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Career Finance Fitness Girl Boss Lifestyle

Goals Progress – August 2018

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s August already. Before you know it, pumpkin spice and Christmas music will be everywhere! I never realized how helpful these goal progress posts were til I was re-reading my original goals post and my progress posts. July was a great month for me, but there are some things I need to get on!



 

Career Goals

One of the things I need to get on is my PMP certification. I kind of put it on the back burner when I got my certificates renewed over the past few months but I’ve been getting reminders about finishing that online course I started so I should really get on it.

Fitness Goals

tracking daily progress

The beginning of July was a struggle because I was eating out and going out a lot. I still worked out regularly (as you can see from my calendar above), but the eating always gets to me. I finally sucked it up in the last week and a half or so and got back on meal prepping, started tracking my food again in MyFitnessPal, and surprise, surprise, I lost 2 lbs in a week! Fitness really is mostly diet. 🙁 I’m thinking for August my goal is to eat healthy and meal prep for 4 – 5 days a week. #sorrynotsorry I’m not giving up my weekends! But I have been lifting a lot heavier – maxed squats at 115 lbs, lat pull downs at 70 lbs, seated rows at 65 lbs, and back hyper extensions carrying a 45 lb plate! Honestly, I feel kind of bad ass writing that out lol! Getting up for 5 AM HIIT has been a struggle, but I’m just low key telling myself that I’m working on bulking.



 

Financial Goals

June definitely threw me off temporarily but I got back on track in July. Last month I was at 20% of my debt paid off and this month I’m at 22% debt paid. 2% might sound little but every $1 counts! If all goes well, I’ll be able to cross off my first finance goal and pay off my personal loan by the end of the month!!! I don’t wanna jinx myself so I’m holding back the number but I’m crying inside when I look at the number I started with when I got serious in February. I have a spreadsheet complete with pie charts and line graphs that I update anytime I make a payment and I am still on track to paying everything off by December 2019. Not gonna lie, I’ve had to sacrifice a few trips and it’s killed me cause you know how much I love to travel, but I’m trying to keep my eyes on the prize because I’ll be able to do whatever I want once it’s all paid off. I do have some trips that I really want to go on so I’m trying to factor them in the budget, but we’ll see.

Blog Goals

Of all my 2018 goals this is the one that I’ve been laziest in. The good news is, I saw some progress in this area for July. Since my last goals post, I’ve published 6 more posts!! Wayy more than I have in any other month. I’ve been posting every Thursday like I said I would and I think it kind of gave me momentum to post more. Maybe for August we’ll shoot for 2x a week? I started experimenting with Pinterest pins and have seen a mini spike in traffic since then so I think I’m gonna focus this next month on growing that. My Instagram following growth has been slow but steady – as of this morning we’re at 2,887 – still a far cry from 10k but slow and steady, I guess?



Until next month!

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Career Finance Fitness Girl Boss Lifestyle

Goals Progress – July 2018

It feels like this year is just flying by because here I am again with another goals update! Unfortunately, June wasn’t that great of a month for me goals wise. I got set back a little financially with the trips and my fitness goals were pretty much shot to hell, but just because you trip or fall doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get back up. I’m really hoping July will be a killer month, but we’ll see! And if you haven’t already, click here to read my original goals post!



 

Career Goals

I finally got my 2nd certification, the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) renewed! So we can check that off the list! I signed up for the PMP course to get the PDUs I needed and then realized I had to submit a completed project and take a practice test and there was no way I was going to make it in time for my June 18th expiration. Thankfully, a friend of mine told me you can get credit for listening to podcasts! So I had to listen to 30 hours worth of podcasts to get the 30 PDUs that I needed. (Talk about lifesaver!) I do plan on completing that PMP course so hopefully I’ll be ready to take the actual PMP exam by the end of the year. I’m debating on pushing the PMP goal to early next year if my company has the budget to pay for it, but we will see. Taking the online course reminded me of why I never wanted to pursue higher education, but I digress…

Fitness Goals

I’m still really struggling with my fitness goals. I’m still going to the gym pretty consistently, but the trips in June threw me off and I’ve honestly been eating like crap. I’m taking this weekend to reset, get back on my meal prep, and get back on that regular schedule. It’s so hard to get back on the horse after you’ve fallen, but seriously, I need to just keep going.



 

Financial Goals

Like I said earlier, I hit a set back financially with the trip to Vegas and California. I’m at 20.1% progress in debt payoff which is pretty much the same as what it was last month. I had to make a decision on whether to use the extra $1000 I put on my debt for my trips or to keep chipping away at the debt. If I kept putting it on my loan, I’d be on track to pay off my first loan at the end of August, but if not, it would be pushed to September/October. Not that big of a difference, but I’m really big on seeing the progress and I felt like it would kind of un-motivate me if I didn’t hit the target so I re-evaluated everything and ended up transferring what I spent on a card that has a temporary 0% APR and kept applying the extra to my loan. I hated seeing that balance go up but once I pay off that first loan, I think I’ll feel good about it and I’m not accruing any interest on that balance anyway. I’m actually really excited about paying it off and finally getting to the big fish – my car. I think once I pay off that first loan, I’ll be ready to reveal how much that was!

I did get my old 401ks consolidated like I said I was planning to last month, but that reminds me I still need to do that with my HSAs. I’m happy to report that my overall net worth is positive! I think it has been for a while and I was just obsessing about the debt numbers but I suppose I should celebrate the little wins.

Blog Goals

I don’t know why progress in this area is just slow and steady. I did 3 posts in June, which is the same that I did in May. I decided that I’m putting myself on a posting schedule (I know I should’ve done this a long time ago) and post at least once a week. I was going to pick Wednesdays as my post day but then realized I always end up posting on a Thursday (like today) so Thursday weekly posts it is! I’m going to try to do more than once a week, but at the bare minimum, once a week.



Until next month!

Categories
Career Finance Fitness Girl Boss Lifestyle

Goals Progress – June 2018

2018 is just flying by and I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the year. May was much better progress for me in all areas than April was (read my original goals post here) but I think I might hit a little snag here in the financial area this month because I have trips to Las Vegas and LA. It’s honestly really hard keeping up the motivation in all areas because I naturally would rather bum out on the couch than do anything productive! But like one of my favorite Confucious quotes says, “It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.” I’m constantly telling myself everyday, Don’t stop. Keep going. It’s coming.



Career Goals

Two of my certificates expire this year, my Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) expired in May and my PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) expires in 2 weeks. I’m such a procrastinator and totally missed the deadline for my CSPO, but luckily they had a grace period. All I had to do was pay $100 for a renewal and it moved the expiration date to May 2020. The ACP cert is harder because I need to get I think 30-35 PDUs (Professional Development Units) which you can get through courses or I think volunteering? I decided to sign up for a self-paced online PMP (Project Management Professional) course so that I can start prepping for that certification, so now I need to get off my ass and actually open the course, but baby steps!

“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change. It takes 8 weeks for your friends and family to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep. Going.” • I got “serious” about my body goals in the beginning of May and in the first 2 weeks I saw my weight going down. Then all of a sudden I started gaining weight and 4 weeks later I’m almost 10 lbs heavier than when I started. #seriouslyWTF 🙄🙄🙄 The scale is SO discouraging and I have to tell myself everyday to keep going. But I LOVE how much stronger I feel 💪🏽 I’m lifting heavier, HIITing harder, leaner in some places, and rounder in the right places. 🍑 It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop. 🙌🏽 • #wednesdaywisdom #fitspo #fitspire #instafitness #goalgetter #goaldiggers #staymotivated #fitnessjourney #humpday🐫 #dfwblogger #dallasbloggers

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Fitness Goals

I’m finally seeing decent progress in the fitness area, although I did gain a few pounds and it’s totally discouraging, I’m going to keep telling myself it’s the muscle I’ve been building. I measure myself at my waist, the largest part of my belly (i.e. my problem area), and hips and I’ve lost a whole inch around my waist and belly. This week marks the start of the 5th week and overall, I feel stronger and like my stamina has been building up. Right now my schedule looks like 5 AM HIIT 3 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), afternoon HIIT Wednesdays and Fridays, and weightlifting in the afternoons the rest of the week. I’ll drop in a hot yoga class here and there when my muscles start feeling tight and sometimes I run when I have to fit something in and I don’t have the time. I hate running, getting up at 5 AM sucks, and the number on the scale makes me want to say eff it, but like I said, I just keep telling myself keep going, it’s coming.



 

Financial Goals

I am really proud of myself in this area because I feel like it’s where I see the most progress. It’s still kind of daunting looking at the total numbers and it really does feel like a huge sacrifice, but it’s really motivating seeing the graphical progress! As of today, I’ve paid off 20% my debt and I’m on track to paying off my first loan in 2 more months. I feel like I’ve been low key obsessive about this goal, but I feel like most people don’t really think about how much money they’re bleeding off of interest rates. For this loan, in February I paid $81.93 in interest, in March $37.70, April $29.25, and May $23.39. That’s a total of $172.27 in interest – which could have been a plane ticket to another city! I’ve consistently put $1000+ over my minimum payment on this loan since February, which is why the total monthly interest charge has been steadily declining, but it really stresses me out thinking about the other ways I could’ve used that money.

But overall progress is great, I can’t wait til I start aggressively tackling my car loan in August/September, but I’m definitely gonna hit a little bump this month because I’m meeting my family in Las Vegas in 2 weeks then meeting up with my sister in Los Angeles the week after. I pay off my credit cards in full every month to avoid interest charges and it just doesn’t make sense to rack up charges when I’m trying to pay off my debt. Also, I’m working on consolidating some of my old 401k and HSA accounts so that I have a better idea of my overall net worth. Jeez, I sound like such an adult!

Blog Goals

This area has definitely been slow and steady. I’ve been more consistent on IG posting and I did manage to put up 3 posts in May, but I really have to get grinding here. I think I over think things too much and really just need to churn out the work. My goal for this month is to post more than I did last month (3 posts) and start dipping my toes in Pinterest marketing.

Categories
Career Finance Fitness Girl Boss Lifestyle

Goals Progress – May 2018

I seriously can’t believe it’s already May – we’re almost halfway through 2018! I feel like overall, I haven’t been making a ton of progress on my goals overall, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve been making on my debt!

CAREER

I absolutely have to get some PDU’s this month because my CSPO (Certified Scrum Product Owner) certificate is expiring. Someone remind me to look at that on Monday!

FITNESS GOALS

Now that I think about it, I’ve made some good progress in this area. I’ve been going to the gym regularly and this week I’ve even been getting up for 5 AM HIIT and sometimes doing 2 a days (lifting in the afternoon). The killer for me is always my diet on the weekends! 🙁 This weekend will definitely be a test, but I at least want to be consistent on eating decently and working out hard during the week. I haven’t lost any inches yet, but I’m a few pounds down and I noticed that my resting heart rate (I use a FitBit) has been lowering, so I’m feeling a lot better about myself!



FINANCIAL GOALS

At the beginning of last month, I was at 10% progress, and now I’m at 14% progress! 4% doesn’t sound like a lot, but I love seeing the progress bar on my goals post move, even if it’s just a little bit. I’ve also been tracking my progress in an excel spreadsheet (what a nerd, I know!) and I even made pivot tables and graphs (LOL!). It’s crazy to me how much of my debt payment is going to interest and I’m paying above and beyond the minimum payment. 5.6% of the total I’ve paid so far has gone to interest – I could’ve gone shopping with that money! Last month I paid almost $2000 to my debt and man, it hurts knowing I could’ve booked an international trip with that money, but I know it’ll be worth it to be completely debt free.

some of the graphs on my spreadsheet

BLOG GOALS

Still not much movement in this area either. I did manage to post twice last month about Hawai’i – Kaka’ako Street Art and Wiliwilinui Hike, but I’ve been horrible about growing my instagram. We’ll just say motivation is hard to come by, but I swear I’ll get my ass going one of these days.



Categories
Career Finance Fitness Lifestyle

Goals Progress – April 2018

CAREER

My existing certs are going to expire so I need to get some PDUs under my belt quick to keep them active but I honestly haven’t looked at my options yet. I still really want to get PMP certified so I’m hoping I can find a class that fits my schedule.

FITNESS GOALS

As usual, finding my balance is not going well. Going on vacation to Hawai’i for my birthday in March really set me back and I haven’t been able to find that motivation. I am still going to be the gym/working out regularly but my diet is horrible. I need to get back on it because summer is seriously right around the corner.

FINANCIAL GOALS

I am happy to report that I’ve been making significant progress on my financial goals and am currently at 10% progress! I’ve been obsessed with getting rid of this debt and since I buckled down in February, I threw an excessive amount of money at my debt. We’ll just say that it’s enough to fund 2 big international trips which makes me sad because if you know me, you know I live to travel. But sacrifice now to play a lot later!

BLOG GOALS

I don’t know if my blog progress is worse than my career progress! I’ve been really horrible about putting in the work to see the growth, but I do have a few Hawai’i posts planned so I’m hoping that’ll get the ball rolling and give me a spark of motivation. I have been slowly building my IG following, but XOMO has been at a complete stop but I swear I’m gonna get my ish together one of these days.

Categories
Career Finance Fitness Girl Boss Lifestyle

2018 Goals

I personally dislike making New Year’s resolutions because I never keep them, but I usually set goals I want to accomplish. I know, I know, it’s already halfway through February but I’ve finally finished setting my 2018 goals! 2018 isn’t about “new year, new me,” but more “new year, better me.” I feel like I have a lot I want to do this year, but I think they’re pretty reasonable goals. I broke them down into 4 categories and I’ll keep this page updated regularly and bookmarked on the top menu to keep myself accountable!



CAREER GOALS

  • Renew PMI-ACP Certificate (July 2018)
  • Get PMP Certified

My PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) certification expires in June this year and I need to get it renewed by taking 30 PDUs (Professional Development Units). I also want to get my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification so I figured I’d knock off two birds with one stone and do both. I’m not entirely sure if I have enough project hours yet for the PMP, but I’m definitely going to try.



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FITNESS GOALS

  • Lose 1 – 2 inches around waist
  • Find fitness balance

I’ve always struggled to find balance in my fitness routine – I’m either at the extreme super fit, no cheat days mode or the “eff it” eat and drink whatever you want mode. I’ll go super hard and get really fit, then I’ll blow it all when I’m on vacation. I know, I’m not overweight but my clothes don’t fit the way I want them to and I really need to find my sweet spot between bikini ready and fried chicken and coke!



FINANCIAL GOALS

  • Pay off loan
  • Be debt free by December 2019

This is probably the most personal goal that I’m sharing because nobody ever likes to talk about money, let alone be honest about their finances. I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to live so comfortably after getting my degree, but I haven’t been the best steward of money. There was a year or so that I was completely debt free and it was amazing! But I ended up totaling my car, traveling a lot, and in all honesty, lifestyle creep got to me. It’s not something that I’m really proud of because there honestly is no good reason for me to carry all this debt.

The average American household carries $137,063 in debt – $16,883 in credit card debt, $29,539 in auto loans, $50,626 in student loans, and $182,421 in mortgages. While I fall way below average, just the idea of carrying any debt gives me anxiety and I miss the freedom of being debt free. I still live pretty comfortably and throw some extra money at my debt but it’s time for me to really suck it up and buckle down.

This is more of a longer term goal since there is realistically no way for me to pay off everything by the end of the year unless my salary doubles. I sat down and crunched all the numbers and I can definitely pay off the personal loan I took out by the end of the year. The remainder of my debt is my car, and it’s the biggest chunk. I actually leased it for 3 years thinking I’d want to upgrade to a newer model at the end of the lease, but didn’t really want to lease again so I ended up buying it. It kind of sucked starting over last year, but I think it’s pretty reasonable to put a December 2019 payoff (possibly earlier). I’m not completely comfortable sharing the big number yet, but you can follow this progress bar by percentage until I am! 😉 But I will share it at some point.

Debt Progress – 22% as of 8/2

22% Complete



BLOG GOALS

  • 5,000 views a month on the blog
  • 10,000 IG Followers

I’ve had this domain name for a few years, but didn’t get serious or consistent about blogging until last June. It’s been a fun hobby and I especially love documenting my wanderlust but I’ve also made a few extra bucks on the side! I want to focus on growing my blog this year by creating more valuable content. It’s definitely been a trial and error process seeing which posts get hits (e.g. my Pop Fit Leggings Review is my most visited post), but we’re learning!

Also, my sister and I recently launch what I’m calling my little passion project – XOMO Society. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I tried to do XO Women a few months back but it quickly fizzled out. I got a burst of inspiration at the end of last year, decided to partner with my sister, Mo, rebranded, and relaunched as XOMO Society – a community for strong, ambitious women of color. We make weekly YouTube videos and posting regularly on our Instagram and looking for awesome women to feature – it’s a lot of work! I kind of took a hiatus around my sister’s wedding and haven’t gotten back on the horse but will definitely be doing that soon. I just think it would be so awesome to grow this community – the one I didn’t have while I was growing up.

I’ve got some lofty goals set up for 2018, it’s kind of intimidating but definitely can be done. Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along!

Read my monthly progress posts:



Categories
Fashion Fitness Lifestyle Reviews

Pop Fit FREE Leggings! – Olivia Review

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about this POP Fit promo for free leggings and my first thoughts were – free workout clothes? I’m in. But as they say, nothing is ever free, free. I got to pick which leggings I wanted but the catch was I had to pay $11.99 for shipping. I’m not super big into shopping anymore – I think I have too many clothes I don’t use – but I don’t think twice about buying new workout clothes because I really put them to use.


Olivia Leggings

I ended up choosing these black/green Olivia leggings and I think if you click the picture link, you might be able to snag them for free yourself. I’m pretty picky about my workout wear – it needs to be drifit-ish material and the bottoms need to fit snug and comfortably but still flattering. I’m pretty loyal to my Nike capris and full length leggings and have yet to find anything that compares, but $11.99 didn’t hurt.

Some claims from the POP Fit website:

  • Thick waistband that “hits your hip & tummy area in exactly the perfect place”
  • Leggings stay perfectly in place
  • Heavier more durable fabric

TL;DR

I wouldn’t buy them again. They weren’t a complete loss, but not worth the full price IMO.

PROS

  • Comfortable and waistband does sit in a flattering area
  • Does stay in place (for the most part) while working out
  • Designs are pretty cute
  • Not terribly expensive

CONS

  • The waistband shrinks and gets warped when you put it in the dryer
  • Material is decent, but feels like will deteriorate after excessive use
  • Holds onto moisture more than I’d like

Leggings in action at the gym

I do think the style of these are really cute. I know a lot of women who love sporting the athleisure look and these definitely fit the bill. The mesh is soft but seemingly durable, but these are more for athleisure than they are for working out. I like the material for the most part and they’re super comfortable, but it holds moisture more than I’d like.

I rotate my workouts between weight lifting, hot yoga, and HIIT cardio workouts PLUS I sweat a lot, so I need something that’s comfortable and durable, but still flattering. The moisture thing isn’t so bad with lifting and HIIT, but when I’m in hot yoga, I notice it more because I’m sweating a lot more. In class, I’m used to wiping my sweaty hands on my leggings to get a better grip during poses, but when I used these leggings, it felt like I was just rubbing a wet towel.

I’ve had these for a few months now and I workout pretty regularly during the week so these were definitely put to the test. My biggest gripe is after so many washes, the waist band shrinks and gets pretty warped. Maybe I’m supposed to air dry these? I honestly don’t read instructions, but I don’t have time to air dry all my leggings. I’ve had some pairs of Nike leggings for years (circa 2013) and they’ve held up really well – I don’t see these lasting as long.

If you’re looking for something more casual and not for workout use, these might be for you, but I probably won’t be purchasing any more. If these were $11.99 regular price, I’d might reconsider, but the Olivia Leggings I got was $37 full price and I could get my favorite Nike Pro Leggings for the same price.

If you wanna try these leggings for yourself, I did find these other styles that are free (+ S&H):

POP Fit Heather Leggings
Heather Leggings


Mandy Leggings

Have you tried POP Fit Leggings? Do you have other favorite brands?
Let me know in the comments below!