The fact that I’m turning 30 this year has put a lot of self-imposed pressure on me to, you know...do ALL THE THINGS.

And goal-setting has always been a particular passion (/obsession) of mine.

I just love them (goals, that is).

I constantly want to set goals and figure out ways to meet them. And when I’ve met them, I want to set some more.

It’s less about the “meeting” of the goals, and more about the journey it took to get there, ya know? I love that part.

So, as inspired by Em Is For Marvelous, I jotted down some goals for July and August. For the rest of this month, I want to:

  • Send a “thinking about you” card once a week

    • Plan out who will get a card each week

  • Go for a walk (at least) once a week

  • Re-read & implement HNP Program

  • Try new morning routine:

    • Morning Pages

    • Meditation

    • Flossing

    • Take vitamins

    • Water before coffee

  • Set up ed cal for SolidAsArak.com

  • Create weekly schedule, including:

    • Blog post writing/editing/finalizing

    • Social media content creation

    • Client work

    • Meetings/calls

  • Complete Content Brew or Become a Better Blogger (Skillshare) courses

  • Set up savings account for self-employment tax savings

  • Trademark “Jenna Arak” and “Solid as Arak”

  • Create Instagram editorial calendar

  • Finish reading:

    • The Eventual Millionaire by Jaime Tardy

    • Expecting Better by Emily Oster

    • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Every night, when I’m making my to-do list for the next day, I check a couple of things. I check my calendar. I check my weekly work schedule. I check my Potential Client Tracker. And then I check my goals.

I always want to make sure I’m leaving room for them.

As you can see above, I’ve already started making progress!

I created a weekly schedule, following Jenny Shih’s method to ensure that I was actually taking advantage of the fact that I work for myself - by setting my “working hours” and deciding what work will get done on each day of the week (while also leaving space for the miscellaneous stuff that pops up, of course!).

I’ve also decided that I’m not allowed to buy any more books (well, not many) until I read the ones that I have. So I’ve listed those I really want to read (as well as the books decided by my book club) and split them up into months, so I can focus on only 3-4 - or maybe 5! - books at a time. And I’ve already crossed one off!

I have a lot yet to do, of course. For whatever reason, my July goals list (which was drafted in mid-July, mind you) is a lot longer than my August list. We shall see how well that pans out. Trial and error (or success!), right?

Do you have any monthly (or yearly) goals? How do you track them and make sure you’re doing what you were so resolute about doing back in January?

I can’t believe it’s been almost seven months since we last posted.

I knew it had been awhile. I knew we were letting things slip, but I hadn’t realized it was that long.

Oh well. It’s not the worst thing in the world. This blog is supposed to be for fun, for sharing some insight into our lives; not as something else to add to our to-do list or to get “just right”. There’s no pressure when it comes to this blog. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

It seems fitting though, that the last thing I posted here was about “Turning Pro” as a writer. In the months since that post, I have quit my job to write full-time.

It still feels weird (and incredible) to write that. It is undoubtedly the best decision we have ever made. Or, at least I feel that way. I can’t speak for Aaron, who likely misses (even if only a little) my additional income.

Aaron was the catalyst for this change, though. He was the one - and still is the one - who pushed me to do what I really wanted to do; what I loved to do. What, it seems, that I am actually pretty good at. Most days, he has far more confidence than I have in myself and that has been nice. When I worry or when I stress, I have an eternal cheerleader who is somehow able to convince me that I am good enough, smart enough, talented enough. That we can and will not only make this work, but actually knock it out of the fucking park.

Though I have had moments of worry or uncertainty, they’ve been rare so far - and that’s mostly thanks to him.

What else is new?

In the one month that I’ve been a full-time writer, I’ve had two pieces published (one that is a more creative piece and one that was a business-related guest post) and I’ve done copywriting work for two fantastic new clients (as well as some pro bono work for a few friends).

Aaron is still working with the Ontario Reign and, despite the commute, he loves it. In fact, I think I complain about his commute more than he does. Moving out to the east side of Los Angeles really changed everything for him, in terms of the time he was spending on the road every day, so as difficult as that move was for me, I’m thankful for it. It’s changed our lives in a lot of ways.

Of course, that means that we’re still living with mom, though the goal is to move out by the end of this year. That’s always been the goal, of course, and I want to stick to that, even with my changing career path. As I just mentioned, this year living at home has been life-changing. I’ve fought it internally and I’ve had moments (more moments than I care to share) where I felt embarrassed or as if this didn’t fit within my “life plan”, but ultimately, it’s been the best decision we could have made. We have paid off all our of debt (not including our student and car loans, though those are up next; being knocked out one at a time) and we both are now doing the work that we love and are made to do. Teigen has a constant companion in my mom’s pup, Lola, and I get to spend an inordinate amount of time with the person I love most in this world, next to Aaron: my mama. Even though it took me awhile to see the many positives of the situation, this has been the best move for us. And I’m so thankful to my mom for allowing us the opportunity.

There are a lot of exciting things coming up for us! I’m taking a long-awaited (and much-needed) trip to San Francisco and the Bay Area in late June/early July and Aaron is joining me in Roseville (outside Sacramento, where our besties live!) for the 4th of July. I’m turning 30 in six months (!!!). And we’ll hopefully have a booming business, lots of published writing, and a new home to speak of in the next year too.

I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful for this life of mine. For my husband, my family, my puppy, my friends, and my work. It’s so much more than I could have ever hoped for and I don’t want to forget for a second how blessed I am.

I took the train to work today, which is always an adventure in and of itself.

As I was walking from my last stop to my office, I noticed a car had slowed in the street beside me. I pulled out my earbuds to hear what the driver was saying, assuming he needed directions.

"Are you Brazilian?" he asked instead.

When I shook my head no, he added: "I would have sworn you were, based on your shape and your soft face!"

"Thanks?" I offered.

"That's not always a good thing!" he shouted and sped away.

Happy Monday to me.