November / December 2017 Goals & Moving Status!

For December, I'm focusing on getting settled in Salt Lake City, developing a content strategy for the next year here on Minafi and enjoying the holidays.

. 6 min read. Goals, Personal.

Every month I review how I did during my last month and plan out my focus for the next month. This is a follow-up to my previous post, October / November 2017 Goals & Moving Announcement! Since I do these goal posts monthly, you might want to read them all by checking out the goals category.

November was a completely crazy month for me. Let me explain.

Goal Review: November 2017

For November, I set the following goal:

By December 1, 2017, I will have my house listed for sale on the market (perhaps even sold) and will have moved to Salt Lake City.

It’s been a busy month, but I can now say: Mission Accomplished! (mostly). In the last month so much happened that it’s hard to believe it was all within the confines of 30 days. Within the last month we redid the landscaping of our yard, painted a few rooms, cleaned just about everything, moved a ton of furniture out create more space, listed our house on the market, got offers, accepted an offer and are currently working through the sale of the house!

November wasn’t a month about writing, or even doing much here on Minafi – it was all about just dealing with what life was throwing at my right now. One of the ongoing themes for the month was around minimalist living as we moved from a 1,700 square foot house with a 2 car garage into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment.

  • + Prepare house for sale
  • + List house for sale.
  • + Have house under contract with buyer to close before the end of the year.
  • + Downsize our possessions significantly.
  • + Move ourselves safely to Salt Lake City.
  • + Found a new long-term apartment to move into and signed up for it.
  • <> Successfully downsized enough things.
  • – Moved our possessions to SLC. This is scheduled for mid-December now in the new place.

The weight off my chest of of moving from a house to an apartment is difficult to convey. As much as I loved having a place to live that we loved, being a homeowner means dealing with many more problems than apartment living. I’ve mentioned I don’t want to be a landlord, and I think it’ll take quite a few more years before I feel the draw to be a homeowner again. I don’t want to say too much about the home sale until it’s final, but things are looking good so far.

Saying Goodbye to Orlando

The last few weeks were full of goodbyes. We had going away lunches at work, met up with friends one last time, killed off my D&D character and had a going away/take-our-stuff-please party. Rather than attempting to sell everything, we tried to give away everything we could. This was so much more of a relief than attempting to make money on top of everything else.

Going Away Dinner

Our biggest luxury was a going away dinner at Kadence, an omakase sushi restaurant here in Orlando that we’ve been eying for a while. The 3 owners are amazing chefs, we’ve been following them for a while waiting for this place to open. The meal was everything we hoped it would be for an amazing going away dinner (and the generous sake pairings didn’t hurt). I could do an entire write up on this place, but I’ll keep it short and sweet and give a few of my favorite dishes.

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Uni custard
Soft custard with Uni on top.

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Sushi course at Kadence
Sushi course at Kadence

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Co-toro (fatty tuna) with truffle butter
Co-toro (fatty tuna) with truffle butter

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Broiled Salmon with Cashew topping
Broiled Salmon with Cashew topping

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Matcha Cheesecake
Matcha Cheesecake

After going to Japan (twice) and eating at omakase and other fancy places there, it’s hard to beat Kadence for an amazing, memorable and unique meal. We’ll definitely go back when we’re in Orlando again.

Driving from Orlando to Salt Lake City

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Mrs. Minafi, Lily and I headed west
Mrs. Minafi, Lily and I headed west

Mrs. Minafi, Lily and I piled into my Mazda the day after Thanksgiving and began our adventure out west. We decided to drive rather than fly in order bring out plants, our dog and a few other things that are tricky to transport. The drive takes about 36 hours straight through, or 3 nights, 4 days if you want to space it out like a sane person. We went the sane route and planned out some stops along the way.

Day 1: Chattanooga, Tennessee

On Day 1 we made it up to Chattanooga, TN where we arrived right around dusk and settled in. Our works booked all of our hotels and we found places that were pet friendly along the way. The one thing we didn’t optimize for was what to bring in at each stop. Our car was packed to the gils, and when we made it to the hotel we looked at each other realizing we’d need to bring in entirely too many bags. Just a recommendation: if you’re moving, have a plan on what you’ll bring in at each stop that includes clothes, entertainment/electronics, toiletries and pet needs.

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Lunch in Tifton, Georgia
Lunch in Tifton, Georgia

We made it to our hotel, got settled in with some thai delivered and relaxed.

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chattannooga-lily
Lily in Chattanooga

Lily in Chattanooga

Day 2: Kansas City, Missouri

Day 2 was the longest day of the trip, traveling from Chattanooga, TN to Kansas City, MO. The drive was beautiful – well, at least the first half through Tennessee and Kentucky. When we hit Illinois we blasted some Sufjan Stevens and the terrain leveled out. Missouri was relatively flat and went by surprisingly fast (Mrs. Minafi was driving, so that might be why). We grabbed some Kansas City BBQ, headed back to the room crashed fast.

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Tennessee River
Tennessee River

Along the way, we stopped to rest ever 2 hours or so. Our pup was parched and drank a ton of a water at each stop. She was panting the entire drive, but did OK otherwise.

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Us at the Kentucky welcome center.
Us at the Kentucky welcome center.

Eventually we made it to Kansas City and picked up some tasty BBQ to enjoy in the room.

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Kansas City BBQ
Kansas City BBQ

Day 3: Denver, Colorado

Day 3 was the most tedious night of the trip, traveling from Kansas City to Denver. This drive includes about 400 miles straight through Kansas – and even worse it’s in November. At other times of the year, there might be green crops and colors across the fields, but in November the scenery is shades of brown as far as the eye can see. The hills in east Kansas were pretty though, which was surprising.

When we eventually made it to Denver we hunted down some dinner in the form of perogies as a highly rated Polish and found a place that dispensed things and headed back to the hotel for an interesting night in.

Day 4: Salt Lake City, Utah

Living in Florida, I don’t have much experience driving in the mountains. I was likely a little too cautious going through the Rocky Mountains since I don’t yet know how my car feels when going downhill with curves in the rain. The actual drive through the mountains and south Utah was beautiful though. If we had more time we would’ve loved to visit some of the many national parks of Utah, but those will have to wait for another day.

We did see snow in the Rocky Mountains though, which gave us a long-awaited chance to introduce our Florida dog to snow. We were never able to get her to get into any form of water, so we didn’t have high hopes that she would do anything difference with snow. Imagine our surprise when she seemed to enjoy it!

About half way through the Rocky Mountains the terrain changes completely — from forests and snow to a southwest mesas. It’s a fast change that happened before we knew it.

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Utah landscape
Utah landscape

Settling into Salt Lake City

We made it in this past Monday, November 27th, and since have been trying to settle into our temporary apartment and get the lay of the land. We’ll be in our temporary apartment for another 2 weeks before moving into a similar unit 1 floor up. Being on the 4th floor (really the 6th floor with the garage) we’re going to get plenty of exercise going up and down stairs. There are elevators, but we are right next to the stairs.

If you can move and go into a furnished apartment I’d highly recommend it.

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Our temporary apartment in Salt Lake City
Our temporary apartment in Salt Lake City

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Lily making herself at home
Lily making herself at home

December 2017 Goals

With the move, just about all habits have gone out the window lately. I haven’t been writing, exercising, cooking or working on long-term projects. I’m not the best at developing habits from scratch, but I’m unfortunately in that position. Trying to develop habits when I know certain things are still in progress (moving apartments, getting a transit pass, choosing a gym, having my bike delivered) means that this month will be about being flexible and seeing where things go. I do have one major goal to hit.

Research and develop a content strategy for 2018 that takes into account a learners journey towards financial independence and SEO.

FinCon inspired me to try a lot of new things, but I hadn’t yet made time to put them into action. I’m hoping to change up how content is organized here Minafi to be organized around objectives. This helps me mentally organize what I write, as it starts to highlight areas that are are unanswered as part of that journey.

I think there’s room for this coupled with some SEO techniques for each of these areas to make a greater impact than I would otherwise be able to by randomly picking topics. Even if SEO doesn’t pickup for a post, it would still be part of a larger thread. We’ll see how this all works out!

I’m hoping to dive into 2018 with over 100 pre-researched posts organized with the topics for each one as well as at least 2 months of individual post titles written. I’ve found that when I have titles for posts written, I can jump in and work on them whenever. Deciding what to write about day of is usually a bad idea.

I’m curious for people who have moved too, how did you get into a flow at the new place? Do you have any tips that could help me out there?

What are your goals for the month? How did you do on your goals from November? What do you want to get done before the new year?

13 comments

  1. So busy! But glad you guys made it.

    You could’ve stayed with us in Rome instead of Chattnooga btw (not really, it’s off the path a bit, but is close none the less).

    Totally with you on the SEO focus. I’d be curious to hear what resources you’re learning from? etc.

    1. Rome isn’t too far away! I think we stopped in Tifton, then made it all the way to TN. Maybe we stopped for gas once? I always underestimate how long it takes to make it through Georgia.

      For the SEO side, I’m hoping to try putting into practice some of what I learned from Deacon during FinCon. The basics are around choosing keywords they get a notable amount of traffic, that you could potentially rank for given my domain authority and that of the comparable sites that come up for that term.

      For example, if I want to rank for “minimalist living”, then looking at the Google results of that, then to rank on page 1, I’d need to have a higher page authority than the lowest page there (34) and have the length of my post be longer (word count wise) than that same article. I wouldn’t say it’s an exact science, but it gives a good place to aim for when targeting terms.

      I know this is an area I have a lot to learn on, but I’ve been seeing my organic search clicks slowly moving upward, which is a good sign!

  2. Congrats on your move & beginning a ‘new’ chapter in your life! I’m new to your blog and enjoyed your Minimal Investor Series.

  3. I came for the food porn and you did not disappoint! Also, Lily is adorable. I love how you made time for some cool stops along the way.

    When I’ve moved, I really took my time to get settled in. So, the first night I’d take out the bed and maybe a couple dishes. I’d also take my time when it comes to furniture. Instead of going out and buying everything from one store, it was a process where I’d gradually acquire things from Craigslist. Would recommend Craigslist furniture if you’re not too skeeved out!

    1. I really like that idea of not unpacking everything. We will have a 2-bedroom for just the two of us. Leaving everything in the 2nd bedroom and slowly finding places for things as we need them sounds like a good way to validate what we’re using.

      The Craigslist side would be a good idea for some things too. I have a feeling we’ll be selling more things on Craigslist than we’ll be buying for the first few months – with the exception of some ski gear which I’m all about getting used.

  4. Congratulations on making it to SLC! My best friends live there and its got some great restaurants. Try the Copper Onion downtown.

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