeezed in time with friends but my poor husband suffered for attention. One of our children was given three new diagnoses which resulted in many doctor visits, regular ongoing treatments, a fight with the school, and the need to hire an advocate and a special tutor. I increased my work hours to help pay for that and meet our financial goals. I also had very little time to work out and little inclination to do much meal prepping. I had a little time to blog but there was no way I was going to take more time from our children.

I am pleased we met our financial goals even though our medical expenses unexpectedly increased. We paid cash for my graduate program, redid our bathroom, cash flowed Christmas, and saved for future home repairs, retirement, vacation, and a replacement car.

I’m fiddling around with my goals for next year but I can already tell you the last category is going. I will still be blogging here, but I know there is no time or space to play with my business ideas, and for right now my day job is the flexible work from home job that is helping us reach our goal of being mortgage free. I am so thrilled I can totally ditch that “school” category and I have opted not to pursue a PhD right now.

Tune in tomorrow for where I think I will be heading in 2018, but in the meantime tell me: what are your Pick 3 for this coming year?

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Week Fifty-Two


  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I have been working by behind off and we now have enough to max both of our Roths. 
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Each child went up one level in their skills, so it was a success. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. This will be sitting in savings until next year, but we are also at 100% for this as well. Done!
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Done!
  5. Save $1050 650 for Christmas. I have completed Christmas shopping for my kids .  Goal met!


6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   This gets booted to 2018, if we do it at all. My husband just doesn’t want to do another project.

7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month).  We have that vacation money but my 40th trip is going to be much cheaper than planned. I have enough airline miles to get a free plane ticket, we are staying somewhere for free, and I will just need spending money,which is squirreled away already.  Done!

8. Spend $600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.  We ended up spending about $700 for December but hit around the target or lower every other month.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks.  Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo.  November had about 16 volunteer hours and December has had 5. Nailed it!


  1. Complete my master’s degree! I graduated! Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  November was a fail but we did have a date night in December. We hit this about 50-75% of the year.
  3. Read 1 book per month  I started reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor in September and am still not done.  I finished reading Ross Poldark last week and started reading  The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic.  Does modern day America have parallels to the end of the Roman Empire? You’ll have to read and judge for yourself, but I love history and do find it very entertaining. This makes 20 going on 21 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I hit this in November and saw a show with a friend lthis month. Done!
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nope.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. Nope!
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. Nope.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. Nope! I opted to keep the holidays healthy and did not self sabotage by making sugar cookies.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I hit this about 70% of the time.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.


  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws in July and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. This was a work in progress but mostly a success.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I didn’t sell the clothes and coats. Instead I donated them to a local family of 9 kids who just lost their mother.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! 
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. I hit this hard and totally redid my office using the organization suggested in Organizing Solutions For People with ADHD. Done!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained!  Success!No more kids in diapers!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. My powers of procrastination are amazing.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned that if we let the old roots decompose for another year, it will be easier to plant the new tree in the same spot next year and require a smaller hole. Bonus: it will save us money this year. We filled in the area and planted a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower bedsimproving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken)and fixing and replacing the mailbox. New mailbox is probably not happening until spring.
  9. Paint half bath.  My friend Diane donated extra paint and helped paint.  We decided to just redo everything while we were working in there. The mister replaced the pedestal sink with a roomy vanity, faucet, and light. It looks bigger and brighter and I now have storage!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.   Goal met: Six of six completed. 


  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Nope.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. I hit a 25% off sale this summer. Done!
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. Nope.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. Nope.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I have actually been hitting this regularly.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Nope.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year Calling this a fail.
  9. Do one guest post. Fail.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. Fail.


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