2017 Goals: Checking In – 9 Months

It’s sort of hard to believe that 2017 is nearly over already. We’re at the point where autumn is starting, the holidays are coming soon, and before we know it – it’ll be 2018. A weird, weird thought.

With my goals, this third quarter of the year has been both great and terrible. I’ve been working on my goals much better by breaking them up by month, but saw them suffer a greatly in the months where they weren’t the focus. I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a balance. Also, two thirds of this quarter was a part of one of the busiest summers of my life. I’ve a lot of catching up to do by the end of the year.

Design & Illustration

I’ve not been doing great in this category. Though I’ve been doing some freelance work, I haven’t been able to do what I want with design just yet. As for illustration, I’ve all but stopped doing every day sketching (which I miss and want to do more of again) and I haven’t done many full illustrations, either. I wanted to do one a week (or at least 50) but I haven’t done many more than the last check in. But it’s okay. I’m going to work harder and make more of an effort to reach my goals. And with having more time now that summer is over, it’ll be all okay.

Writing

I’ve been writing again! I explained in an entire post about my struggling relationship with writing this year and that lasted through August, but then in September, it came back to me. July was supposed to be for reading and writing, but it ended up for mostly reading. In September is where I had the most time to write in months and fell back in love with it. As a planned writing focus month, September had always been the month I planned to finish writing the first draft of the novel I started (and won with) during NaNoWriMo 2016. I conquered the challenge and wrote 50,000 words in a month, but the book was nowhere finished (about halfway) so I began the journey to finish it in September. And while I didn’t quite finish (still working on it into October with a few thousand words left to go), I wrote nearly every day for that month and it felt great. I think of all my goals and plans, I’m most proud of battling my relationship with writing and coming out the other end back in love. My plan for October is to finish that draft, write a few short stories, and outline for NaNoWriMo 2017, which will be all of November’s free time, and I’ll be taking a most needed writing break in December, just writing when I want with no real goal. I need to write without a plan, without a set target for just a minute. Then I’ll get back to goal setting in the new year.

Reading

I’m doing well with reading!!! As of right now, I’ve finished 18 books. That’s worlds away from the 5 I had read by the middle of the year. I lowered my goal to 30 on Goodreads but only because I didn’t want to think about too many books. I’m not worried about not reaching 30 but I am worried about not reaching 35. It may be like 32. So I just adjusted so I could quickly bump it to 35 if I get there. It makes sense in my head. October is another reading month and so is December, so I’m hopeful.

Film: Import

I’ve been watching films left and right this year, just none of them in a theater. I’m starting to think I should just forget about that goal. Actually, I am. Forget the five in theaters goal, I just want to see more films period. I can’t seem to get to the theater lately and that’s fine. Next year, I’m setting the goal to a total number and ditching the in theaters and at home distinction. I’ve watched 17 fils so far this year, so I’m only 3 away of my goal (and I literally have two new DVDs so that won’t be hard, plus I always get movies for Christmas and watch them between then and the new year, so I’ll definitely reach a total of at least 25 which is my total films watched goal. So that’s okay with me. I think I’m going to just have a total films number next year.

Film: Export

I haven’t made a single film projected. I started one, I started a new video, but lost interest. I started planning more, but lost interest. It’s just not my priority this year, and that’s okay too. I wrote Anya, my short film and that’s good enough for this year. Maybe in the next few months I’ll be inspired to do something else, but I know it won’t be anywhere close to three videos.

Exercise

I’ve been falling behind on this one. I’ve gained some weight back, I’ve been going for less walks, and stopped tracking everything with my Fitbit and MyFitnessPal app. But in September, I started to use Audible which helped me get back into going for my morning walks, listening to some audiobooks while in between podcast episodes (also bringing up my read books!) and that’s been great. In October, I’m planning to start a new diet plan and get back into it so I don’t lose control over the winter with the holidays, as I’ve done in the past.

Instagram

Still posting one picture for each day, still liking it. Thought, it’s becoming more and more difficult to remember to post every day, and I end up having to scramble and post like five in a row to catch up. Quality is being affected, so I’ll be working on that.

So far, this year is going not how I wanted with goals. But does it ever go well? I do think with every year, I’m learning what works for me, so next year, I know what I can handle, what’s attainable and what’s too lofty. It’s disappointing but I’m okay with that. I have a lot of interests and plans and goals and I just have to learn how to balance it all.

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2017 Goals: Checking In – 6 Months

2017 is halfway over and I’m in a constant state of panic because of it. June was the most insanely busy month I’d ever had (the small business I co-own launched another product) and went by as quickly as if it were a week long. Around the end of April, I decided that I would break up some of my goals and focus on one more than the others during each month, and so far it’s been working…sort of okay, mostly not. Anyway, it’s time to go over how well I’m doing with my goals for the year.

Design & Illustration

In the month of May, I focused on practicing hand lettering! It went fairly well, though I didn’t do as much as I wanted—I’d wanted to do one piece a day, but only ended up doing about half. Still, I definitely see an improvement in just that short of time and want to do more to get even better. I’m still not great at it, but a few of them turned out great. Along with this, I’ve been wanting to redesign book covers of some favorite books for two reasons: 1) to do more design projects in between other work that I’ve been doing and 2) to get more works that could go in my portfolio, specifically because I’d like to start marketing myself as a freelance designer that does book design covers (as well as branding and marketing design). It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and think it’s a good time to focus on it more. I’ve done one book cover with some hand lettering on it (still in the works, will post along with whole hand lettering post). In other ways, I’ve done very little design work outside of my day job (and even within that, hardly any) because June was so chaotic. And guess which month I chose to be my month of illustration focus? That’s right! June. I did very very little sketching and illustrating. But it’s okay, because I plan on choosing another month to focus on illustrating later in the year. Disappointing, but okay. I just have to press on!

Writing

Guess what I’ve been doing very little of? That’s right! Writing. But it’s okay. I posted about it last month here. July is writing and reading focused, so I’m going to be taking some extra time to write. Do I try to do to much? Too many interests? Probably. Anyway, my other writing month is September and then again in November (NaNoWriMo baby!), so I know I’ll be doing a lot more later in the year. Hopefully, July will be good to me and I’ll be able to care out the time to write.

Reading

Don’t look at me. I’ve only finished five books. FIVE. The year is half over and I’ve only read FIVE BOOKS. How does this happen to me? I feel like I read all the time but I just…am not. Again, hopefully July will be super great with reading. Well, I know it will be, because BookTube-A-Thon is this month! It’s my favorite time of year, where I stress myself out trying to read every extra minute I have for an entire week straight. I don’t sleep enough, I stop functioning as a normal human adult. It’s great.

Film: Import

I’ve actually watched a lot of films this year! I’ve seen almost 15 already. However, none in theaters—yet. I planned TWICE to go see Alien: Covenant in theaters, but couldn’t make it both times for dumb reasons (like work and stuff, ugh) and now I have no money to see any films in the theater. I do want to see Atomic Blonde, Valerian, and Baby Driver but I don’t know if I’ll be able to. But there are even more films I want to see in the fall, so I’m not worried. Five films in the theater is manageable, I don’t know I’m struggling. Stay tuned.

Film: Export

Though I haven’t made any film-based projects this year so far (my camera has been hijacked by a relative who needs it for work, as her camera broke, so I’ve been unable to really do anything yet) but I plan on doing some later in the summer. But—as I said in my last goals update post, I finished writing a short film called Anya, and I spent some time in May editing it. So there’s that.

Exercise

THIS IS THE ONE I’VE MADE MOST PROGRESS ON! I’M VERY EXCITED ABOUT IT! I made a post recently about changing up my diet and how I’ve been walking/jogging nearly every day (except for most of June and the first week of July, but I’ve been getting back to it now) and have lost a total of 25 pounds! That’s the most I’ve ever lost! I’m extremely happy and pumped up to keep going. I’ve reached my first weight goal, so now I’ll be targeting a second goal and aiming for it to be hit by the end of the summer!

Instagram

I’ve still been posting every day (or at least having one post per day, sometimes catching up with two or three a day) and I’ve been really loving it. I’ve almost hit 200 days and love a lot of the photos I’ve posted. Some are just okay, needing something to post or just posting a fun memory, less of a Photograph but it’s been a lot of fun.

2017 has been a difficult, busy year. But it’s all exciting! And hopefully worth it! I do know that I’ve already decided to lessen my goals next year. I have so many interests and things I want to accomplish, but I have to remember and realize that I can’t do it all. I can’t fit everything in one year. Doing two “everyday” projects in one year is too much (sketching daily and an Instagram post daily) and pressuring myself to create a certain number of illustrations, books read, and movies watched is taking the fun out of it. So I know what I want to change for next year, but want to finish this year out before doing anything different. Hopefully I don’t start to feel burnt out by the time 2018 comes along…ha ha…

2016 Goals – How’d I Do?

DESIGN

Now that I’ve finished school, I have more time to focus on design and working toward my goals here. Most of the year, I didn’t do much outside of school, but I started working more on my illustration skills but unfortunately didn’t get to practice hand-lettering skills at all.

WRITING

2016 was not the best with my writing. Mostly I just didn’t have much time. But in November, I took out as much time as I could to participate in NaNoWriMo with a new story and I did it! I wrote 50,000 words in a month, and most excitedly, I wrote 13,000 on the final day just to finish. That’s the most I’ve ever written in any amount of time, and though the year didn’t go well with writing anything else, I did have the success of winning NaNoWriMo with a story I really love and want to continue writing it until it’s finished (I’m at around the halfway mark at 50,000.)

TRAVEL

I traveled to my family’s yearly vacation destination and to Madison, WI for a weekend vacation the month before to visit family. Both were great trips, and though I’ve never traveled to Madison before (except a trip a long time ago when I was young that I barely remember), I didn’t travel anywhere really new.

READING

I don’t even want to talk about it. I read 24 books from an original goal of 50. I’m not entirely thrilled I has such little time to read, as it’s something I love and do to relax. I definitely learned that I put too much pressure on myself to read a lot and with the limited time I had all year, it just wasn’t going to happen. However, I’m always proud that I read anything and this what I read:

FILM

Two films is still better than none. I had plans to go to the theater a few times, but they fell through a few times because of money or schedule changes of other things. But the films I did see I loved: 10 Cloverfield Lane and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (in January while it was still in theaters). But I did see several films on DVD that were new to me that I enjoyed immensely, and though I’d rather see more in theaters, I still wish to see them more in any form. I also watched: Gone Girl, Edge of Tomorrow, Far From the Madding Crowd, Birdman, and Mad Max: Fury Road—all of which I loved, and some I’ve even added to my top favorites.

EXERCISE

I started the year off great, lost ten pounds, walked/ran often, and exercised semi-regularly while eating a bit healthier. And then I slowly started going back to old habits and gained the weight back. But it’s fine, I’m fine, everything’s fine.

2016 VIDEO

I’m actually incredible proud of myself that I filmed a short clip (nearly) every single day for the past year. I did it so often and became so used to it that I filmed a few times the first few days of January forgetting I didn’t have to anymore. I still have to compile and edit the clips together (which I wanted to have done by the end of the year) but I’m excited to get it completed and look back at my 2016.

And that was my year! Some failures, some success. On to 2017 with new goals!

2016 Goals – 9-Month Checkup

It’s been (approximately) nine months and three quarters of 2016 is over. I was a little negative in my last update of my goals because of the way my summer months were going (terribly) and I think things are going a lot better this time around.

DESIGN

I have a plan in motion for all the design work I want to get done and that’s a huge step in the right direction. I’m no longer worried about getting it all done right now and more focused on doing smaller chunks of it and really planning ahead instead of jumping in. But I have been working on my illustrating skills the last few weeks and I posted about that here. I haven’t been working too much on hand-lettering but hopefully I will this winter.

WRITING

I haven’t worked on any of my writing projects in a few weeks but I have been working on the outline for my novel I’ll be writing in November for NaNoWriMo. Throughout December, once school is over and I’ll have more time, I think I’ll be able to get back to the projects I’ve neglected.

TRAVEL

This summer, I traveled a little and felt satisfied for the rest of the year. I just don’t have the money like I thought I would to go on a few mini road trips like I wanted. But I’m okay with it, because I know I’ll get to more traveling soon.

READING

A goal of 50 books is difficult and I don’t know why I have such lofty goals with my reading. I just get excited about all the books and over do it. I know that I can’t read most books within a weeks time, so I don’t know why I think, every year, that there will be more than 52 weeks in the year. I’ve cut back my goal again to 30 books. I’m currently on my fifteenth book and I know that seems like I’m setting myself up for failure, but I’ve been taking steps to carve out more time for reading—like spending less time scrolling on social media. And several of the upcoming reads are shorter, like graphic novels and independent short stories (not included in a collection or anthology, which wouldn’t count as separate—in my own rules for the challenge). I have hopes I can reach 30!

FILM

Of all the goals, I’ve been failing the most at seeing films in the theater. I don’t know why I bothered at all with trying to see one a month. It’s a new type of goal for me, but I just didn’t expect not to be able to do it. Mostly, I didn’t have the money to even go see a film on my own—and the theater near me went under construction and wasn’t showing anything for nearly two months. But I’ve seen two so far and plan to see a few more by the end of December, so I’ll be happy with whatever the number of films I see ends up being (especially because the whole point to this was that I didn’t see a single film in the year 2015).

EXERCISE

I’ve been trying to work out more lately and eat better to get back on track. After losing and gaining 10 pounds since January, I’ve really been trying to be more motivated to get back to it. Time is a big factor—once I have any extra free time, I’m usually much to tired to work out. But that should be changing soon with some more time freeing up in the next few weeks.

2016 VIDEO

I’ve still been taking a short clip every day (that’s a lie, some of them have been a few days later) and am starting to compile the clips and edit them per month. It’s been fun looking back and remembering the day that I shot it.

2016 is almost over! We’re in the home stretch now!