The March 2019 Monthly Review
All day today, I’ve been writing 3/5/2019 on everything.
If that’s not an indicator of how much of a mess March was, I don’t know what is.
I’m subconsciously trying to start it over and try again.
To be fair, it certainly could have been worse on the goals front... but it was a rough month for reasons not related to goals. In a nutshell, there was a lot of learning, and learning isn’t always pretty.
Especially when what you are learning about is yourself.
The important thing is the question I finally got around to asking at the very end of the month (in my very last post of the month).
That question may be about to change everything.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves... we still need to review March before we get into what’s next!
My March Resolution Review
If you want to read back through my introduction of the 2019 resolutions and get more detail on WHY I chose each one, check out this post.
1) Build a Blog / Brand / Business
March wasn’t a bad month for content. I published a money post here on the blog about lifestyle inflation (if you got a bonus, raise or tax refund this spring, you may want to check it out). I also posted a mini-novel about travel philosophies. This is the kind of travel post I love to write: the kind that will never rank in Google. Because who googles the term ‘travel philosophy’? (I guess in case anyone ever does, I’ve got this post ready).
One thing that remains consistent is the fact that I have a problem with consistency. But after spending way too much time focused on what I’m not getting done during the month of March, I am trying to stay focused on the things that are getting done going forward. Sure, I’d love to execute a design overhaul around here and I’ve got more ideas than I know what to do with for Going Media. But despite all that stuff that isn’t getting done... content is still getting written and shared.
And I still love creating that content.
Five days ago, this blog turned 3 years old. That’s right folks, I’ve been writing here at this less-than-organized, niche-less little corner of the web since March 2016. A lot of things have happened in my life since I started this blog: I quit my first full-time job, quit the job I took after that one, quit all jobs entirely for six weeks so I could travel, then quit behaving like a digital nomad and went back to work. But there are some things I don’t intend to quit: traveling and writing.
So this blog isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
2) Save 50% of My Income
I don’t know how to sugarcoat this one, so I’ll just say it: March was a BIG food spending month. All the brunches. And happy hours. And dinners.
Nashville has four distinct seasons, and I appreciate that because I know that there are places in the world that don’t. But December through February around here are cold, gray and overcast. To put it mildly, they are dismal. So when it finally starts warming up, we spend a lot of time celebrating on patios while basking in the sun.
It’s not good for the budget.
Also, did anyone else notice March had a LOT of weekends?
That probably wasn’t good for the budget either.
All this to say... I missed my 50% savings goal this month. Staying on budget in April is even more important than it was in March, because I have some travels coming up in early May (so I’m getting aggressive about reigning in the food spending in the coming month!)
3) One new city, one new country
As mentioned in last month’s review, my first trip of the year 2019 is officially on the calendar. I’ll be heading to Chicago in early May and spending all the money on brunch that I intend to try to save in April, I’m sure.
I have also been considering two potential trips for the fall: Spain and Portugal or the U.K. (or maybe both!) I have a friend attending graduate school in Madrid currently and another friend who will likely be attending graduate school in Belfast this fall. If you have any tips for these destinations, please share in the comments!
4) Read 52 Books
After getting a bit behind on my reading goal in February, I hit the books hard in March. According to Goodreads, I’m 3 books ahead of schedule right now on my reading goal. I’ve been primarily reading a mixture of books about financial independence and fantasy fiction so far this year.
Overall, a good logical mix of reading material.
5) No TV Shows
Obviously, still being able to watch some movies and documentaries is a factor in my success with this goal so far... but to be honest, this goal is getting easier. I’ve also noticed myself watching less of anything on the TV over the past month (I guess I’ve been reading instead!)
My March General Review and Life Updates
If you’ve been around the blog awhile, you know my birthday is coming up in early May, which means two things:
I am bound to end up in some weird emotional/mental spirals at the most inopportune times throughout the spring.
I am probably going to gain 10 pounds that I’ll then have to lose in the summer.
(Observation: these are probably related).
While spring is great for sunning and brunching, there’s something about the season change and realization that I’m getting another year older and simply too much time without heat and sun throughout the winter that can throw me into a downward spiral.
That spiral was the first two weeks of March.
If you checked out my statistics and content-focused monthly review over at Going Media, you know that almost everything I published in March went live after March 10th.
But hey... at least some content went live.
Let’s be clear: this month wasn’t a total loss, by any stretch of the imagination. Especially since this particular spiral led me to think through the real reasons why I’m not getting the things done in my life that I want to be making my highest priorities. It’s time I acknowledge that, for me at least, this whole consistency problem I have with content and with prioritizing my writing isn’t just about not having enough time.
It’s probably also at least a little bit about fear.
As anyone reading this who has gone after the big things that they really want in life knows: this isn’t all fun and games, friends. It’s hard to buckle down and do scary things on a daily basis. Like write about weird emotional/mental spirals on the internet, for example.
But I know it’s worth it.
So here we are.
Done with that March spiral, and ready to tackle a new month.