Every year I make new goals for myself. Below are my goals for the current year, as well as my progress on them.
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 – DONE!
- Create a plan to finish my undergrad degree as quickly as possible – DONE!
- Enroll in classes in the fall – DONE!
Current status: volunteering is on hold re: COVID-19, though the branch manager at my library knows that I’d like to volunteer once that’s possible again (when SA hits phase 3 of reopening); applied, enrolled, and have begun classes at SNHU
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 with the libraries closed. This has moved to extremely low priority in 2020.
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 only used credit cards when there have been vet/dental/house emergencies (lots of those this year!) and have managed to keep paying them off mostly in a timely manner; work bonus, tax refund, and stimulus check put toward debts; took out a loan from our 401K with a MUCH lower interest rate in order to pay off the consolidation loan; refinanced Jason’s car for a much lower interest rate; generally in a position to pay extra on all debts by mid-year, especially with Jason working from home. Currently working on a home equity loan (with low interest rate) to make house repairs before they become house emergencies. This will increase debt but in a controlled manner.
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: Ha. Ha. Ha. I was so optimistic about what was “attainable.” But seriously, I’ve done everything well this year and been super focused, and from Jan 1st to Aug 1st, I’m down a total of 2.8 lbs. Yeah… However, in August, I figured out the root cause of my problem and will be working on a way to start actual improvement.
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, running two miles nonstop in 33:22. I walked/ran a new current 5K PR on 2/23 (46:21) with about 2/3rds of the race running, and my current one mile PR is 15:01 (8/3/20). On 7/15, I ran a full 5K in 51:45, the longest I’ve run nonstop since 2013!
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 produce; have literally only had four glasses of alcohol this year and none since April; I’ve tracked calories but haven’t found it helpful tbh; still actively working to cut down coffee, while also changing the times of day that I drink it
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: screen habit has fluctuated with covid-anxiety but is generally going well; not doing as well as I’d like on magnesium supplements; I’m tracking habits and exercising consistently; social fitness was good until quarantine; I’ve given blood twice now
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 – DONE!
- Read/cull the books on my 2020 Book Priorities list – 90% done
- Get one of the tattoos I’ve wanted for years!
Current status: Previously had a vacation scheduled but it was canceled re: covid. However, my two younger sons and I traveled north to WI to stay with family during the covid-crisis; not sure if that counts as vacation, though. Eighteen of 20 books on my Book Priorities list are read, culled, or forwarded due to changed publication dates. I’ve started a virtual book club that will hopefully become in-person once covid is over. Other goals of course are on hold re: covid and will likely end up forwarded until after this pandemic is under control with a working vaccine!
Last updated 9/1/20