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Time for Evaluation

by Vicki Simons

Today is Friday, January 31, 2014. It's time for evaluation of some things in your life -- being as how today is

* the last Friday of the month and
* the last day of the first month of the year.

Ask yourself questions like these:
* How did I do on the key areas in my life?
* Did I previously set any goals?
* Did I reach my goals, fall short a little or miss by a mile?

If some outside force prevented you from meeting your goals, identify it. Be sure to be honest about any attitudes on your part that may have contributed to the situation. An example may be:
* "I got distracted" versus
* "I allowed myself to get distracted by {fill in the blank}".

If you can, find out what it is that contributes to the undesirable thinking or behavior and seek to eliminate that from your life (at least for a limited period of time). From the above example, here is a potential scenario:

* "I allowed myself to get distracted from finishing that book by watching a video online. The next time I am parked, I'm going to read a minimum of 5 pages before I go online."

When you engage in the desirable behavior, reward yourself appropriately.

Unless you just didn't try, having made a little progress toward worthwhile goals is better that no progress at all.

Now there are cases where outcomes must be evaluated on an "all or nothing" basis. One such case in point is with air-tight vacuum sealing bags.

Either the bag holds a seal or it doesn't. In the case of a vacuum bag that didn't hold its seal, evaluate why:
* the hard plastic port cover was missing;
* the sealable edges weren't completely pressed together;
* the bag was punctured;
* etc.

Today is a good time for evaluation on your 2014 budget, too.
* Did you enter all of your receipts?
* Which budget categories did you meet or not meet?
* Do you need to make adjustments?
* Were there any recurring expenses you'd forgotten to take into account?

According to a Time article dated yesterday, "nearly half of Americans ... are living paycheck to paycheck."

I would like to see the day when nary a professional truck driver is living paycheck to paycheck. It can be difficult when trucker pay is only 26 percent of what it should be, had it kept up with the pace of inflation since 1977.

Some truckers have taken time to evaluate their truckers income and sought second income opportunities that they can do in and from their trucks.

Or perhaps their home support teams (usually truckers' wives) are exploring means of adding to their household incomes.

I urge you to realistically assess or evaluate
* where you are,
where you want to be,
* how you will plan to get there, and
* how you will work to make your plan a reality.

One of the things you can do to help you press forward toward your goals is to create a "vision board." One website states:

"A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life."

There are programs and services online to let you create a vision board, but of course, you can make a digital vision board for free in just about any free graphics program. Find images that encapsulate your goals and paste them to your digital canvas to remind you of your goals and why you should strive to meet them.

PsychologyToday.com says to throw away your vision board and have an "action board" instead. But in order to take action, you have to know which direction to go, right?

From time to time, your vision may change. That's fine. People's circumstances change all the time. The time to evaluate what is and isn't working for you -- and why -- may happen many, many times in your life. Take your evaluations and work to make things better for yourself.

Finally, there may be times when only someone else can evaluate how you've done. Those who do the evaluating may be
* the person conducting your road test before you are hired to do a truck driving job,
* your driver manager,
* your team driver,
* your spouse,
* your customer, etc.

In my case, I set out to write a blog post every non-holiday weekday (Monday through Friday) this month. I succeeded in writing and making the posts. But was it valuable to our readers? This is your time to evaluate our content.

1/02 - Know where your money is going
1/03 - Regret versus Hope
1/04 - Steady paycheck? (bonus Saturday post)

1/06 - Protect yourself in cold weather
1/07 - Winter clothing items
1/08 - Company takeover
1/09 - Never heard of that before
1/10 - Things that freeze on truckers

1/13 - Celebrating milestones
1/14 - Reversing waistline creep
1/15 - Sowing and Reaping
1/16 - Financial mental games
1/17 - Abstaining from Sugar

1/20 - An Honor to Serve
1/21 - Professional development
1/22 - Push the Limit
1/23 - Save yourself some grief
1/24 - Don't Repeat Your Mistakes

1/27 - First Winter Driving Season
1/28 - Compare cell phone plans
1/29 - Stay prepared
1/30 - 26 percent
1/31 - Time for Evaluation (this post)

Did any of these posts help you? If so, how?

Could they have been better (such as appear in video format)?

Please comment below. Thanks.

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