Summer Goals – 2016

Oh, man. The last three weeks have been a mess. With the end of the spring semester and starting my summer/soon-to-be-year-round job, all the while co-running a small business, I’ve had very little time for anything else (hence the inconsistent blog post schedule)—including writing and reading. Because I’ve had a lot of projects and things on my mind that I’ve been wanting to do, but just haven’t had the time, I thought I’d write about it here to keep me on track.

Here are my goals for the summer of 2016!

I recently purchased my first car and there are a few things that need to be fixed on it (minor things like rust spots on the exterior). My hope is to be working on it during the first few weeks of summer so that the car looks better on the outside than it does now. And on the inside, the stereo system, while having a CD player (a would-be plus for me if it were, say, 2009 when I still bought CDs) doesn’t have an AUX jack to plug in a smartphone to listen to music. So I’ll be looking for an inexpensive one soon.

Since two springs ago, I’ve really been interested in gardening and planting flowers. I always used to help my mom plant her flowers and we would go to flower shops together and pick out the best ones. This past spring, I decided to build my own tiny garden beside the vegetable garden in the backyard. I raked leaves, weeded, cut down bushes and small trees, and cleared a nice spot for a small patio and a few flower beds. My plan is to continue on the project slowly, first with finishing the clean up and then planting, moving on to the patio later on in the summer. I’m really excited about this project!

My extended family (my mother’s parents and siblings) bought a house and property on a lake about two or three years ago—only a five minute drive! It’s been a lot of fun having a place on a lake that we’ve all grown up visiting (even more extended family already live on the lake) to swim and have family get-togethers at. The house is still a wreck—we plan on renovating soon—but we put in a beach and a fire pit and have been having a blast the past few summers. I really want to make sure that I go out more and do some fun projects for the inside to help fix it up, as well as just to swim and hang out. Most of last summer was full of work stuff, so I want to make sure I’m taking the time to plan a few extra days to spend there.

I don’t think I’ve had a worse spring in the reading department. I’ve only read three books and it’s already almost June. Having been so busy with my “summer” job starting much earlier this year, this spring semester throwing craziness my way, and keeping our small business going—I’ve barely read anything. I usually have only a few books read by May, but it’s at least seven or eight. Summer is always when I read the most, but this year, I’m hoping to double my usual amount of books read to catch up. With things like Book-Tube-A-Thon and a few days off for reading, I’m hoping to do it. Summer is my favorite time to read graphic novels and comic book bind-ups, so I’m hoping that will bring my number higher in a shorter amount of time.

Just like with reading, my writing time has suffered, too. I’m currently working on two novels (more on that in another post soon) and have barely made a dent in progress since February and have written nothing since April. Once I start to get a hold on my summer schedule, my hope is to fit in a writing day or two (and more time to write a little everyday) to keep up with my goal of finishing one of the books and start the querying process for a literary agent this year or next year.

Both of my current jobs (the “summer” one and my small business) has me doing a bit of design work here and there. But I have my own goals as a designer and I’m hoping to get that going in the next year after my final semester (woo-hoo!) in the fall. This summer, I’m hoping to really put in some time creating and getting some design work accomplished. I want to practice my skills in hand-lettering, create more prints, work on some design ideas that I’ve had, and just put pen to paper, finger to mousepad, and create. I want to work on more art, too. I haven’t painted or sketched for fun in ages—since high school—and I want to work on more this summer.

Since January, I’ve been working hard (off and on) to be more active and lose some weight. I’ve been jogging/running/walking daily (though the last few weeks have been a nightmare) and I have my eye on a Fitbit, which will hopefully keep myself on track. I want to bike more and swim more and just work out more in general. This summer, I plan to make a bit of a routine to keep things interesting and do more activities like tennis (which I love and miss so much) and hiking.

Most of all, I want to be better at saving money. I’m a budget lover and can usually stick to one pretty well—with the occasional moment of over-spending—but it’s more difficult to do it with an inconsistent income and, like this winter, none at all. Now that I’ll be working more regularly and getting a flow of income all year—and because I now have more bills to pay than ever with my new car—I want to get better with keeping up with my budget, especially with saving for the future and saving for things that I want.

And of course, I want to post more here. In January, during winter break, I was able to write a few blog posts ahead of time in just a few days, giving a nice buffer for the following month. I’d like to do that again so I have a few posts at the ready.

So those are my summer goals! A lot of work, a lot of fun, and a lot of keeping my life in order. I’m excited for summer 2016!

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