10 For 2023: First Quarter Update
So, I decided to do something a little different for New Year's Resolutions this year. Instead of starting 2024 with a list of things that make me go, "Oh yeah, I forgot I planned that" I wanted to increase my personal accountability a little bit by tracking my progress throughout the year, so I'll post quarterly updates so I (and you, dear reader) can see how I'm going on my goals for the year. At the end of the first quarter of 2023, this is where I'm at:
1. Big Writing Goal for the Year: Get Book 4 into the draft format by the end of the year. I'm currently working my way through Chapter 5 and I'm sitting at 25,744 words. It's been challenging so far: I'm sticking to a single POV for the first time in a book, I'm writing well outside my usual genre preferences so far, and writing consistently and well is hard, y'all. But enough is enough-- time to light this candle and git 'er done.
Update: Currently I'm sitting at 40,999 words and have gone from Chapter 5 to the start of Chapter 8. I am starting to work another POV into the story, which proved to be a little more complex to wrap my head around than I thought. I know how this ends. I know where I am now. I've just got to sit down and plan out everything in between. Tentatively, I want to have a solid road map in the next week or so and then break into Chapter in the back half of April- but I'm getting there.
2. Little Writing Goal(s) for the Year: I've got one story in my 'slush pile' that I'm submitting around. I want to add two more to the pile by the year's end and be consistent in submitting as many places as I can get. I'd like to do some world-building and prep work on future planned projects and while I'm not a frequent Wattpad user, I'd like to get writing consistently on platforms like Reddit (or Wattpad) again.
Update: Success! I added two stories to my 'slush pile' and all three have been submitted to separate publications. One of the stories, 'Illumination on Titan' I am of two minds about, so I might pull it out of the pile and use it for something else, but if I do, I've got a potential fourth story I want to revise and add to the list as well. But either way: the goal was achieved!
3. Lose thirty pounds: so this past year I discovered that I've got what's called diastasis recti, which is a fancy way of saying abdominal separation and a less fancy way is saying that when I do a sit-up, I look like that guy in Total Recall (the good one, not the remake) with the alien coming off him. Compounding that, I appear to have a small umbilical hernia going on and I don't want it to get bigger or cause actual problems. Losing weight is no longer a whistful dream, it's rapidly becoming a necessity. Ideally, I should probably lose fifty pounds, if not more, but I'll take thirty. That seems doable to me. At a bare minimum, I want to end the year weighing less than I do now.
Update: This ties into the next point, but I feel like I am healthier. I haven't actually weighed myself since January 1st, so I have no hard numbers to offer here. But I'm feeling good. I feel like 'weighing less at the end of the year' is a possibility.
4. Build healthy habits: food, exercise, water consumption, writing, time management, stress management-- I expect everyone can do better handling most of these things in any given year, but I want to push the boat out on developing actual healthy habits on all fronts this year. (I don't know how I'm going to judge this one, so we'll see.)
Update: Food? Eh. Could be better-- but I really do feel like I'm eating less, thanks to the phentermine. Exercise? I managed to work out two times a week for March and want to keep that momentum going into April and maybe add in walking the dogs on the regular at least once a week to that. Water consumption? Eh. Could be better. Writing? I feel like my output has been excellent this year. Time and stress management? They're okay. Could be better. TL;DR: doing okay with all of these, but overall still have some work to do.
5. Grass seed! Our backyard is in dire need of proper seeding this year and I want to actually fence off a chunk to keep it (hopefully) free of dogs so it can actually grow.
Update: Planning and implementation for this starts in April! Hopefully, we'll have seed in the ground by May.
6. Expand our vinyl collection! I'm pretty sure we're on the verge of needing a new needle, so we'll probably have to do that this year, but the itch to listen to sort of comes at me in waves, so I'd like to visit some actual record stores and see about picking up some new albums this year.
Update: +3 for the year so far. I'm going to have to replace the needle at some point and visit an actual record store to call this a success, but so far, so good.
7. Get another tattoo. One of these years, I'm actually going to do it- so why not this year?
Update: Tentatively thinking of September for my birthday...
8. Goodreads Goal! I'm going to up my goal from 25 books to 35 books. Not an unreasonable goal, I don't think-- speaking of which, here's my official TBR 2023, so you'll have some idea of what I'll be reading this year.
Update: 11 books down so far- two more almost at the finish line and three more underway on top of those. Goodreads has me three books ahead of schedule.
9. Reach a 600-day Duolingo streak: I was tempted to go straight to 730 days to double my current streak but decided to be a little conservative here. If I overachieve- great!
Update: Currently sitting at a 457-day streak and still rolling!
10. To make a list of New Year's Resolutions. (Yes, It's my annual 'control' resolution ensuring at least one of these goals will be successful.)
Update: Success! (Obviously!)
Results: I'm 2/10 so far, but I'm making tangible progress across the board on five more goals and have a good shot at getting a sixth across the finish line as well. #3 and #4 are probably the biggest question marks right now, but I can think about both and attempt to lay down some more concrete markers for the next update so I can track those better.