Progress

10 QUIN 17

At the top of the year I made a lot of promises. To myself, to you guys, to the universe at large. I didn’t think I’d accomplish them all, but I wanted to push myself to find out what I truly valued, what I would make time for, and what would get left behind.

The year is far from over (unfortunately) so I still have time to atone for my sins, make up for it where it counts. I thought it might be fun to do a checkup, see where I’m at in these different goals, and what hasn’t been tended to.

What were my goals?

You know it’s a bad sign when you have to look up a few of them. So here’s what I wrote earlier:

Writing:

  1. Finish Writing My Manuscript by March 31st.
  2. Write two stories & a blog post each week for Monochromatic, by Sunday Night each week.
  3. Write a journal entry in my Hobonichi notebook each night by 1130p.
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day working on writing code.
  5. Submit at least 4 writing submissions each month.

Reading:

  1. Read the newspaper each day by 11p.
  2. Read one book a week. (50 books total)

Personal:

  1. Work on French 30 minutes each day.
  2. Run at least 5 days a week.
  3. Meditate for 10 minutes each day.
  4. Draw something 4 days a week.

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff. What was I thinking? Let’s see how I’m doing.

Finish Writing My Manuscript by March 31st.
The big one, and a big failure! I’m still writing this behemoth. I haven’t had the time to commit to this project as much as I’ve wanted, getting sidetracked by work to maintain my rent and side projects, and so it’s still a work in progress. I don’t want to make a new prediction since that seems to always go wrong, but I’ve got a new date set for myself, and will definitely complete it this year. 

Write two stories & a blog post each week for Monochromatic, by Sunday Night each week.
Well, you guys should know this as well as myself, but clearly I haven’t done this every week. However, I’ve kept it up pretty well so far, and now that I’m back from my hiatus, I’m excited to keep rolling on this one.

Write a journal entry in my Hobonichi notebook each night by 1130p.
I’ve been slacking on this one. I usually get three or so genuine entries a week, and then try and fill in the gaps with my memories the day after I don’t fill it out. I’m thinking about new ways to keep myself on it, and I think it just need to be more visible. When it’s deep in my backpack I’m less likely to dig around for it at 11p.

Spend 15 minutes a day working on writing code.
This one has been all but abandoned. I have written code here and there — little side projects for myself, proof of concepts and tools, as well as some amateur amateur web design — but nothing like a concentrated practice. I haven’t forced myself to make anything substantial. You can check out the latest on my Github here.

Submit at least 4 writing submissions each month.
Pretty good! I’m giving myself a pass on this one. I’ve been diligent about my submissions, and have probably 8 or 9 pending right now. Only no’s so far, but that’s how it goes I guess.

Read the newspaper each day by 11p.
Not quite. I get to read it a few times a week, and all weekends, but not as concentrated as I’d hoped. 6a (or even 8a!) call times really get in the way of the news cycle. I am doing the crossword frequently though?

Read one book a week. (50 books total)
This one I’m calling “passed” as well. I’m not quite on pace, but I spent a few weeks reading massive tomes like Knausgård’s “My Struggle Book 2”. There’s time to catch up. You can get the latest, including what I’m reading right now, on my GoodReads page here.

Work on French 30 minutes each day.
Je ne vais pas. Probably 2 hours a week. My proficiency is going up, but not quite there yet.

Run at least 5 days a week.
I’ve been good about this! Maybe closer to 4 times a week, but not half bad. Runs are getting longer and faster now, and I truly look forward to them. Running with a friend is far better than solo.

Meditate for 10 minutes each day.
Nope. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been in form. I maybe get an hour of meditation a week, which is better than nothing, but not what I set out for.

Draw something 4 days a week.
DEAD. I haven’t drawn in a month or more, it’s just not a priority for me at all. There are plenty of things to do instead that I assign a higher priority to, and so I’m sure my meager skills have regressed back to 0.

Where does that leave me?

I hesitate to revise my goals, since that wasn’t the intent they were written with, but I think it might be best to provide more realistic target for myself to encourage habit building.

Here’s what I’m proposing:

  1. Finish my manuscript in three months.
  2. Write two stories and a blog post each week. (Slightly lenient on this one.)
  3. Write a journal entry each night, or the morning after. (Four times a week)
  4. Four literary submissions a month.
  5. Read four newspapers a week.
  6. Read a book a week.
  7. Work on French two hours a week.
  8. Run four times weekly.
  9. Meditate at least three times weekly.

Sounds like a lot still, but this should provide better markers for me to gauge my progress. I’ll do another check in about a month from now, and we can see if this is working. I might try using a service like Stickk for some of the more pertinent goals. Otherwise, I’ll be better about tracking my own progress.

How are you doing on your goals? Did you bite off more than you could chew, like me? Have you already crushed them and are looking for something new? Let me know on Twitter. There’s still time to do what you want to!


Falling.

Sunset.