A few weeks ago, my husband and I returned to Norfolk, CT, for another housesitting job. I set up some goals, or as someone pointed out to me, processes, I felt would help me reach where I want to go. One of the aspects of these “processes” is that I wanted to make them S.M.A.R.T(er), meaning they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Which, I did. Except, as it takes me a ridiculous amount of time to do simple tasks, like put something in the mail, I ended up with a huge flaw in my November/December plan. I never got around to creating a spreadsheet to track my progress.
Sure, I thought about it, but in typical Kelly fashion there was no follow through. The good news is, I’m not completely hopeless because I did make significant progress in some areas, although others rely on eyewitness testimony (mine and my husband’s) and we all know how faulty that can be.
So without further ado, my November/December report card:
1) Write 6,000 words per week specifically for one of my novels
Rationale: I finished the first draft of my young adult novel, Serendipity Smart and the Fourth Wish! I also started on a second novel, this one for middle grade kids, Top Dog of K-9 Academy. But did I actually write 6,000 words per week specifically on my novels? All signs point to no. If I had, I would be much further along with Top Dog than I am now.
2) Attend a weekly writer’s group
Rationale: This one is easy to accomplish, because one of my writers’ groups is always at the same time/day every week. I gave myself an A- though because the group got cancelled a few times because our fearless leader had surgery. Yes, that’s not under my control, but thanks to the internet I know there are many other writing groups within a 100 mile radius of Norfolk.
3) Listen to at least one Brandon Sanderson lecture on writing each week
Grade: BIG FAT F!
Rationale: I did not listen to one lecture! What is wrong with me?! Free writing advice from a writing master! I give myself an A for all my excuses though: I don’t want to watch anything too close to bedtime; if I don’t have the time to watch an entire lecture, I’ll wait until I do; I’m reading books on writing instead; etc. For some reason, I’m treating the Brandon Sanderson lectures like a new piece of technology I’ve purchased that I leave in the box for a very long time because I’m either intimidated about using it or I’m too lazy to read the instructions. I suspect it’s a little bit of both.
4) Read at least five chapters of a novel every week
Rationale: I think I did this one. I read several books these past two months and thanks to Maybe a Fox, which I highly recommend anyone reading this go out and get a copy immediately, and which I finished in one day, I sent my average well ahead of the curve.
5) Complete 3 sets of PT exercises every day
Rationale: At first this goal was easy to accomplish. Three sets don’t take very long. And then I stopped completely. See #6 below. Yes, I know we’re allowed to give ourselves a break but I only had these goals for two months. I’d blame the holidays, but that’s like saying I’m not 100% responsible for my life, which I am, so I can’t.
6) Spend 20 minutes every day on physical exercise
Rationale: Until December 15th, I was kicking butt. Not only was I exercising 20 minutes, most days I exercised a full hour, with free yoga at the UCC in Norfolk and streaming classes from Cody. Then, my husband and I did a little bit of traveling and my goals fell apart.
7) Eat one salad every day that contains at least four colors of the rainbow
Rationale: I did not eat many salads because it got so dang cold in CT. But I did start eating more vegetable soups. They were mostly Amy’s Organics Split Pea, which is decidedly green. So no rainbow soup for me!
8) Meditate twice daily for 20 minutes each time
Rationale: Again, I was doing pretty well with this one until my husband and I hit the road on December 19th. Then I stopped meditating completely. There has only been one other time I stopped meditating for that long since I started this practice in 2013 and that was because I was in hospital. I’m delighted to report I’m back on track and I’ve already seen a spike in my creativity.
9) Spend 20 minutes every day reading or listening to spiritual material
Rationale: I honestly have no idea if I met this goal or not. The only thing I can attest to is I did not neglect my spirituality completely, so that’s why I’m giving myself a barely passing grade.
10) Explore someplace new every week with my husband
Rationale: My husband and I went to a few new places, including the largest Gingerbread festival in New England. We didn’t get to go as many new places, though, because one of the dogs we’re taking care developed a mass on his spleen. He is our #1 priority and I love him like he’s our own pup. So I have no regrets at all about not meeting this goal.
Overall Grade: F
Well, I certainly have a lot of room for improvement. Since we’ll be in Norfolk from now until mid-April, that gives me plenty of time to work on my goals. In the coming week, I’m going to reassess where I am and where I want to go. And this time, I’m going to include a way to track my progress. Thank you, internet, for making me accountable!