Midyear Review 2016

Using Lisa Jacobs’ guide that you can find here, I spent a couple of hours this morning looking back over the past six months. Though the exercise is designed specifically for a creative business, something you could market on Etsy, I chose to use the exercise as more of a life plan check up.

It was eyeopening.

I was brutally honest with myself. I admitted that all I want to do is to write, not make jewelry, not weave chainmaille, not really anything else. I know the odds of making it as a writer. I’ve heard them all my life. That’s why I quit writing for so long. Why fight the odds? Why battle the fear, the procrastination, the anxiety?

Because it’s all I want to do.

I know the stats, and I know how hard it can be.

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There was a lot more to the review. I learned a lot about myself. I wrote down what it is I crave in life. I think most people crave similar things-purpose, joy, hope.

I started a blueprint to help me reach some goals in different areas-financial, mental, spiritual, relational.

Do you have a life plan? How often do you review your goals and how to get from where you are to where you want to be? Are you living in fear like I have been most of my life?

Sunday Round Up and Goals for Next Week

One of my goals for the week ending was to resume blogging. I’ve done that. I’ve written my blog post due dates on my calendar. I posted Friday and today. My schedule will be Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The second was to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I set up my profile and my project. I joined and became active in a cabin. Yesterday Camp NaNo launched. I wrote. Yay! My goal for July’s Camp NaNo is 20,000 words. Definitely a reasonable number.

I have three goals for next week.

  1. Continue working on my Camp NaNo story. I’d like to have at least 4,000 words by bedtime Tuesday 7/5.
  2. Work out at least four days-aerobic component all four days, weight machine work out on three of those days concentrating on upper body.
  3. Add a blog post Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Did you meet your goals for this past week? If not what can you do differently to meet your goals? What’s on your calendar for the upcoming week? What project most excites you right now?

 

Friday Favorites

Workout Anytime

For many years I’ve intermittently used the gym at work. But lately it’s just been too difficult to fit into my schedule. Last year a new Workout Anytime location opened just a couple of miles from my house. Two weeks ago I decided to cancel my membership to the gym at work and join Workout Anytime. I’d been paying $30/month for a membership I had not used in about a year at the gym at work. The membership to Workout Anytime is $25/month. So I not only have full flexibility in my workout schedule, I save $5/month.

Returning July 1

Yeah, I know I posted a few weeks ago that I decided to stop blogging. Still not my favorite. But for some reason I cannot identify I work more on my fiction when I keep to a blogging schedule. Weird.

So, July 1 I undertake two writing endeavors:

  1. I start Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 20,000 words on my story
  2. I return to my blog

I’ll be blogging three days each week. Most likely Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sunday will probably usually be a weekend wrap up and a list of goals for the upcoming week. But not always.

 

 

AnimalEO Experiment

Today starts the great AnimalEO experiment of spring and summer 2016. I’ve used topical pesticides and oral pesticides for flea and tick control on our dogs for years. The topical has caused serious chemical burns in dogs, though not in mine. I stopped using it three years ago because it just stopped working. Next came one of the new oral flea and tick control medications. Kind of expensive and didn’t control ticks as well as I wanted. Also caused some mild diarrhea in one of the dogs. Last year I gave it every twelve weeks instead of every four. I found absolutely no difference in the tick control. None of them have ever had a problem with fleas. But ticks are plentiful here (and of the devil).

So after months of research I decided to try the AnimalEO brand product called Away. It is a blend of essential oils made by a holistic veterinarian. To start, I mixed four drops of the oil in four ounces of distilled water in a glass spray bottle. I’ll follow up to let you know how it works.

Away

Added bonus-it’s environmentally friendly.

Side Hustles? Part Time Job? Help!

So here’s some honesty. We need to have more money coming in than what we currently have. Here’s some more honesty. We could probably cut a little bit more, maybe $100/month. Maybe not.

We’re not going hungry. We’re not in danger of losing our home. But we’re only getting by. Like many Americans, we’re living paycheck to paycheck. We have no reserves. No savings other than a retirement account we can’t really touch until we retire. (Which may be a good thing.) We’re in some moderate debt. We want out. But we don’t want to sacrifice life in the process.

Okay, yes, we could go completely bare bones, but I believe we do deserve a few things we enjoy. My husband enjoys sports, movies, documentaries so we pay for cable-one tier above basic. We both enjoy shooting so we do have a gun range membership. Those are two things I’m not willing to cut. But those two things together are less than $170/month.

I could probably drill down the groceries a little more. And, I’ll work on that.

This all leads me to my question. Side hustle or part time job? Should have called this the honesty post because here comes some more. I really, really don’t want either of us to get a part time job. We have limited time together as is. And frankly, our marriage is more important to me than money. But it may come to one of us getting a part time job for a very limited amount of time.

What about side hustles? I’ve read a little about some. Have any of you used any and did they help? I’ve been using one of the survey sites for over six months and still haven’t earned enough points to cash out at the lowest level which is only $10. So that doesn’t seem very effective. Has anyone used Inbox Dollars? Have any of you worked as a virtual assistant? I’m considering some very limited and lite pet sitting-maybe just dog walking and feeding.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Mid-Month Check Up

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Time to check those April goals. Where are you on track? Where do you need to catch up? Where do you need to adjust or go a different direction?

Here’s my progress so far.

I added 4293 words to my story last week, well ahead of my goal of 3000. They will be heavily edited, eventually, but that’s okay. Can’t edit what isn’t written, right?

I posted on my blog three days last week. That hits my goal exactly.

I worked on revisions on my short story on Tuesday. That also hits my goal exactly.

So, I’m on track for April.

Doesn’t it feel good to meet goals? When I meet a goal it gives me a little more confidence that I can realize my writing dreams.

So let’s hear it. Where are you with your April goals?

“Hope comes covered in fur.” John D. Waugh and Why I Love Scent Dogs

Canine scent detection seems like magic to me. Oh, I know there’s science to explain it. Though science cannot yet make anything that matches the skill of a dog’s nose.

Watch this TEDx video where Donna Waugh explains it much better than I ever will. And always remember to trust your dog.

 

Wordless Wednesday

Signs of spring all around!!

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Working the Plan

The first full week of my April goal plan is over. How did I do? Great! I met all my goals for the week-YAY!!

  1. I wrote 3676 words (goal -3000)
  2. I posted three times on my blog (goal -three posts)
  3. I worked on my short story on Tuesday (goal -work on short story every Tuesday)
  4. I decided to enter ICL’s novel writing contest (goal -make a firm decision by mid month)

Did you set goals for the week? The month? Do you have a longterm plan? Are you on track to meet your goals?

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