Goals

Every year I make new goals for myself. Below are my goals for the current year, as well as my progress on them.

2020 Goals

Umbrella: Career
This year, I’ll take the first steps toward eventually getting my library degree. They include:

  • Volunteer regularly at my local library
  • Apply to SNHU, including discussing transfer credits etc with admissions counselors
  • Create a plan to finish my undergrad degree as quickly as possible
  • Enroll in classes in the fall

Current status: on hold re: COVID-19

Umbrella: Writing
Though I no longer want a career as a writer/author, the act of writing itself is important to my mental health, social life, creativity, and spiritual wellbeing. I began to write again two months ago, and I’d like that to continue, increase, improve, and eventually become consistent again. My goal is to start by setting aside one hour three times per week to write – ONLY write – and build from there. Other possible steps to help include:

  • Continue weekly writing sessions with my cousin Jen, when her schedule permits
  • Create or join a local writing group
  • Participate in the InSANowrimo facebook group during the NaNoWriMo off-season
  • Use the Comic Sans method of writing quickly, if necessary
  • Participate in the NaNo Prep in October, including at least one in-person meetup
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo in November, including at least one in-person write-in
  • If writing at home regularly continues to fail, write at the local library instead

Current status: no progress, especially as my cousin began working again and we can no longer meet up for sessions, and then the entire family moved to shelter-at-home protocols

Umbrella: Finances
In November and December, Jason and I took some major steps toward improving our financial situation. We took out a (legitimate) consolidation loan to pay off our credits cards, and that loan will be repaid in three years (max – can be earlier). We also downsized to a smaller, cheaper home that will greatly help us balance our budget and get out of debt quickly once our previous house sells. Our goals for the upcoming year are to:

  • Sell our previous house – DONE!
  • Rebalance our budget with the new numbers, reevaluating regularly – DONE!
  • Put any tax refunds, work bonuses, etc toward debts, starting with the highest-interest debts and working our way through – DONE!
  • Pay off more of the consolidation loan than the minimum for the year – DONE!
  • Design and stick to monthly personal allowances for extras and off-budget purchases
  • Do not use the credit cards at all!!

Current status: sold our house in mid-Feb; have had to use credit cards due to extensive vet and dental bills but otherwise paying close attention to budget; work bonus, tax refund, and stimulus check put toward the unexpected credit card balances and consolidation loan; took out a loan from our 401K with a MUCH lower interest rate in order to pay off the consolidation loan; looking to refinance our cars for lower interest rates; generally in a position to pay extra on all debts by mid-year, especially with Jason working from home

Umbrella: Health
As you might imagine, this is the Big One of 2020. I’m stick and tired of cycling within the same five pounds. I’m sick of struggling with clothes, with doctors, with body image issues, with the limitations linked to my size and weight. I’m also sick of excuses – no matter how valid they might be. I want to end 2020 significantly healthier than I’m beginning it. This includes:

1) Lose 20+ lbs. Preferably 35+ and ideally 50+ lbs, but I’m going more for sustainable loss and I know my body will fight me every step of the way. My minimum goal is definitely attainable, though, and I will fight to reach at least that level. I have a personal “20-20 in 2020” fun challenge with rewards to help me along.

Current status: Lost roughly 3 lbs by the end of June as my body is still resisting actual loss. However, body composition has seen changes since I began running regularly, with an increase in lean mass paired with decrease in body fat, and loss of inches from the hips downward.

2) Become a runner again. This is the Big One of the Big Ones! I miss running, run-events, making and beating distance/time goals, keeping a run journal, and all the rest. I’ve made myself a running vision board (more later) and an event bingo board (ditto) to help motivate me, and I’m throwing myself headlong into this transformation. If I had a one-word for 2020, it would be “Run.” Specific steps along the way include: completing C25K indoors, then outdoors; running 2-3x per week; cross-training in strength and yoga to prevent injury; and foam-rolling on a regular basis.

Current status: Began C25K outdoors rather than starting indoors and finished the program on May 30th. I walked/ran a new current 5K PR on 2/23 (46:21) with about 2/3rds of the race running, and have a new current one mile PR at 15:07 (4/13/20). In late May, I ran two miles (33:22), the longest I’ve run nonstop in either distance or time since 2014, and in June, I ran a mile on flat ground in 15:08, only one second off my best mostly-downhill mile!

3) Improve my diet. I did really well on this before 2015 and the backsliding is real, y’all. While I don’t aim to do all these things at once, I’d like to eventually: decrease coffee to one cup per day; cut alcohol (altogether or to very rare special occasions); decrease sugar consumption (a LOT); increase produce intake (a LOT); bring water intake back to 10+ cups daily; and loosely track calories to keep myself in balance.

Current status: have done well on increasing water and cutting alcohol, done okay on increasing produce but have work to go, and otherwise need to still work on diet a lot; I tracked calories off and on this year and haven’t found it helpful tbh; coffee consumption has increased too much and so I’m working to bring that back down and lower than before (if not gone completely).

Other general steps to improve my health in 2020 include:

  • Avoid screens after 9pm to improve sleep
  • Take magnesium citrate regularly
  • Track healthy habits over time
  • Exercise consistently (not just running-related)
  • Continue with social fitness like my hiking group
  • Blood donations to decrease iron levels

Current status: Most nights my phone was off by 9pm until anxiety over COVID took over, working on improving that again; not doing well on magnesium supplements; I’m tracking habits and exercising consistently but need to improve several habits; social fitness was good again until COVID and quarantine measures

Miscellaneous
Other possible smaller goals for 2020 include:

  • Go on a vacation!!
  • Meet up with an old friend (or three)
  • Start or join a book club
  • Read/cull the books on my 2020 Book Priorities list
  • Get one of the tattoos I’ve wanted for years!

Current status: Previously had a vacation scheduled but it was canceled due to COVID so none of these are done. However, my two younger sons and are traveled north to WI to stay with family during the covid-crisis, not sure if that counts as vacation, though. Seven of 20 books on my Book Priorities list are read, culled, or forwarded due to changed publication dates. It has been difficult to get the books to read with the libraries closed since mid-March, though in mid-June they started to come in again. I’m in the process of beginning a virtual book club. Other goals of course are on hold re: COVID.

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Last updated 7/1/20