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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Goals and Good Intentions

Now that several weeks have again passed by since my last post, honestly, where does the time go???  I reviewed my calendar and events and deadlines and learned that I did not set aside enough time for certain projects.

Wilkes Vintage Finds just made its 91st sale today, not counting several orders that were canceled this past year for various reasons.  I am proud of this little virtual shop that is now 1 year and 5 months old.  There is a lot of competition on the Internet for sales.  Ebay is very large and has items of all sorts up for bid.  One large difference between Ebay and Etsy is that Etsy sets a price and it sells when a buyer makes a purchase. 

I have sold items in under 30 minutes of listing them online and I have sold items that have been listed for a year.  Sometimes, I debate whether to renew an item after 4 months,  I usually list the item again any way.  You never know what will appeal to a buyer. 

I have found that holding sales and offering coupon codes for discounts or free shipping often make the difference.  However, editing these listings for sales and coupon codes is time consuming.  When you have over 150 items that need editing, even a fast typist needs to concede the hours of time necessary to make the changes.  I have keyed data entry over 9500 keystrokes, yet it takes me hours to proof read and toggle the pages.

So, what about my writing projects, well you see I am just posting again today on this blog.  I have managed to keep up with Twitter.  I wrote two articles for the Wilkes Gazette.  However, HubPages and Examiner have nothing recent from me.  So, this week I am putting the emphasis on these websites to add several articles by the weekend.

I hope that my readers are able to pursue their goals and make the steps to attain them.  There are 168 hours in a week and taking away sleeping time for me 8 hours a night, that leaves 112 waking hours in a week.  It is back to the daily planner and weekly calendar for me to reassess my writing goals and how best to attain them,

BTW, I have been soda free since my last post.  It has been a challenge, but I feel more energized and less sluggish without soda.  Maybe, all the additional water that I have been drinking has been a definite plus...

Until...

Jeanne

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Goals for 2012

Well, it has taken more than one week to write down my goals for 2012.  I find every year starts with so many expectations to be fulfilled.  Then, the year is gone and just a fraction of my expectations seem to get realized.  In considering my goals, I found I also had to consider what prevents me from accomplishing them.

On my list was prioritizing my projects in order of deadlines.  This year, I have much writing to do with my wonderful blog.  Then there are my 3 columns for The Wilkes Gazette online newspaper at http://www.wilkes-gazette.com/.  In addition to writing Living On A Budget and Restaurant Reviews, I am particularly passionate about my column Jeanne's Travels.  In this column, my dog Red and I visit pet-friendly places around Western North Carolina.  We made a recent visit to the beautiful and environmentally-friendly Western North Carolina Visitor Center located off Rte 421 in North Wilkesboro, NC.

I also need to plan out and write articles for Examiner.com.  My column is entitled Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner which ties in nicely with my Living On A Budget column.  I have found so many ways to stretch budget dollars and I am very happy to share these tips with my readers.

More recently, I have begun writing Hubs for HubPages.com.  I am researching and writing articles about vintage items.  In particular, those that can be found on Etsy.com on which I have a vintage shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds.  The shop takes many hours of time with research, copywriting, customer emails, and shipping.  I have learned to offer sales throughout the year and editing item descriptions can take up many hours in a week. 

I quickly saw two weeks ago, that time management is crucial.  I have had much training in the customer service and administrative assistant positions that I have held in the past.  Customer inquiries that needed to be answered in a timely manner, performing background checks, typing documents, submitting reports, etc. that all had deadlines to be met, or ideally, exceeded.  Many of those jobs also included answering phone calls and emails.  Time for those tasks also had to be included in the mix of each day's agenda.

I am grateful for the many wonderful managers and co-workers who assisted me with time management planning. Some of that assistance came in the form of attending seminars and watching videos.  My goals this year will only be met if I remember and apply all of my useful time management training.

A calendar and a daily planner are crucial.  I mentioned in my last post the need for me to write mainly in pencil.  Things that must remain constant such as deadlines for articles, time periods to hold Etsy sales, necessary paperwork and tax returns all require ink in the planner. The ink is for me to remember to keep focused on the exact amount of time that I can give to certain tasks.  Other things may have more latitude in which to to work with as far as time constraints are concerned.

I have a weekly goal of 1 article per week for my 3 columns in the Wilkes Gazette.  I have a daily goal of 1 article for HubPages.  I have a goal of 3 articles per week for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner.  Again, these articles will each take time to plan out and research.  If photography is needed, then even more time must be given to those particular articles.

I have personal weight and diet goals that include my finally giving up soda.  I have a particular weakness for Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola.  However, the carbohydrates (sugars) and the calories are not conducive to my losing weight.  In other words, the soda is not beneficial to my new diet regime.  I am not particularly fond of fruit, although I am very fond of vegetables.  I particularly like the green vegetables such as kale, spinach, peas, green beans and more recently, baby brussel sprouts. 

I also have exercise goals for walking and muscle-toning now that I am over 50.  Much of my past walking exercise has been in towns on city sidewalks.  Now, that I am in the country again where loose dogs are quite common, I am looking into other forms of exercise and muscle-toning. 

I know, to be successful with my goals and agenda this year, that I will need to be balanced.  Exercise and a good diet are two of the basic components for being balanced.  Also, I learned in the office world, short breaks can do wonders to clear one's head and keep one focused on the tasks at hand.

Over the next few weeks, I will continue to post about how things are going with my strategies for success.  February is already half over and there is no time like the present to get started.  I am happy to say in this past week, that I was able to work on my Etsy shop, write an article for Examiner, write this post, and finish my last bottle of soda...for now.  What do they say, "Baby steps!".

Until my next post...

Jeanne

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A New Year Has Begun

Hello to everyone.  A very happy belated 2012!  A new year has begun.

Well, now that January has come and has gone, it is a good time to see how our new year resolutions are going.  If we have not yet set goals for ourselves, then it is still not too late to jot some goals down on a piece of paper.  Why not post these goals on a bulletin board, the fridge, the desk, etc.  I have found it is easier to remember my goals when I can see them each and every day.

I have my usual weight, exercise, reading, budget and travel goals.  However, this year I have special goals for my writing and my Etsy shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds.

Time is always a concern and a difficult concept to reign in and manage for me.  I live by to do lists to assist with not letting each day get away from me.  I have experienced whole weeks getting away from me without even tackling my goals list.  I want better for myself this year.

After a few weeks visiting family, I realize that January has also gotten away from me.  So, now with four days into February, I am planning to write up some new goals for the remainder of the year.  I have armed my self with several wall calendars with large spaces for daily agendas.  I have my pencils sharpened as I have learned that pen is not a good idea on my calendars. 

A look back over last year's planners showed that I had many days of canceled events and rescheduled appointments.  This year, I will use pencil, not ink.  As I just turned 51, I have also learned that life throws curve balls and that Murphy is never far away. 

Next week, I will share some of the goals that I write down over the week.

Until my next post...

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Wilkesboro, NC, United States
My interest with writing began by composing poems about nature in my childhood. I also co-wrote a play in my 4th grade class when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. It generated enough positive feedback that my class put on the play in the school auditorium. I was fortunate to have a lead part. After my high school graduation, I entered the working world. For over 30 years I have been steadily gaining writing, editing and digital publishing skills. I began by composing letters and emails to company clients. I contributed to articles written for The Commuters Register based in Windsor, CT. Since 2009, I have added social media, digital publishing and blogging here in Wilkesboro, NC. Since 2010, I write ad copy for the listing descriptions for each of my 3 Internet shops open at Etsy.com. In 2012, I entered a poem about my dog Red in the World Poetry Contest. The poem was chosen for publication. I have written articles for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner and Hub Pages. In 2012, I acquired The Wilkes Gazette digital newspaper that was renamed the Wilkes County Gazette in 2014. I write under both my own name and my pen name, Jeanne Armonk.

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