Maybe it’s the weather, the last dregs of winter that hang on until you want to scream or spend your meager savings and fly somewhere tropical, but this time of year always makes me want to sit down and assess things in my life. What do I want to accomplish this year? Where do I want my blog to go? Am I making my brand work for me? What can I do to make my content better?
The results of all my brainstorming usually end up getting published in my annual Theme of The Year post in July, but it all starts spinning around in my head now – in March!
This year, I’m tossing around a few big ideas for the blog including consolidating (and possibly rebranding!) as well as tons of post ideas on a variety of topics. I can’t wait to share everything with you!
I’m also processing some very big news that I recently received: I got accepted into graduate school! I will now officially be attending Emerson College in Boston this Autumn to get my MA in Publishing and Writing! Of course, this means I have to figure out how to pay for it all, and where I’m going to live, afford textbooks, etc. I suddenly have a lot on my plate, but I’m not going to let it slow me down. I’m taking it all in baby steps: planning for school, working on my book(s), making this space the best it can be… there is a lot to get done before September, and I’m excited to dive in!
I’ll write a more in depth grad school/life update after I attend accepted graduate students day next month, but until then let’s take a look at how I’m doing with my goal tracking.
TOTY 24 Goals:
Write Every Day: The writer’s block is real, but I’ve been re-reading my favorite series from my childhood and it’s really jumpstarting my imagination again. Some of these are the books that inspired me to write The Everest Chronicles! It is also almost spring, and that always gives me the urge to write contemporary, so I’ll be diving back into a contemporary mystery series I started writing last year that I’ve tentatively titled The Catchachatchamunga Diaries (try saying that 10 times fast!)
Apply to Full-Time Jobs: I have a full-time babysitting gig, but with grad school expenses I may need a full-time salaried job in order to pay tuition and maybe get an apartment closer to campus.
Apply to Grad School: Complete! As you read in this month’s intro, I just got accepted to Emerson College! WOO HOO!!! I won’t find out any scholarship/fellowship information until later this week, but I am so incredibly excited to have been accepted into this program!
Stick to My Budget: This has really been more like building a budget and assessing how I spend, but so far it’s going better than I expected.
Pay Lots of Student Loans: My bank account is saddened by this, but it’s really not so bad.
Build Savings Account: I’m getting there! I know most of what I’ve saved is going to end up going towards a security deposit and/or tuition payments, but it’s comforting to see the money sitting in there right now, haha!
Spend Less Than $500 on Books This Year: I’ve managed to get all the books on my read/review list for the year and stay under $300, so I feel like I’m doing okay. I’ve also taken advantage of sales and sale sites to save money, which has been helpful. #FirstWorldProblems
Only Buy New Clothes Seasonally: I’m trying to come up with a list of what I might need to replace or add to my wardrobe for the spring/summer before I do my shopping either the end of this month or the beginning of next before everything is sold out. I hate that I have to do my summer shopping when it’s still snowing.
Get 8+ hours of sleep/Go to bed by 10 pm: It’s been more like six-seven hours with all the reading I’ve been doing, but not terrible.
Only Watch Three Movies/Five Episodes Per Week: With the season finale of BBC’s Victoria behind us (SO GOOD YOU GUYS), and having finished The Crown at the end of February, I have now moved on to Stranger Things. I can’t say it’s amazing yet, but that could be because I’m watching it alone and therefore have no one to theorize with. There’s also not a lot of explanation, and I’m doubting that anything is going to be resolved by season end (I’m only three episodes in out of eight total). Next, I’m planning to watch The Last Kingdom.
Finish Craft Projects: I am now more than halfway finished with all three of my projects. That’s as much as I can say. I’ve been reading a lot and neglecting everything else.
Post Regularly: Ha. As usual, I have big plans and then they never see the light of day. I’d be a great content planner for anyone except myself. I’m going to keep hacking away at this goal though because I think I’m starting to break through!
Keep Up With Book Reviews: If only I had Wi-Fi in my room. We’re getting a booster this month, but as it stands now I am writing to you from the kitchen island, which I’ve taken over for the day so I can write a few reviews and pay my taxes. Fun stuff. (update 3 days later: we moved the Wi-Fi box and now I have a download speed of 89 and upload speed of 13. For comparison, last week’s speed readings were 0.39 for downloads and 0.04 for uploads.) Everything is ridiculous.
Plan Monthly Post Schedules: Still not keeping to them, but at least I glance at them every now and then.
Read 50+ Books: I’m at 13 for the year so far, which is slightly ahead of schedule now. Yay! But I have two books to finish by the end of the month that I’m no longer excited about, so that stinks.
Get In Shape: I did get some running in two weeks ago when it got up to 70 F, but it’s been snowy and frigid since then. I’m trying to fit in some yoga and pilates to make for being cooped up.
Walk 40+ Miles Per Month: I walked over 50 miles last month! WOO HOO!
Finish Everest Draft: Not even close.
Write 20,000 Words Per Month: I wrote three sentences last week, and I’m hoping to write a good chunk today.
Run a 5K in under 30 Minutes: Too cold and snowy to run with a baby, so I can’t get anywhere near this goal yet.
Walk 40+ Miles: I’m close to 28 miles already and it’s the 20th. Not too bad considering I spent a whole weekend in bed sick.
Run 12 Miles: If it ever warms up outside, sure.
Learn Stretching Exercises: YouTube is a cool place.
Do Yoga 8 Times This Month: I debating whether or not to get a subscription to One0Eight.com. I love Yoga Girl and everything they’re doing at Island Yoga, but I’m not sure if it’s a financial thing I can do at the moment. It’s $14/month for yoga, meditation, and nutritional content.
Read 7+ Books: (* indicates finished)
*The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
*Uprooted by Naomi Novik
*The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Fallout by Gwenda Bond
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson
Write 4+ Book Reviews:
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Fallout by Gwenda Bond
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Get more involved at church by going to an event: I attended a very nice dessert potluck at the beginning of the month, and there’s a group of us going to the Museum of Science. Yay for making friends!
Write 20,000 Words of Everest: This is meant to be the same 20,000 words discussed before, and yes, I am failing hard.
Find a Hair Salon: I have a lead on one that I need to check out, but I’m also going home to New Jersey because I need to make a visit to my Dermatologist, so I think I’m putting off the hair salon decision for anther month and just having my stylist back home do a touch up while I’m there.
DO NOT BUY BOOKS: This is a given.
So, those are my goals. What are some of your goals right now? Are you working for a promotion? Getting ready to graduate college or high school? Working towards a summer beach body? Join the discussion in the comments!
Until next time,