Rocky View of DartmoorMy last Monthly Review was back in March. I explained that I was going to try writing less frequent reviews in the hope of tackling some of the larger items on my list of Yearly Goals.

So now we’ve reached the mid way point in the year it’s time to sit down and work out how I’m doing so far. I’m going to go through each point in turn and update my progress on each one. This post got a bit too big to put out all in one go so I have decided to split it into 2 posts.

This first part covers the first three sections, Friends & Family, Business and Health & Fitness. Then on Tuesday I am going to post the rest.

I know this is a bit of a break from the usual Friday but I have decided to try and change my posting day to a Tuesday instead from now on. Fridays are always a little bit busy, making sure everything is wrapped up before the weekend so I thought I would try something new.

Friends & Family

Visit various Friends and Family

I had planned on visiting 4 different friends and family. So far I have visited 2 out of the 4 so this seems to be pretty much on track.

Spend more quality time with Family

I think this one has been going OK. Shirley and myself have had the grandkids over to stay quite a few times and I feel that I can really switch off and spend time with them now.

Then there was the Holiday To Wales with the whole family. We have already started planning next years trip where we are all going to stay in a villa in Lanzarote…

Shirley is also a big part of this goal and I have made a real effort to eat lunch and dinner at the dining table most days which gives us both a proper chance to chat over our meal rather than staring at the TV while we eat…

We had planned to go off somewhere every weekend, at least for a walk on the hills or a trip to the seaside but this one hasn’t faired so well. I have been extremely busy for the last month or two and due to the weather and illnesses this hasn’t happened nearly as much as it should have. We have been away a few times though but this is something I will look to improve on for the rest of the year.


Create at least 3 saleable products, of some kind, this year

I am currently working on a product that I would be able to resell. Unfortunately I have been so busy with other work that I am a bit behind schedule with it…

As for the other 2 then I am going to have to start thinking hard about how to achieve this. I just want something quick and easy to get out of the door and it would be good it all 3 products were all in completely different areas, e.g. 1 windows program, 1 iPhone app and maybe 1 android app?

Target my websites

As I current have two websites there are two sections to this one:

Focus my blog and make it clearer what my message is all about

I think I have at least started down this route. I wrote a post back in February on this subject titled ‘What Am I Writing About?’.

My plan now is to create a front page to split the site up into sections a bit. This should help make it a bit more obvious what the site is about and also give people easier access to just the content they are interested in.

Improve my business website

My other website is over at I tried creating a separate place to add more technical blog posts. I have since decided that this is not really working.

I don’t want to add to my workload by trying to create regular updates to 2 sites so I have since moved the handful of posts I created over there back to this blog. I am hoping that allowing access to certain types of posts means that people can simply ignore any technical posts that might get added to this site if they want. It just makes it so much simpler to have one place for all of my content.

I am not going to get rid of the other site though. I have plans to create a portfolio type site with some static content about my prices and what stuff I have worked on. I have started work on the design but there are much more important things to tackle at the moment. I really want it up by the end of the year at the very latest though…

Get 1000 people interested in what I have to say on a regular basis

This number has climbed but very slowly. Maybe the goal is a little bit on the high side…

Last time I counted I have around about 29 followers through either Twitter, Facebook or the RSS feed from this blog. This is up from 13 at the start of the year though.

I’m not too bothered though as I haven’t really been forcible pushing the site. Even though I release regular posts I still feel that they can be a bit random sometimes. I hope to try and get a bit more coherence and then maybe I’ll to try and increase this number.

This is not meant to be a big money spinner anyway, it’s just an outlet for me to get my message out there. I really enjoy writing and it helps keep me focused on what I am trying to achieve. If other people are interested then it’s all that more worthwhile…

Spend at least an hour, every weekday, on my business even if I am doing work for someone else that day

Quite pleased with this one as I usually find time first thing in the morning or in the evenings to do a bit of work. I didn’t start out the year like this though so some definite benefits here…

Health & Fitness

Get my weight down to 17½ stone

I started the year at about 20st 3lbs. I know this was not good and I’m a little embarrassed but it’s best to be honest and at least I have a target to aim for…

Since then I have been conscious of what I eat and try not to get tempted too often. It seems to be paying off as I have lost 11lbs and I have even had a few comments recently on my weight loss.

Anyway at the halfway point I am at 19st 6lbs. Still a long way to go but if I can up my activity level as well as leaving out the snacks there is still a chance…

Do at least 20 minutes of activity every day even if it’s just going for a walk around the block

I was tracking this until recently and I only seemed to be doing this every other day, on average. That’s not bad I suppose but I could do with doing something every single day. I need to focus on this a bit over the rest of the year.

More strenuous activity at least twice a week. Running, cycling, physical labour etc.

This one hasn’t gone too well…

I went for a cycle ride at the weekend, I did try running once and have done one or two physical jobs around the house but that’s pretty much it. I have been on a few longer walks that would probably class as strenuous but even including those it is certainly nowhere near twice a week.

Both Shirley and myself recently had our bikes serviced so I am hoping that is going to be the way to fitness. We shall have to see how I get on with this one.

Take up a new sport, or renew an old one

No progress on this one either. As much as I would love to start playing rugby again I don’t think my knees could take it.

I’m sure there is something else I could find to play but I have just been too busy so far. When things start to settle down a bit then I will have to have a think about it…

Read at least 6 books, one every couple of months as I’m quite a slow reader, for fun and relaxation

I have picked some pretty hefty books but I am ¾ of the way through Under The Dome by Stephen King and have also read:

Getting there, if I try and pick a couple of smaller books then this should not be a problem.


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Good read as always even better now I have read it twice.x

    Pete O'Shea

    It makes a nice change to have a draft copy for you to check over before I release the actual post.

    Let’s hope I can keep it up…

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