Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Goal Recap

Well, once again I've dropped the ball with writing posts for this blog, and here I am trying to get inspired to write more.  I don't know why I keep feeling inspired for a brief time, then lose it again, then feel inspired again, and start the cycle all over.  I'm still very passionate about my homesteading idea, but I guess it is hard to write about it when I haven't had the time or the money to do many of the things that I feel I need to do to accomplish it someday.

A few days ago I paid my annual renewal fee to keep the permiehomestead.com domain.  Doing so was the first prompt that I needed to start writing again.  I also realized that it is about halfway through 2010, so I thought a good way to start writing again would be to revisit my Goals for 2010 and see how I'm doing.  Many of them will have to be changed or dropped altogether, but some I am well on my way to accomplishing, or I have already accomplished them.  I will put my goals as they were written at the beginning of the year in italics, and I will put my update on that goal in bold.  Goals I have already finished will have a strikethrough, and will be followed by an explanation or comment in bold.  Goals after #19 will be all bold because they are being added now.

  1. I will write 150 blog posts during 2010.  This is an average of 12.5 per month, and I think I can do it.  This goal will help me strive to do permacultury things, because I don't want to write blog posts just for the sake of writing them.  I want them to have meaningful content that is worth your while to read, and worth my while to write down.  The more I do in the interest of sustainability, the more I'll have to write about, and the easier it'll be to write 150 posts.
    • I have obviously dropped the ball on this one.  I am updating my goal to 95 posts by the end of the year.  This will maintain my 12.5 per month goal pace that I set at the beginning of the year, and add in the 17 (counting this post) that I have already written.
  2. I want to have at least $10,000 in my land fund.  I will raise this money through regular savings, ad revenue I make on this site above and beyond what hosting costs are (click those ads for me please!), donations to my land fund (that pretty yellow button on the right), selling my "static" possessions on Craigslist and putting the money into my land fund, and whatever other methods I can think of.
    • I have decided that unless ad revenue takes off on my blog once I write more often, or I come up with some other kind of money making idea, I will maintain my land fund at current levels for now.  The money I currently make is paying me well, but I have diverted funds I initially would've invested in the Land Fund into my 401(k).  This combined with money I am contributing to my emergency fund will not allow me to build my land fund quite yet.
  3. I will to pay off my vehicle.  It is possible for this to happen as early as February and no later than July, but I am so excited about having it paid off that I want to mention it here.  Not having a car payment will save me $225 a month, money that can go into my land fund!
    • Done!!  I paid my vehicle off on June 12th.  It is a great feeling to not have a car payment, and it'll feel even better on July 9th when I get a paycheck that I don't have to make a car payment out of.  Keeping true to my post about used cars and maintaining them for as long as possible, for a short while I plan on diverting some of the money I would've used on a car payment to pay for some maintenance on my vehicle, and the rest of it into my emergency fund.
  4. I would like to have 50+ regular readers of my blog.  I don't want this so much for the purpose of ad revenue or out of vanity, but because I started this blog to help me build a community within the permaculture movement.  The more people I know who I can share my thoughts, feelings, and goals with, the more I think I'll be able to accomplish what I have set out to do.  If you know someone who might enjoy this blog, please share it with them!  And as a side note about community, please share your thoughts with me often by leaving a comment!
    • I have no good metrics about regular readers because I have no regular posts.  My assumption of course is that I now have zero regular readers.  I'll see what I can do about that.
  5. I will weigh under 200 pounds (about 14.3 stone, or 90.7 kg) by the end of the year.  One of the reasons I got interested in permaculture and organics was because I wanted to be healthier.  As of last night, that means I have to lose 3.5 pounds (.25 stone, 1.6 kg) per month, which is a very reasonable goal.  My ultimate goal weight is about 185 pounds (12.2 stone, 84.1 kg) but I don't want to get discouraged if I don't make it.  I can always revise my goal if I'm doing better than I expect.
    • I currently weigh just over 220, so I am almost exactly on pace to meet this goal.  I am running somewhat regularly now and riding my bike to work and back (5 miles each way) as often as I can, so I believe my weight loss will only begin to speed up.  My new job helps as well, as I do regular lifting of some rather heavy boxes, which will help build muscle mass.
  6. I will get promoted to Shift Supervisor or possibly Assistant Store Manager.  I don't want to come off as too aggressive in this goal (especially in case my boss ever happens to read this blog, I don't want to seem arrogant), but I am motivated to excel in my job so I can better afford my homesteading goals.
    • This goal was tailored to the fact that I worked for Starbucks at the beginning of the year, and had no idea I would be getting the job I currently have.  I am revising it now.  I would like to be on my way to endorsement for management.  It can be a long process, but I think I should be close to it if not already endorsed by the end of the year.  I'll write a new post about exactly what this is at a later date.
  7. I will move to Portland, maybe.  Now that I have a job that is with a national company it will be much easier to relocate to Portland, if I can be transferred.  However, I realize that for the time being I need to put the needs of the business ahead of my own in order to excel in my job, and if I have better opportunity in Tucson than I might in Portland, I will stay here a little longer in order to better position myself to achieve my homesteading goals.
    • This is still about exactly how I feel, even though I have changed jobs.  Most likely I will not be moving to Portland this year.  However, if the needs of the business where I work present an opening to move to Portland, it will be much easier to transfer with this company than it would've been with Starbucks.  My current position Tucson is a great place to work though, and it makes me feel better about staying here for a while.  So if I don't move to Portland, I won't feel like I failed this goal.  If I do, it means it was what worked out best for me AND for my job.
  8. I will take some kind of workshop about earthships, cob, or some other kind of natural building.
    • Still not accomplished, but there is plenty of time.
  9. I will join the Tucson CSA.
    • This is definitely going to happen in August, and I'll start picking up my shares in September.
  10. I will garden like my life depends on it.  Someday, it really will!
    • This goal unfortunately has not even begun yet.  I am very close to FINALLY having a bed prepared for planting, and I will do so as soon as the daily highs start coming down out of the 100's.  I'm going to try to keep the gardening simple for now, and grow staples like tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, herbs, beans, etc.  My personal guidelines for this season are loosely "whatever will make a good chili or pasta sauce."  
  11. To be more specific about the garden, I have set a smaller goal for myself this year.  I am designing my first garden planting around chili.  I want to grow enough that I can regularly make myself homemade chili from nothing but ingredients grown in my garden (except the meat of course).  This means beans, jalapenos, serrano peppers,  habanero peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs.  I will grow other things as well, but having the dish of "chili" as a goal will help me focus I think.  Also, plants I listed above obviously can be used for many things other than making chili.
    • See my explanation for goal #10.
  12. I will get my Permaculture Design Certificate.  Even if I can't earn this through an intensive internship, I want to have my PDC soon so I can be better prepared when I am ready to select land and observe that land, before I start interacting with it.
    • I am starting to doubt that this will happen in 2010.  I'm not going to cross it off and give up on it this year, but it might be best for me to try to get my PDC through the Sonoran Permaculture Guild next February/March.
  13. I will have several small passive streams of income with which to grow my Land Fund.  I am starting many small projects, such as working with Voices.com to try to get voice-actor work, or writing short articles for revenue-sharing sites like infobarrel.com.  Using these small but hopefully prolific streams of passive income, I will be able to supplement my (currently) meager income and put that money towards my homesteading goals.
    • I have found that being entrepreneurial is easier in spirit than in practice.  I definitely still have the goal of building passive income streams, but it has proven more difficult that I originally expected.  I guess if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  The amendment I will make to this goal is that I am no longer planning on pursuing passive income through Voices.com.  I found that they charged membership fees up front, and I am not yet confident enough to think that I would recoup these costs through money I made with that website. 
  14. I will visit Portland for a short time.  Believe it or not, I still haven't even been to Portland.  I'm just pretty sure that I'll love it because I definitely love the Pac NW and I really enjoyed Seattle when I went in April.  Portland is reputed to be "more like Tucson" than Seattle by one of my friends, so in many ways that is a good thing for me and the kind of place I want to live.  I say all of this to justify my already solid feelings that I'll like Portland once I get there.  If I don't we'll see what the new plan is, but I'm 99% sure I will love it up there.
    • I would still love to visit Portland.  I don't know when I'll go, but it's still a 2010 goal.
  15. I will make progress towards finishing the Arizona Trail before I move.  Finishing the trail once I am in Portland will probably be quite difficult, so I want to do as much as I can now.
    • I have definitely hiked some more of the AZ Trail, but I have not done a significant portion of it.  I'm not feeling as rushed since I got the new job and will probably be in Tucson longer than I was planning on when I worked for Starbucks.
  16. I will pick a skill once a month and spend at least 6-10 hours a week trying to develop a basic mastery of that skill.  These might include carpentry, primitive fire starting, a month on cooking various dishes, etc.  For this month, the skill I'm choosing is methods of fire-making, primitive and otherwise.
    • I have unfortunately not even attempted to accomplish this goal yet.  I was distracted by money concerns in the first quarter, and I've been busy working my new job this second quarter of the year.  I'm going to lighten this goal a little bit so it is attainable.  For the remainder of 2010 I will spend 3-5 hours a week working on a particular skill, and I'll pick one every two months.  I will also write updates about this skills training as I go along.
  17. If time allows, I would like to have a monthly project as well.  For Jan-Mar that project will all probably be the same, getting the garden up and running.  Once it is established and I feel comfortable enough, I might start on different monthly projects after that.  This goal may end up tying in closely with goal #13.
    • I think I am going to completely drop this goal.  With the extra exercise I'm doing my schedule is busy enough that I want to be able to accomplish the goals I've already listed above.  If I am to have a project, my garden will be the main focus.  It is possible I'll build a solar water heater at some point before the winter, but because I'll have to have my landlords permission with this one, I'm going to leave it off the list for now.
  18. I would like to attempt to develop a feed-a-family program with the Tucson CSA.  There are plenty of hungry people out there, and I know that CSA minded people are also very caring people.  If Tucson CSA would be willing to set aside one (or a few) shares, I would love to volunteer to help coordinate that program.
    • This is a possibility for the future, but things did not work out earlier this year when trying to develop the program with Phillipe from the Tucson CSA.
  19. I want to interact with more people of a homesteading and/or permaculture mindset, and build up a closer community for myself made up of those people.
    • In progress!! Working my new job is actually great for this, as there are several permaculture/homesteading enthusiasts that I'm working with.  This goal is somewhat ephemeral, so I'm going to leave it uncrossed because I can always build a bigger community than what I have today, but so far the progress is going great!
  20. I want to have $2000 in my emergency fund.  Being unemployed for 4 months last year taught me the importance of having some cash stored away for emergencies, and I'd like to eventually build up to having a 6-month emergency fund (EF).  My monthly bills average $850 including gas and groceries, so eventually I'd like to have $5100+ in my EF and continue to grow it after that point.  Once it is "fully funded" at 6 months worth of expenses, I'll divert some of the money going into my EF into things like my Land Fund and some investments, as well as start contributing more to my 401(k).  But, the $2000 into my EF by the end of the year will be a good start, and I think I'll be able to have it fully funded by this time next year.
  21. I want to run at least the Tucson Half Marathon, and maybe the full marathon.  I articulated this goal in an earlier post, and I'm "officially" adding it to my list here so it makes it easier to revisit at the end of the year.
  22. I want to have at least 60 days worth of food storage built up.  Along with my thinking about my emergency fund I have been thinking about food storage.  It is not only a way to stretch my emergency fund should I ever need to use it, but it is also an avenue with which to channel a couple of my other goals.  I can use goal #16 to learn about food preservation methods so I store any surplus I hopefully have from goal #10.  If I want to make it through the winter in Oregon someday with eating more than just dried meat and lettuce, I'm going to have to store food for the winter, so I might as well start learning good methods for that now.
  23. I want to purchase a Remington 700 center-fire rifle in .30-06 caliber.  This relates to my earlier post about hunting, as I intend for that to be a significant portion of my meat procurement once I am a "full-time" homesteader.
    Well, those are my updates for my 2010 goals.  I probably won't revisit them this thoroughly until New Years, though I expect that updates on my progress on these goals will probably make up a large portion of my posts, since almost all of them relate to homesteading.  How are your goals going?  What have you accomplished so far this year, and what would you like to accomplish in the next 6 months?


    1. Just posting to let you know you've got at least one regular reader who isn't part of your real-life circle of friends!

      I live in Australia, and have recently moved my family onto my dream acre.

      Keep up the great work!

    2. Thanks Darren! It's awesome to know that this website can introduce me to like-minded people half a world away. I haven't checked out Green Change yet, but I'm doing so now!