Tag Archives: exercise

Mid-Year: Time to Review Those Goals

Back in January, I set myself a series of goals for 2012. Since the start of July is halfway through the year (and a new financial year in Australia), it seems like a good time to officially review how I’m tracking with my goals, and adjust them as necessary. So, with no real ado at all, let’s get into it.

Writing

Novel A (hereafter referred to as TNT#1)

  • Complete first draft by 30 April.

I’m not even going to go any further. I didn’t succeed in this, and so certainly didn’t/won’t succeed in the other goals based around TNT#1. There are a few reasons for this, the two most notable being that (1) I found myself “stuck” on plot elements back in February and have only just figured them out, and (2) I took a break from all things computer-related back in March — including writing, as it turns out.

I’m not really disappointed in this. I’m just as enthusiastic about my manuscript, and feel in a stronger position to write it now. So I’m officially revising my goals to the following:

  1. Complete the first draft of TNT#1 by 30 September.
  2. Revise and rewrite TNT#1 based on feedback from Round 1 beta readers by 31 December.

Novel B

  • Research and plan Novel B by 30 May.
  • Begin working on first draft of Novel B before end of year.

I haven’t done any real research into this novel, although it’s still bouncing around in my head. It’s gaining strength and momentum in there, which is great. I’m confident that I will begin working on this first draft before the end of the year, so will simply revise the first part of this goal.

  1. Research and plan Novel B by 31 October.
  2. Begin working on first draft of Novel B before 31 December.

Social Media

Obviously I stopped pretty much all social media for 3 months, which wasn’t in the plan. But, all in all, I’m quite happy with this falling into a secondary place in my priorities. In fact, I’m so unconcerned by it that I’m officially removing it from my list of goals.

Short Stories

  • Post 26 flash fiction stories on my blog.
  • Submit 6 short stories to fiction markets.

Well, I’ve so far posted two (yes, two) flash fiction stories this year, and submitted no stories to fiction markets. I’d say that’s a big, fat fail on this front. Still, there’s still six months to go. I’m not actually going to adjust these goal at all — I’m just going to actually start working towards achieving them!

Reading

My goal for this year was simple: Read 50 books.

So, how am I go? Well, when I look at my handy dandy book tracker, it tells me that so far this year I’ve read 38 books.

Thirty-eight!**

Somehow I think I’m got this goal covered.

Other

My other goal was to lose another 8kg (17lb) this year. So far, I’ve lost about 4kg (9lb), which is about perfect. I’ve swapped from using my potentially homicidal Wii-Fit for exercise, to a kids dance game on the Wii that gives me a great cardio workout whilst simultaneously making me look like an ungraceful gallumphing git. So, you know, it’s win-win. Kinda.

Revised 2012 Goals

  1. Complete first draft of TNT#1 by 30 September.
  2. Revise and rewrite TNT#1 based on feedback from Round 1 beta readers by 31 December.
  3. Research and plan Novel B by 31 October.
  4. Begin working on first draft of Novel B before 31 December.
  5. Post another 24 flash fiction stories on my blog by 31 December. (For total of 26.)
  6. Submit 6 short stories to fiction markets by 31 December.
  7. Read another 12 books before 31 December. (For total of 50.)
  8. Lose a further 4kg (9lb) by 31 December. (For total of 8kg.)

How are you tracking with your yearly goals? What changes/revisions/adjustments have you made?

** For a while, I was posting notes on each of the books I read — not so much a “review” as details of the book and my opinion of it. Did anyone actually read them? Did you like them? Or were they a waste of time/space that I could be doing something else — like reading more books?

9 Comments

Filed under Random Stuff, Reading, Writing

Celebrate! It’s a new year!

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had safe and happy celebrations, and you’re excited about the new year. I know I am. I love beginnings — of books, movies, jobs, weeks, months, years, anything really. A beginning feels like it’s bursting with potential. The future could hold anything. So it is with great joy that I approach another new year.

This year will be a big one. My eldest son starts school (well, kindergarten, but whatever), my youngest turns 1 and steps further away from true babyhood, and I’ll graduate from my mid-thirties to being “closer to 40”. Plus, of course, there’s so much opportunity for personal growth and change.

I’m not a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. I think they’re silly. They tend to be ridiculous things like “lose weight” or “get fit” or “watch less TV”. They’re stock phrases that mean nothing.

I love goal setting, on the other hand. Real goals. SMART* goals. And although I reflect on, revise, and rewrite my goals regularly, the new year seems like a nice time to sit back and do it again.

Writing

Last year, I set out in April with the idea that 2011 would be the first year that I really sat down and turned writing from a sometime hobby and dream into a career. With that in mind, I set a number of goals for myself:

  • Finish the first draft of Novel A by October 31. Send our for beta reading.
  • Write the first draft of YA Novel B during NaNoWriMo, finishing by November 30.
  • Rewrite, revise and edit Novel A by December 30, readying for querying.
  • Start and maintain a blog, building to become part of an online blogging community.
  • Submit 8 short stories to competitions.

So, how did I go?

  • I realised early on that with the pressure/time constraint of raising two children and having a shift-working husband, I would never reach my self-imposed deadline for Novel A. I tried writing 100 Words a Day to some small success, but the system didn’t quite work for me long-term (despite the fact that I love the idea). I played around with a few other time-finding methods before I finally worked out how I could find the time. I then revised my goal to wanting to write a minimum of 5000 words per month (preferably 10,000). I did that in October, and reset my goal to wanting to complete the first draft of Novel A by April 30, 2012.
  • Since I was on a roll with Novel A, I chose not to participate in NaNoWriMo, and to further develop and plan my idea for YA Novel B. I still want to write it, and think it will be better now than if I had written it when I originally planned.
  • No revising was done. But I did find a great critique partner in real life, and a few great critique partners online whom I fully intend to utilise when I’m up to that point. I consider that a win.
  • My blog is great. If I say so myself. I wrote 168 posts in 2011, had just over 17,000 page views, have 102 subscribers, and feel like I’m actually part of multiple blogging communities — both in the writing blogosphere and the parenting blogosphere. And I’m thrilled and honoured to be part of it all.
  • I actually only submitted 5 short stories to competitions, but I was shortlisted for two of those (even if I didn’t win), and had one published in an anthology. I also realised that short story writing is not my forte — I’ll stick with novels and flash fiction (1000 words or less). I participated in a number of online blog-based flash fiction competitions, mostly the ones run by the ever-amazing Mr Chuck Wendig, and had 3 winning pieces: Wish You Were Here, Grudge Match, and Pest Control

So, how do my writing goals look for this year?

Novel A

  1. Complete the first draft of Novel A by April 30 and send to beta readers.
  2. Rewrite, revise and edit Novel A based on suggestions and feedback from beta readers by July 30. Send to second round of beta readers.
  3. Revise and edit Novel A based on suggestions and feedback from beta readers by October 31.
  4. Begin query process for Novel A by November 30.

YA Novel B

  1. Research and plan YA Novel B by May 30. This is something I don’t normally do, but the setting and subject matter of this novel is something that I can’t just “make up as I go along”, so I really need to put the hard yards in first.
  2. Begin work on the first draft of YA Novel B. (Due to be completed by February 28, 2013.)

Social Media

  1. Continue blogging. (As if I’d stop now, this stuff is addictive!)
  2. Buy a domain name, create a website/blog of my very own, transfer everything from here over to there, and then make it all better. Note: I have no idea how to do any of this. Complete the transition by 30 June.
  3. Join twitter and learn how to use it. I’ve done the first part (yay me!) but now need to work out the second. I’d like to have this all under control by June 30 as well. In the meantime, please follow me and I’ll follow you back and we can work it out together. Or, at the very least, my home page won’t be covered in zeros! You’ll find me @JoEberhardt.

Short Stories

  1. Continue participating in flash fiction contests — at least once every second week, for a total of 26 entries this year.
  2. Submit 6 flash fiction stories to short fiction markets.

Reading

I started 2011 with the intention of “reading more books”. That’s exactly the type of non-goal resolution I hate! Technically, I suppose I succeeded. I have no idea how many books I read in 2010. I have no idea how many books I wanted to read. And I only started recording the books I’d read after April, when I started blogging.

Since I started recording them, I read 22 books in 2011. On one hand, that’s quite good. But on the other, that’s way less than a book a fortnight. And only one of them was a particularly large book. Most were in the 250 – 350 page range.

So this year, my goal is to read 50 books. That works out to be one a week, with a couple of “reading breaks”. I have a feeling some of the books I read may well be research for YA Novel B, which will do double duty in the goal stakes. Just the way I like it.

Other

While I do have some more personal goals, I’m not going to tell you what they are. Sorry. They mostly revolve around my relationships with others, my finances, and my family. But the one “other” goal I will share is my weight/fitness goal.

This time last year, I was 8 months pregnant. I’d been overweight when I fell pregnant, and by the time I was 6 months along, I felt like I was the Goodyear Blimp. I barely had enough energy to get out of bed. I didn’t set any real goals based around my weight, because I was pregnant. Did I mention I was 8 months pregnant?

Anyway, after Baby was born in early February, it took my almost 3 months to recover from the caesarean. By then, I realised that I still felt like a blimp. And that, in turn, made me feel old, unattractive, and ungainly. (Please note: none of this is based on how I looked — just on how I felt.) So I took up jogging (which I hate), started watching what I ate, and hoped for the best.

Nothing happened. Except that I felt miserable when I was jogging.

Then we were given a Wii Fit and, despite it’s occasional sociopathic moments, I turned a corner. I found exercises I could enjoy in the comfort of my own home. I looked at how and when I was eating, rather than what I was eating, and I started to develop toned muscles and lose fat.

Bliss.

This time last year, I was 8 months pregnant. This year, I’m not. That alone accounts for a weight loss of a good 8 – 10 kg (17 – 22 lbs). But I actually weigh a grand total of 26 kg (57 lb) less. And, more importantly, I’m physically stronger, more active, have greater physical stamina, better balance, and I feel great in my body.

I’m officially within the healthy BMI range for my height, and I’m still about 8 kg (17 lb) above my “ideal” weight. 

My goal for this year is to lose that 8 kg, and continue working on my health and fitness through maintaining the exercise and eating routines I’ve developed over the last six months.

Looking Forward 

I’m excited about what this year brings. What about you? What are your goals? How are you going to achieve them? Do you regularly goal-set throughout the year, or are you a “New Year’s Resolution” kind of person?

*If you don’t know what a SMART goal is, you’re missing out on a great tool for finding success. There are plenty of resources in print and on the ‘net to explain them, so I won’t go into too much detail. Let it suffice to say that any goal you set should be Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, and Tangible/Time specific.

20 Comments

Filed under Opinion, Writing

Single White Wii-Fit

A few months ago, we were fortunate enough to have a friend give us a Nintendo Wii, WiiFit Plus and Balance Board. I was a bit dubious about the exercise potential of the whole setup initially, but after doing 30-50 minutes exercise every evening for the last two and a half months, I’m a total convert. I’m losing weight, toning muscles and, best of all, having fun doing it.

Plus, it’s nice to have the highest score in every aerobic exercise, yoga pose, and balance game on there. Competitive, much?

One of the most annoying irritating stupid pointless endearing things the WiiFit does is engage you in a little small talk when you turn it on.

Good evening, Jo. Are the stars looking beautiful tonight?

Initially, I ignored these little gems and pressed the A button as quickly as possible to get to the actual games exercises. But as time went on, I started engaging the WiiFit in conversation.

Good evening, Jo. Don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to bed.

Thanks for the reminder, WiiFit!

It’s a long time since I’ve seen Pete…

I know, me too. He’s been busy.

Don’t forget to visit every day for best results.

Thanks! I will.

I’d reached the point where I almost looked forward to the odd little bits of conversation each night. But then it happened.

The WiiFit went too far.

It’s one thing to engage me in conversation about the state of my oral hygiene, but another to start offering me relationship advice.

The fateful conversation occurred a few nights ago:

Good evening, Jo. You haven’t missed seeing me all week. I’m touched.

Thanks, WiiFit. I love you, too.

Let’s talk about your husband.

Oka– Wait. What?

How have you noticed your husband has been looking lately: Slimmer? Leaner? Fatter? No change?

Uhm…. No real change?

Oh. Oh, that’s a shame. Change is always good, don’t you think?

Ye-es. Sure. Change is good.

Maybe you should pay more attention to your husband.

What? What are you implying? You think I don’t pay attention to him?

Let’s talk about something else…

Yes, let’s. Good idea.

Scientists have shown that dogs who receive praise from their trainers are more likely to continue their good behaviour.

Wait. Are we talking about something else, here? Or are we back to talking about my husband?

At which point the WiiFit conveniently stopped the conversation.

I’m not going to lie: I had no idea Nintendo was into relationship counselling. But I would have just written it off if not for the events the following night…

There was no conversation at all from WiiFit when I started it up. Very quiet. Sullen, even. And when I clicked on my favourite yoga pose to get started, something odd happened.

The wrong trainer showed up.

Hello. Your normal trainer is busy, so I’m going to be helping you with your training tonight.

Busy?! Doing what?!

Seducing my husband?

17 Comments

Filed under Random Stuff, The Inner Geek