Tag Archive | goals

Welcome October!

This is how I feel, even though the trees outside our windows are all evergreen.

This is how I feel, even though the trees outside our windows are all evergreen.

I got to spend some quality time each day of the weekend sitting out on the veranda with a mug of either coffee or tea, and it was glorious. On Saturday afternoon I was out there with the laptop and a pile of marked up pages an got some good editing time in. The sky suddenly got dark as the clouds thickened, and I decided to take the paper and laptop inside before it started raining. And I barely made it. It started raining as I was carrying things through the door. And then, I grabbed a new mug of hot tea and the iPad and went back out to do some other writing while the rain splattered on the edge of the deck. There is an eave over the deck. If the rain is light, only the edge of the deck where my flowers in pots are gets wet. But if it’s raining hard, a bit more water splatters a further in.

Anyway, I love the rain. I love autumn. I love the trees changing color. I really like being able to go out on the veranda.

I haven’t posted a goal update since the first of August, for a couple of reasons. One, I was still reassessing some of the goals, as the move was such a big disruption. Another reason was related to the move, and I’ve felt both frustrated and embarrassed about it. Several things went missing during the move.

Some of the missing things were trivial: a silly hat that often call my writing hat, a couple of books purchased just before we started the move, and a set of old stories and art discovered during the packing that I thought would make a fun submission to one of the APAzines I participate in. But other things weren’t: the galley proof of my novel with all my copy editor’s comments, a notebook with all of my notes for one of the roleplaying games I run, another notebook with notes of the other roleplaying game I run, a pile of editing comments on new scenes I had written for the novel in galley proof, and the file with my notes on places to submit short stories.

While we were still unpacking boxes, we just assumed they were in a box we hadn’t gotten to. The fact that I thought I had put most of those things in the same box and one of the boxes I marked as needing to be unpacked early made me a little extra crazy, because we had opened all the boxes with that sort of marking. After we got the last box unpacked, both my husband and I searched through closets and so forth, but no luck.

Then last weekend, literally a few minutes before midnight on my birthday, I pulled a plastic file box off a shelf to file a new insurance policy (that had been sitting on the coffee table since I opened the mail a week or so before). And when I opened this plastic box which I thought was full of legal documents and such, I found all the missing things: my silly fez, the edits, the gaming notebooks, the old art and stories, the books, the other files… it was all there. All the legal documents that I thought were in the plastic box were in a banker’s box on the next shelf over.

The embarrassing part is that during all of my searching for the missing things, I kept not opening the plastic file box because I was sure it was full of legal documents. And the fact that when I looked in the banker’s box and saw that it was full of file folders full of various documents never made me twig to the possibility that there weren’t legal documents in the plastic box is where the embarrassment comes in.

Anyway, ince two of my big goals for the year required me finding a couple of those missing things, it was hampering my progress. Now that the missing things have been found, I’ve been busy all week working on edits. There’s a lot still to go, but I’m in a much better position, now.

I’m still reassessing the goals, particularly as I work on a new, um, project that I hope will help me finish more of the writing related tasks faster. But I’m not ready to talk about that other than to a few others just yet.

So, I am still working on my goals for the year. I’ve mentioned before how much I love autumn. I’ve also mentioned that autumn often feels more like a new year to me than New Year’s Day. So maybe it’s a good thing I’m still reassessing. New season means new beginnings.

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” —Humbert Wolfe

“Listen!
The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
—Humbert Wolfe

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You never know where you’re goin’ ’til you get there! (or, Revising my goals)

“People with goals succeed because they know where they're going.”

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to do monthly updates, since the years I’ve done that has resulted in better results than years I haven’t. This year has been complicated by the move, my husband’s surgery, and more craziness in my work schedule than usual. So there was a month that I didn’t post an update because we were swamped in the actual move. Then I declared June a reset month as we still had a lot of unpacking to do and were still trying to settle into new routines. By the end of June I’d realized that I really needed to reassess and reframe some of the goals, which is why in July’s update I only talked in really general terms.

The big goals now are mostly the same, but I’ve tweaked them a bit and decided to rearrange their priority:

Take care of us: reduce and prioritize. The move has changed a lot of things, and left us with a bunch of new tasks. People kept warning me before the move that it always takes longer to unpack than you think, for instance. And so far they’ve been right. It’s important to remember to take rests, not to let ourselves stress about things, and so on. However, not having the house quite as organized as we would like and so forth contributes to our stress level. So I’m going to count everything we do to further the unpacking and organizing of the house in this category, too. Which means this is no longer a separate main goal.

Don’t get mad, stay busy. My tasks are: write about things I love; listen to music and audiobooks more and podcasts less; spend at least half of my lunch break writing; set specific monthly writing/editing goals in each check-in.

Write, submit, and publish. More than half the year is gone and I’ve only submitted to two places. I have consolidated all of my notes for the revisions to the first novel. I spent much of July trying to get the editing/revision pass finished. While I need to work on finding other places to submit shorter work, I also need to get the big stuff done.

My specific tasks for June and July were:

  • Get back into the rhythm of editing the novel. Only so-so. I got work done, but I haven’t got new habits. Considering eight weeks of unplanned overtime as a mitigating factor, I’m going to consider this a mixed success.
  • Write at least two blog posts each month about things I like, rather than rants or commentaries. Done. Two one month and three the other!
  • Get the iris bulbs, monitors, and other things that we want to give away handed off to people who said they wanted them. We got a lot of stuff handed off, but there are still several people who wanted iris bulbs that I haven’t hooked up with since digging up the irises. So, half done.
  • Go through the rest of the Christmas decoration bins and finish that purge. Done! Finished! Completed! They are out of here, and the small number of boxes we had room for in the walk-in closet contain all the Christmas ornaments we kept.
  • Write something that isn’t in one of the novels. Sort of. I’ve written several things that I’m calling “prose skits.” They are stand alone vignettes that don’t have a traditional plot an resolution. But all of them are at least related to my fantasy novel series thus far.
  • Make significant progress on revising the first novel. Another sort of. I got through several more chapters, but a lot less than I hoped for.

It’s a mixed bag, but there was at least some progress on every task.

So, for August my tasks are:

  • Revise, revise, revise the novel.
  • Write at least two blog posts about things I like, rather than rants or commentaries.
  • Write at least two blog posts about the writing process.
  • Complete my action items from the last Corporate Board meeting.
  • Get more stuff handed off and finish cleaning out the veranda.
  • Get gaming sessions scheduled.
  • Review calls for submissions and figure out something to write for one of them.

Wish me luck!

It’s the task that matters: catching up and assessing

“No one who ever bought a drill wanted a drill. They wanted a hole. It's the taks that matters.”

“No one who ever bought a drill wanted a drill. They wanted a hole. It’s the taks that matters.”

There was no Friday Links post last week, no Weekend Update, and I didn’t even post any Happy Independence Day posts. Last week every workday was way longer than usual. I was therefore completely beat at the end of each day. While I collected links that I meant to make into a Friday Links post, it was a smaller group than usual and I was just too wiped on Thursday to finish it. Then I spent Saturday and Sunday down at my Mom’s delivering and configuring her new computer, fixing some network issues, helping her with other things, meeting my grand-nephew who was only born three weeks ago, and seeing other family members and friends. Michael stayed home while I was on my mini road trip. He got a ton of work done on the house (set up the last closet organizer, unpacked a bunch of boxes in the computer room, and got out and sorted most of our artwork and hung a lot of it up) while I was gone. Then on Monday we ran to Ikea to pick up a couple of things we still needed. Michael did most of the work assembling furniture and installing the earthquake straps on both the new and existing tall bookcases. I cleaned and did more unpacking… and we declared a moratorium no working on the house for the holiday.

I have only gotten a bit of work done on my writing/editing project for the month. I started to work on a post to report on my goals for the year when I realized that I’ve changed a couple of them significantly, or maybe a better way to put it is to say I’ve made completely new resolutions during the course of our unpacking that have taken precedence? Anyway, I feel a need to process a bit more about my goals, our joint goals, and so forth. As they saying goes, I don’t really know what I think about something until I write it out, so that’s what the rest of this post will be. Click to read the rest: Read More…

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, or an oncoming train?

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to do monthly updates, since the years I’ve done that has resulted in better results than years I haven’t. The crazy wrinkle this year was that we knew that sometime after May 8th the new owners of the old building would give us a final move out notice, but that we couldn’t actually move until after Michael’s surgery and recovery was complete, which made it difficult to find a place to move to, since no one was willing to hold a place for more than a few weeks.

The last time I posted about the goals was at the end of March, when Michael was only a bit over a week into the recovery. My specific tasks for April were:

  • Pack and move!
  • Pack and move.
  • Squeeze some writing time in somehow.
  • Remember to have fun at NorWesCon (whether we attend the whole weekend or not).
  • Write at least two blog posts about things I like.

Once we finally had a lease signed in mid-April, that meant that my goals for the rest of April and all of May were:

  • Pack and move!
  • Move and unpack.
  • Clean out the old place.
  • Try to keep squeezing writing time in.

We’ve still got a lot of unpacking to do, but we’ve moved, so yay!

I got some writing in, but most of it was blogging. I did a lot of blog writing on the bus and during lunch at work. Having a slightly longer bus ride in (and being too far out to walk home, so I’m busing both ways) gives me a bit more time to write on the bus. Which is nice, though I’m finding it harder to get myself to write scenes on the phone than blog posts. I’m not sure why.

We didn’t attend NorWesCon, other than to show up at dinner time on Saturday evening, have dinner with our gang then run up to one of the hotel rooms to watch Doctor Who. But it was a great break during the first weekend that we were actually moving into a place, rather than packing and trying to find a place.

I’ve already written more about the packing, moving, hauling, cleaning, and so on than anyone cares to read, so let’s move on.

The big goals remain, though this is probably a good time to revisit them.

Don’t get mad, get busy. My tasks are: write about things I love; listen to music and audiobooks more and podcasts less; spend at least half of my lunch break writing; set specific monthly writing/editing goals in each check-in; write at least one blog post a month about organizations we can donate to that are fighting the good fight.

Reduce, pack, and prioritize. Now you might think this big goal could be marked “done” for the year, since we’ve moved, but it just needs to be rephrased: Unpack, reduce, and prioritize. We tried to purge a lot of things during the packing, but as we unpack we keep finding things that we realize should have been pitched rather than packed. And though the new place is a couple hundred square feet bigger than the old, we have a lot less storage. So, a lot of work to do here, still.

Take care of us. It’s important to remember to take rests, not to let ourselves stress about things, and so on.

Submit and publish. Initial task was to organize how I’m going to find calls for submission and set reasonable targets for the novel revision/finalization. I have thus far totally failed to get organized regarding submissions. Nearly half the year is gone and I’ve only submitted to two places. I have consolidated all of my notes for the revisions, and now that we’ve moved I can get back to that.

So June is going to be a reset month, now that the big disruption is over. My specific tasks for the month are:

  • Get back into the rhythm of editing the novel.
  • Write at least two blog posts about things I like, rather than rants or commentaries.
  • Get the iris bulbs, monitors, and other things that we want to give away handed off to people who said they wanted them.
  • Go through the rest of the Christmas decoration bins and finish that purge.
  • Write something that isn’t in one of the novels.

Not fooling around with my goals this year!

“Keep Calm and Achieve Your Goals”

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to do monthly updates. Mostly because I’ve done a better job achieving those goals during the years that I did the updates. So, how did I do in March?

My specific tasks for March were:

  • At this point it’s time to just pack everything, so pack! We’ve been packing. There are boxes stacked everywhere.
  • Get the new living situation sorted. We’ve contacted a number of property managers, but haven’t gotten a place nailed down.
  • Make reasonable progress on writing/editing knowing that the above is going to eat up most of our available time.I got a small amount done, but not much.
  • Disconnect from the internet at least one night each week. I managed to do this every week!
  • Write at least two blog posts about things I like. I gave myself a lower number for this month because I figured with the packing and trying to find a new place I wouldn’t have as much time to write or blog. I still managed to beat this number by writing four posts about things I like!

My overall goals for the year, where I’m trying to follow the idea of replacing bad habits with better ones:

Don’t get mad, get busy. My tasks are: write about about things I love; listen to music and audiobooks more and podcasts less; spend at least half of my lunch break writing; set specific monthly writing/editing goals in each check-in; write at least one blog post a month about organizations we can donate to that are fighting the good fight.

I did fairly well on this one.

Reduce, pack, and prioritize. We now officially know that we have to find a new place to live this year. We have lots of stuff to go through and decide what to discard and what to pack.

Packing, hauling, getting rid of stuff continued apace. My hubby found a great charity to ship a lot of our books to. That helps me feel better about getting rid of them.

Take care of us. My initial tasks are related to some specific medical things that aren’t urgent, but need to be dealt with. I am going to remain vague on the details of this one.

My husband had his surgery and I tried to play nurse. He’s recovering, and it’s a great relief to get this taken care of before the move!

Submit and publish. Initial task was to organize how I’m going to find calls for submission and set reasonable targets for the novel revision/finalization.

I worked on three submissions. Got one done. I’m frankly amazed at the amount of progress I did make this time given everything else.


Finally, my specific tasks for April are:

  • Pack and move!
  • Pack and move.
  • Squeeze some writing time in somehow.
  • Remember to have fun at NorWesCon (whether we attend the whole weekend or not).
  • Write at least two blog posts about things I like.

Goal-darn age…

Keep Calm & Achieve Your Goals.

Keep Calm & Achieve Your Goals.

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to do monthly updates, since the years I’ve done that has resulted in better results than years I haven’t. So, how did I do in February?

My specific tasks for February were:

  • Get through the rest of the bookcases in the computer room. We made progress on the computer room, the bedroom, and the kitchen. We haven’t been sticking to a get-this-whole-bit-finished then move on schedule.
  • Figure out Writers’ Night schedule for at least the following couple of months. Done! Sorted through July.
  • Write at least four blog posts about things I like. I wrote six or seven such posts, depending on how you count.
  • Expand the list of places to find calls for submissions and write one new story. Not done.
  • Finish the current stage of the copy edit pass. Maybe half done.
  • Disconnect from the internet at least one night a week so I can concentrate on writing and editing. I hit the goal, in that every week there was at least one night when I didn’t pay attention to what was going on on the net. A couple of times I was feeling so tired and run down that I came home, ate dinner, and just crashed. So while I achieved the disconnect goal, I didn’t get the writing and editing half of it done each time.

My overall goals for the year, where I’m trying to follow the idea of replacing bad habits with better ones:

Don’t get mad, get busy. My tasks are: write about about things I love; listen to music and audiobooks more and podcasts less; spend at least half of my lunch break writing; set specific monthly writing/editing goals in each check-in; write at least one blog post a month about organizations we can donate to that are fighting the good fight.

Again, I did pretty well on this, with some weirdness because of work and illness eating away at our energy and time.

Reduce, pack, and prioritize. We now officially know that we have to find a new place to live this year. We have lots of stuff to go through and decide what to discard and what to pack.

Making more progress. I didn’t haul as much away the last weekend of the month as the previous three, though.

Take care of us. My initial tasks are related to some specific medical things that aren’t urgent, but need to be dealt with. I am going to remain vague on the details of this one.

We both saw various medical professionals this month as hoped. My hubby’s tests came out good and he has the big procedure scheduled for next month.

Submit and publish. Initial task was to organize how I’m going to find calls for submission and set reasonable targets for the novel revision/finalization.

This was the goal that suffered most from the time squeeze. Not much progress on it at all.


Finally, my specific tasks for March are:

  • At this point it’s time to just pack everything, so pack!
  • Get the new living situation sorted.
  • Make reasonable progress on writing/editing knowing that the above is going to eat up most of our available time.
  • Disconnect from the internet at least one night each week.
  • Write at least two blog posts about things I like.

Goals, damn goals, and resolutions

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to do monthly updates, since the years I’ve done that has resulted in better results than years I haven’t. So, we’ve survived the first month of 2017. How did I do?

My specific tasks for January were:

  • While packing away Christmas stuff, reduce the number of RoughTote™ containers full of old ornaments, et al, by at least two. Done! Hauled two loads to Value Village and Goodwill, plus a really big box to a recycler!
  • Figure out Writers’ Night schedule. We’ve got the first two months sorted out, but with all the uncertainty, haven’t quite got the rest of the year done.
  • Write at least four blog posts about things I like. I wrote at least six. Woo hoo!
  • Make a list of places that post calls for submissions. I have a list, but it doesn’t seem long enough. Still, I have a start!
  • Finish the current stage of the copy edit pass. I didn’t quite get through the list of items I had identified for this month, but I got more than half done.
  • Finish going through the bookcases in the computer room, and get through at least one filing cabinet. I did not get as far is this as I hoped.
  • Write at least one blog post about organizations we can donate to that are fighting the good fight. I almost forgot this one because I didn’t list in in the January tasks, but rather as part of one of the over all as a monthly thing. But I did it at nearly the last day, so I’m counting it!

My overall goals for the year, where I’m trying to follow the idea of replacing bad habits with better ones:

Don’t get mad, get busy. My tasks are: write about about things I love; listen to music and audiobooks more and podcasts less; spend at least half of my lunch break writing; set specific monthly writing/editing goals in each check-in; write at least one blog post a month about organizations we can donate to that are fighting the good fight.

I did pretty well on this one. Work has been so busy that I’m often skimping on my lunch break, so not getting that writing time in.

Reduce, pack, and prioritize. We now officially know that we have to find a new place to live this year. We have lots of stuff to go through and decide what to discard and what to pack.

We made progress, but these tasks are always bigger than you think they are.

Take care of us. My initial tasks are related to some specific medical things that aren’t urgent, but need to be dealt with. I am going to remain vague on the details of this one.

We both made progress on this. I feel only a little guilty that half of my accomplishment this month was to nag my husband until he made the appropriate doctor appointments. But I had my own appointments to make and follow-up, so we’re both in this together. I need to find a way to keep the craziness at work from sapping so much of my energy, though.

Because of the deplorable events that Not My President kicked off on Friday, news was so upsetting that on Saturday night I shut down twitter on my laptop, and put my phone and iPad on chargers in another room and made myself work on edits without looking at the internet again until morning. I got through a lot of work, and slept better than I have been for quite some time. So I need to unplug more often, clearly.

Submit and publish. Initial task was to organize how I’m going to find calls for submission and set reasonable targets for the novel revision/finalization.

I have a list to start with. I got through part of my pile of notes on the novel. I think I have a better handle on how much I can get done a month while working on these other tasks.


Finally, my specific tasks for February are:

  • Get through the rest of the bookcases in the computer room.
  • Figure out Writers’ Night schedule for at least the following couple of months.
  • Write at least four blog posts about things I like.
  • Expand the list of places to find calls for submissions and write one new story.
  • Finish the current stage of the copy edit pass. There is a list of unfinished tasks with specific piles of pages of prioritized notes.
  • Disconnect from the internet at least one night a week so I can concentrate on writing and editing.

Unresolved resolution tension

New Year’s Resolutions are a fraught topic. There is no shortage of posts and articles out there telling you not to make resolutions. Some say to set goals instead. Others talk about how no one ever succeeds at resolutions, so you shouldn’t set them. Others insist that getting out of the mindset of setting resolutions will somehow miraculously make you into the kind of person you want to be, and so on. Then, of course, there are the pedantic jerks who insist it’s all meaningless because the calendar is an arbitrary thing, anyway.

And while I get a good laugh out of the memes declaring that being technically correct is the best kind of correct, I’m also fully aware that one can be technically correct while being completely wrong. It doesn’t matter that it’s arbitrary if you find meaning in it. As Zen Master Unmon asked the monk, “The world is vast and wide. Why do you put on your robes at the sound of a bell?”

A few years back a friend shared her decision to take a lesson she’d learned from training pets and apply it to herself. She identified specific habits she wanted to change, and made her resolution to replace each with a better habit. Since then, that’s how I’ve been setting my annual goals. And for a couple years I also pledged to write monthly reports on this blog of how I was doing. The first year I made very solid progress on two of my four goals, while doing only so-so at the other two. So I set similar goals, one designed to further improve on the two which I had done well with, two slightly different ones to keep attacking the bad habits I had failed to change, and a fourth new goal. Once again, I made good progress on two of the goals, and not so much on the other two. Then last year, for a variety of reasons, I decided not to post my new goals publicly, and not to post the monthly reports.

I’m not going to do a recap of how the 2016 goals went, other than to say that not posting monthly reports led to a much worse success rate last year. I did keep track of my lack of progress, but I have to admit one reason why was each new month I would have the thought that I should make a post about how I was doing on my goals, and then I would remember the reasons I had decided not to do it this last year. I also have to confess that the insurgence of white nationalism and other forms of bigotry that were encouraged by the election did a lot to both distract me from the goals, and contributed to a lot of backsliding.

I have set some goals for the year. I’m going to post them here. I plan to post a monthly progress report. Some parts of this year’s goals are kind of continuations of some of the previous goals, but I’ve trying to change the focus to see if that might help. Each goal has some initial tasks I’m assigning myself to try to foster new habits.

My goals for 2017:

  • Don’t get mad, get busy. It has always been the case that I find it easier to rant and get outraged about injustices and the like in the world than to actually do something about them. It’s going to be really tempting to share links to outrageous news stories, or memes about the outrageous people, and so on during the next four years. Which isn’t going to fix anything. I don’t want to backslide any further from the progress I made with my Reduce the Outrage goal and its sequels, either. My tasks are: write about about things I love, including artwork and writing created by some of the fabulous people I follow; listen to music and audiobooks more and podcasts less; spend at least half of my lunch break writing; set specific monthly writing/editing goals in each check-in; write at least one blog post a month about organizations we can donate to that are fighting the good fight.
  • Reduce, pack, and prioritize. We now officially know that we have to find a new place to live this year. We have some parameters on the timing, though there is still some uncertainty on that front. Last year we did some clearing out of things we don’t use any more. We need to do that more aggressively for the next couple of months. The initial goal is to go through the book cases and filing cabinets and clear out unneeded stuff.
  • Take care of us. Not that I don’t do this, but we both have a tendency to let things slip. My initial tasks are related to some specific medical things that aren’t urgent, but need to be dealt with. I am going to remain vague on the details of this one.
  • Submit and publish. I’ve been in an unending iterative loop of proofing/editing one novel for an embarrassingly long time. I only submitted stories for three calls for submissions last year (and collected three rejections). I need to submit more. I haven’t been able to figure out a reasonable number of submissions to set as a goal, particularly with how much time and energy is likely to be sucked up with the move. So initial task is to organize how I’m going to find calls for submission and set reasonable targets for the novel revision/finalization.

Finally, my specific tasks for January are:

  • While packing away Christmas stuff, reduce the number of RoughTote™ containers full of old ornaments, et al, by at least two.
  • Figure out Writers’ Night schedule.
  • Write at least four blog posts about things I like.
  • Make a list of places that post calls for submissions.
  • Finish the current stage of the copy edit pass. There is a list of unfinished tasks with specific piles of pages of prioritized notes.
  • Finish going through the bookcases in the computer room, and get through at least one filing cabinet.

Groovie g/h/o/u/l/s/ goals

FunCatPictures.Com

FunCatPictures.Com

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to continue the things I thought worked last year and added some new things. One of the things that I think helped me achieve those goals was writing a monthly report on the blog on my progess. It’s yet again a new month, so here’s the next report!

So, how did I do…? Read More…

All we need are goals

FunCatPictures.Com

FunCatPictures.Com

When I set my goals for this year, I pledged to continue the things I thought worked last year and added some new things. One of the things that I think helped me achieve those goals was writing a monthly report on the blog on my progess. It’s yet again a new month, so here’s the next report!

So, how did I do…? Read More…