Life Update #3 + New Schedule

Recap of the year 2018:

I began last year with a growth mindset. I decided that since I wasn’t going to school or working, I was going to set myself up for a better future. I established goals in four categories: (1) career, (2) health, (3) family, and (4) mind. I had my wisdom teeth removed in January, which slowed my progress in the first month. However, when I discovered Dr. Jordan Peterson’s Youtube channel in February, my determination to improve myself increased. I learned how to craft smaller, more achievable goals. I took Peterson’s personality test, which helped me craft goals specifically for my personality type. I discovered through this test that I am relatively low in Agreeableness (29th percentile), average in Compassion (48th percentile), and low in Politeness (16th percentile). The second biggest personality trait that dampens my relationships is my low enthusiasm (21st percentile). I am also high in Orderliness (90th percentile), which didn’t surprise me at all.

In March, I elaborated what I wanted to accomplish and broke those goals down into manageable components. (1) I wanted to become a full-time author. (2) I wanted to be thin, toned, and active. (3) I wanted to maintain positive relationships with my family members. (4) I wanted to learn as much as I could about the world, both physical and metaphysical, in order to prepare myself for life away from home and motherhood.

Image result for goals transparent

In a way, I was planning my life the way I do stories: starting with a basic premise, then expanding into smaller and smaller branches, until I narrowed my first goal, authorship, to, “I will write two chapters a week,” my second goal to, “I will exercise every day and cut out desserts and late-night snacks,” my third goal to, “I will think more often before I speak and jump at each opportunity to serve,” and my fourth goal to, “I will read more books and practice cooking and baking.”

How did I do in 2018 as a whole? Not too shabby.

I finished Burning Space in May and published it in October. I started Gray Haze at the end of August and wrote up to Chapter 26, which was my goal for the end of 2018. I started this blog in August, which will hopefully help me gain experience and insight into the book-blogging world so I have a sort of network by the time Gray Haze is published. 🙂 (Subscribe to my weekly newsletter.)

I didn’t reach my weight goal (115 pounds), but since I’m only off by 5 pounds, I still consider it a win. I have exercised consistently — 30-40 minutes a day, 6 days a week — since March 2018, and I have cut out desserts and late-night snacks entirely, with the exception of a few during Christmas break (and one treat today because my Grandpa brought some over, oops). I have counted calories every day and rarely eat over 1100 calories, though my recommended limit is 1200. I even tried intermittent fasting for three months (September-November) with a little success.

Image result for standing on scale transparent

I think the best way for me to maintain positive relationships with my family members is to do things for them. I cook and clean often, and I have tried considering their points-of-view before opening my mouth. Not with 100% consistency, obviously, because I am inclined to be blunt and mean for my own entertainment. But I have gotten better, so… win! (I guess.)

I think where I failed the most this year was gaining knowledge. I was so consumed by my writing goals that I didn’t take a lot of time to read. Reading is difficult for me when I am in the middle of my own story, which I know is a pathetic excuse. Plus I am very picky when it comes to what I read, and if a story doesn’t grip me in the first 20 pages, I tend to drop it and never look back.

The year 2018 had its ups and downs. It was a year I plan to recall infrequently at most. But with a crappy year comes hope for a better future, and that is what I am aiming for.

Goals for 2019:

I want to focus on the same main, broader goals this year with some slight modifications. I have decided to set goals for the first half of the year, since I am not a fortune-teller and cannot plan with certainty beyond six months down the road.

Career:

  1. Write two chapters a week until Gray Haze is complete (between April and May).
  2. Create a tweet schedule so I don’t neglect Twitter.
  3. Only write one new blog post a week so more time is devoted to writing books.
  4. Learn how to use Scrivener.

Health:

  1. Exercise 35-40 minutes a day, Monday through Saturday. Change routine every 2 months.
  2. Eat an affordable, balanced diet, with an emphasis on more proteins, fats, and fruits and vegetables. Consume minimal carbohydrates.
  3. Avoid the scale like the plague.
  4. Take prescribed medication consistently.

Family:

  1. Plan meals every week in advance.
  2. Smile and laugh more.
  3. Speak less impulsively.
  4. Communicate more efficiently.

Mind:

  1. Scripture study every morning at breakfast.
  2. Read at least 1 fiction book a month.
  3. Read at least 1 non-fiction book a month.
  4. Take a social media/writing break every Sunday.

These are the goals I will focus on each month until June. When June comes around, I will modify them a bit more (since I should be finished with Gray Haze by then).

New Blog Schedule:

I found that, since starting this blog, I have had less time to write than I would like, plus the added stress of keeping up with a three-post/week schedule. So, in light of a new year and new goals, I have changed my blog schedule entirely!

I will post once a week (every Wednesday) with a few bonuses here and there in the event of a relevant holiday or promotion. I have new posts planned from now until January 2020. On the Home page, I will list the schedule for the next three months (so at the beginning of February, you will see the subtraction of January’s schedule and addition of April’s). I am still going to send a weekly newsletter.

Also, at the beginning of each month, I am going to post a recap of the previous month, starting on February 1st with a recap of January. These recaps will help me stay motivated and organized, and they will update you on what I am doing in my life besides writing.

On Twitter, I will re-post a past blog entry every Monday, tweet a preview of my next blog post every Tuesday, post my new blog entry every Wednesday, and promote my books every Thursday. On Fridays, I will alternate between life updates and Read Test reminders, and on Saturdays I will alternate between writing updates and promoting my newsletter. I may tweet more than this (like retweets and random thoughts throughout the week), but keeping a schedule will at least help me remember to use the platform. You will not see me on any social media sites on Sundays, including gmail.

Any thoughts?

So what about you? What are your goals and aspirations? What are your new year resolutions? Leave your thoughts and resolutions in the comments! I’d be interested to read them! 🙂 👇

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