Tag Archives: Blogging Goals

Quest for Happiness: Reflections

Hello there, lovelies.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to write on this blog and let me tell you, I’ve actually really missed it. But, I’m sure you can understand the craziness of the holidays. I’ve been really lucky to have a wonderful family to spend it with, plus a lot of friends and an amazing boyfriend to pull me away from the virtual world and have me living in the actual one (not to mention a surprise trip to Disney World, which I’ll write a post about here soon).

But, I return to the blog to write the first post in a two part duo.

About resolutions.

(C’mon, friends, cut me some slack. You knew this was coming.)

If you follow this blog, you’d know that I actually posted every Sunday, tracking my resolutions and the goals I made to follow them, in a series of posts titled “The Quest for Happiness.” I’ve always been a pretty happy person, but I knew, if I focused working towards the goals I wanted to achieve, in the areas of my life most important to me, I was bound to stumble across happiness, if not create it myself.

These were the long term goals I quested after:

Fitness: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
Writing: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
Reading: Read 60 books.
Relaxation: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
Blogging: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
Financial: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.

Here’s how I think I did.

cowboy bebop smiling GIF

Fitness: I think this was the biggest goal I achieved in 2017. I technically started it in 2016, in November, so I’m just a little over a year in to changing my lifestyle in order to be healthier and more physically fit.

Though it didn’t start off that way.

Last November, I was ghosted by a guy I’d gone on a few dates with on my birthday and I was both pissed and sad about it. So I started running, as a way to get my emotions out. I found I enjoyed running and the way it helped not only manage my emotions, but how, by continuing to run week after week, I started seeing subtle results, noticing progress; things like shaving off a 10 seconds of my mile time or running half a mile more. So, I wanted to keep going.

Then, I was lucky to apply for and get into a program through my job called Naturally Slim. It taught me how to eat better, without sacrificing the foods I love or becoming a strict calorie counter–both aspects which made dieting an inevitable failure for me, every time I tried it. It took a while for the principles of the program to stick and I still mess up following them, at times, but they are solid foundations I know I can implement–and I enjoy doing so.

A year and two months later, I’m 30 pounds lighter, hitting the 170 lb mark. That’s less than what I weighed in high school and only ten pounds short of my original 40 pound weight loss goal. I’m drinking a lot more water, my body is a lot stronger and I can run, at max, four miles without stopping (though I usually average 2.5).

This is the most awe-inspiring accomplishment, to me. This is a goal I’ve had since middle school, when I was what, 15? 10 years later and I’m finally taking my health into my own hands. I’m shaping the body that I want, creating my own confidence, relearning what it’s like to look at my reflection and like what I see.

I’m nowhere near done yet.

Writing: This was my biggest struggle and will probably be my biggest focus next year, because I hate how much I struggled with this.

Between getting ghosted on and the results of the election, depressed is one way to say how I started 2017 emotionally. 2016 was my best year to date, writing wise–four finished novels (though technically three, as I had already started one), so I wanted to continue that momentum. It wasn’t like I’d run out of ideas and I’d proven to myself I could write every day and stick to a routine. So, originally, I created this long-term goal for 2107: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.Image result for cowboy bebop gif

Yet depression rears an ugly head.

And it’s a bitch to creativity and confidence.

I started a new novel that I was really excited about, but got 60 pages in before I restarted it, not liking where the novel was heading. I got 50 pages in before I shelved it for a later time. I’d sent out two of the novels for beta feedback. One I got back and then did minor edits, before sending it out again. The other was so bad that it shouldn’t have been sent to other eyes in the first place. So I thought, hey, I could start that one over and see how that goes. So I made a bunch of outlines and got the vision I wanted. And I was really excited.

But then got 50 pages in and gave up, tabling another novel.

Got feedback once again on Artemis. Edited it again, feeling invigorated and excited. Planned out, roughly, the other four books in the series. Ended the year on a high note, which was really exciting, considering how shit I felt the rest of the year, trying and failing to write the books I wanted to; how I changed my original goal, after knowing I couldn’t meet it, and then failed to meet the editing goal I made for myself, too.

Yet it was an important experience, I think. I learned what it was like to struggle as a writer and I know that struggle isn’t going to just disappear. It’s something I have to learn to recognize; learn to differentiate between the struggles I need to push and work through and the times when I need to take a break. It also, in a roundabout way, reaffirmed my desire to be a writer. Because not writing much throughout the entire year? Yeah, that really sucked.

And I don’t want 2018 to be a repeat of that.

Reading: Definitely didn’t read as much as I wanted to or in the way that I wanted to. I’d read in large spurts–hours at a time–and then not read at all for weeks. Which sucked, because reading is one of the major ways that I de-stress–not to mention I have so many good book series I want to read and never enough time to read them. But, the books that I did read, I really enjoyed. And I kept up with writing reviews, as well, as quirky as they are. So it’s a start.

Relaxation: This was a goal I added in halfway through the year, thanks to the advice of a friend. Everyone said I had a lot of goals on my plate–maybe too many–but I couldn’t see myself not working towards any of these things. They are all too important to me. But one friend mentioned that maybe I should also track how often I’m doing something fun or taking time for me, making that a priority as well.Image result for cowboy bebop gif

It was a weird thing to track, because sometimes, I wasn’t sure what to say, or how to write it. But it was also fun to track, because it helped me remember that, even during the weeks where I didn’t have anything specific planned to help me relax or enjoy, like date night or a DnD campaign, there were a lot of little things spread throughout every week, too: like reading outside when the weather was nice or grinding on the latest video game I loved. And those are important to recognize and embrace, too.

Blogging: I think I killed this goal, particularly with this blog. I definitely increased my posting output and I love that. I tried posting on a schedule (posting X type of content on Tuesdays and Y type of content on Fridays, for example), but found that didn’t always work the best for me, so I had to be a bit more flexible. Instead, it became trying to post twice a week on this blog, not counting my Sunday Resolutions posts. It also entailed learning to forgive myself on the weeks when I didn’t have time or didn’t have the ideas to write twice a week.

I will say that I didn’t post nearly as much as I wanted to on Erlebnisse, my book review blog, which is tied into not reading as much. Hard to write book reviews if you’re not reading books. So I think next year, tied into my focus with reading more often, I’ll try to write more reviews, as well. And, because I believe I learned this skill so well, I don’t think I’m going to be tracking blogging, like I did this year–but more on that in the post two.

Financial: This was both a win and a struggle. Looking at my goal, I actually did really well. Downloading Mint and creating budgets on there really helped me manage my money with a lot more awareness. It blows my mind how I used to not even check my bank account for months, back in high school. I can’t imagine not checking my account weekly, now. Also, having all of my bills managed online is super helpful, through my bank. I feel like I have a lot of control, which is awesome. I started a retirement account, which I stressed about and am proud I got done. And I do have a savings account–which was started to fund London and has since been drained to the minimum balance required, so my main goal next year is to replenish it and fix my budgets so I’m not living so stressed out, financially, and I learn to live based off of my actual income, not my desired income.

Related image

Oof, that turned out to be a really, really long ramble. But 2017 was a really eventful and challenging year for me, but personally and professionally. Considering it was the first year I made resolutions and stuck with them, I think an extra long post is forgivable, if not necessary.

Stay tuned to part two of this post, which contents I’m sure you can guess. 🙂

Cheers.

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Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Nine

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Actually make an indoor workout plan. Eat well. Stay forgiving.
    • Status: Negative. Well, I did find some workouts to do indoors, but did I do any? No. I did pretty decent, food wise, and I’m really just trying to stay forgiving, at this point, and realize that I can–and will–pick this back up again. Just maybe after the holidays.
  • This Week’s GoalMeet my step count each day.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit short story. Potentially map out book two of Artemis?
    • Status: Success! I edited the short story, but didn’t map out anything. Since mapping anything out was more of a potential goal rather than a hard hope, I’m counting this week as a win.
  • This Week’s Goal: No writing this week, since I’ll be on an unexpected vacation!

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: FINISH THIS BOOK.
    • Status: Success. And finished another book, to boot.
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy vacation. Potentially read while there?

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Get to writing and mailing those Christmas cards. Plus, WRAPPING PRESENTS.
    • Status: Success! And only, what, three papercuts on the tongue? Not too shabby…
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy a very unexpected drip to Florida and Disney World!

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Taking a week off blogging.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Force myself to buy a coat, because winter. Then, stay frugal.
    • Status: Negative. Still didn’t buy a winter coat. And now that I’m going to Florida for a week, money is the biggest stress on my mind. Going to have to seriously look at second job opportunities after Christmas…
  • This Week’s Goal: Get some cool souvenirs, but don’t go mental (yet don’t stay anally frugal, either).

Killed it, reading wise. Did okay on everything else. But this week is traveling and making memories and next week is Christmas, with even more memories and awesomeness. So while all these goals are really important to me, they are definitely going on the back burner, in exchange for time with family and friends.

But watch out, 2018. I’m coming at ya and you might not be prepared with all the awesomeness I’m throwing your way.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Eight

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Figure out an indoor workout routine to still do something as winter hits. Log food.
    • Status: Negative. 
  • This Week’s GoalActually make an indoor workout plan. Eat well. Stay forgiving.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit 5x and stay on pace to have edits done by the end of next week.
    • Status: KILLED IT. When you get your edits done 10 days early and get a draft of your short story done.
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit short story. Potentially map out book two of Artemis?

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Read every day and finish The Iron Hound.
    • Status: Almost.
  • This Week’s Goal: FINISH THIS BOOK.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Play Curse of Osiris!
    • Status: Success. 
  • This Week’s Goal: Get to writing and mailing those Christmas cards. Plus, WRAPPING PRESENTS.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.
    • Status: Almost. Blogged twice, but haven’t written that review (since, ya know, you gotta finishing reading the book first before you can write the actual review…)
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Check in on all my accounts and double check bills are paid.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Force myself to buy a coat, because winter. Then, stay frugal.

great writing week, last week. I’m really stoked to have the latest draft done for Artemis and excited for the future of that novel and series. I need to get my reading game on, since I have so many books I want to read and haven’t nearly been reading enough. Also, I’ve been maintaining, weight wise, which is awesome. Yet I’m getting that itch. I really need to start working out in some capacity, especially as it’s getting too cold to mess with that outside nonsense. But, it’s also two weeks until Christmas, so…it might be getting a little hectic and goals might not get met, because I also want to enjoy the end of the holiday season.

So, most important goal: stay forgiving and enjoy life.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Seven

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Run 4x. Log food.
    • Status: Halfway. I ran twice and walked enough one day to count it as a workout and logged my food twice.
  • This Week’s GoalFigure out an indoor workout routine to still do something as winter hits. Log food.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit Sunday through Thursday and edit thoroughly.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit 5x and stay on pace to have edits done by the end of next week.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Read every day.
    • Status: Success!
  • This Week’s Goal: Read every day and finish The Iron Hound.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy the oddly warm weather before winter destroys us all.
    • Status: Success (though I wish I was out in it a little bit more). 
  • This Week’s Goal: Play Curse of Osiris!

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog twice and write review.
    • Status: Negative. Blogged once, but the time I didn’t spend blogging, I spent writing and reading, so I think it’s an okay trade.
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Finish shopping, then go into ultra-frugal mode.
    • Status: Success! Finished up Christmas shopping and had some fun with birthday shenanigans, but now, time to keep the money tight so I’m not struggling to start the New Year.
  • This Week’s Goal: Check in on all my accounts and double check bills are paid.

Not the best week, but not the worst week, either. It’s a pretty common trend, but one I don’t mind too much. You’re not going to kill it every week, but every week, you have the opportunity to try again.

So, let’s do this.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Six

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Be conscious but be forgiving. Try to exercise when you can.
    • Status: Success? I didn’t really work out and didn’t eat the best, but I didn’t beat myself up last week, either. I knew it was going to be that kind of week and I didn’t go overboard and wasn’t as lazy as I wanted to be, so I think I’ll count that as a win.
  • This Week’s GoalRun 4x. Log food.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit Sunday through Wednesday. Edit to the point where I won’t have to reread the chapters after editing them, i.e., edit slowly and do multiple rounds for each chapter.
    • Status: Almost. I edited Sunday through Tuesday, so almost made that mark. Ready to get back into the groove this week.
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit Sunday through Thursday and edit thoroughly.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Finish Communication Failure. Write review.
    • Status: Success!
  • This Week’s Goal: Read every day.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Enjoy all the holiday awesomeness that is this week.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy the oddly warm weather before winter destroys us all.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.
    • Status: Success (even got a bonus post up).
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog twice and write review.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Reevaluate finances. Finish Christmas shopping.
    • Status: Almost. Did check my finances, but need to look at them more in-depth, especially after I pay bills for December. Plus, a few more people to finish Christmas/birthday shopping for.
  • This Week’s Goal: Finish shopping, then go into ultra-frugal mode.

All in all, last week was a lovely break that I wish could be longer, yet at the same time, ready to get back on the productivity train and knock some goals out of the water.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Five

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Walk 3x.
    • Status: Negative. I walked once and didn’t exactly eat the best, so weighing in tomorrow won’t be the most favorable thing. Considering this upcoming week is Thanksgiving, I’ll definitely have to do my best to not go overboard on everything.
  • This Week’s Goal: Be conscious but be forgiving. Try to exercise when you can.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Figure out plot of Book Two and begin editing first 50 pages.
    • Status: Success (almost). I didn’t figure out Book Two’s plot entirely, but after some battling, I did get the first 50 pages edited (a.k.a the problematic ones), which was my main goal, so I’m counting it as a win.
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit Sunday through Wednesday. Edit to the point where I won’t have to reread the chapters after editing them, i.e., edit slowly and do multiple rounds for each chapter.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Try not to read Communication Failure too quickly
    • Status: Success (though I only have 100 pages left…).
  • This Week’s Goal: Finish Communication Failure. Write review.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Watch my ‘Hawks kick some Wildcat ass. Maybe even start Christmas shopping.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Enjoy all the holiday awesomeness that is this week.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog at least once and write review.
    • Status: Halfway. No review written, but I blogged twice.
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog once and write review.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Stay frugal on everything but Christmas presents.
    • Status: Ha. So, I have managed to stay frugal and that kind of living came to bite me in the ass this past week. But, I also started my Christmas shopping, which is a good thing. I’d love to get it done early.
  • This Week’s Goal: Reevaluate finances. Finish Christmas shopping.

Not a bad week, considering. Good for reading and writing, not so great for working out, but ’tis the season, I think. Just trying to keep up everything while life gets a little crazy, but it’s a good kind of crazy.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Forty Four

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Workout 3x and stay positive about my body, no matter what the scale says.
    • Status: Success! 
  • This Week’s Goal: Walk 3x.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit all previously written works. Query one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Write 4x and stay on WC track.
    • Status: In a sense? So, I changed projects in the middle of last week, so I didn’t meet the WC for the first WIP, because I wasn’t writing it. But I did work on the other novel, so I’m counting that.
  • This Week’s Goal: Figure out plot of Book Two and begin editing first 50 pages.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Read every day.
    • Status: Success! And I got in the review, to boot.
  • This Week’s Goal: Try not to read Communication Failure too quickly.

Relaxation:

  • Long-term Goal: Create and maintain a mindset that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Have a blast with Marie’s visit, a little time off of work and tattoo appointment.
    • Status: Success! I love this time of year, because it’s always so busy with the holidays. ❤
  • This Week’s Goal: Watch my ‘Hawks kick some Wildcat ass. Maybe even start Christmas shopping.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Keep up blogging output. Catch up reading blogs.
    • Status: Success!
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog at least once and write review.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Look up car insurance quotes, reevaluate budget, investigate second sources of income.
    • Status: Success! I (finally) found an insurance plan that works and, though I’m still stressing pretty hard, I think I’m doing okay. Hopefully I’ll be able to get all the Christmas presents I want to for everyone, but we’ll see!
  • This Week’s Goal: Stay frugal on everything but Christmas presents.

Balancing progress and flexibility have been really key, I think–not being afraid to be adaptable when the time comes (like walking a mile when you don’t have time to run or changing a writing project because the muse calls to you) yet still calling it moving forward and accomplishing your goals. Hoping to keep it up as the holidays really begin to get underway!

Cheers.