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June 2018 Reflection Point: 10 Lessons Learned, 14 Quotes, 2 New Things, & Goal Updates

Half the year is now completed, and this milestone had me compelled to revisit my annual goals blog

Overall, I'm happy with my pacing for the year. There has been some disruption with our fifth child coming this fall to a hospital near us, but its effect is understandable. 
 
The only results of my progress I'm not fully satisfied with is the progression of my second book for entrepreneurs. While I took a break from blogging this month, and my freelance hours were down from the prior month's jam-packed hour count, it ended up being more of a rest and release month than a slowdown and get the book moved forward campaign. 
 
My mission prior to the year’s end and ideally as much as possible before the baby arrives is, to finish the book and have 400 total published articles on this site. Doing this while sustaining my freelancing work activity will be a big win. In fact, by years end we’ll have paid off the Kia Sedona and made a big dent in the last lap on our student loans. 
 
With the kids, I launched our summer swim lessons where I take each child one night a week to the pool to practice swimming. It's been more sporadic than steady due to weather and other events, but I plan to get it to move regularly in July. 

Availability For Working Together

I’ve got some availability in the second half of July if you’re looking to work together. With several new leads and projects in the pipeline, please touch base with me soon otherwise that availability will quickly disappear.

My Most Extensive Blog Post Yet (Yep, Another Last Jedi Essay)

While I only published three articles for the month of June, my final was an extensive review of The Last Jedi to coincide with the release of the film on Netflix. In my essay, I dive into the emotional depth of the film, the psychology of Star Wars, and actions inspired by the movie that we can apply in our lives. 

It ended up at over eight thousand words, making it a thirty-minute read. It took me two months to finish and included an abundance of tweets, links, quotes, and other mixed media content. I'm satisfied with the end result, and happy to have gone through the deep dive with The Last Jedi.

This in-depth article also received great feedback from the Star Wars community. Here are several tweets from people praising the blog post.

If you're interested in checking out part 3 of the Last Jedi Betterment Series, click here to read "How The Last Jedi's Visceral & Challenging Themes Inspire Generosity & Courage".

How Organic Visitors Are Affecting My Search Traffic Growth

June was also a milestone moment as it was ten months after I started my blogging spree in August 2017. Since that moment, I've written over 150 articles, which is almost half of the total count on the blog! My most visited post to date (via organic traffic) was ranked high on the search engines ten months after publishing.

With this evidence, I predicted I'd see a steady increase in rankings and ultimately organic traffic ten months after the weekday blogging challenge started. For some articles, this ranking jump was much quicker than expected as was the overall organic traffic (foundation for sustained growth).

 

Blogging in August 2017 generated 139 organic visitors. June 2018 generated 360 organic visitors, two and half times higher (which included a blogging break). While not every blog I write will rank well, the sheer number of posts per months should lead to a few that drive a healthy amount of search traffic my way. And, as long as I continue blogging, the organic stream upward will continue.

My bigger picture prediction was a 400 article tipping point, where the growth shoots up exponentially higher each month. While that would be awesome to experience, I'm also okay with a slow and steady organic movement upward (at least for now).

10 Lessons Learned

Throughout the previous month, I’ve learned new things from my own experiences and others. Sharing them here helps cement them for me while also giving you the insight for your own journey. 
  • Sometimes we need help letting go because we can't do it on our own.
  • People (including myself) can have a hard time dealing directly with others. What we don't realize is how much this negatively affects others and prevents their own growth. It requires a bit of courage to do.
  • The escape velocity of new ventures is a big deterrent to many, but after passing it , it’s quite a wild and great ride :-)
  • Instead of micromanaging, ask for a visibility system. 
  • There are many things we don't want or feel like doing. But, we have a duty to lean in and take responsibility anyway.
  • People in a political party lose themselves when they’re not in power - they feel helpless and respond poorly to take back control - excessive criticism is one method to assert back control. It gets louder when those they criticize don't respond to their feedback.
  • The stress of the unknown, the limbo of not knowing, and lacking control are strong sources of anxiety.
  • Organic traffic and the number of returning visitors are two foundational metrics for long-term digital growth.
  • People are quick and loud to outrage about new sufferings while quickly ignoring the long-term suffering that's happened for ages.
  • The stability to build something, instead of always being given new things, or having the rug pulled out from underneath, is highly important for boosting morale and fostering the best performance.

14 Notable Quotes

The following memorable quotes were collected over the past month for me to reference and you to benefit.

  • "The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing, But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich." -Ancient Hebrew Proverb
  • "We can understand the attributes of God in other ways, but we can only understand the Father’s heart in the Cross of Christ." - Oswald Chambers
  • "When you go through deep waters, [God] will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." - Isaiah, Ancient Prophet of Israel
  • "Pride is the sin of making “self” our god." - Oswald Chambers
  • "Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity." - Bruce Lee
  • "Self-control is the ability to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing." - Tim Keller
  • — Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
  • "Many people have opinions. But few people have a strong basis for those opinions." - John Mashni
  • "Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine." - Oswald Chambers
  • “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - Blaise Pascal
  • "Christianity, if it is not a supernatural miracle, is a sham." - Oswald Chambers
  • "Great design is eliminating all unnecessary details." - Minh D. Tran
  • "Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." - CS Lewis
  • "Learn how to learn from those who offend you." - Tyler Cowen

2 New Things

The following five things were interesting and helpful resources. I'm passing on what I found valuable.

May 2018 Goal Updates

Here's an update on my June goal.
  • The Jump - Moving The Perpetual Small Business Forward: The last time writing a book, I was in the refinement stage. It turns out, I forgot how much was involved in shaping the book skeleton to get to that stage. This past month I went through the entire book chapters reshaping the content within them. I also made it about 20% through the subsequent reading pass. My goal this month is to finish that read through. 

2018 Goals Progress Report

Here's the monthly update on my goals set for 2018 for the month of June.
  • Daily Utmost & Bible Verse Of The Day: Hit or miss in June. I read almost all verses of the day, but missed around half of Utmost for His Highest.
  • Read Hidden Treasures In The Book Of Job With Wife: Paused due to the incoming baby and the craziness of life.
  • Evening Kiddo Snuggle Time: Laxed, mostly missed on this one. Only logged 3 instances in Habitica.
  • Small Group Engagement With Men: Helped several members with rides, advice, and moving help.
  • Kia Sedona Loan Eliminated: $21,215.74 Paid of $25.5k
  • Finish Writing 2nd Book: See above.
  • 400 Total Published Blog Posts in 2018:
    • 287 Published Articles = End of 2017
    • 10 = January 2018
    • 12 = February
    • 13 = March
    • 13 = April
    • 13 = May
    • 3 = June
    • 64 = 2018 Total Blog Count
    • -3 = Archived Blogs
    • 348 = All-Time Total Articles
    • 52 = Remaining For 2018 (to hit 400 goal)
  • Sustain 2017 Income With Few Hours in 2018:
    • January Hours: 128.25/122 (+6.5)
    • February: 122.25/122 (+0.25)
    • March: 127/122 (+5)
    • April: 106.25/122 (-16)
    • May: 145.25/122 (+23)
    • June: 111/122 (-11) - In 2017, I had 766.5 hours by the end of June. I have 26.5 hours fewer, which is in line with my goal.
    • YTD Total: 740 (+8 over)
  • One Mile, Eight Times/Month:
    • January = 2 miles
    • February = 3 miles
    • March = 4 miles
    • April = 6 miles
    • May = 7 miles
    • June = 3 miles
  • Gwinnett Church Volunteering: Continuing to volunteer with the sanctuary greeting team during the second service every other week.
  • Habitica (Habit management app) Report: For part of my effort to slow down and take a break, I paused Habitica. I'll check out of the inn in July.

June 2018 Blogs

With a blogging break in place for most of June, there were only three articles for the month. Here are the links to each published article.

Hero Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Tags: Monthly Reflection Point

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