The Twelve Month Success Challenge – UK Edition – May Progress Report

by WordChazer

More achievements in the personal goal-setting challenge I accepted this year. Some things changed, others changing. Some just plugging on steadily, the backbone to everything else

As the months progress, it's interesting to see what changes with the seasons and the shifts in importance of various projects. Some months bring more focus on the day job, others on things at home, depending on holidays, workload and outside influences from friends and family. As the spring finally arrives, there is a need to spend time in the garden, if only to control the weeds. Less time in front of a screen means more exercise, but also more aches and pains, as gardening is not a favorite task.

May had a good start, with completing the report for my elance client on time as well as managing to submit two articles to Wizzley and revise another, plus submit one to the new site. I also had a good year-end with the works invoices, with the figures low where they should be and high where they need to be. We even almost met target, from being well off it six months ago. As it was Bank Holiday weekend (a national holiday) the first Monday in May, my husband and I made it out into the garden on Sunday. *Sits down in shock.*

The photo is by William Warby and is free for commercial use on Flickr.

The Day Job

In the day job, I was given 50 new invoices to input and send statements to this month. More than usual thanks to the renewal of contracts with year-end. Hopefully some of these will pay, or perhaps they’ll pay their outstanding, if I’m lucky. Time and chasing will tell. I’m pleased with the reconciliation I was able to request last month, but it remains to be seen what the boss thinks. The end of year figures are looking good and there are a number of unresolved queries which are now resolved, because I was able to spend time looking at them in the course of the month.


Although the report was submitted on time, it seems as if the client is currently unable to pay me thanks to problems with his PayPal account. Hmmm. I’d better get bidding for some more work, in that case.

The content editing is also having a problem in that area, and I’m considering whether a year is enough time to spend on one freelance project. I think it could be time for a change soon, if only because I always relish a challenge and it’ll be good to refresh my portfolio.

My mature student should be finishing his studies about now, and my authors are all working on their new novels, so things are quiet there too.

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I finally managed to reach 100% on Wizzley, with 20 articles submitted and several more in draft and planning. The series chronicling the bulding of the Centre for Computing History are going down a storm, as are the articles on Silicon Dreams geekend in July. I also plan to write up my experiences at the Revival event in Wolverhampton soon too. I can’t keep up with all the ideas at the moment, that’s for sure. Next month the Centre for Computing History opens for its first public days, dubbed ‘the preview days’ and that will certainly need an article all to itself.

The summarising project through elance is still ongoing, but that’s only because I haven’t had a chance to put more than a couple of extra submissions in place. I told the owner that I’d continue to submit work as and when I saw something worth adding, and that will hold true. I have a suspicion that elance will be seeing a bit more of me in the coming months as that will give me the variety I need.

The forum posting project is officially dead, as I have heard nothing back from the client for ages. Good thing I never did too much with that then. He was sure that when the project took off, I would not need any other freelance work as he would keep me in business. As I said earlier, ‘hmmm’.

How the loft looked when I started my grand sort out
How the loft looked when I started my...
Paula Thomas, May 2013
And how it looked a week later
And how it looked a week later
Paula Thomas, May 2013

Housework and Decluttering

I spent my MusicMagpie earnings on a desperately needed new pair of jeans. I only had one pair, and it seems as if they’re usually in the wash! I now have a blue pair as well as the original black pair, which means I have two pairs to wear with my prized DMs. (Ahem, a female owner of a spiky haircut must have DMs to complete the look with jeans and a T-shirt.) 

I have successfully sold four items on ebay in the last month. I’m limited to listing 10 a month for the first three months of my time on the site, but there are enough excess items here to keep us going for a while. The massive loft sort out has begun, and in the first two days of a week’s leave I went from having a pile of heaven-only-knows-what over 5’ high staring me in the face to being able to walk from one end of the loft space to the other. I was even able to access some of my CDs which I’d not heard in months as they were stacked on the far side of this mountain of clutter.


Money Saving – Discounts and Coupons

An ongoing project, as I doubt I will ever lose my dislike of spending out for the sake of it. The loyalty programmes have been coming into their own this month as we have many vouchers valid for eight weeks or more. Some of them are even multiple use. I’m not quite as good as this guy, who saved over £100 on his family’s groceries, but if I have to pay full price for rolls, fresh vegetables or my breakfast biscuits, I’m losing out. No point in paying extra for regular items if we can save money and still get perfectly acceptable produce. That’s partly why we bought a 6’ freezer, because it was a good investment given the money we were saving on the food we were cooking and storing in it.

Success Challenge defined: a good month for achieving things. Whether at work, in editing or writing, it was a month for unexpected meeting of deadlines, by luck or good judgement.
Another month down and things are hotting up in the Success Challenge. Slightly delayed thanks to going away for Easter, here is my update for the month (and indeed, the quarter).
Another month down and there’s much to report with regard to my goals in the Success Challenge. Many previously unseen changes happened this month.
A month into the Twelve Month Success Challenge, how's it going? Have I really made progress or am I treading water?

New Projects Upcoming, Then?

Seems like I'll have some more to report on next month, with the ebay sales and decluttering, new writing sites, hopefully new editing projects through elance and another blitz on the day job invoice list.

Lots of writing planned, also more work at the Museum for Computing History, which opens to the public in two months. Everything will be written up, as will Silicon Dreams, Revival, the preview days at the Museum and anything else I can lay my creative hands to.

Also hoping to continue the garden work, painful though it is, as well as the internal housework. It's the F1 motorsport season so that's always a good time for clearing housework projects with the coverage on in the background. There's still a pile of sorting out to do in the loft too, but that is somewhat curtailed as I can't get anything more down until I've filed, sold, sorted or shredded whatever I already have out.

More months, more goals. It's never quiet around here, that's for sure. And now to some official freelance writing and other work-related typing.

Updated: 12/25/2013, WordChazer
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/11/2017

WordChazer, What's not to like about gardening?

NanciArvizu on 06/28/2015

What a great article! Keeping your readers up to date on the goals, challenges, little road blocks that arise in the road of life. Thank you for sharing.

WordChazer on 03/01/2014

I still need to finish writing up this stream, Emma. I'm currently working on finishing the monthly articles then will publish them all in one go.

WordChazer on 07/03/2013

Ah, yes. tell me about it! I need to write June's update as soon as possible but the way my life is going right now...

BrendaReeves on 07/02/2013

I love goal setting. I'm decluttering right now. It seems like I'm always decluttering. I think it spontaneously grows everytime I get rid of something.

WordChazer on 06/22/2013

Wow, SheilaMarie, I'm honored. Joni Rose was the lady who started me on reporting my progress, and although I'd joined elance before starting this project, she encouraged me to look into it further. I'm enjoying it immensely at the moment, without spoiling this month's update. Hope to have good news by the end of the month; give me another week and we'll see.

sheilamarie on 06/22/2013

What a great idea -- to report on your monthly progress. I have just started with elance, based on your recommendation in one of the forums way back. I haven't yet landed a job -- still working on my profile, etc.
Your loft looks great. It reminds me of the basement I promised myself I'd clean up! Keep up the good work!

WordChazer on 06/15/2013

As always, thanks for your comment, Joni. It's all your doing that I'm even logging all of this.

Joni on 06/15/2013

Hi Paula,

Great to hear what you were up to in May on many fronts! The before and after picture in your loft is amazing! What progress! It must feel really good :)

Good for you that you adjust your strategy with your writing as you learn. Increasing the variety of projects sounds like a great plan to expand your portfolio.

And as always, love your sense of humour that shows through in your writing. :)

WordChazer on 06/09/2013

Trying to keep things going and not give up the day job, yes Mira. Thank you for your good wishes.

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