Happy Friday!

Today is my last day at the Jersey shore with my family, and I am feeling sufficiently sunburned and caught up on reading. It’s always a bummer to leave a vacation, but it’s been a great trip, and I’m so grateful to have the chance to return to this meaningful place every summer.

I have some work to do before I can head down to the beach to enjoy a final few hours, so let’s jump right into the July and August goals recap, shall we? (Check out last month’s recap here for a refresher.) This past month was a good one!

ch51rcFoQGi2MadRcskYtA_thumb_70c.jpg
You may not know my whole system, but trust me when I tell you that all of those check marks and filled in bars are a really good thing!

As I fully eased into my streamlined and reprioritized schedule in July, I was really able to focus on the things that mattered most and to make a lot of progress on my goals. Here’s a recap:

  • Pitch to two target outlets. √ YES! I was pitching a lot at the beginning of the month and opened up some great conversations with editors about potential assignments that I’m hoping come to fruition in the next few weeks. After so many months of having limited time to pitch and develop new business opportunities, it felt good to get back in the game.
  • Figure out weekly workflow for podcast production. √ YES! The biggest challenge with podcasting is that having a show of your own requires you to constantly be working on two levels — promoting existing episodes and producing future episodes… and if you really want to be successful, you can’t afford to be inconsistent with either! Establishing a social media calendar at the beginning of every week has been helpful (more on that later), and I’ve also found a good rhythm of editing episodes for the following week on Mondays and Tuesdays, recording their intros on Wednesdays, finalizing the audio file on Thursdays, and doing a final listen and working on the show notes on Fridays.
  • Read five six books.√ YES! Outside of the reading I did for SSR this month, I read An American Marriage (totally appreciated its impact, but still wasn’t crazy about it), Girl, Wash Your Face (a really fun memoir with strains of self-help that I tore through in a single day), The Kiss Quotient (the steamiest book I’ve ever read, but generally didn’t meet the hype for me), and 90s Bitch (some of the most fascinating, compelling non-fiction I’ve read).
  • Network for podcast guests and pitch SSR for publicity on a weekly basis.√ YES! Actively making a point to do both of these things every week has been really helpful. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming to think about the long game for the podcast — especially on top of all of my other work — but chipping away at growing it little by little makes it more manageable.
  • Start book outlining process.√ YES! AND I’VE STARTED WRITING AGAIN!
  • Treadmill three times per week.√ YES! Making a goal of this has given me a new structure to my workouts, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Going to the gym is such a, well, routine part of my routine, that I can easily get kind of lazy with what I actually do when I get there. Challenging myself to get back into running shape has been good for me.
  • Develop and stick to SSR social media calendar every week.√ YES! I mentioned this briefly above, and if you follow SSR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you know that I’ve definitely been doing it : )
  • Read target outlets more regularly.√ YES! I could definitely do a better job with this, but I did make more of a habit of it in July.

I wrote about this a little more in last week’s post about streamlining, but my hope moving into August is that I’ll learn to make even better use of some of the time and mental bandwidth that’s opened up since I made the very tough call to transition out of regular work for one of my clients. Now that I’m getting more comfortable with all of the work that goes into producing and promoting the podcast, some of that margin actually exists — yay! — and I’m trying to figure out where I want to focus so I can use it accordingly.

Here’s how some of those August goals break down:

  • Finish two chapters of book. Now that I have an outline — and a few pages — in place, I want to keep building on that momentum!
  • Land one new outlet. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that this used to be on my list of goals for every month. I’m bringing it back for August! As I work on revisiting my priorities, I think this is a really great marker for progress. And good news! I already have some prospects lining up.
  • Maintain SSR workflow. That podcast production schedule I described up top? Gotta keep it going!
  • Submit four (great) pitches to target outlets. You know the drill.
  • Investigate podcast ad networks and growth opportunities. Don’t get me wrong — the podcast is great as a passion project, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in finding ways to monetize it down the road. I know it’s still early, but I want to start learning more about advertising opportunities and the like now so that I can figure out the best way to take advantage of them when the time is right.
  • Network for podcast guests and pitch SSR for publicity every week. That goal was so helpful in July that I’m keeping it around for August!
  • Treadmill three times per week. Same as above.
  • Stick to weekly SSR social media calendar. Anddddddd same as above.
  • Prioritize a date night every week. Matt and I both have a lot going on right now — both individually and as a couple — and I think it’s more important than ever that we make a point to set aside one night each week to spend time together.
  • Read target outlets more regularly. I tried to make this a more regular priority last month, but I need to do better. In order to help me be more consistent, I may start building in a time buffer every morning during which I can focus on doing nothing but reading stories from the websites and magazines that I’d like to contribute to! After all, things are much more likely to get accomplished when they happen before I even look at my inbox.
  • Practice focusI found myself getting more distracted than usual at the end of July, and I want to reel that in ASAP.

There’s been another major development in our personal life over here, which brings me to one more (extremely important) goal for the coming weeks…

  • Prepare well for our move! It’s official — Matt and I are officially staying in New York for at least another year. We signed a lease on a great new apartment last week and are moving in early September. August is a crazy month for us (we have two weddings and then one weekend where Matt is away for a bachelor party and I’m away for a bachelorette party!), so we have limited time to get everything organized. Natural planner that I am, I’m already making lists and calls, trying to do as much as I can now so the final weeks feel a little less crazy. Still, moving out of our tiny apartment is going to be tricky, since there aren’t a lot of places to actually put stuff once it’s been packed. Yikes!

How is your August looking? What are you hoping to accomplish? Tell me more in the comments below!