resolutions 2018: third quarter review

⏲ Read time: 7-10 minutes

Third quarter: Done✅

Welcome to limbo, also known as my third quarter. The months of July, August and September were definitely not my most exciting. With the dust settling from my first-ever international trip, I spent a lot of the time in anticipation and feeling anxious for all of the exciting things to come during the rest of the year, like GenBeauty, Iceland and the holiday season.

I wouldn’t say that the third quarter was a ‘bad’ quarter, just because I didn’t travel a lot, or do a ton of fun activities. It also isn’t to say that it was wasted time, but rather, it was the most productive I’ve been all year! I spent a lot of time to myself, refocusing my attention on my goals and learning who I want to be, not only portrayed on this website, but how I want to be perceived in the real world.

Here’s how I did in the third quarter:

Creativity

It’s been no secret that I’ve struggled with this resolution from the get-go, and this quarter was really no different. That keyboard I bought has since been moved from the end of my bed into the closet and completely out of my mind. The same thing could be said about the calligraphy workbooks I bought long ago too.

However, this wasn’t a total bust of a quarter creatively. As a matter of fact, I think I found my passion elsewhere: This website! I’ve always acknowledged the fact that this website is, in sorts, a creative avenue, but I never really give it enough credit where it’s due.

While watching my old videos for inspiration (and to learn how to better them), I became besotted with watching other YouTubers to see how they made content I enjoyed watching and learning how I could be more like them. I invested in some new gadgets to help make these goals a reality and with the upcoming trips planned, I felt myself become resurrected with an excitement to create something epic. I’ve always been a storyteller, and I want to create visual stories of our adventures I’m proud of.

The biggest takeaway from this quarter was that instead of exhausting options to ‘create’ something that my heart isn’t fully invested in, I’d rather dump it all into something I already love doing, which is creating YouTube videos, pumping content on this website and sharing my story with my followers.

My goal might be a cop-out of sorts, but it’s difficult for me to acknowledge the fact I am creative, just in a way I didn’t realize.

Fourth quarter goals:

  • Don’t be so hard on self when it comes to ‘lack’ of creativity

Financial

It’s hard to asset how a quarter really went when it was constantly changing.

During this period, I applied for two travel-friendly credit cards (the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Delta SkyMiles). With all of our upcoming trips, it seemed the best suited for me because both cards have zero international fees, both will help me build my credit score and allow us a lot more flexibility with spending on vacation. (Plus, all those other great incentives, too!)

Another change this month was the original credit card I set aside as the emergency fund got an increased credit limit (after nearly 7 years!). On one hand, this worked out well because of two fillings I needed to have done back to back, but on the other, it forced me into changing my game-plan. Instead, I paid off a credit card (🎉) that I had been chipping away at and it will now be set as that emergency credit card.

All of my store credit cards have been paid off (🎉) and I was able to save up my goal of $250 for spending cash at GenBeauty! Now, the only cards I have left are the high credit limits that I’m able to budget accordingly without having to worry about those other pesky bills. The plan is to keep those store credit cards paid off, or if I do put charges on there, pay them off quickly.

I’ve been using the Delta SkyMiles card in place of my debit card because of being rather stripped for cash while paying off those smaller balances. The more I use it, the more I can earn free bonus mileage, so unfortunately, it kind of has to be done if I want the reward. Since this is only a $1,000 credit limit, it’s a lot more manageable than I anticipated.

Ryan and I have been having that conversation about eventually moving in together and I was forced into realizing that there was no way I could comfortably move away from home, start from scratch, if I needed to. The money I’ve been stowing away for upcoming trips has been switched to a secondary savings account (I already have one that an automatic $25 transfer deposits in monthly, as well as any additional change left over on my debit card by rounding up transactions). The plan is to continue to grow this account, and set aside money bi-weekly.

The holidays will be here before we know it, and the thought of buying Christmas gifts is giving me agita. Starting October 26, I intend on setting aside $100 per paycheck to use for the holiday season, leaving me a budget of roughly $600. Luckily, I don’t have many people to buy for, and it’s more responsible to stow away rather than blowing an entire paycheck at once.

Fourth quarter goals:

  • Keep store credit cards paid off
  • Pay off Delta SkyMiles card
  • Continue to save money in ‘secondary’ savings fund.

Fitness

Since this journey has been so well-documented in my Workout Splits, there’s no need to break it down a whole lot further. I didn’t hit my goal of 15 pounds and every day, I realize that even though 15 is a ‘small’ number, it isn’t easy.

This time last year is where I really fell off the wagon with a complete overhaul of accepting a new position, changing my schedule and adjusting to that M-F, 9-5 life. If I can stay consistent at the gym and not get complacent, I’ll consider it a win.

Discovering the Transphormation Challenge has given me a spark I desperately needed and I really think that I could see long-term results, if I stay consistent. With Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts and cocktails at holiday parties, I need to be semi-strict with myself, but also enjoy the merry season.

Fourth quarter goals:

  • Lose 15 pounds

Intellectual

Challenging yourself to grow each day is a lot harder than it seems, but if you have fun while doing it, does it really feel like work?

For 82 days (and counting!), I have been teaching myself Czech. This is the one language that I’ve taught myself where I’m able to retain the information! Ever since I was younger, I had always been interested in the Czech culture and learning the language has been such a pleasant experience and something I wish I did sooner. I don’t anticipate needing it much when we visit Prague in February,  but it is pretty cool to say I taught myself the basics in a worst-case scenario.

Despite hitting a hiccup in my Reading Challenge, I am currently one book ahead of schedule and I’m on pace to finish the challenge by the end of November! The goal is to finish it before we head to Iceland, so I can spend either quality time with family and friends during the holiday season or continue to add more stories to my collection of faves.

Last quarter, I humored the idea of looking at online classes to finish my Bachelor’s Degree. It was the farthest that idea went and I had a realization one afternoon at work: Why waste money on a degree, when right now I can focus my attention on completing courses on topics I’m actually interested in. Instead of spending nearly $7K a semester, why not invest roughly $100 in a bundle on Skillshare or General Assembly to help promote my website, or how to generate views on YouTube, or other things I deem praticial in my current position.

Eventually, I’ll want to finish my degree, but right now, I’m not even sure if staying in the journalistic realm is something I want to do. Dabbling with some courses won’t hurt anyone (in fact, it might help boost a resume) and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two about myself and what I want to be when I grow up.

Fourth quarter goals:

  • Continue teaching self Czech on Duolingo
  • Finish Reading Challenge by November 30
  • Complete online courses bought on Skillshare

⬇📽 Watch my resolutions third quarter recap here (& don’t forget to subscribe!) 📽⬇

About sarah

25. writer. obsessed with makeup, french bulldogs, nyr and sparkle.
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