Hello! It’s been more than a little while between drinks here, hasn’t it? I didn’t mean to be away for so long but I’m back and determined to blog here weekly for the remainder of 2016.

So what has been going on in my world? A whole lot of planning for the new year. I believe I am more prepared than I’ve ever been before when it comes to my life. Which is a very welcome change!

I want 2016 to be a more purposeful and ambitious year. I want to look back at the end of December and clearly see what I have achieved. I don’t want to walk away with any regrets. I’m ready to work hard to achieve all my goals for the year, as hard as that may prove to be.

A few weeks back over at My Home Truths, I shared my SMART goals for 2016. I also stated that I would be checking in on these goals each month here. This, my friends, is my first update.

In my first monthly update for the year I review my progress so far against the SMART goals I've set for 2016. Do you regularly review your goals?

My 2016 SMART goals

Personal

Run parkrun (5km) in one go, and in under 35 mins, by December. I have now undertaken 4 parkruns since the beginning of January. My pb for the year is 41.58, just under 7 mins away from my goal. Considering I’m still not allowed to jog yet I’m confident I’m going to achieve this one before the end of the year.

Get back to tennis by September. My physio is happy with my knee rehab so far and I am on track to get back to tennis on schedule. Which still seems like a lifetime away, especially with all the amazing tennis I’ve been watching on TV over the last few weeks!

Establish household routines and stick to them. I do have a few routines already established but time will tell if they are sustainable.

Here are the routines for the kids:

In my first monthly update for the year I review my progress so far against the SMART goals I've set for 2016. Do you regularly review your goals? - Kids Morning Routine

In my first monthly update for the year I review my progress so far against the SMART goals I've set for 2016. Do you regularly review your goals? - Kids Afternoon Routine

And a routine for me when it comes to household responsibilities which I will be concentrating on each Wednesday:

In my first monthly update for the year I review my progress so far against the SMART goals I've set for 2016. Do you regularly review your goals? - House Cleaning Checklist

Update our household budget and review each week. I still need to finalise our yearly, monthly, fortnightly and weekly budgets (which was due by the end of January) but I have set a time each week (built into the calendar below) to review how we are tracking against it. This is something I will be finalising this week now the kids are back at school.

Professional

Set up a work schedule by the end of January 2016. I have set up a series of Google Calendars to keep on top of my personal, professional and blogging schedules.

Here’s a screenshot as an example:

In my first monthly update for the year I review my progress so far against the SMART goals I've set for 2016. Do you regularly review your goals?

Overhaul my Double Scoop site by the end of February 2016. This is still on track. I knew I would have to wait until the kids headed back to school to have the opportunity to do this properly. What I have done so far, is to investigate whether I can become a provider of services under the NDIS.

I would love to niche down to help those with disability to write resumes, complete job applications and become more independent by improving their written communication skills. I’m currently assessing minimum provider requirements, undertaking market research and identifying potential training courses before proceeding further with this idea.

Make $2000 each month from blogging, consulting and product sales by December 2016. This is my most ambitious goal and the one I really need to hit to help support our family finances. January was a slow month and I only made $100 from a part sponsored post payment. However I fielded a number of sponsored post and advertising queries during the month and I’ve updated my media kit so I’m hoping to see things gain momentum through February.

Nathan has also reviewed the first draft of my family travel & autism guide so my focus in February is to complete the second draft, ready for further review. I hope to get this out there for sale by the end of March and then focus on completing my guide to surviving redundancy so I can get it ready for sale by the end of April. The more products I have in the marketplace, the greater my chance to generate an income.

The other ways we are looking to generate income is through consulting work via my Double Scoop site and by creating passive income through affiliate marketing on niche websites. We are currently finalising our niche keywords in readiness to get these sites up and running. The plan is to have the first of our niche sites up and running by the end of March with two more to quickly follow.

Blogging

Achieve 500 page views per day on My Home Truths by the end of December 2016. This is another ambitious goal but I’m confident I can do it. I have made good ground already in January. Over the Christmas period (when I was not actively blogging) I was averaging 50 readers a day. Since January 11 (when I started actively blogging again) I have been averaging 180 a day which is a significant improvement.

I would like to see my page views climb to an average of 230 a day by the end of February. I aim to do this by regular posting, participation in linkups, sharing posts in special needs parenting groups and continuing to be active in the Stumble Upon Aussie Bloggers facebook group (which has already helped in increasing views and introducing some of my old content to my newer readers).

Build an email list by the end of February. I have one but it’s small and I would love to have 1000 subscribers by December 2016. I did attract a few more subscribers through January so my email list now numbers 43. I also have 71 people following me on Bloglovin and another 40 following me on WordPress.

I need to develop an opt-in to draw more readers and to convert some of these other followers into email subscribers. I’m planning on having my email opt-in and initial sequence completed by the end of February.

Have 1000 followers on each SM platform by the end of December 2016. Again I have been making good ground in January, using a range of strategies, including guest posting (my two posts over at The Organised Housewife helped me gain more followers on Facebook & Pinterest in particular), participating in social media follower activities and taking more time to find, create and share quality content.

I’ve also improved my reach, particularly on Facebook, due to sharing quality content and creating more targeted posts. My reach for the last week was 5657 which is a huge jump for me. Considering my likes on Facebook are still just under the 1000 mark I’m really pleased with this improvement.

My SM follower numbers as at the end of January are:

Facebook – 967 (+ 38)

Twitter – 2042 (+ 7)

Instagram – 527 (+ 28)

Pinterest – 431 (+ 40)

YouTube – 3 (+ 3 – hooray!)

LinkedIn – 485 (+ 6)

Google+ – 1036 (+ 8)

BTW – feel free to follow me on any of the above platforms 🙂

I want to become a recognised expert in special needs/autism parenting by July 2016. This goal has helped me in developing strategic guest posting and topic ideas for My Home Truths and it’s already yielding results.

Two guest posts over at The Organised Housewife has helped attract more special needs parents and a post I published last week on the stress of being an autism parent has also drawn in more readers.

I am consciously becoming more active in special needs parenting groups and also reaching out to people I know in the disability sector to improve my knowledge and expertise.

To post regularly on each website. My goal is to post on My Home Truths 2 – 3 times a week (which I did achieve in January), to post at least once a week here on Smarter Happier (which is my aim from now on) and to post at least once a fortnight over at Double Scoop from February 2016.

I have set up an editorial calendar and have populated it with my blog posts for all platforms for February. It’s been surprisingly easy to stick to so far and has definitely taken a bit of the stress out of blog writing:

In my first monthly update for the year I review my progress so far against the SMART goals I've set for 2016. Do you regularly review your goals?

Considering I had the kids and my husband with me here at home during January I’m pleased with my progress so far. My progress in February will be crucial in my bid to attract the readers and subscribers needed to help me generate the income I aspire by the end of the year.

Have you taken the time to review your progress against your goals? If so, how are you tracking?