Tag Archives: Goals

One of the Neatest Things

Since last November, I’ve lost 19 pounds.

That’s something I never thought I’d write, let alone be my reality.

It is…one of the neatest things.

Part of me wants to apologize for even writing this post, because how braggy can someone get? Yet if you’ve ever stumbled upon this blog or have followed it for years, chances are, you’ve read a post about depression and self-hatred. You’ve read about the struggle I’ve had loving myself, most particularly the way I look. You’d know I’ve been fighting this battle for a long, long time.

You understand how monumental this feels for me.

So my apologies if I brag here for a moment.

 disney supernatural sherlock marvel dean winchester GIF

Like I have so many times before, last November, I told myself, “You need to lose weight. You need to become healthy. You need to create a body that you can look in the mirror and love.” For my height, the healthy weight range is 140-165. My goal has always been to get to 160 pounds and as the years have gone by, the amount of weight I’ve needed to lose to reach that point has only continued to increase. In high school, I was around 185 pounds, but by my senior year of college, I had finally hit that dreaded (to me) point and passed into the 200 range. I had reached the point where I had to lose 40 pounds to get to the higher end of my healthy weight range. I felt hopeless and discouraged in a lot of ways. That sort of weight loss was impossible to achieve.

Eight months later, I’m at 181 pounds. One more pound shed and I’ll be halfway to my goal. Two pounds and I’ll be in the 170s. If I lose a pound a week, I could reach my goal by Thanksgiving. Of this year.

Friends, I am floored at this progress. At this milestone. Of wanting the same thing for so long and finally actually doing something to achieve it. I’m floored to actually be able to feel and see the difference. I’m floored that, every once in the while, I look in the mirror and I smile at what I see. There is still plenty I want to change, but damn if I’m not stoked at where I’m at right now. The lowest weight I’ve been since I was in high school. Shaping the body that I want.

The journey itself has been a bit of a whirlwind. There were plenty of weeks where I gained weight or fluctuated between gaining and losing the same few pounds. There have been weeks where I’ve killed every fitness and eating goal I’ve put ahead of me and weeks where the only movement I got was reaching into the chip bag while sitting on my couch. It’s been a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. There’s been times when I’ve had to forgive myself and times I knew I needed to push harder. I know that this journey will continue to change and evolve, as it’s one I’ll have for the rest of my life, because it certainly doesn’t end once I hit 160. I know there will always be hiccups and struggles and roadblocks and setbacks. That’s okay.

But for the first time ever, I’m confident that I’ll also see progress.

That is…one of the neatest things.

So thank you for your support. For encouraging me and challenging me in this journey. For telling me I’m worthy no matter what my size is (because that’s a capital T Truth). And thanks in advance for the future support and the understanding when I decline that dessert you offer or don’t go back for seconds, even though that food was bomb. It’s a lifestyle change that I’m so excited I’ve finally taken control of and I think it’ll always be a work-in-progress, but your encouragement, support and understanding is phenomenal. And I couldn’t do it without you.

Oh, and just for fun (and because I am so frugal and never spend money on anything), I also wanted to share my rewards for the next 20 pounds to lose. I think having a little extra incentive never hurt anyone, especially as I have a feeling the second 20 pounds might be harder to lose than the first.

  • 20 Pounds: New Tattoo
    • Granted, I’d already planned to get this one in August, but I’m going to cheat and count it as my reward.
  • 30 Pounds: Mass Effect Sweatshirt
    • This one might seem silly, but I’ve been eyeing this Mass Effect sweatshirt for many, many months. And it’s $60, which might not be a lot to you, but that’s always been unjustifiable to me. And I think losing 30 pounds is more than enough justification to get a kickass hoodie that I’ll never take off once I own it.
  • 40 Pounds: Die Hair
    • Again, I hate spending money, but especially on “frivolous” things like doing my hair (even though I feel so fantastic after getting it done). It gets expensive and a lot of the time, I just can’t let myself do it when I should be saving my money. But I’ve always wanted to die my hair darker professionally, even though doing so and getting it cut, too, is a bit pricey. But reaching the weight I never thought I’d reach and having my hair look amazing? Yes, please.

If you have some goals or dreams that you’ve always wanted to achieve but never seem to reach that finish line, I really encourage you to take a scary look at what you’re actually doing to achieve them. Before last November, while the dream of loving my body was very real, the actions I was taking to make it a reality were non-existent and thus, the dream was out of reach. And trust me: you want to know what it feels like to work towards what you believe to be impossible dreams and see yourself make progress, with the knowledge that you yourself are the reason you’re achieving them.

It really is one of the neatest things.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Twenty Two

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Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Really attempt to eat like Naturally Slim teaches you.
    • Status: Success. I slipped up a couple of times, but I actually tried to follow the advice of the program I’m trying out and I’m pretty proud that I managed as well as I did. Now to see if I can keep it up and continue working out, as well.
  • This Week’s GoalWorkout 5x and eat well.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit two chapters.
    • Status: Almost. I edited roughly one and half chapters, so I’m still counting this as a win. And though I’m being ambitious with the number of chapters I edit per week, honestly, I’d be happy with one, considering I’m at the point of the novel that will probably take the most reworking. So as long as I keep writing, I’ll be happy.
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit three chapters.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Read every day.
    • Status: Almost. 
  • 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: Not die from the summer heat and either watch Sherlock or start a new video game.
    • Status: Success! I swam, I watched the entire second series of Sherlock and I started playing Lords of the Fallen, which is a lot harder than I imagined it would be. Still, I’m stubborn, so we’ll see if I can keep it up and ever get pass the second boss.
  • This Week’s Goal: Swim, game and Sherlock.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog twice.
    • Status: Wahoo! Done and done.
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog twice, catch up on reading blogs and responding to comments.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: FRUGAL.
    • Status: Almost. Still a few little things I shouldn’t have bought, but I’m doing pretty well resisting spending any money.
  • This Week’s Goal: FRUGAL.

Life has bit a bit…rough, in the past couple of days. However, I’m grounding myself in these goals and pushing myself to continue creating and working towards the person I want to be; a person that I am proud of, love and am comfortable being. I’m hoping to really remind myself this week, through working on these goals, that I can create happiness myself, alone, as I continue to learn on how to love myself and strive to have a life I enjoy and am proud of.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Twenty One

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Workout 5x.
    • Status: Halfway. I only worked out twice, so the plan is to get back to at least four times a week this week. Also, I really want to focus on actually eating when I’m hungry, managing my portions and eating slowly next week, on top of working out.
  • This Week’s Goal: Really attempt to eat like Naturally Slim teaches you.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Edit 3x.
    • Status: Almost. I only edited twice, but I did get through two chapters. Now I’m getting into the true meat of the work, as the next section desperately needs some attention.
  • This Week’s Goal: Edit two chapters.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Finish The Bloodforged. 
    • Status: Done! And wrote the review, to boot.
  • 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: Watch series 2 of Sherlock and lay out by the pool.
    • Status: Yes. Didn’t watch Sherlock, but did enjoy the pool opening, which was really nice.
  • This Week’s Goal: Not die from the summer heat and either watch Sherlock or start a new video game.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Blog twice.
    • Status: Negative. I did write a review on the book review blog, but neglected to post anything on the personal blog. Hopefully will amend that this week!
  • This Week’s Goal: Blog twice.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Stay frugal this month.
    • Status: Hopeful. I had to buy some shorts in order to survive the summer and when I was out shopping for those, I definitely felt the urge to just shop. I have some stuff I want to buy for the house, new clothes, some books…but gotta stay frugal for the bills to get paid.
  • This Week’s Goal: FRUGAL.

Though I didn’t necessary do horrible last week, I definitely didn’t try as hard as I could have to really focus on and achieve my goals. Luckily, every week is a chance to better myself, try harder and recommit. Ready to conquer Week 21.

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Nineteen

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It’s awesome when you can still feel like this during a week when you didn’t meet all of yours goals.

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Keep up working out.
    • Status: Hell yes. I worked out five times last week and it was amazing. Due to a procedure I had to get done this week, working out will on the back burner just to make sure everything is smooth health wise (and it should be, just being extra cautious). I do hope to try and go on walks, though.
  • This Week’s Goal: Eat well.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Research. Write. Edit.
    • Status: Made progress. I did a very small amount of research on how to write three-dimensional characters and I did finish writing my short story, so that went well. I also came up with a game plan with my fellow Muses to write more, starting today. So I’m going to destroy this rut.
  • This Week’s Goal: Complete in-depth write up of Artemis’s character.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Write review and read every day.
    • Status: Halfway. Review was written, but I didn’t read at all. Oops.
  • This Week’s Goal: Read!

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: Read outside once when the weather is awesome. Figure out a new video game to conquer.
    • Status: Complete. This is a weird goal, sometimes. I didn’t read outside and I didn’t start a new game, but started playing Destiny again, so technically I didn’t do want I “wanted” to do. But I did find time to relax over the week (including watching two-thirds of the LOTR trilogy yesterday) so this goal is still complete, even if what I did was different than what I’d thought I’d do.
  • This Week’s Goal: Get outside.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Catch up on reading blogs!
    • Status: Yep!
  • This Week’s Goal: Catch up writing reviews over video games.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Only buy what is necessary.
    • Status: Success…if you ignore that lunch I bought catching up with the bestie…
  • This Week’s Goal: Get ready to pay June’s bills.

I can’t believe it’s already been 19 weeks (well, counting this week) since I started focusing on the ways I wanted to improve myself and my life. I’ve definitely met a lot more success this go around than I ever have before–and I think these weekly updates are a huge part of that. So thanks for checking out these posts and not getting annoyed with me that they happen. 🙂

Onward to another kick ass week!

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Nine

Interestingly enough, I didn’t think too much about my resolutions this week. Even today, when I was making my To-Do list for the week, I realized, “Oh, shit, I need to write my resolution post…I wonder how that went this week.” I’m not sure if that slip in awareness is necessarily a good thing or not. On one hand, my resolutions could be becoming habits and thus I don’t need to focus on them as much to accomplish them (and, looking below, I really didn’t do too shabby). On the other hand, I could just be lapsing and not paying as much attention as I should be. So hopefully I can find a better balance, this week!

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Alternate running and going to the gym.
    • Status: Technically? I did manage to alternate going to the gym to do weights and running three miles outside, but I only did this alternation once, i.e., working out twice last week. My goal was to do it twice, even though I didn’t write that down specifically.
  • This Week’s Goal: Run twice and lift twice.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.
  • Last Weeks Goal: Make editing plan and timeline. Draft short story.
    • Status: Partial! Editing game plan has been made! The timeline has it to where I would be completely “done” with editing and ready to query by July, which I am very happy with. Didn’t write the short story, though.
  • This Week’s Goal: Research for edits. Change first chapter. Draft short story.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Write review.
    • StatusSuccess! *woot woot*
  • This Week’s Goal: Read The Desert Spear.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Catch up on comments and posts I wanted to write last week.
    • Status: Success! I feel like this could be a reoccurring goal, however. I keep finding myself falling behind on actually reading blogs, which is really sad.
  •  This Week’s Goal: Write three times on personal blog.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Input bills into app.
    • Status: Success! Finally got the bills inserted, which is really nice, so I can stop having those, “Is my gas bill due on the 8th or the 9th” panic attack moments.
  • This Week’s Goal: Adjust budget based on spending habits.

Cheers.


A Guiding Focus

If you follow this blog, you may have noticed my resolutions post and then the subsequent update posts I publish every Sunday. I feared that this repetition and constant harping over my personal goals would become boring or annoying to my readers (and there’s still plenty of time for that to be the case), but I’ve actually been really surprised by the amount of responses I’ve gotten in regards to these posts. Overwhelmingly, the response has been coming from a place of concern.

You’re doing too much. Try not to burnout. Cut back. Take care of yourself. 

I admit, those concerns are not unfounded. I have a lot I want to accomplish. I’m really involved in many different jobs, hobbies and interests. I have a hard time saying no, which makes those commitments increase even further. Of course, I always combat such concerns with gratitude while also brushing them off, telling people I know my limits and what I can handle. And there is truth to that. I have always been super involved (perhaps even over-involved) and I function best juggling half a dozen things at once while multitasking, with giant To-Do lists in tow.

Yet, at the same time, with so many different people expressing concern, it forced me to take a step back and ask if I truly am attempting to do too much. That resulted in reflection that didn’t really provide any more answers than it did headaches while repeating pros, cons and questions in circles.

I have five main goals I’m focusing on: blogging, fitness, financial, reading and writing. All of these aspects are very important in my life. All of them are areas I would really like to improve upon and grow within. So when people suggest cutting something out, my immediate instinct is to combat them. I don’t want to give up any of these things, especially because they are all aspects of my life that I want to be important aspects of my life for a long time. I never want to give up writing. I don’t want to reach a goal weight and then suddenly never run a mile again. The unique thing about all of these focuses and the goals surrounding them this year is that, while there is an ultimate goal I want to achieve within each, none of them have a deadline. None of them are meant to. Instead, they are lifestyle changes.

So giving them up isn’t an option. Yet constantly failing to meet my goals on top of balancing everything else in life is also not exactly ideal. Nor is sacrificing self-care. The only thing I have been able to come up with is re-envisioning how I see my goals in relation to balance and focus.

Let’s see if I can make this make sense.

Last week, I didn’t meet most of my goals, but I did meet my fitness goal of working out four times a week. And though I wasn’t shy about admitting what I didn’t do last week, to me, I felt totally accomplished. I felt like it was such a successful week, even though I only wrote once, hardly read any, completely fell off of the blogging bandwagon and am still financially incompetent. And it was that sense of accomplishment despite being surrounding by shortcomings that made me realize a potentially healthier approach to having so many goals I want to work on at once without being forced to give any of those goals up, all while avoiding burnout and giving up entirely.

I’ll always want to work on the five areas aforementioned. They’re lifestyle changes, as I said. Yet I do agree with my sweet friends and readers that trying to meet every goal that I set every single week is a bit overwhelming and is easily a recipe for burnout and giving up entirely due to always falling short.

So, I’ve come up with a plan.

I’m still going to write a goal post every Sunday. I’m still going to write out goals for each category. But instead of being stressed out and overwhelmed that I’m not accomplishing everything that I want to every single day, I’m going to try and focus on a different aspect each week. Last week, I obviously focused on fitness. And through that focus, I was able to achieve it. This week, I can already tell (based on the 200 pages I’ve read in the past two days and the less than 100 pages I have left) that reading is certainly what I’m focusing on, without “deciding” to focus on either category either week. So it’s not going to be a thing where I’m like, “This week, I’m going to focus on X.” Instead, it’s going to be organic, just like these past two weeks have been. Life is unpredictable. So are emotions. And though I love a rigid routine, in order to stay sane, I need some flexibility. I need permission to fail, just as I need a guiding focus on where I want to be.

So not a lot is changing as far as you can tell, dear readers. It’s mostly all what is going on inside my head and how I approach things mentally. Yes, this less-strict approach towards achieving my goals might make reaching each ultimate goal a bit slower or more difficult. But that’s okay, because what matters is that I reach those goals. A week, a month, a year, ten years from now. And, even more importantly, that I enjoy the journey along the way, instead of feeling like I’m in a permanent state of being a chicken with her head cut off, running around a massive To-Do list that never ends and just laughs at me as I stumble each week. I’m not sure if this change in mindset will work, but I’m certainly game to try. Thank you all for your support, your advice, your honest reactions and for your encouragement. You are the absolute best. ❤

Cheers.


Quest for Happiness: Week Five

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For this post, I’m not going to dive too much into the ramblings and musings I have surrounding my successes and near (or complete) misses. I’m actually going to write another post about it later this week, as I’ve gotten a lot of feedback throughout this journey and would like to not overload this post talking about both that and my goals. So stay tuned, friends! But for those who are following regularly, the answer to last’s week question is this: everything is important, but not always equally (it’s going to have to be a give and take thing each week).

I’ll elaborate on what that actually translates to in my next post.

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Four days in a row. Plus, try out new fitness regime that my gracious, lovely and BAMF friend created for me to help me achieve my fitness goals.
    • Status: SUCCESS. I went to the gym three times and then, because the weather was so nice, ran outside during my fourth day (and reached 3 miles!!). I did also try out my friend’s regime she created for me during the first half of the week, but failed to try out the second half since I ran outside instead of going to the gym. But I’m still counting this as a win.
  • This Week’s Goal: Complete a full week of fitness program.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.
  • Last Weeks Goal: Write four times. Outline novel. Draft short story.
    • Status: Making progress. I did write once and had a really productive session. Didn’t online the novel, but did get a draft of my short story written and I don’t hate it–though it did end up darker than it was meant to. Going to the gym was definitely my focus last week. This week, I may try to switch that importance to writing.
  • This Week’s Goal: Write four times. Outline novel. Read beta feedback and make editing game plan for Artemis’s story.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Finish The Lies of Locke Lamora and write review.
    • StatusCloser! I did read a solid chunk, but I still have roughly 200 pages left. But I have a feeling I’ll get back into the reading groove this week.
  • This Week’s Goal: Finish The Lies of Locke Lamora and write review.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Reattempt blogging schedule.
    • Status: Negative. This has definitely taken a backseat amongst all of the goals and I’m okay with that, for now. I’m slowly moving towards posting more consistently. We’ll get there! That being said, I’m taking a step backwards and trying to not post three times a week on each blog, like my ultimate goal. I think baby-stepping and celebrating that slow climb is necessary and a step I skipped starting out.
  • This Week’s Goal: Write once on each blog.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Try out budgeting app.
    • StatusSuccessI did try out on app, but wasn’t a big fan of how it was set up. I haven’t researched any new ones, so that’ll be the goal for this week.
  • This Week’s Goal: Find a budgeting/financial app that is useful.

Definitely some forward progress this wee and though I still have a ways to go, I am quite content with the progress being made. Onward to Week Six!

Cheers!