Update on Life

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It’s getting nice out, I feel like I’ve emerged from a long and snowy winter, and I wanted to give a few updates on the changes that I’ve made to my life.  So, I’ve gotten the children’s book that I was writing pretty much done – the writing part anyway.  This weekend I want to start in on the illustrations, and have someone other than myself read it so I get some feedback on any changes that need to happen.  I’m so glad that I’ve finally finally gotten to this point!  Because I’m trying to write fairly consistently, I’m feeling much more creative, and I absolutely love the feeling!

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My quest to get rid of junk around the house unfortunately has not yet turned into an actual plan.  I got a good start on Spring Cleaning last week, but this week has been pretty much taken up with wood stacking for the winter.  We’re almost done with that, well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so we’re more than halfway to the end.  This weekend I hope to get a workable plan in place for that.  And, to try and get the Spring Cleaning done, once and for all.  (At least for this Spring!)

My eating plan has been having some pretty good results.  I’ve lost fourteen pounds (maybe more, I haven’t yet weighed myself this week).  I’m eating all that I want, I’ve just changed what it is that I eat.  Oranges, bananas and grapes are some of my latest favorites.  I’m looking forward to the strawberries, blueberries, plums and peaches that the summer will bring.

Here are a few of my recent photos of flowers and trees in all their Spring beauty!

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Camp NaNoWriMo

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This month, I’m going to be attempting the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m trying, once again, to finish my short chapter book for a little boy I know.  It feels like I’ve been working on this forever (mostly because I have).  But, I really want to get this done and move onto other projects.

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Writing can often be the most difficult thing to do.  There are so many things that sound great in my head, but once I get them down on paper I find that they’re not that great at all.  Also, it’s so easy to be distracted.  Ever since I stopped going to the library to write, my progress has slowed down to – no progress.  I’d like to go back to the library; however, I don’t feel that I should leave my elderly dog on her own.  There would be no one here if she needs help, and of course I just can’t do that to her.  I just have to learn how to not get distracted by things.

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Is anyone else attempting Camp NaNoWriMo?  Let me know how it’s going for you.  Maybe we can  commiserate – or more hopefully, celebrate together.

Using Lists

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I know that some people say that making lists just isn’t too effective.  However, I have to say that if it weren’t for my lists I’d feel like I was getting basically nothing done.  I started making lists after I gave birth to my son and became a stay-at-home mother.  I was encased within the fog of no sleep and endless new-baby tasks.  My husband would come home and ask what I’d done all day and I struggled to remember doing anything beyond baby-related tasks.  So, I started making lists of tasks to be accomplished each and every day.

To this day, my list consists of such things as washing dishes, running the dishwasher, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, etc.  All those little things that you do during the day, but don’t really consider them “work”.  But, my lists also have the bigger things on them like: writing a blog post, chapters for a book, and illustrating the book, along with the dreaded paying of bills, grocery shopping and meal making.

There have been times that I’ve neglected to make lists, however I’ve found that one thing is completely clear.  In order to function, I need a list.  It’s not so much the remembering to actually do what’s on the list, it’s the crossing out of the things that I’ve accomplished.  I get great satisfaction in crossing out the tasks that I’ve finished.  Now when my husband comes home and asks what I’ve done, I can reference the crossed-out list.  Of course, my list often consists of all the things that I’ve done for him so that he doesn’t have to do them – making doctor appointments, calling insurance agents, etc.  All those things where you can be put on hold for thirty minutes or so at a time, which is why I call and he doesn’t.

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Probably one of the reasons I like to make lists is that they keep me accountable to my goals.  Let me know if you’re a list-maker, and if it helps you accomplish what you want to achieve.

2017 Goals

 

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Since I have been sick, this is a late post (I planned on this for the 1st of the year, but often things don’t work out the way I thought they would).  I’ve been thinking really hard about how to make goals for this year that aren’t completely unattainable. I think that may be the main reason that so many people give up on the goals they made.  So, with this in mind, and many hours of thought, here are my goals for 2017.

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Better organization and meal planning.  Meal planning is a huge thing.  When I do it right it actually makes my life so much better – I know what I’m serving for dinner every night, there is no stress involved at all, the grocery list is no longer hit or miss.  I actually know I’ve got all the ingredients.  Better organization in daily life makes life so much easier.  I’ve already started this process with “Tidy-up (or “tidy-oop” as Ulla from The Producers would say) Tuesday, and Watering Wednesday.  I have to work on what to call Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it’s a process, after all.

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Stress Management.  I’ve been listening to music for stress relief and concentration.  It helps, but I plan to work on affirmations more, and positive thinking.  I’ve realized that this is a necessity now, and not just something to “think” about.  My stress level has gone through the roof, and I really need to get a handle on it as soon as I can.

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Writing.  My Saturdays at the library have shown me how much writing I can get done when I allow myself the time and space to do it.  So, I’m going to make it a priority this year.  I have specific writing goals that I want to achieve this year.  The first one is the children’s book that I’m writing for a special little boy who really needs something good in his life.  My deadline for that is Valentine’s Day.  So, my first project already has a deadline, and that will help a lot with actually getting this done.

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Exercise and Health.  I’ve been planning exactly how I will do this, with a list of videos from FitnessBlender, Billy Blanks and Denise Austin along with a schedule to follow that I came up with.  I need to do this first thing in the morning, as I can talk myself out of just about anything given the chance.  Usually a written schedule and list of goals helps a lot.  I’m hoping it will help with this.  I’ve got to set up an appointment and go to the doctor, since I haven’t had a physical for at least 10 years.  Also, I need to tweak my eating habits so I’m eating fruit instead of snacks; and go to bed earlier.

Work.  By the end of February I want to have my first coaching certificate, and begin working on my second one.  Also, I have to set up a business, have a website and begin getting clients.  I’m really nervous about this.  Hence some of my stress.  I have no idea how to do this.  I’ve been looking up lots of information about it, so at least I won’t be starting from scratch.

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So, that’s it.  What are your goals for the New Year?  Let me know in the comments below.  And, good luck to you all!

Looking Back on my 2016 Goals

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I wanted to take a look back over 2016 and see how many of my goals I accomplished.  Here is my list, in my own words from last 2016:

I’m planning on following a schedule, which will include:  working out, writing, setting up websites, getting better at cooking vegan, and finishing all my coaching certificates.  Along with:  making curtains, quilts and other crafts; keeping up with my organization skills; and working on meditation for my own peace of mind.

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Okay, this is enough to make me jump into bed and hide under the covers.  Did I achieve any of these goals?  Well, I have been learning new vegan recipes; bills have been paid within two or three days after receiving them, so my organization skills have gotten much better in that aspect.  I can now find all my paperwork in the filing cabinet, filed in the right folder, so whoopee for me!  See, that did get done.  I still haven’t finished my certificates, nor have I been putting my quilts together.  I’ve completed quite a few squares, but not set up the sewing machine to start putting the quilts together.  No curtains, either.   I have been working on my writing, and won NaNoWriMo this year!  Okay, I’ve fallen off my exercise routines lately, but have been walking almost every day for a year.  Both good and bad as far as exercise.  No website yet, nor actual meditation either.  I do repeat affirmations in bed while I’m waiting to fall asleep.  So, I think that’s a type of meditation.

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Okay, so, both bad and good this year.  A lot of room for improvement.  How did you do with your 2016 goals?  I hope that you achieved more of them than I did.  Let me know in the comments below.

 

Breaking my Schedule

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I’ve been going to the library every Saturday for a while now.  It’s been great.  I get there at 10 and leave at 5 when they tell me I have to.  I’ve been thrilled with the amount of writing that has been going on during these highly productive Saturdays.

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So pretty, that snow!

But then, along came the snow, sleet and rain this past Saturday, and my productivity went completely down the drain, since my precious library was closed.  I only wrote two posts, and didn’t get any other writing done.  I had to deal with my family, my dogs and everything else that doesn’t fit into the library equation.  It sucked, and so did I.  My mood plummeted from mere annoyance into downright grumpiness.  It didn’t help that my husband was watching Netflix at top volume in the living room, which is right under my bedroom where I write, either.  Even with my earbuds in, and listening to music for writing and concentration, I could still hear every word said.  Since he gets angry if someone says anything to him about the volume, I had to just suck it up and deal with it.

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I hadn’t realized how essential these Saturdays were to my mental health, writing and overall well-being until I was unable to go.  I look forward to them every week.  I love to have a quiet day to myself, and I really rely on the productivity of the day.  This coming Saturday I’ll be home, baking a pie and getting ready for all the festivities of the season.  I’m looking forward to going back to my Saturdays at the library once 2017 is here!

Winning NaNoWriMo & Goal Setting

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I know I’m a little late to the party (what else is new), but I wanted to share that I won NaNoWriMo this year.  Yes, in my own little way I wrote over 50,000 words last month.  I didn’t finish everything that I wanted to, but such is life.  I did however, get down things that had been rattling around in my brain for quite a while.

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When I finished this goal a few days early, I thought that this is what I need to do to keep on writing.  So, I’ve come up with a new, more achievable goal for every new month to come.  I’ve decided to write 5.000 words per week.  I’m not going to state that those words must be on just one project, because frankly, sometimes I tend to get stuck on one thing, but still have ideas on something else.  So, I will just include all the words that I write, whether it’s a Haiku, short story, editing, posts, or my children’s book, I’m going to count all of those words.   Writing is writing is writing.

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