Saturday, February 4, 2017

Measuring success

Per the advice of my wise spouse, I decided to change the way I approach goal setting. Instead of vague ideas that never get fully accomplished and result in an endless spiral of self-doubt, I set out to be specific in what I hope to achieve and establish solid, realistic plans.

The house is better. Most of the time. We spent an afternoon purging the back room of our basement, which mostly contained empty boxes and other random things that never quite made it to where they were supposed to go. I cleaned out J's closet and donated several bags of winter clothing to a local charity. (SMART goal: to organize one space in the house and carry at least one bag/box of things out of the house). I've been consciously trying to end each morning and evening with a clean counter - which has been great for my psyche, but I haven't quite been able to get the rest of the family on board with helping out in that arena, which leaves me a bit frustrated. So that one is a work in progress I guess.

My health is better. I decided to do a thirty day yoga challenge for the month of January. It didn't start out so well, however, because I spent all of January 2nd in bed with a stomach bug. Determined to get back on track, I did days two and three on day three and managed to finish out the month strong. In fact today is the first day I haven't gotten up to exercise, but I gave myself the day off as a reward. My body is sore, but it feels good overall and I'm proud of myself for sticking to the challenge and actually getting out of bed with my alarm. Hopefully that feeling will keep me motivated to continue.

My writing.... oh dear. We seem to have arrived at an impasse. The good news is that I put myself out there for an online writing conference and with my critique group. They've even offered to workshop my entire novel. !! The bad news is I've been riding that annoying emotional roller coaster again, you know the one. Where you feel like you could conquer the world one moment and the next you are doubting why you ever tried to put word to page. Maybe it's because I am no longer drafting in the quiet silence of my office, surrounded by post-it notes and a sense of purpose. Now I am sending my baby out into the world to be picked apart and analyzed, and while I know it is a necessary part of the process and I NEED HELP fixing elements of the story, it does not make it any less terrifying. I much prefer the creative, locked in the room part of this journey. New projects swirl around in my head, but getting them down and going in a direction of some sort, well that's another story. In order to accomplish my SMART goal of sending out (some number - silly me wrote it in the letter, then stuffed it into my stocking without writing it down anywhere else... 20 maybe?) queries, I need to get DOW into better shape. Particularly the query letter, which currently stinks. Sigh. I did enter one writing contest and will receive feedback in May. And I'm trying to be helpful and encouraging to other writers. I really like my new critique group and am making new friends online.

My life in general is... better I guess? I decided to try acupuncture again and went for my first appointment last week. No overnight miracles, but I am hoping it will help get me on a more even keel. The new job is going well, although I feel a little overwhelmed by all there is to learn. Very much loving the shorter commute and lack of stressful traffic!! But I miss my old co-workers and students. Working in a cubicle is strange - kinda like sitting alone in an airport terminal. It can be incredibly lonely despite being able to hear the conversations of people all around you. Maybe even because of them? I don't know exactly... it's an adjustment.

Faithful readers: I hope 2017 is going well for you. It is not an easy place to exist right now, but I hope we can all find positive things to focus on. In an effort to help spread love instead of hate, our family committed to supporting a different local charity each month with both our time and resources. And here are a few more things I'm committing to this month:

  • Send entire MS to critique group
  • Plot new story
  • Try a different exercise video series each week - and work out at least five mornings
  • Recycle old/broken electronics
  • Give myself credit (not measurable, I know... but something I need to work on)

I'll pop back in with an update next month, and hopefully will have a post or two in between. Cheers!

1 comment:

John Freiberger IV said...

As usual, great blog! Just reading it now. Coincidentally, we met today at work to start brainstorming department goals for 2017. I was going to suggest you try the SMART approach, but looks like you're already doing that. :-) I set a goal for myself to write at least one new post each month on my blog. I missed January, but made up for it earlier this month. But, you've given me an idea or two to write about. Keep up the good work, and good luck with the critiques!