When I set my goals for the year, I said I’d do regular check-ins. We’re nearly two weeks into a new month, so I ought to check in.
I tried to set very concrete steps for achieving my goals. Inspired by a friend’s suggestion, I tried to identify a better habit to replace each bad habit. So how am I doing?
Goal: Reduce the outrage.
Step: Listen to the Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me podcast once a week, limit the amount of time I read news during work breaks.
Progress: It was not easy to listen to Wait! Wait! every week, because August being Vacation Month meant that most of the podcasts were clip shows. While it is fun to hear some of the funniest moments from the previous year or so, that gets a little old after a while. So I listened to a lot more of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast this month than in July.
More generically, I failed at reducing the outrage a lot. I seemed to hone in on every story about people being bigoted, et cetera. All the craziness happening in Ferguson, Missouri certainly didn’t help. It’s a little weird, actually, because August is normally a month where I become more productive on certain types of writing tasks precisely because all of my usual news blogs become boring. Most of the regular contributors to news outlets are on vacation, as well as their backups, so there’s lots of filler every where. And a lot of the people who make the news happen are on vacation, as well. Its usually a barren month, news wise. The news blogs–whether general news, tech blogs, science sites, or sci fi sites–were definitely sparse, but I had no trouble finding things to get irritated about.
So, I didn’t do well on the bigger goal here at all.
Goal: Write more regularly.
Step: Spend the reclaimed break time writing. Find other ways to motivate myself to write rather than twiddle the keys.
Progress: I didn’t do much new writing.
Goal: See friends for fun more, as opposed to all of my social interactions being driven by various projects.
Step: I tried to just plan a few things.
Progress: August was busy, but not necessarily with as much fun stuff as I wanted. I specifically scheduled an extra editorial work party to coincide with the opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy, and I certainly had fun going with friends to the movie. We had another work party, and it was nice hanging and working with a few folks again. August Writers’ Night wasn’t hosted at our place, and we had almost none of the usual crowd. On the other hand, we had a couple new people.
Despite actually seeing several friends during the month, I feel as if I spent hardly any time with them. Maybe it was stress spilling over from everything else.
Goal: Paint, draw, and make music.
Step: Go to the Drink ‘n’ Draw gathers. Set aside some time to sketch each week.
Progress: Complete failure at this one.
Unless I’m allowed to count creating playlists in iTunes and sharing some of them with friends. I have listened to music a lot, including a lot of new music. But I don’t think it ought to count.